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Forage Talk, Please Help.

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As many of you on the forums may know, this is my second year of "trying to get serious about fishing and competing in my local club" campaign. I have learned some very priceless concepts, tips, techniques and other things on the sight along the way. I've been reading about lipless crankbaits and talking to several guides and some others around my local area, the fish on Lake Guntersville are hot on the Aruku Shad's right now... along with some other baits like Missle D-Bombs and other things. They all just tell me when I ask about colors (which I know is highly debatable), just fish the forage. 

 

So I've been trying to read and study about what forage is dominant on Lake Guntersville, and then equating that to what colors I should buy my lures in. This is where I hoping to get some type of ideas/help from you guys on here.

 

I know, just from experience as a kid on the lake, that there is a plethora of panfish in our lake here. Bluegill, they chase Minnows all the time, Crappie, Shad, Shellcracker, "Bream"... and I've caught maybe two, what we call sun perch in my life from the lake just to name a few.

 

So as I'm looking at the Aruku Shads to throw on Lake Guntersville and trying to implement the forage of my lake to what colors I should throw in certain conditions, do you guys have any help or ideas?

I've read several people say to just stick to the basics and don't get caught up in the fancy colors. So let's take the Aruku Shad for an example for now: http://www.***.com/Spro_Aruku_Shad/descpage-SPAS.html

 

Just glancing at the colors on that list, I know that i've got to have some colors for different situations (clear days, muddy water, pre-spawn, spawn etc)

 

I'm looking at colors like:
Cell Mate - maybe a baby crappie?
Chrome Black - Clear water?
Chrome Blue - Clear water?
Chrome Shad - Clear Water?
Clear Chartreuse - Dirtier stained water
Gold Black (seen a guide post on FB about the gold one wearing them out the other day.... but I don't know why gold would induce a bite? Stained water?)

Magic Tiger - Pre-spawn / dirtier water?

Purple Rain - a guide told me about this one, curious why or what it would resemble in my lake.

Spooky Shad - ?

 

And then, I've fished Texas rig my whole life... I can slow fish and out wait anyone in the world I think. I just remember as a kid sitting in the boat, slow fishing those summer days... finessing those worms until I thought I was going to die. Thankful my dad taught me that as a kid, because it's one of the things that in my opinion, you can always catch a bass on if you're in need of one. The saying in my family is "Look, you give me a rod and a reel... a Black worm... we won't go hungry today"

 

Black always seems to be a good color where we usually fish. Not saying other aren't... but black will catch a fish. But how does the equate to forage? I want to try some missle D-bombs and expand my arsenal this year. T-rig those puppies and fish the grass/docks etc. How does forage equate to soft plastics like worms etc? 

 

I know this is a long post, but I really am trying to educate myself here. Just kind of talking it out. 
 

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Well..................your over thinking this in epic proportions. The most popular colors of lipless crank baits of all time are Chrome/blue back, and a red/orange craw color. They work,and they work everywhere. Buy those, learn to fish them, and If your not getting bit, it's not because you have the wrong color. Same goes for plastics....black w/blue flake, and green pumpkin will get it done any time any where....It's up to you to put them in the right spot.

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I believe your lake has both Threadfin and Gizzard shad populations, shad are predominate forage where they occur. The pan fish or bream as you call them are good forage if bluegill, green sunfish, crappie, perch are the only prey fish available. Shad school and are soft easy to eat and swallow for bass and other predators.

The bream type of fish become a good choice during the spawn, bream eat eggs, a natural enemy to bedding bass. Next are crawdads, so crawdad colors can be good choices.

With lipless or deep diving crankbaits where you fish, shad colors would be my first choice, crawdad colors second, bream colors last. Bottom soft plastics; crawdad colors first, green colors second, shad colors last.

Tom

PS, you have the Classic on your lake next month, should give you lots of info.

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