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Valascus

Match the hatch...or not...

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I am not sure if this is the right place to post this...here or in the fishing tackle section...so if it needs moving by all means  :).

As we all know there is an absolute ton of finishes and types of lures that are crafted to imitate certain types of forage for bass. Some imitate craws, some baitfish, tons of worm types and so on and so forth. Here's the question. Say you are fishing a body of water that doesn't have craws in it, for example. Should you even try to tie on a lure that is imitating a craw? Since the bass are not accustomed to seeing this type of forage will they be more wary of this foreign object in their waters...or will they still instintually look upon it as a source of food? Same thing if you were fishing a body of water without minnows or shad.  Is it just a waste of time to try a lure that there is no forage for said lure to imitate? Should you just do your best to match the forage of the body of water you are fishing?  :-?

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Say you are fishing a body of water that doesn't have craws in it, for example. Should you even try to tie on a lure that is imitating a craw?

I don 't see nightcrawlers and earthworms crawling along the bottom of any lake.....yet we fish with plastic WORMS don 't we ?

It 's the action of the bait what attracts the attention of the fish. What do worms mimic, worms ? crawfish ? darters ?.

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It pays off more than not..depends on the water clarity....the clearer...the more natural of colors...always pay attention to the size of the baitfish also b/c that can lead into a better day...

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Say you are fishing a body of water that doesn't have craws in it, for example. Should you even try to tie on a lure that is imitating a craw?

I totally agree with Raul.

Do you really think that bass mistake a spinnerbait for.....................I forgot, what's it supposed to be?

I never think in terms of fooling a bass into believing my lure is some existing forage.

I only want the bass to believe that my lure is something to eat.

The colors I choose are based solely on "lure visibility".

In my mind at least, once the lure has been noticed, color is no longer important.

Great question, by the way!

Roger

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Although I understand the concept and theory behind "match the hatch,"  I don't follow that rule of thumb. With the massive amount of baitfish found in most of the big water I fish, I feel like I need something that distinguished itself from the crowd. I always like "big" and I usually like "fat", but not always fat.

Natural or dark colors are my choice in every lure category, but there are always some exceptions: chartreuse and red come to mind, but never pink for me. When in doubt, silver, black and white or some combination of these colors is usually a good choice. I don't think a particular color is usually important, but sometimes it is critical.

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I gree with RW about not having to match the hatch.  I think of it like this.  For example when shad shad come into the river they are there by the hundreds to thousands.  What will make your shad patern look special to those bass.  Why would they hit your pattern instead of the thousands of other choises they have in the real thing.  I have found that when I body of water is spwamed with a certain type of food its a good thing if you change it up.  For some reason they like not to see the same thing over and over.  On the contrary I do like to "fish the hatch" if in the body of water you just start to have a certain food source becoming present.  For example In my lake the blue gill start getting more active at a certain time of the spring and at this time for a week or two that pattern is great but the it dies off even though they are still in the system by the hundreds.

Good luck fishing

scott

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when im fishing i just ask myself "would i bite this if i were a fish?" if it looks good to me i throw it!

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That is what I used to do. But now I am trying to find ways to help me zone in on an effective pattern faster. If I can rule out certain types or styles of bait that would make it a lot faster. I know that bass are instinctual animals. They eat, survive, and spawn. Does a bass simply instintually feed upon anything...even if it is something that is completely foreign to it's native waters...something it may not have ever seen before in it's existance? Does the bass learn what forage is in his area and just stick to that, avoiding that which it is unfamiliar with? Or does it simply eat anything it sees that seems like it may be easily edible be it unfamiliar or not? Just some thoughts I had.

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I don't have and shad in my home lakes but the shad pattern seem to work well throughout the year.  It may be the action of it or soming else but I don't just think if the bass aren't use to seeing it that it means they won't still hit it.  

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I think color is a confidence booster for ourselves in a lot of instances. I know there are instances where color plays a part but like the others say, it's more action and overall appearance.

