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BrackishBassin

Determining the Color of Local Crawfish

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On 12/2/2017 at 8:27 PM, Sifuedition said:

Another little tip I've heard. Maybe some here can confirm/deny. Pay attention to the roughness of the bass's lips when you catch them. The hard shells tend to wear down the sandpaper like edge on their lips. The more crawfish they are feeding on, the less rough their lips will be. If you feel significant grip on the roughness of their lips, it is likely they are feeding much more on baitfish. I only heard that this year, but it sounded very logical. The local pond I fish the most has tons of shad, and I mean a lot. I have not seen one sign of crawfish. Their lips are very, very rough. It's too small of a sample size for me to confirm or deny, but, it is consistent, so far, with what I heard.

I catch a few smallies - many that feed on crayfish.  In fact my live well often looks like a grave yard. 

As for the teeth thing - I have never really found this to be true.

If you've watched a bass take in a crayfish - there's little to no teeth involved.

They suck it in - crush it inside their mouths and then down it whole. 

All this take place well past their 'teeth'.

 

A-Jay

 

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The cartilage in the back of the mouth the bass use to crunch with has teeth similar to the lips.

Tom

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I agree with the above posts, crawdads will vary in color but reds orange, brown and greens will cover it. Trapping some would be the quickest easiest route to see what's in your pond. However, like stated above, the exact color probably won't be a huge difference maker. I live in Washington state, we don't have shad here. But if I were to dump a few hundred shad into one of my local lakes I guarantee the bass would feast on them having never seen a single shad in their entire lives. I know this because I catch bass with shad pattern lipless cranks and squarebills. 

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The crawdads that we have here that build the chimneys very rarely ever go into ponds or lakes, they just dig next to them so their burrow fills up with water and live in there. Even when they come out at night to feed they don't go into the water but on rare occasions. 

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3 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

The crawdads that we have here that build the chimneys very rarely ever go into ponds or lakes, they just dig next to them so their burrow fills up with water and live in there. Even when they come out at night to feed they don't go into the water but on rare occasions. 

Interesting point. Wouldn’t be any way for me to determine that particular detail. In NY, I used to spend my summers digging them out from under rocks in the creeks to sell as bait, or use as bait. Unfortunately, there aren’t any rocks in this pond (that I have found) for me to go roll over. 

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This is also a good time to pick up a couple hair jigs.  Still a bit warm for where they really shine, but given your luck, there is no downside.  At a minimum you will be old to go in the Spring

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28 minutes ago, BrackishBassin said:

Interesting point. Wouldn’t be any way for me to determine that particular detail. In NY, I used to spend my summers digging them out from under rocks in the creeks to sell as bait, or use as bait. Unfortunately, there aren’t any rocks in this pond (that I have found) for me to go roll over. 

Put a couple flat rocks or lay a couple logs near the shoreline and wait at least a few days to check them. If there's craws in the pond they'll find them. 

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16 hours ago, BrackishBassin said:

Every fish I’ve caught there (PB included) had mouths so rough that I ended up bleeding if I was catching them really well, or they were decent sized. By the time I got my PB back in the water, I had blood dripping down my hand. My thumb was destroyed from one little shake he/she did when I was gettin the hook out. I figured they must be feeding almost exclusively on fish.

Slightly off topic, but I've figured out a solution for that. The ponds around here that I fish have bluegill/sunfish as the main forage, hence the gripper teeth patch is very sharp/rough. I learned that instead of grabbing bass directly by the lip, arc your thumb over the teeth and grab the fish right under the tongue structure. 

largemouth-bass-2.jpg

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1 hour ago, pondbassin101 said:

Slightly off topic, but I've figured out a solution for that. The ponds around here that I fish have bluegill/sunfish as the main forage, hence the gripper teeth patch is very sharp/rough. I learned that instead of grabbing bass directly by the lip, arc your thumb over the teeth and grab the fish right under the tongue structure. 

largemouth-bass-2.jpg

I try to do that, when I can. Inevitably end up twisting around trying to get the hook out and run my thumb over their teeth. It’s alright though. That’s how you know you had a good day. 

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"You have city hands Mr Hooper, you've been catching large mouth all your life..."

 

 

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5 hours ago, pondbassin101 said:

Slightly off topic, but I've figured out a solution for that. The ponds around here that I fish have bluegill/sunfish as the main forage, hence the gripper teeth patch is very sharp/rough. I learned that instead of grabbing bass directly by the lip, arc your thumb over the teeth and grab the fish right under the tongue structure. 

largemouth-bass-2.jpg

Off topic; Clear photo of how not to hold a bass by the lower jaw mouth bent open, can possibly tear their jaw hinges dislocated it and the bass can starve.

Note the 2 orange pads upper mouth area just before the dark throat...those are the crunchers bass use to kill crawdads and bait fish with just before swallowing the prey. Teeth on the lips prevents prey from escaping after being engulfed, bass don't bite or tear with there teeth, they grip with them.

Tom

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I use the rebel BIGCLAW crawfish crankbait that dives 10’ everywhere. In chartreuse. It works everywhere here. Even in the rivers were the crawfish are a light brown. Normally in the ponds I fish the crawfish are red sides with black backs. I’m not sure about the habits nor life of crawfish about them changing colors when they shed their shells. But chartreuse works, I use the d74 rebel craw, cast it out I do a sweep back on the rod to make it dive them reel it slowly. Or let it float and twitch it.

