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Bass_Akwards

Using unnatural baits.. Do they work?

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Let's say that I live in a state where there are no lizards.

Is it a good idea to throw soft plastic lizards in the ponds I fish?  I figured bass might go nuts for something they've never seen, either in the natural forage base, or from anglers.  Then again, they might ignore a lizard profile just to protect themselves against an unknown species or other reasons?

Along the same lines, I was watching "Bassmasters" and a pro was saying "everyone is throwing a certain lure, these fish have seen this lure for years, so I'm going to throw something completely different to catch fish"

What's everyone's thoughts on this? I mean if a lake has a main forage base of shad, and for years, many are throwing a shad pattern at that lake, is it really wise to switch it up and throw something completely different?  Perhaps even a bait that's not natural to that state or lake?

Todd (yes I know there are Lizards in my home state, but had to ask anyway)

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There ain 't no craws in most of the palces I fish, plastic craws work.

There ain 't no salamanders ( not lizards, lizards are terrestrial creatures ), water puppies, mud puppies, water dogs ( however you want to call them ) not native ajolotes in most of the places I fish and plastic salamanders ) or lizards also work.

Well, haven 't seen night crawlers swimming or crawling along the bottom of most of the places I fish and have caught fish with soft plastic worms for as long as I can remember.

Frogs, don 't see much of them either where I fish, toads normally only go to the lakes and ponds to lay their eggs during the rainy season but you can 't find toads in lakes on a daily basis, soft plastic frogs also catch fish.

There ain 't no spinnerbaits living in the lakes I fish and spinnerbaits also catch fish.

In-line spinners also catch fish.

A bait doesn 't have to mimic anything a fish eats on a regular basis, the bait only has to move like if it were "alive" and an easy prey in order to catch fish.

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Oddly enough Raul, my lake is teeming with baby spinner baits, and I saw a female Zara Spook giving birth to a solid white crankbait this spring.  But I get your point.

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I saw that epsisode a few weeks ago. He threw 10 in plastics cause the locals who pound the lake and touring pros all downsized.

So he went to the opposite end of the spectrum with bigger plastics.

Showed them something there not used to seeing.

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[

A bait doesn 't have to mimic anything a fish eats on a regular basis, the bait only has to move like if it were "alive" and an easy prey in order to catch fish.

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If a Crank bait is being heavily used where i fish, I do something to make it different. I mess with the lips and eyes to give it a "non Factory" action and a lot of times, not every time, this was key to getting fish in the boat

I keep it simple: all my plugs are ; Crawfish,Bluegill or silver

Since I do a lot of nighttime topwater: Black ,including spinner baits

All My Jig heads and plastics; Black, green or brown a

works for me.

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So all these guys that work so hard to "match the hatch" are just wasting their time?

I would suppose one would use the most natural looking lures in clear water but, just how clear is the water most of us fish? I fish fairly stained and or muddy rivers so I want to attract a basses attention with something that pops,or vibrates, or bubbles, no matter how unnatural it looks.

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So all these guys that work so hard to "match the hatch" are just wasting their time?

Nope. "matching the hatch" is always a good place to start, but as always don't be afraid to throw a changeup. There are days you will never have to switch and days you will be switching every hour. I tend to switch alot no matter what. Probably just to assure myself i didn't spend all that money on baits for nothing.

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So all these guys that work so hard to "match the hatch" are just wasting their time?

Nope. "matching the hatch" is always a good place to start, but as always don't be afraid to throw a changeup. There are days you will never have to switch and days you will be switching every hour. I tend to switch alot no matter what. Probably just to assure myself i didn't spend all that money on baits for nothing.

If you use the match the hatch idea to start with and if that is not working branch out to other types, styles, or sizes to see what the fish want.

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I'd rather start with matching the primary forage, which is usually fish, not bugs.  ::)

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I'd rather start with matching the primary forage, which is usually fish, not bugs. ::)

Although "minnows" and "bugs" sometimes work at the same time,

often one or the other is a significantly better choice. In the fall

for example, minnow type baits rule. In the summer, it's soft plastics

and jigs (bugs). Now that we have an explosion of choices in the

swimbait category, that may change things a bit.

BTW, I'm not suggesting that topwater or spinnerbaits aren't in

the mix, but conditions or time of day may dictate their most

appropriate selection. My comments in the first paragraph are

simply generalizations. Right now I don't seem to have a clue

at local ponds, I need to be on the Tennessee River!

8-)  

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As for the lizards yes - Use em they work well and not just in spring either its was december i caught my Pb for that year off a zoom lizard and i doubt if you could find one in december arround where i live :P

I think as long as your mimicing somthing the fish would eat they will eat. as for over using a bait it may be more ACTION that the bait it self? Dont know just my 1/8th oz :P

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There is only one way to find out.  Give lizard a shot and let us know.  If there's fish, then they will eat it.  Bass will eat almost anything, even baits that are way too big for their mouths.  

