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Mar 24, 2022  •  5 min

Does Noise Scare Fish Away

Ever been told to pipe down lest your noise and talking scare fish away? Can fish hear underwater anyway? You do not actually have to be quiet when you go fishing as loud noises and talking do not necessarily scare fish. Does generator noise scare fish, then? Avoid spooking fish the next time you go fishing with these tips.

Yes, fish can hear you talk!

But barely, unless you are shouting. Sounds that are created above water typically do not carry enough force to penetrate the surface tension of the water, so talking on the boat or loud noise may not affect fish as much as your fellow anglers may want you to think. Your voice is unlikely to spook or scare fish away.

So, when fishing, should you be quiet?

Since fish can hear, noise could really scare fish — at least those that occur underwater. Underwater sounds travel fast, transmitting vibrations swiftly through the water, or about four times as fast as vibrations that are transmitted through the air. Although fish can hear, they tend to rely on vibrations to understand their environment, for example, to identify potential predators.

While noise and talking may not scare fish away, the noise produced by your boat’s generator could spook the fish. This is especially true of two-stroke outboards, which emit loud, metallic noises when moving parts clank against each other. When purchasing a motor for your boat, it is therefore essential to choose one with minimal vibrations to avoid scaring fish away.

Use the right motor to be quiet when fishing

Electric outboard motors could be a good alternative to internal combustion motors, which tend to make more noise and could really scare fish. One option is ePropulsion’s Spirit 1.0 Plus, which is a portable 3HP electric outboard made for dingies and fishing boats. The electric outboard, which is made with premium anodized and powder coated aluminum, can be used in both fresh and saltwater — perfect for fishing for bass. You can go fishing all day at trolling speed with the outboard’s 1,276-Wh large integrated lithium battery.

Most importantly, the Spirit 1.0 Plus is known for being silent and virtually vibration-free, which lowers the chances of spooking your catch. It runs on a brushless DC motor, which is quieter than brushed motors because it requires less power to function.

Noisy motors aside, fish finders scare fish away, at least those that are loud enough to create vibrations underwater. You may actually want to avoid using a fish finder, which is a device that sends sound waves through the water to identify fish, to increase your chances of scoring a bite.

Avoid spooking fish with these best practices

Fish can hear all forms of propeller-driven propulsion, even electric motors, underwater. But there are ways to minimize noise and avoid scaring fish away.

Before you set off, make sure your motor is firmly attached to the boat. A poorly mounted motor could cause excessive vibrations. ePropulsion’s Spirt 1.0 Plus has a sleek and simple motor structure that makes it portable and lightweight at less than 20kg, and also convenient to mount on your boat.

Since a faster propeller would make more noise, simply slowing down would quieten your motor and improve catch rate. Fish in shallow areas so you can run your motor below 50 percent at a steady pace — this would produce constant noise, which blends into the environment, causing fish to get used to the hum of your motor. If you really need to adjust your speed, do it slowly at increments to avoid spooking fish. The ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus has a smaller full throttle power and allows for the digital adjustment of maximum power output, which makes controlling your boat’s speed (and the noise it generates) quick and convenient. The ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus’ handy folding tiller allows you to go about your day worry-free after setting your desired speed.

Avoid turning your motor on and off as much as possible as it creates an abrupt noise that could really scare fish. With the ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus, however, you would not have to worry about making excessive noise and spooking fish with your pull cord start: simply press one button to start your engine and you are ready to go.

Keep your propeller well below the surface of the water to prevent splashing. ePropulsion’s Spirit 1.0 Plus offers both short and long shaft length options, so you may benefit from opting for a long shaft to ensure that your propeller remains deep underwater.

Since fish are sensitive animals, it is best to err on the side of caution. To avoid making noise and scaring fish away when fishing, keep your voices low, turn the music down, choose the right electric outboard with minimal vibrations, and make the most of your outboard’s features.

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