Bass are like school yard bullies. They don't care if you are short, tall, fat, skinny, black or white. But if you show some type of weakness, they are on you like white on rice. When I am throwing a lure, I want to make sure it looks like something vulnerable first and foremost whatever it is. Color is only a minor factor in my book.

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Excellent responses from everybody, you all deserve a good behaviour star. I specially liked this one from Alandis:

When I am throwing a lure, I want to make sure it looks like something vulnerable

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Match the Hatch works well but look at there instints.

In the animal Kindom if somthing is born "Diffrently" THe mother will kill it, Knowing that its survival rate is low. Why let it  eat every 1 ealses food if its gunna die soon? Bass will look at that. They well be like "HEY! that guy looks diffrent lets go kick thay guys ..." And thats what really happens. Instinct tells them to kill what ever looks like they dont belong. Instead of eating it they just pretty much kill it. And so if your lure looks like it dossent belong the bass will strike your lure and your chance of a hook up.

      If you dont Match The Hatch is also best to make the lure the most noisyest and most action as possible. If it bothers the bass, the bass will have a more likly chance of hitting your lure. Bass are also very territoryal, Some weirdo comes marching into there bush they gunna eat em.

Does any 1 agree with what i said? im j curiose

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IMO, it is not important to match the hatch in color, but it may be important to match the size.  I once was fishing a tournament at Brookville in the fall.  The vast majority of the shad there were super small, about 1 - 1 1/4" long, based on the shad that a bass spit out all over my boat carpet.  We could catch fish on any color that day, as lonig as the baits were very small.

Of course, I have had days when the opposite was true and the bait had to be totally different to get bit.

Brad

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From the Gary Yamamoto web site on matching the hatch.

Anglers fall into two camps; there are those who believe that color has little to do with the effectiveness of a bait, and there are those who believe that the right color makes all the difference in the world. Without apology, I fall squarely in the latter group. On far too many instances, I have watched several boats sit over fish holding structure, all using the same type of bait in different colors with only one catching fish. I have to make the assumption that color is a vital factor in "turning the fish on." Not the only factor, mind you, but a very important one nonetheless.

My approach has always been founded on a "natural" premise. To borrow a phrase from our fly-fishing comrades, I begin my color selection by "matching the hatch." The first step in this process is to determine the preferred prey species in a lake. Local fishermen are the best source for that information. People who have fished a particular body of water for years will often know the "never-fail" live bait; minnows, craws, frogs, leeches, worms - what is it the fish hit most often at that particular time of year? While you're bound to get several different answers, keep at it and you'll get a general consensus from those you speak with.

Take the top two bait species you heard about most often and then go hunting. The angler has to look at samples from the lake. Trap minnows (at several depths) do the same with craws, etc. Just what do the prey in that particular lake really look like? Once you know that, you can go to your tackle. Choose the color that most resembles the prey species, and then choose several other variations on that theme. As an example, let's say that your closest match to what you believe is the primary prey species is a pumpkin with black flake, you might then stay with pumpkin as your base color but add one with red flake, one with gold flake, one with green & black flake.

To round out your selection, add base color variants - a root beer with black flake and a cinnamon. The color variations are important simply because water color and light levels have a profound impact on how your bait appears under water. I know of several pros who have such a strong belief in this point that they have learned to scuba-dive so that they can descend to their chosen structure, look at the prey and 'match the hatch' down where the fish live! However, for those of us who don't carry an aqua-lung in the boat, it becomes a process of trial and error. To be blunt, we go fish'n' with our chosen baits!

Keep in mind that over the course of a day (or a tournament), the light levels will change and something like a sudden hard rain or a significant increase/decrease in water flow through a dam may alter the water clarity/color. Just because a variant doesn't work at 9:00 a.m., is not to say that it won't "turn-on" at high noon.