 

i purchased mister twister craws on sale I save them for rivers.

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

Off topic; Clear photo of how not to hold a bass by the lower jaw mouth bent open, can possibly tear their jaw hinges dislocated it and the bass can starve.

Note the 2 orange pads upper mouth area just before the dark throat...those are the crunchers bass use to kill crawdads and bait fish with just before swallowing the prey. Teeth on the lips prevents prey from escaping after being engulfed, bass don't bite or tear with there teeth, they grip with them.

Tom

This is a picture I found on google.

7 hours ago, BrackishBassin said:

I try to do that, when I can. Inevitably end up twisting around trying to get the hook out and run my thumb over their teeth. It’s alright though. That’s how you know you had a good day. 

If you say you caught alot of fish and you don't have a bass thumb, then you're either a horrible liar or great at handling fish. :D

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My buddy is a wildlife biologist who has been doing electrofishing in MD for like a decade now, he is my goto for "what color is X around here?" questions.  Last time I asked him about craws he said that in southern/central MD they are various reds/browns/oranges.  I am trying to make a real go of jigs this winter as well and I picked blue/black and brown/orange as my two colors.  

 

Also, @reason, a pond with clear water in PG during the summer sounds like an impossible dream.  I spend a lot of the winter walking the banks at my usual spots so I can see the bottom for a change.  So many of the ponds around here are old gravel pits that it's almost impossible to predict the bottom contour from looking at the surrounding terrain.

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4 hours ago, fishwizzard said:

Also, @reason, a pond with clear water in PG during the summer sounds like an impossible dream.

Gin clear 24/7 365. Even after a downpour, vis is like 4-5 feet for a few hours. Have learned a lot from being able to see them there.

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40 minutes ago, reason said:

Gin clear 24/7 365. Even after a downpour, vis is like 4-5 feet for a few hours. Have learned a lot from being able to see them there.

Well, if you would leave me the location in your will that would be great. 

 

There are so many quarry ponds around here that I would love to have access too.  Sometimes I want to just drive around with a stack of $20s in my pocket and see if I can strike a deal will some quarry superintendent, but I suspect that insurance companies take a dim view of that sort of thing these days. 

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11 hours ago, fishwizzard said:

Well, if you would leave me the location in your will that would be great. 

I can't give you that one, but Chaney donated some land with a pond (for all their sins) not too long ago down here and its full (too full) of small fish, and I got one just under 8 from there last year, That one we can do. Oh, and I had folks convinced there are no fish in Allen's pond till recently....

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 I doubt the color would matter that much.  Throw any craw into the mix and if a hungry bass is there, it will grab it.

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12 hours ago, reason said:

I can't give you that one, but Chaney donated some land with a pond (for all their sins) not too long ago down here and its full (too full) of small fish, and I got one just under 8 from there last year, That one we can do. Oh, and I had folks convinced there are no fish in Allen's pond till recently....

Hah, thanks for the tip.  Sorry if I blew up you spot, but it's hard to frame a shot at Allen's without making it obvious.  Anyone with eyes (and polarized glasses) can tell there are fish in there, but I don't think most people know where to look.  

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On 12/2/2017 at 3:02 PM, Smokinal said:

Tequila Sunrise worms at that

Well I see worms swimming when I drink Tequila!  Especially if I am still drinking at sunrise!

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It's simple. They're all black/blue. Not really, but that color always seems to work for me. If they're any other color it's brown. I don't even have any brown craws right now.

Here G Man explains the two colors you really need in a jig: Black and brown. But you can catch fish on black jig/brown trailer and vice versa.

ut y

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On 12/2/2017 at 8:37 PM, BrackishBassin said:

That’s one of the reasons I’ve avoided trying to mimic crawfish in this particular pond. Every fish I’ve caught there (PB included) had mouths so rough that I ended up bleeding if I was catching them really well, or they were decent sized. By the time I got my PB back in the water, I had blood dripping down my hand. My thumb was destroyed from one little shake he/she did when I was gettin the hook out. I figured they must be feeding almost exclusively on fish. But that can’t be true with the numbers of chimneys I’m seeing. The bank is literally littered with them. 

They're probably there, if that's what you mean. I mean every fish I ever cut open to see what was in the stomach had fish of some kind in it-no crawfish. And they didn't regurgitate anything but fish. I fished a local lake my entire life up until about 40 years old. We had a house on it. I never saw a crawfish there. I even told someone there weren't any there and he said he bet there were. Then I caught a bass with a claw coming out. I helped the poor fellow out. I swam in that water and trapped and seined minnows as a kid and never saw a crawfish. But as mentioned before, bass will bite a worm though you don't see them in the water. I suspect bass would bite the craw even if there were none in their waters.

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Try Tom's suggestion.  I believe that the crayfish in the chimneys on shore are terrestrial crayfish, and bass have probably never seen them.  Neither have I, but I've tried.  The lake crayfish are often easily seen at boat launches at night.  Ask local fishermen what colors they find most effective on that lake, and use a crayfish trailer in that color.  

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