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Crawfish in all lakes?


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#1 RochesterBasser

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Posted August 27 2006 - 11:33 AM

Hey everyone!

This is just a general question about crawfish. I fish in a small, 30 acre lake in SE MI. Am I right to assume that it has a crawfish population? Can crawfish live in pretty much any body of water from 1 acre to thousands of acres? I'm just wondering this because I dunno if using lures such as a sweet beaver or other crawfish immitations would produce if there aren't any crawfish in the lake. Thanks for any help with clearing this up.

Colin
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#2 Bass Smacker

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Posted August 27 2006 - 11:42 AM

I have found that where theres water of any size there will be crawfish. Out here in the Ca delta there every where we even have a crawfish festivile.  
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#3 don walkup

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Posted August 27 2006 - 11:53 AM

Hey Colin,
                I'm sure there are craws in your lake . Have you fished your lake at night ? Try fishing with black lights and using Sweet Beavers or Zoom cross craws. I like junebug colors at night. Have fun .
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#4 Bass Smacker

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Posted August 27 2006 - 12:10 PM

 One way to tell if you have crawfish in you lake/pond. Get some string and bacon and go to it. ;)
Id take a kid with me to keep from looking silly :P but you will know for sure if there there.    
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#5 Valascus

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Posted August 27 2006 - 12:15 PM

A carrot wrapped in raw bacon will attract crayfish. As far as using sweet beavers and the like...bass are not generally very picky eaters. If it is big enough to fit in their mouth, then chances are they will eat it.
"There is a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."~Steven Wright

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#6 Brian_Reeves

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Posted August 27 2006 - 12:20 PM

How many bass have seen a live spinnerbait before?  Or how about a rattling crawfish swimming at 60mph forwards instead of backwards?  Or a falling worm that barely wiggles 500 yards from land on a submerged grassline?

Even if there aren't craws in your lake, baits like that might be the key.  Bass have a brain the size of a fingernail clipping.  They bite out of hunger or reaction (aggressive or defensive).  If it looks like food or something worth eating, they'll eat it.  That's why you can get away with fishing oddball baits like a brush hog and a spinnerbait.  

The only reason I'd attempt to locate or catch a crawfish is to match the colors.  That does make a difference on tough days when nothing else will work.  It's hard for a bass to pass up an easy meal like a slow, meandering crawfish barely moving around the bottem.  I match colors based on that theory and it pays off more times than not.  If the water is clear then you should definitely learn the color variations of not only crawfish, but bluegill, perch, and the shad as well for those tough days.

Other than that, keep experimenting with baits....even if they don't represent anything living on earth because bass might be able to get fooled into thinking it's one of their other favorite meals.  (IE: Fat Ika, Spidergrub, skirted jigs, and baby brush hogs)
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#7 MALTESE FALCON

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Posted August 27 2006 - 01:03 PM

HI COLIN,
I USED TO FISH THE PAINT CREEK FOR TROUT. THERE WERE ALWAYS CRAYFISH SWIMMING THERE.

I WOULD THINK THAT THEY WERE IN THE POND.

GOOD POINT AINT TEXAN.

LAKE ST. CLAIR, MICHIGAN

#8 RochesterBasser

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Posted August 27 2006 - 01:13 PM

don walkup -
I've never tried fishing at night, and even if I did, I never would've thought about using these sweet beavers.  Always thought that topwaters such as buzzbaits and such were the best at night.  I'll have to give that a try when I get out at night.

BassSmacker -

Id take a kid with me to keep from looking silly

Well, I am a kid, so I don't think I have to worry about that, hahaha

Maltese Falcon -
I live right by paint creek and I see a lot of guys fly fishin, never see any fish being pulled out though.

Ain't Texan -
That's some awesome information.  You made some very good points that I never thought about.

Just a question, I know the color of crawfish in a different lake that's about 10 miles away from this one.  Would the crawfish colors be the same because it's in the same general area or do the colors range from lake to lake?

Thanks a lot for all the advice!  It really cleared a lot of things up for me.

Colin
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#9 Bass Smacker

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Posted August 27 2006 - 02:34 PM

The colors change from lake to lake and there may be severile diffent colores in the same lake just in
diffrent arias/depth or water clarity.    
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#10 Tom Bass

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Posted August 27 2006 - 03:30 PM

Go with brown, black and very dark green. That ought to do it if you are looking for natural colors
Concord, NC
I fish Lake Norman

#11 RochesterBasser

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Posted August 27 2006 - 04:01 PM

Wow, I had no idea that craws could be all different colors in the same lake.  That's really interesting.