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This is a bit multi-species (which is good!) as I think it gives a good range of perspectives on why/where match the hatch works, and good stuff to think about...

Match the hatch (MTH) does work...

but, it works best on fish with repetitive feeding opportunities, and less so with those feeding opportunistically. Stream trout are the best understood in this. Basically, low fertility freestone streams provide more opportunistic feeding on fewer, but a broader range, of prey items while fertile spring creeks and tailwaters provide dense repetitive feeding on a narrow range of prey, often on a specific insect, or even on a specific stage of that particular insect. But...

Presenting the right fly to a trout poorly, is worse than the wrong fly presented well. It's said that presentation is 90% of the game. True enough, but after you have presentation down, the lure that spells "food" the best is the one to tie on. As a fly designer I've seen the right fly offering the correct image outfish standard flies for the given scenario 20:1. The difference can be astounding.

IME most bass tend to be more opportunistic in their feeding, and more rarely have opportunities to feed repetitively, except maybe with dense schooling prey species, or when specifically targeting craws. With warmwater fish in stillwater I've been pretty sure I was effective with a MTH route when fish were actively feeding and focused on something specific, say walleyes or SM feeding on schools of silversides where an old b/s Rapala smokes.

Also, IME, it's generally harder to MTH in still water, esp in high visibility conditions, and especially with bass to which we tend to throw larger lures that are easier for bass to discern as fake.

I did see a MTH scenario in a LM pond that stands out: This pond had a huge hatch of YOY LM and we all did so-so fishing standard bass stuff. When I noticed the hordes of baby bass I switched to a fly-rod and whipped up some two-toned 3 streamers with a black stripe. This KILLED em! We tried other flies and lures but those streamers did the real damage. Interestingly, not only did the white bellied fly catch fish but a yellow bellied derivation of that fly pattern did too. Which brings up...

Another factor, prey visibility enters in:

I'll leave you to ponder... The Mystery of the Blue Lobster...

A number of years back I was at a research lab on the Atlantic coast. One of the projects they had going was to check out the feasibility of raising lobsters for market. They raised from eggs some bright blue lobsters. I inquired about them because I'd also seen blue crayfish. They said it was an interesting story...

Blue lobsters are something like one in a million in the wild. But in the lab they were finding a much higher percentage of blues (don't remember the numbers). Turns out they are a quite common color but the researchers theorize that the blue ones are selected out by predators (sculpins, sea robins, and striped bass mostly), thus nearly all wild lobsters are found in the usual earth tones. In the lab no such selective pressure exists, and blue ones are relatively common.

Similarly, one of the reasons many flocking bird species all look alike is that the odd one, say the starling with a white tail feather, or the lone mallard in with a flock of Gads, is more apt to be targeted by hawks and falcons. When you are prey, it pays not to stand out. I believe this is at least one of the reasons that fluorescent or odd-colored lures work so well.

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Oddly enough Raul, my lake is teeming with baby spinner baits, and I saw a female Zara Spook giving birth to a solid white crankbait this spring. But I get your point.

I can't stand lure miscegenation!  :D

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I'm a noob so I can't talk from facts but doesn't a Bass hit frogs ... not to eat but to kill ?

My point is if the bass thinks it's alive she will hit it .... get a taste and if it's a good taste she'll eat,  if not ........

Well, the hook kinda makes the rest of the story unnecessary.

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Everything works some of the time and nothing works all of the time.

Fishing is simply a matter of putting in your time and playing the numbers game.  Enough casts over time with some experimentation generally will produce something, if not today maybe tomorrow.  Enough small fish caught, eventually you'll hook a larger one.

I just enjoy being out there and relishing everything nature has to offer, the fish are merely a bonus.

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i agree ...

thats the beauty of fishing its a different challenge every time i go out to fish...

the weather, the moon phase, wind pattern , cold fronts ,blue bird sky etc..its always changing

so try the lizard and see...

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thats the beauty of fishing its a different challenge every time i go out to fish...

the weather, the moon phase, wind pattern , cold fronts ,blue bird sky etc..its always changing

Absolutely!

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I think part of the confusion is because the term matching the hatch comes from the fly fishing world where the fisherman is actually trying to match the size of insects that have recently hatched.

For the bass angler matching the hatch is not necessarily matching bait that have recently hatched but matching bait that may have hatched a month or more ago. So for the bass angler it would be matching the predominate prey species which maybe adults or juveniles of that species depending on time of the year.

While matching the hatch is a good reference point having a lure that stands out from the school is also a good idea since bass will target individuals of the school.

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Catt; I think that making a bait stand out is one of the most important things I have learned. If I can convince that fish,that the bait I am throwing is the easiest meal on the lake, that fish will have a short visit to my boat!

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One way to make your lure stand out would be to throw lizards where there aint any ;)

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Gee I wonder if this would work in Salt Water up here for Tiger Sharks , let's say Throwing a Cajun overboard off the Long Island Blight

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