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airborne_angler

Molting Craw Colors And Time Sensitivity

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As a youth i caught plenty of Crawfish by hand. Some were softshelled as they likely just got done molting.

Do different sub species of craws in different regions of the country have specific times of the year that they molt based on water temps ect? Or is it just a random thing for every craw?

What about colors? Obviously different sub species are naturally different colors...do they all turn the same color when they molt?

Basically im wondering if the "molt" is similar to the spawn a fish goes through seasonally. Do all craws molt at the same time? Or is it a individual thing like when a snake sheds? Do they all turn Blue when they molt? Ive heard alot of people using Black and Blue jigs...thats because thats a molting color and thats when craws are most vulnerable,making them easy pickings for the Bass...is this correct?

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Crayfish are different colors around the country depending of species. I use to have a link to the different habit ranges until my computer crashed (hopefully someone will come along and post it). Here in Maryland we have the Virile and Rusty craws which I have caught in the local waters. Both of these are brown but one has green craws, head and tail. I use this to my advantage by making a brown jig with a GP head and GP trailer. I learned the secret to why PB&J works so well in MO when I spent 17 weeks there for an Army school. All the craws I found in MO were brown with a purple hue to them.

 

Allen

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So this is the species in my home lake. Believe is of the Virilis(sp?) Variety. What color jig/trailer might be good to match the hatch?

post-1759-0-23872800-1388364192_thumb.jp

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So this is the species in my home lake. Believe is of the Virilis(sp?) Variety. What color jig/trailer might be good to match the hatch?

Green Pumpkin ;)

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So this is the species in my home lake. Believe is of the Virilis(sp?) Variety. What color jig/trailer might be good to match the hatch?

Eye think this is a silly question. Wait, this isn't Stevie Wonder is it?...

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Crayfish or crawdads are not indigenous to Arizona, so whatever is found there was transplanted.

Both Northern and Southern swamp crawdads are the most common variety, there are others and Arizona considers all crawdads invasive and tries to eradicate them.

Crawdads molt as they outgrow their shells. Following the cold water period, after they have burroughed in soft clay banks, there appears to be a large quantity of crawdads molting at that time which coincides with the pre-spawn. This is a good time to fish jigs around clay bank and rocky deep water areas.

I spent a few years in AZ and it was my observation that the crawdads in the Salt River lakes tend to be lighter coloration in the cinnamon/blue colors or cinnamon/green. The Colorado river the crawdads where darker black/red or black/green. I used what is called June bug today (black grape with green flakes), black grape-blue neon and cinnamon-blue neon/red flakes in most of AZ lakes with good results. 3 color combinations that can be mixed with trailer color combo's, that is what I do.

Tom

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There are now well over 300 recognized species of crayfish, so it's not surprising

that crawdaddies are seen in nearly every imaginable color. When I was a kid, we enjoyed turning over rocks

and snatching those tiny freshwater lobsters. The craws we gathered in Jersey were predominately cinnamon

in color with blue-gray highlights. In Georgia though, most of the craws were greenish brown (i.e. green pumpkin).

 

During the molt however, softshell crayfish appear in various shades of blue, from dusky blue to bright sapphire blue.

This may help to explain the inordinate popularity of 'Blue' for bottom-oriented lures.

 

Roger

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"Too many mind, Argren San"

 

Wise words taken from the movie The Last Samurai

 

Meaning ------> do not overthink it

 

The more you think it the more complicated it gets and perfection is not in complication but in simplicity. You don´t need to "match" anything, simply choose 3-4 colors and with those you are fine, most of the time I fish with craws alone or as jig trailers they are some sort of watermelon/ flake ( red, candy, black ), green pumpkin or black/blue flake, and Icare more about the water clarity to choose the trailer than about the season.

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Thanks for that link, webertime. Fascinating to see the color variations of the species here in VA...

 

Bummer that most of the links to VA species had no pix associated, but the ones that did were great.

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Crawfish molt as they grow, frequently the first year (6-12 times) and less frequently the older they get depending on environment and species, so there are likely always going to be some craws in a body of water that are molting at any given time - more smaller, and fewer or none, larger. Molting craws vary in color from bright blue to bright red depending on the species, but are typically brighter in color during the molt.

 

During the winter when water temps are <45 degrees most crawfish are burrowed deep in the mud. Once the water temps approach 50 degrees they become active and begin the first major breeding period. During this time the males crawl openly on rocks and such trying to attract females. They are highly vulnerable at this time. After the 2-3 week breeding period is over the females burrow in the mud to fertilize the eggs, BUT (and I think this is what you're looking for) the males ALL go through a molt at this point where they lose their sex organs, which have calcified. 

 

So you have some random molting all season, but you have a massive group molt right after the spring mating frenzy and another one again in the fall. There are so many varieties of crawfish that I'm sure there are exceptions but I believe this general pattern applies to most of them.

 

~DR

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Crawfish molt as they grow, frequently the first year (6-12 times) and less frequently the older they get depending on environment and species, so there are likely always going to be some craws in a body of water that are molting at any given time - more smaller, and fewer or none, larger. Molting craws vary in color from bright blue to bright red depending on the species, but are typically brighter in color during the molt.

 

During the winter when water temps are <45 degrees most crawfish are burrowed deep in the mud. Once the water temps approach 50 degrees they become active and begin the first major breeding period. During this time the males crawl openly on rocks and such trying to attract females. They are highly vulnerable at this time. After the 2-3 week breeding period is over the females burrow in the mud to fertilize the eggs, BUT (and I think this is what you're looking for) the males ALL go through a molt at this point where they lose their sex organs, which have calcified. 

 

So you have some random molting all season, but you have a massive group molt right after the spring mating frenzy and another one again in the fall. There are so many varieties of crawfish that I'm sure there are exceptions but I believe this general pattern applies to most of them.

 

~DR

Rainman!

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Great Little Website!

SO, those cinnamon craws with blue-gray highlights are Cambarus baronii bartonii   :eyebrows:

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Geez....

 

77 subspecies listed in Tennessee!

 

 

 

:party-066:

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That was the link I was looking for thanks! All the crayfish around here are either Virile or Spiney craws like in the link.

 

Allen

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