How quickly do fish learn ?


Regular member
Site Supporter
Jun 6, 2021
I'll explain my query....

Spent a lazy afternoon on my local lake happily catching Carp below 10lb, (are they called F1's ?), I was fishing the bottom initially with corn trying for the Tench that are resident, but only the Carp were showing along with the odd decent sized Roach, after a while it quietened off and I switched depths to fish meat as quite a few decent sized fish were cruising the surface, I was using a loaded waggler and the bait was a hooklength depth fished in the shady margins, this proved quite successful with a 3 nice commons nudging double figures and a mirror that went to 12lb.

It was after I landed the bigger Mirror Carp and recast that I watched a bow wave head directly for my float, sure enough float dips I strike into something that's moving much faster than the previous fish, seconds later ping and the hook came loose, this happened 3 times in total on consecutive casts, it was like the fish knew there was a hook within the bait, but if he grabs it fast enough I'll get away with it.

As far as I'm aware the lake is rarely fished, I'm told it's more of a stocking lake for a local Carp syndicate waters, so the fish shouldn't be to cautious, should they ?

I've very little experience of Carp fishing, and even less at catching them, do the bigger fish have a different "bite style" from the smaller ones, do different species of Carp take the bait differently ?.
I always assumed Carp were all the same, but am really intrigued by what happened and want to catch the elusive speedy one, any pointers welcomed and appreciated.

Neil ofthe nene

Doing things differently.
Site Supporter
May 4, 2009
F1s are hybrids of crucians and common carp. Can normally be identified by either a crucian like appearance and/or lack of barbules.

Fish certainly learn but how quick I don't know. I doubt though that they or one fish, become that aware during one day. More likely coincidence and foul hooked fish that decided not to take the bait at the last moment.


'Any indications?
Site Supporter
Aug 2, 2012
Think they learn proportional to the rate of pressure on them, balanced over a need to feed and conditions. Best measured on a new water and as things get progressively harder with that pressure and talk of the fish 'wising up' happens. On a water far from new, then a sudden change, either affected by the angler or out of the anglers control (conditions changing) is the most likely cause of sudden change in catch.

In terms of the lost ones, foul hooking i agree is the most likely cause, given the description.