Can Fish Hear You – Ultimate Guide for Noise Scary Fish 2023

The major fact to understand is that fish may not perceive or understand sound in the same way that humans do. Fish can hear, therefore noises could frighten them, at least those that live underwater. Underwater noises move quickly through the water, generating waves at a speed that is around four times that of air vibrations. Even while fish have heard, they frequently use waves to analyze their environment, such as to spot potential attackers.

If I talk abot human nature it is general that no one likes noisy sounds. Fish has the same nature in this case, they have the ability to hear you but unless you are shouting. Their habitat can absoultely disturb as they don’t have much force to penetrate the surface tension of water. The simplest thing for anglers to understand is that sound don’t travel from air to water but shouting or screaming by the anglers is a natural disturbing factor for underwater animals.

The chat and noise made by the anglers may not scare fish away but the sound generated by the engine of their boat may scare them. Chatting on the yacht or loud noise may not have the same impact on fish as your other anglers may desire you to believe. This is due to the fact that sounds generated above the water’s surface frequently lack the force required to overcome the water’s surface tension. It’s doubtful that your voice will frighten or terrify fish away.

Can Fish Hear you?

Fish can perceive “sound” in a variety of ways, including:

  • Fish lack ears, but they do possess membranes that function as “inner ears,” or otoliths. Otoliths detect the oscillation caused by sound waves passing through a fish, which travels in a different way from the associated cilia (small hairs). This is perceived as sound by fish.
  • The neuromast or lateral line system is a sensitive system found in fish that runs along both edges. The otoliths’ hair kinds are present in this system as well. Sound waves are indeed also audible here.
  • Due to its acoustic characteristics, the swim bladder can enhance “hearing” in some organisms.

Talking is not so awful

It is often observed that the sound on the water surface that has been heard by a diving person is muted when he goes into the water. The reason for this is that since air and water have different densities, there is a barrier that prevents sound from passing through the water and returning to the air. The majority of freshwater fish, including bass and Rainbow trout, use lateral lines, sense organs with pressure-sensing pores on their surface, to detect sounds underwater.

Screaming and talking aren’t loud enough yet to startle adjacent fish, even if they have enhanced hearing. Because of how busy it is below the surface, all noise from above is drowned out and goes unheard. The majority of fishermen would concur that casual conversation and the occasional “whoops” of enthusiasm from capturing fish won’t affect your fishing results.

Fish Hearing Capabilities – Specific Frequency Range

What specific frequency range can a fish trace? To put their auditory abilities in context, keep in mind that a young human can typically hear sounds from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (without taking into consideration hearing loss). Most fish can hear sounds frequencies between 40 Hz to 500 or 1,000 Hz, whether they are in freshwater or saltwater (there exist some species like salmon, only listen to about 400 Hz frequency, while other species, such as herrings, can listen to sounds to over 3,000 Hz frequency).

The common observations are:

  • Particular sensations and sounds draw fish, whereas others do not.
  • While some tunes and sounds attract fish, others repel fish.
  • The manner fish react in the water, especially their feeding and swimming habits, can change depending on the music and other stimuli.
Can Fish Hear You

Fish have special auditory organs designed to hear sound in the sea, irrespective of whether it’s aerial or aquatic. The fish use a multitude of audio organs, based on their species, such as cilia, the bladder, accelerometers, and otoliths. Fish can learn about their surroundings from the sound. Moreover, fish can pick up on remote information about their attackers, abiotic factors, or even sounds connected to the species’ reproductive behavior. Because sound travels quicker and further in water than in air. Fish employ acoustic clues to determine the source of sounds.

Fish utilize their hearing to navigate their environment, court, interbreed, and forage for food.  Obviously, that changes depending on the species and the degree of noise. Seeking food and escaping danger is made much easier by possessing good hearing in seas with poor visibility. All of this implies that any factor that prevents fish from their hearing can negatively affect their quality of life. Fish can hear because of their “underwater eats,” but other elements dictate how sound affects fish actions and attitudes.

Why do Fish use their Hearing Skills?