If a particular color choice begins to fail, change off; use your variations, and finally, experiment. I recall fishing a tournament in late September. My color selection had been based on white variants since the preferred prey species were craws with carapaces of dirty white, edged with pink. Halfway through the competition, the white variants began to become less effective and finally almost shut down. After racking my brain several times, it finally occurred to me that the pink edges might indicate the craws were on the verge of molting. I switched off to light pink (218) and the fishing picked up. But, when I hooked on a five-inch Fire Orange (155) grub, the fish went wild!

Are there colors that work every-where and every-when? Not that I've found, but there are colors that I believe work in a wider spectrum of lakes than others. Baits with a smoke base, for example, seem to have a high level of effectiveness, possibly due to the fact that many lakes contain a minnow prey with a smoky coloration.

While I have based the majority of my professional activity around the natural color selection method, I am forced to admit that my boat never hits the water without chartreuse variants in a locker. I can't come up with a rational reason why chartreuse should work, maybe the fish hit it cause it bugs the blazes out of them, but hit it they do. So, with or without a logical cause, chartreuse always rides with me!

Having said that, in competition or when guiding, I will very, very rarely ever fish a bait (or color) because I happen to like the look of it. When I'm fun fishing, fishing purely for the love of it on those fine summer afternoons, that's when I indulge in tossing the "weird and wonderfuls" that somehow seem to find their way into my tackle collection.

"Matching the hatch" has been one key to many days of successful fishing. I wish you equal success!

What do you think of Matching the Hatch now?

Hookem

Matt

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Excellent responses from everybody, you all deserve a good behaviour star. I specially liked this one from Alandis:

When I am throwing a lure, I want to make sure it looks like something vulnerable

Well, coming from you Raul, that's a real compliment!

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I do believe that color can be important, but only inasmuch as it deals with visibility.

It's sort of ritual between my wife and I, when we begin in the morning I always ask her what color

she'd like to use. Then I'll choose a color that's at least somewhat different than hers.

In this way we're able to cover more bases of underwater lure visibility. Naturally, if either color

dominates the action then we'll both tie on the same pattern. But truthfully, that is very rarely the case.

As the day progresses I get caught up in more important matters like location, lure type, speed, depth.

I truly believe that when all the important matters are right, then suddenly you're matching the hatch.

Roger

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What do you think of Matching the Hatch now?

I think it's getting expensive! ...lol Of course he'll suggest about 5 colors for everything, it's how he makes his living! But having said that, I personally contributed to his year end bonus last year!!

My favorite line in the post-

To round out your selection, add base color variants

Have you ever "heard" someone gently talk you out of another $50? He's good.  I started to reach for my wallet as I read that line. ...lol

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I only Match the Hatch when I'm fly fishing because colour and presentation are the most inportant things.  If I'm using lures I go for visability.

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sometimes the best lure is one fish havent seen before           do you think a buzzbait looks like any kinda forage they are used to seeing    maybe they think its one of them annoying waterskiers ;D

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maybe they think its one of them annoying waterskiers ;D

I don 't care who you are, now that 's funny !

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IF I ain't onto something.I throw every thing in the box.I usually start with something I think will do it.Then I throw something I am not so sure about.Alot of times I'm suprised in what they may want(color).

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A while back on his show, Bill Dance was discussing "buzzbaits".

When asked, "What it's supposed to be? Bill shrugged and said, "I dunno, maybe a Toy Airboat :)

Roger

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For me size and color each have their place on the priority list. The slower I am fishing the more color seems to be a key component. When bouncing a grub along the bottom  I've made the subtle move from watermelon to green pumpkin in the same bait and had my day turn around almost almost immediately. I mean how much different can they look 20 feet down? On the other end of the spectrum I've caught fish on a fluke that was so off the mark colors wise from the baitfish that it was almost ridiculous. What it did match perfectly though was the size. It's crazy but I guess if fishing dealt in absolutes it would be more like math and none of us would be doing it.

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