Can carp ‘remember’ cicadas? Can trout distinguish faces?

Maybe it is because of the “Saving Dory” movie now being heavily promoted, but I have found myself thinking about fish intelligence.

So when one of our columnists – who wrote an intriguing and humorous piece in our July 1 issue about fishing for carp using cicadas – asked if carp “remember,” it resonated with me. 

“Could some of those bruisers (carp can live for decades) ‘remember’ how good the huge bugs taste from when they ate them 17 years before during the last cicada emergence?” he wondered.

That’s a fascinating question, right?

And then I saw this story about research showing that at least some fish are capable of recognizing faces –

Although that’s a groundbreaking concept, it didn’t surprise me.

 I have thought for months that the tropical fish in my aquarium ‘know’ the difference between my girlfriend and I. She feeds them a sinking kind of food I rarely bother with, sort of a treat. Boy, do they get excited when they see her.

 They all but ignore me.

This reminds me of those times trout and steelhead fishing over the years when three of us would be lined up in a pool, using the same fly with the same retrieve and just one of us was catching fish. On those few occasions when I was the fortunate one, I would always drag out a silly old saying my dad often used in similar situations – but I never really knew what it meant:

“Maybe you aren’t holding your mouth right,” I would say deadpan to my fishing companions.

Now that we know fish can recognize faces, it seems like my dad might have been right all along.

Categories: Blog Content, Blogs, Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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