Fish utilize their senses to keep an eye on the “acoustic scenario,” or the vibrations in their surroundings that tell them of what is happening around them. The motion of the surface of the liquid, rain, the sounds of other creatures, and even the wind can all produce these sounds. Fish can understand actions and things in their surroundings that may be significantly farther away than they can perceive with their vision or other senses by observing the acoustic scene. In other ways, they broaden their universe of knowledge by using their hearing. And among those details is the fact that we were there or were in close proximity to them.

What kind of Sound fish can hear?

We must first do a thorough analysis of the air, water, and sound waves to determine what sounds a fish can detect or sense and what sounds may frighten fish away.

Air – Medium Effects

The particles in the air are less closely packed because it is less dense than water as air is a rare medium and water is denser (think gas vs liquid vs solid). Compared to water, the air is around 830 times less dense. Water will constantly be denser than air, regardless of the temperature (hot = less dense) or height (sea level = denser).

Water – Density Effects

A cubic meter of water normally weighs 997 pounds. It is approximately 830 times heavier than air and temperature influences it. Lower dense than ice water is warmer water.

Sound – Noise Effects

Acoustic waves are created when sound vibrations occur. Our ears, as well as the lateral line and otoliths of fish, perceive these oscillations as sound. Since water is denser than air, sound moves through it more quickly. Warm water and air carry sound more quickly than cold ones. Solid particles with closely packed molecular structures transmit sound the best.

You work including both air and water when you fish. You can also use stones and solid objects like a boat. Learning how noise affects fishing requires analyzing the types of disturbances you’re coping with, where they come from, as well as how loud they are. Check out the key differences between Inshore and offshore fishing.

Physics of sound

Therefore, the sound is not a huge concern above the top of the water, however, once you penetrate the surface, everything changes. Fish can easily detect vibrations from activities like lowering an anchor with a boom, swimming through a river, and even pushing themselves too far on a dock. Since sound can travel through water nearly five times as quickly as it does through air, any noise that reaches fish is much louder.

Parameters that determine how loud noise affects fish

The features of the soundtrack or sound, the environment around the fish, and the fish themselves are the elements that affect how fish react to musical and other sounds.

Sound Intensity – Dependence upon Frequency

Although they move more quickly and across greater distances, fish are better at picking up low-frequency sounds. In contrast to the air, however, water amplifies and transmits sounds more quickly. Fish will be startled and their eating habits will be impacted if an angler in a boat throws his net with a loud thud at the bottom of the boat.

In research about specific fish species, loud noises first scare fish, causing them to swim to the tank’s bottom in seeking safety. This, however, only occurred briefly. Regardless of whether the noise continued to be heard, the fish would soon return to their regular motion and behavior. 

Water Depth – Shallow & Deep Water Facts

In shallow water (whose density is lesser than deep water) and as opposed to deep water, acoustic waves are multiplied more extensively. Research of types of fish across both deep and shallow marine environments revealed that, despite the fact that the animal is considered to have strong hearing capabilities, deep-water fishes would not notice loud sounds from the water’s surface. However, fish in shallow seas are more able to hear the sound. There have also been suggestions that the type of fish and the clarity or darkness of the water may alter how fish perceive and respond to sound. But no scientific studies have yet been conducted to back these up.

Size of Fish – Sound Detections by Larger & Smaller Fish

Larger fish may appear unaffected by a loud noise, but fish of smaller sizes may be startled by it. This is so that fish can detect vibrations and shifts in water pressure through their shell. Loud noises may cause little fish to feel pressure and react by fleeing. Conversely, larger fish may undertake an assault if they perceive a loud sound as a potential hazard. They might also disregard it since they think it’s harmless. In contrast to the age-related growth in sensitive air cells, a zebrafish analysis revealed that fish size, not time, was a stronger predictor of sensory development, suggesting that larger fish had a more prominent auditory system.

Type of Sound – Musical & Others

Fish won’t typically be alarmed by the soundtrack on a phone or a little Bluetooth speaker. Similar to human voices, yet, deep largemouth bass can go considerably further. And keep in mind if you hook the loudspeaker to the boat the sound might travel further through the boat and transfer into the sea. In fish farming, music has also been suggested as a method of reducing stress.  Fish develop faster in synthetic aquatic settings when music is played frequently near or attached to fish-growing devices.

