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Aquarium Insights

Posted by 
July 1, 2013
2707   Comment
expert

For most of us, July marks the start of summer holidays. When planning vacation activities consider visiting an aquarium. These attractions are frequently winners with children but also strike a cord for anglers of all ages, offering insight into the underwater world. Attractions abound throughout the continent, from the aquarium at your local Bass Pro Shops to larger tourist attraction complexes.

AquariumInsights blog
A look at an aquarium at the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Austriala.

When viewing fish in an aquarium, it's important to recognize that they're conditioned to the hustle and bustle of patrons and that the tank's environment is an artificial construct. This said, hard-wired fish behavior will emerge that will give you an appreciation for various species and, perhaps, some insights for your next fishing adventure.

Many aquariums feature public viewings of feedings. These are must-see events. I find it fascinating to watch how different species attack their food. Strike methods vary based on the species' anatomical design as well as where their food is in the water column. Walking away after watching fish feed always gets me thinking about lure presentation and hook sets, not to mention how evolution has made fish incredible predators.

Seeing fish move is also fascinating, whether they're cruising the perimeter of the tank or scanning the floor for snacks. It's also interesting to witness territoriality behavior, such as a largemouth bass hunkered down under the shade of a log, and how certain areas attract the biggest fish. Seeing fish guard a piece of home turf reveals how size-rights allow big fish to claim the best real estate in their environment. Food for thought the next time you're approaching a piece of structure or prime cover.

Aquarium gazing isn't just about watching fish. One of my most vivid memories was seeing the uniqueness and diversity of underwater vegetation at the Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre, located just a few minutes from St. Andrews, New Brunswick in Canada and operated by the Atlantic Salmon Federation. I recall being particularly fascinated by the amount of space among the stalks of lilly pads and have never fished this type of cover the same way since.

Lastly, observing fish in an aquarium offers insight into just how remarkable these creatures are and how precious the resource — something that's sure to appeal to anglers and non-anglers alike, no matter their age.

Tim Allard
expert

Tim Allard hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He's a full-time outdoor journalist and author and photographer of the multi-award winning book, "Ice Fishing - The Ultimate Guide" (2010), which is also available in French under the title, "Pêche sur glace". Tim regularly contributs to numerous North American print and online publications. For more information visit www.timallard.ca.

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