Re: Fish - Smart / Notsmart?
I dont think the answer is either. They are like any animals, some are smarter than others and those dont get or are caught less. Those that are less capable dont live to breed. There is more to fish intelligence than being hooked, like avoiding more natural predators.
Ill use pike as an example. I know a few places that have very little fishing pressure.
There is a small lake chain in western Alaska I fish with some friends. Considering it is fly in only, I am going to guess my party is the only one there throughout the year. At least I have never seen a soul in the area.
I have seen smaller pike come off the hook after a fight. Only to turn around and bite the same exact fly 10 seconds later. I have also seen the same distinct fish which I think is a large female that has some scars on top of the head that is probably from spawning.
Either way we have tried to catch it for a few seasons. This fish is noticably larger than the others and clearly distinguished in the relatively clear water. This fish will follow a fly, but will never take anything. We have thrown EVERYTHING at it. It shows interest but I think can somehow dectect much better than the others the presentation is manmade.
Just some thoughts.