While jigging, we enjoy music very much. In order to give activity to heavier jigs down deep, fishers must regularly “jig” rods. It is quite taxing since the motion of your shoulders can accelerate the accumulation of lactic acid. As you can synchronize your jigging pattern to the beat of the music, it keeps you motivated.

Noise can disturb the Natural Behavior of Fish

Even though sounds move more quickly in water, it is harder than you may think to hear them underwater. Certain Fish become a little more active at night, which causes the ambient noise level to increase. It is necessary for the sounds that fish may hear to be louder than that. Low-frequency sounds, which fall within the range of 100 to 800 hertz, are audible to fish. From 1K-5K hertz, the offshore engine’s ultrasonic sound can be produced. Accordingly, it’s possible that they won’t be able to perceive these sound waves . However, the inlet one will be able to hear because it produces a tone that is audible to them.

Boat Noise – A Connection of Sound between Air and Water

Boats are solid objects that connect the air and the water, therefore their noises can be classified as both above and below the water. Although it is theoretically “above” the water, the boat’s weight causes it to descend into the ocean at a certain depth.  The dropping of a fishing rod, reel, or another heavy object, can travel a fair length through the ocean and be heard in all directions.

Boat Noise

Various boat noises can also carry sound a great distance. In principle, noise disturbance from motors is present. Normally above the water, the motor is now protruding into it. The sound of an engine travels effectively through the water. Fish can hear and feel “moving water” from a fair distance away as well. The metal propeller on your boat stirs and “tries to push” water. The sound waves created by the boat’s chines chopping through it and propelling water can be heard by fish from a far greater distance.

How to minimize Excessive Motorboat Noise?

The noise of a boat engine propeller biting through water is among the most intrusive sounds on a lake. It’s a common misconception that fish in lakes with a lot of boat traffic become accustomed to it. Additionally, there is cause to think that it interferes with the bite.

  • To move your boat for fishing, particularly in shallow water, choose an electric trolling motor. When trolling, electric engines are also excellent at minimizing noise and vibration.
  • Don’t run into your dive site at full speed. Before arriving at your place, reduce the throttle and gently idle into the location.
  • Make absolutely sure the boat and motor are securely fastened. Excessive vibration from a motor that is installed incorrectly frightens fish while also being annoying to hear. Transom rubber pads are useful for this purpose.

Can you attract Fish using Music and Noise?

Undoubtedly, utilizing Fishing baits or lures will be your best option to achieve a successful catch. If you want to try something different (and maybe useless), you can generate some sound and attempt to entice fish to your ship or angling site since, provided the noise isn’t too loud, it will pique their curiosity. According to some studies, the boat’s shadow draws fish significantly more than sound does.

You may also attract fish by the traces left by certain objects, including meteorological buoys, oil platforms, floating trash, and fish aggregation equipment. The majority of anglers believe that a boat’s sound will have a bad influence on the fish and cause them to float away.

It generates changes in pressure in the water due to wakes and rotating propellers, as well as engine disturbance and combustion noise. We arrived at the fact that as the noise level increases, people won’t be happy.

Avoid Noise which is dangerous to Fish

Fish will flee when you make a loud noise, such as stamping your feet, dropping a sinker on the deck, or slamming hatches. Therefore, if you can maintain silence when fishing, you will have greater success. If you must create noise, attempt to keep the volume steady.

By doing things in this manner, kids will eventually grow accustomed to it since it will become a normal part of their lives. You must keep in mind that every action you take while on the boat will produce some noise that will reverberate across the water. So it is essential to maintain as much silence as you can.


Final Words

You must understand that you scare fish more frequently than you may even be aware of as a fisher. Attempting to produce less noise when fishing is the best course of action. Regardless of the type of sound, such as music or another type, loud noises cause an initial startle in fish that may likely be long forgotten, enabling fish to continue their usual underwater movement and behavior.

Furthermore, it has been proven that music can help fish in farming cope with stress and better adjust to their new surroundings. However, no one is actually aware of when one unit will go unreported and when the second will startle them. It all varies depending on their size, species, location, frequency distribution of the noises you are making, and level of activity. The finest piece of advice is to keep as quiet as possible.