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Match The Color Of Your Lures To The Forage Color Or Water Color?

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After a very un-scientific experiment, I found out that their are two different species of crawfish in our lake that are pretty common. The majority of our crawfish are a pumpkinseed color, but the others are a green pumpkin color. The pumpkinseed colored are a little smaller, around 3" and pretty slim. The green-pumpkin colored are about 3.5" and a little bit bulkier. The smaller ones have smaller sized claws, but the larger craws look more like the Yum Crawbugs in shape. I've always fished with green pumpkin or watermelon based lures, because my lake is slightly stained although it's fairly clear (5'-6' visibility). After seeing all of these crawfish that are a much lighter color, I'm thinking that I should be using more pumpkinseed colors. I've always considered that pumpkinseed is an ultra clear water color though. What would you do?

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It sounds like you could be on to a new pattern. Definitely buy some smaller pumpkinseed colored craws/trailers and see if your catch rate goes up.

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Try it try it try it try it.

 

You can study every single book, magazine article or online forum that you want but in fishing everything directly relates to the waterway that YOU are on. You can fish 10 different lakes that appear to be EXACTLY the same and each one can be a world apart from each other underneath.

 

The lure could be exactly the same color as the water. It could be completely opposite. Could be the same color as the forage. Or completely opposite. Youll never truly know until you try it. And one of those times it will work wonders. When it does, write it down, with every condition such as weather, including both past present and future weather, water temp, clarity, and time of year.

 

It's when you find little things out like that which can pay huge dividends in the future

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Were any of the craws you found recently molted (softshell)? They'll often be a different color after molting and bass love softshell craws. The smaller craws are likely much easier for bass to handle but if the bigger craws are more abundant they may be more used to eating them. It's worth trying both for sure. 

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I find a ton of crawfish parts in my livewell that are green pumpkinish in color, with orange tips on the claws............I use a lot of green pumpkin colored plastics, and did before I ever knew what color a craw was in this lake, so I guess you can say I match them.............even though I don't beleive it matters. I have even put little dabs of orange on the baits for grins and giggles, and it dosen't matter. What's funny is, when our water is clear I fish green pumpkin or watermelon and git bit,and when it's dirty I fish black/blue or junebug and get bit ...YET the craws in my livewell are still green, even in the dirty water, yet the bass some how still find them. Could you imagine if they were black? Like the book says the color we are supposd to fish in dirty water.....we would have 20lb bass around here because they would be so well fed....LMAO

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I suspect that crawfish are much like lobsters when it comes to color.  The color of a lobster shell is related to, in no significant order, diet, the type of bottom that they are on, and genetics.

 

In some areas of Buzzards Bay, the lobsters have brilliant coloration, and the crusher claws were proportionaltely larger than the other areas in the bay.  The edges of the claws are an almost fluorescent red. Offshore lobsters tend to be a more orange/tan coloration than the inshore population.

 

I tend to believe that the type of coloration and differences in body shapes have more to do with the particular area, and not genetics.  I say this because, when a female "discharges" her eggs into the water, they are larva, and float in the water column and move at the whims of currents and wind, thus the location where they finally settle to the bottom as tiny lobsters is due to the whims of nature, not  the spawning/breeding locations.

 

When a lobster molts it will retain its original color, and distinct markings such as spots.  Once an inshore lobster settles to the bottom it will not travel significant distances for the rest of its life.  The poor critters that settle onto bottom which does not provide cover and/or food will not survive.  In spite of their armored appearance, they are quite vulnerable to predators.

 

Unlike the inshore population, the offshore lobsters will migrate long distances.  Yet, they are still the same critter.

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I think that the short answer to your question is yes.  Yes, water color is a consideration when you are choosing a bait color.  Yes, forage coloring is a consideration when you're choosing a bait color.  We can't just pick a color, that would be too easy.  We need some kind of justification as to why one color might work better than another.  Now you've got 2.  I've no clue which line of reasoning is more better than the other.  Just pick one.

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I would think size of your presentation and how you fish the soft craws would be more of a factor than pumpkinseed vs. green pumpkin...However, there are no absolutes, and I always experiment with color and flake once I find fish & I tend to use mostly Green Pumpkin,Black,Pumpkinseed,Salt & Pepper, Motor Oil, and some chartruese dye in clear water, and for stained, I may try some brighter colors or sound, but I think Color is over rated and I know it can make a difference, but I find that fish will react better to lighter line, size, and th e action you give the bait or lure to be of most importance.

I was recently fishing a local Park that has a good sized lake on it and I started catching fish off one of the banks throwing a Large 10" black blue power worm on a texas rig with a light weight fished very slow. I then messed around with all the clear water colors we are told to use and nothing was producing as well, so I went back to the black and blue after GP,Clear, and subtle colors were not working....

A few minutes later 2 younger kids approached me and asked if they could try some of the worms I was using, and I told them they could pick out any worms in the box, except the pink colors since they work to well and I was saving them for the big fish I planned on catching later on in a different spot. Of course they both tied on some bright pink and methoniate senkos and started casting....Long story short, I was then also casting pink swirls and gaudy colors in clear water and they were getting crushed. I then decided to grab a baitcaster with 14lb fluorocarbon to throw some bright pinks into some of the heavier cover nearby, and I could not get bit.....I then put the same 6" senko in pink on my spinning rod with 8lb clear mono, and I landed 2 nice fish in the exact same water.....

Moral of the story is that Line size seems to make the most difference for me in clear water and I now always carry line as light as 4lb test if I am not getting bit in clear/cold water, and I am noticing that using a sharpie on braid, lighter leaders and line really adds to bites in clear water more than anything else..All colors will work, and I also find adding chart when the spawn gets going is never a bad thing to try.

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After 30 + years of bass fishing and paying attention and putting into practice all the theories I´ve come to the conclusion that it doesn´t matter, why ? cuz there´s a big bunch of places I´ve fished where .............there ain´t no crawfish and crawfish "imitating" soft baits work.

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Check these out and see if they look like the ones in this log?

http://youtu.be/oVfNcBE2bBQ Full of them and a smallmouth trying to eat one.

Pete

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Let the bass worry about color, you've got enough to think about: like water depth, lure depth, lure speed, action, profile, size,

boat control, cast placement, retrieve cadence ~ ~ ~.  Color is probably the farthest thought from a bass's mind...WHAT MIND? :angel500:

 

Roger

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I want to thank everyone for their input. I didn't want to reply until I tried it out. I got some jigs in a pumpkin/watermelon color and some pumpkin trailers. All of the things were small, borderline finesse. I did really well fishing were the creek runs into the lake along riprap with a slow drag followed by a few short hops. Thanks everyone.

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