Brown, black, very dark green, gotcha Tom Bass.

Thanks!

Colin
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#12 Brian_Reeves

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Posted August 27 2006 - 04:36 PM

Most predominate craw colors I've seen are as follows:

red/black
orange/black
orange/brown
green/brown
blue/black
blue/purple
brown/black

With jigs and soft plastics, I generally stick to blues, blacks, reds, and watermelons on my crawfish imitaters.  Blue and black has been the most successful for me in a broader spectrum of waters and conditions.  It has produced in everything from gin clear to pitch black night.  It's a good go-to color, at least as far as jigs are concerned.  All of my craw imitaters are usually spider jigs (hula grubs from gary yamamato on a mann's stone jig head) or regular skirted jigs with a plastic trailer.  I don't really focus on getting a bite on a jig on the fall...I have other weapons that preform better at that anyway.  I use jigs to crawl and hop around on the bottem, looking like a traveling, feeding, scared, or injured crawfish.  There are some good videos on yahoo somewhere in their video section that will show you how a crawfish moves in nature in a few different situations.  Might be worth checking out.  I've started catching more fish since I've been imitating the critters mroe closely...but I am also fishing in super clear water.  Oh yeah....always use a rattle.
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#13 Tom Bass

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Posted August 27 2006 - 04:42 PM

Aint Texan,
Are you refering to real Crawdads or plastic imitations?

I have never seen a real crawdad in the colors that you mention here.
Concord, NC
I fish Lake Norman

#14 Brian_Reeves

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Posted August 27 2006 - 05:48 PM

Where I am from originally (Southeast Louisiana) the crawfish are a burnt orange with a brown-black color.  For awhile, I thought that was the only color crawfish in the world.  Then I did some research around here and saw some blue or purplish claws with more of a green or brown body.  That's when I decided to do some more research and do some cross examining.

I have never personally seen some of the color combonations that I said in real crawfish, but seeing as how all the bait manufactures make jigs and whatnot in these colors, I assume most are based off of something.  According to a previous post by Jim, there are 300+ species of crawfish and they range in color combinations from across the spectrum.

I know here in texas, I've seen red/black, orange/black. brown/black, blue/DARK green or brown, and orange and green.  Their colors are different in each of the 12 lakes I fish and their colors change throughout the year and with the water clarity.  Their colors are different before, during, and after the molt.  The temperature apparently affects their colors as does water clarity and diet.  They range in colors within their own species and other species are completely different colors.  Up to 3 or 4 species may live in one lake and there is speculation that they can produce hybrids.  The color combinations are limitless.

So what I've done is by observing, studying, and reading up on them as best as I can, I've put together that little color table.  That came directly out of my fishing log for the southeast US (only region I've bass fished so far) Because of my research, I've pretty much stuck with watermelon/red flecks, watermelonseed, watermelon/green pumpkin, watermelon/orange, black/blue, junebug, and red/black for all of my crawfish imitating baits.  It's worked thusfar.  Most of the water I fish is gin clear and highly pressured, so natural is the key.  Some of the colors I have to make with bait dyes and whatnot, but I like to keep experimenting and match the hatch whenever possible.  I'm consistantly catching fish so I must be doing something right.  
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#15 Guest_ouachitabassangler_*

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Posted August 27 2006 - 07:18 PM

There's something about a crawfish that even bass raised in a tank that have never seen one won't hesitate to eat it. Most any critter that raises itself up with pinchers flaring is going to excite a feisty bass.

Mature largemouths have a brain about the size of a green pea. We could err comparing that to our own brain. We use no more than 10% of it's capacity. That might compare to a chicken egg sized brain running at 100% efficiency. Well, how many peas could you stuff inside an egg shell? Never tried, but maybe we are only 20 times smarter than a bass  ;D  But if we compare sensory capacity between human and most any animal, including fish, we might be out-done. While a fish probably can't learn German or trigonometry, it can react more excellently to sound, sub or extra sonic vibrations, pressure, sight in low light, and probably even smell well enough to evade our best efforts to out-wit probably most of them.

Jim