Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
The LATERAL LINE of a Fish (Explained for Fishers) | Koaw Nature

The LATERAL LINE of a Fish (Explained for Fishers) | Koaw Nature


[♪♪ guitar music] The lateral line— this is a term that should sound somewhat familiar as it is often mentioned in popular fishing magazines and among the optimistic chatter within social bait shops, and if the lateral line is not familiar, that’s okay! But what exactly is the lateral line? Simply put, the lateral line is a sensory system in fishes that detects vibrations formed by displaced water. [♪♪ calm music] This is how fishes feel their aquatic world! [♪♪] The lateral line contains a bunch of sensory hair cells within neuromasts. These neuromasts can be free-standing on the skin or embedded within channels both along the body and within dermal bones of the head. As water flows across a neuromast, the cilia, or itty-bitty hairs, within the neuromast will move with the direction of the current. This movement of hairs will cause a decrease or increase of action potentials, varying the nerve impulses sent to the brain. The brain interprets the impulses and sends reactionary impulses to the muscles. So when your spinnerbait begins to approach a sitting fish, the vibrations being generated by the spinner’s blades are displacing water, sending pressure waves towards that fish. These pressure waves are moving water towards that sitting fish which are characteristically different compared to the water immediately surrounding the fish. The lure’s pressure waves are detected by the lateral line system (all those neuromasts), the hairs within the neuromasts alter the frequencies of action potentials being sent to the brain, and BAM! that fish’s natural instincts will kick in, causing it to react to your spinnerbait. Simple enough, eh? So I hope you found that little segment on the lateral line to be helpful. Remember that the lateral line is only one component of mechanoreception in fishes; the other is hearing. And I made a bigger video which this clip you just saw is from and that link is below. You should definitely check that out if you want to learn more about fishes and how they hear and see. And what you can do to improve your chances to have them hit your lure. Knowledge is power, right?

5 comments on “The LATERAL LINE of a Fish (Explained for Fishers) | Koaw Nature

  1. This beautiful. Am reading for my marine biology exams and I found it really helpful. I have also always been wondering before how a fish many meters aways can detect food in a bait. Thanks!

  2. This is one of the most important fishing videos out there. Exactly why I switched to fat Albert grubs. Large tail, big turbulence.

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