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smashingsmallies

Best natural looking baits...

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It's that time of the year again where the baitfish and crawdads are more than abundent.  So, since the fish production has slowed down considerably for me due to this, I'm interested in your choice of baits.  I would like to know what is your choice of lure-crankbait and plastics when it concerns the most natural looking crawdad crank/plastic and most natural looking baitfish crank?   Same for the plastics--the most natural looking crawdad and baitfish.  Action of the lure to be natural is a must. 

I understand waters vary, colors vary etc...I'm just looking for a few lures that give me the best chance of at least giving them something that looks like the real deal.  Thanks ahead of time for your input.  Fish on.  John.

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Give Koppers a try.

The perch has been great for me.  This year I can't wait to try the pumpkinseed crank.

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The "real deal" doesn't compete very well

with the "real thing". These are some lures/

baits that I would recommend:

Hard baits:

Zara Spook and LC Sammy 100; Bandit 200

and 300; small Wiggle Warts; LC Pointer 100

and Rapala X-Rap (XR08) in clear water and low

light; Swarming Hornet / LFT Magic Live Shad

trailer; DD22 and 3/4 oz Ledgebuster Single

Willow Blade for deeper water.

Soft plastics:

Rage Tail Craw, Baby Craw, Rage Hawg,

Eeliminator and Lizard. In shallow water,

Swimming Senko, Fat Ika and 5" Senko.

8-)

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The "real deal" doesn't compete very well

with the "real thing". These are some lures/

baits that I would recommend:

Hard baits:

Zara Spook and LC Sammy 100; Bandit 200

and 300; small Wiggle Warts; LC Pointer 100

and Rapala X-Rap (XR08) in clear water and low

light; Swarming Hornet / LFT Magic Live Shad

trailer; DD22 and 3/4 oz Ledgebuster Single

Willow Blade for deeper water.

Soft plastics:

Rage Tail Craw, Baby Craw, Rage Hawg,

Eeliminator and Lizard. In shallow water,

Swimming Senko, Fat Ika and 5" Senko.

8-)

I agree with you RW. I have caught 100 times more fish with a 5" senko than with any other bait. I have all the lures you mentioned and I feel that they are all awesome lures but the question was  what lure imitates the real thing. If you want to  match the real thing i suggested the best baits IMO but  if you want to flat out catch the most fish I would say:

-4  or 5 " senko

-xrap 10 in silver

-Black jointed jitterbug

-Rapala dt-6

-white chartreuse 3/8 T1 spinnerbait.

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As much as I love the look of the Koppers, I wish the fish felt the same. I'm not a huge crank or Jerk bait fisherman but thought the Koppers would change that, not so. I've thrown them consistantly for the past 3 months with only the Shad producing a few. I own both Smelt patterns, 2 Bluegills, and 2 Shads. I've caught more fish on the Xrap in light perch than all of the Koppers combined. I'll be giving the Koppers Bluegill another shot now that LM & SM have moved up and protecting beds.

I would second the Hudd-Bug being the most realistic craw on the market, and it does produce but I used to rig it on a Pro Spot remover which seemed to make a huge difference, though the claws could be a bit more durable IMO. Over the past two years I've loaded the boat with the Crazy Legs Chigger on the Pro spot, as well as a jig trailer, flipping/pitching it, and crawling it with a Tungsten bullet weight and ticker.

With that said, I don't beleive a lure has to be the ideal "match the hatch" for Bass, as much as it does for trout or Salmon. 99% of all bass strikes are reaction strikes, and they will pretty much hit anything dropped in their face. Bass are opportunistic preditors and will feed on what is available at the moment.

I just discovered Xcite Baits Raptor Tail Claw,( Stands up in the defensive posture) and on our first outing matched with the 3/8oz HP Dirty Jig we boated over 35 fish both SM and LM. Two 4's boated and two 4's lost at the boat. I just can't say enough good things about these two lures! :D The HP/Raptor Tail combo didn't boat the most fish, but it did boat the largest fish. The Charlie Brewer's 3" Bass/Walleye/Striper Grub boated the numbers.

http://www.xcitebaits.com/

RaptorTailClaw.jpg

http://www.dirtyjigstackle.com/

DirtyJigs.jpg

http://www.fishstanley.com/sidewinder.html

Stanleysidewinder_worm_pic_copy.jpg

http://www.fishingworld.com/slider/Details.tmpl?ID=95687067348579&Cart=1274265728635997813&SKU=SBG3

CharlieBrewer.jpg

Here in the Northeast the bass are moving up on beds, and my line up this time of year goes something like this;

Dirty Jigs HP flipping jig(IMO...one of the best jigs ever made 8-)) Matched w/the Raptor Claw.The jig itself Stands up in the defensive posture and the Raptor claw just inhances things and offers a larger profile.

Crazy legs chigger

Chartreuse tube or 3" Charlie Brewers Bass grub in Chartreuse (or the Pearl series or Baby Bass, dyed Chartreuse) for bedding bass.

Stand up Shaky head.......Also just discovered the Stanley Sidewinder :D on a stand up like Chompers.

I stopped using Senko's years ago due to the damage it can do if ingested, in addition to the amount of bass that end up gut hooked. Just my personal choice, and especially durring bedding season. ;)

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I agree with RW, don't get overly concerned with replication. Big mistake most of the time. Fish something that looks like it could be a crawfish (Fat Ika or jig & pig) or could be a bait fish (spinnerbait or crankbait). Then fish these lures in places that you feel confident the fish are holding. Work the structures thoroughly, varying your depth and speed control with each presentation. When you catch a fish, replicate THAT.

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Yum Craw Bug is one of the most reallistic baits I have ever seen for a crawdad. I also like the Berkely Chigger Craws to.

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I'll take a tube over any of the ultra-realistic craw-baits out there any day. Getting it in front of the fish is waaay more important than how realistic it looks. Look at many of the most productive baits in existence - senkos, and spinnerbaits for example. They don't match anything, but catch tons of fish.

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I like using the Berkley Powerbait crawdad in the brownish green color.  It looks very real and the scent from the lure is just awesome.  I would say avoid the Berkley Gulp, haven't had much luck with it.

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Hmmmm...I've got one and I've never used it.  All the rain we've had means probably a week before I can fish my favorite and I will try it for sure.  Thanks, I'll get back to ya on the result(s). ;D  Fish on, John.

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It is the right idea to match the forage with a presentation that is reasonably in the ball park as far as color, size, and behavior go. But you don't have to have an exact match. Don't overlook using live craws and live minnows though. Live bait catches em when it's real tough.

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About the only thing that will catch more smallmouth than a tube during the summer IS the real thing.

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