Everybody knows most people are either left-handed or right-handed. Turns out, many fish are too – not right or left hands obviously, but right dominant or left dominant.
I’ll spare you the name of the article, but a couple of Japanese researchers did a whole series of tests whereby they put left dominant and right dominant largemouth bass into tanks and fed them left dominant and right dominant gobies. They mixed the pairs up into various combinations, and found some interesting patterns of behavior. When a largemouth bass approached a goby from the rear in a feeding attempt, the left-biased bass always circled in a clockwise direction while the right-biased bass circled counter-clockwise.
Similarly, left-biased gobies reacted earlier to the approach of left-biased bass, and right-biased gobies did the same when approached by right-biased bass. That means that when a bass of one bias attacks a goby of the opposite bias, they should be more successful in feeding.
So I’m guessing your first question might be how can you tell if a bass you caught is a lefty or a righty. The researchers found that left-biased individuals tend to be more strongly developed on the left side (and vice versa), so they measured the size of the basses lower jaws looking for the difference that would confirm their directional preference. Haven’t seen the whole paper, so I can’t be much more help than that.
That said, might this explain why we sometimes lose some bass on a particular bait or day because they weren’t well hooked? What happens if you run a crankbait by a bass from it’s less dominant side – will it not strike at all, or will it strike but be less successful that if that bait approached from its dominant side? If I tossed you 20 baseballs and you had to catch the first 10 with your left hand and the second ten with your right, would you catch all 20 of them equally well? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction…