About four years ago I obtained a permit from the DEC to stock fish in a pond I had dug. Most of the observations made involve real time fish activity and patterns which I think apply to other waters large and small.
First I noticed that a small drop shot lure at the edge of a weed bed will draw a bass out and especially if small fish are nipping or taking the lure first.
Second, I've thrown small panfish into the pond and conditioned bass usually come to be fed near where I am within eyesight in clear water. They don't associate this human with danger, but they do associate a 17 foot bass boat and trailer with feeding time in the evening! (Must be the vibration when the rig pulls up parallel to the water's edge in one corner of the pond.)
Third, when I threw a fresh dead panfish on top of the weed bed, an excited bass came up, seemed not to care and ate it anyway.
Fourth, a panfish thrown in open water away from the bank will be attacked by multiple competing bass whereas a panfish thrown near a vertical bank will be cornered, trapped and eaten by a single charging bass smashing into it.
Lures that appeal to a school of mixed species (bass and panfish) always seem to be the target of interest and bass will disregard the easy capture of small panfish swimming nearby. Some lures will illicit the attention and the chase of more bass than others, especially when a lure change is made. (IE. I cast a weightless Brush Hog, got a bass to follow, but as soon as I cast a tandem blade spinnerbait, three bass darted out to eat it.) Bass are curious and at the same time excited by something new.
At times bass will carelessly swim in open water under a bright sun, even when a feeding heron is near. (That's one use for my BB gun; the other, chipmunks.)
The less pressured bass are, the more apt they are to be brazen, attacking various lures. I always try avoiding hooking them and because of that, even 1.5 lb bass will attack a giant swimbait or large soft plastic.