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Big Stick Joe

What If There Are No Crawdads

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Hey guys,

The little pond i fish at doesn't have any crawfish in it, i've fished it for almost year but it does have frogs. My question is if this pond doesn't have crawfish, will chigger craws, sweet beavers or anything that imitates crawfish work at the pond even though they have never seen it before?

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Yes. They'll work just fine. In fact they might be awesome!

I believe it is an instinctual response when a bass eats something that has gotten it's attention.

Ever seen a goldfish get dropped in a fish tank full of bass?

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I would have an EXTREMELY hard time believeing there are no crayfish in the pond. Crayfish will travel a long ways at certain times of the year and almost any continuous body of water will have them if it's been around for some time.

That being said, if there really are no crayfish those lures will still work, but oyu might find better success matching what the bass are actually eating.

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yes, yes, and yes, All will work, just work them slow at first to see what they like, drop it in pause, hop hop, pause, hop hop, or try dragging very slowly across the bottom.

The clearer the water the lighter the color, slightly stained to stained go with darker colors.

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P.S. What's the deal with you busting the dwarf man ?...What he wouldn't give you snow white's number ? LOL.

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I think it could have some crawdads in it. One of the ponds I fish is pretty much surrounded by a dairy farm, and when the owener mows the grass you can see crawdad shells. There's no creek anywhere near by. And at another pond I fish Chigger Craws kill. Look at the Brush hog, and other creature baits. They don't really look like anything yet they catch fish..alot of fish.

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Folks, it is entirely possible the lake has no crawdads. there's a planned community near me where virtually all of the ponds have no crawdads. NONE. They were never stocked and are suburban enough to not have any nearby bodies of water with craws. Having said that, one of the regulars in that community slays the bass on a jig w/ craw trailer. If it looks alive and tempting enough, bass will eat it. A craw bait probably wouldn't be my first choice, but it will work, especially if that's your confidence lure.

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Folks, it is entirely possible the lake has no crawdads. there's a planned community near me where virtually all of the ponds have no crawdads. NONE. They were never stocked and are suburban enough to not have any nearby bodies of water with craws. Having said that, one of the regulars in that community slays the bass on a jig w/ craw trailer. If it looks alive and tempting enough, bass will eat it. A craw bait probably wouldn't be my first choice, but it will work, especially if that's your confidence lure.

Again, I would doubt those ponds have no crayfish in them. Certainly possible, but just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there. Case in point, my parents small pond. Build in the 80's with no crayfish stocked and the nearest water of any kind is a small creek, maybe 3 feet across and 6 inches deep that's about 1/4-1/2 a mile away through the woods. The nearest pond of any kind is half mile away. I've never once seen a crayfish in that pond, the only reason I know they are there is because it's a type of burrowing crayfish and every now and then a new burrow shows up. Plus once I found on in the mouth of a bass I caught. If it were a non-burrowing species, I would have almost no idea that crayfish lived there.

I agree, however, that even if they really aren't there, bass will eat just about anything that looks alive and edible.

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Either way think about it crawdads or not it's a known natural bait...that should even make the lure a must to use...it's known that bass will go after things they are not used to seeing...in this case a crawfish is still natural reguardless if they're in the pond or not.

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Arguing whether or not the pond has crayfish is arbitrary. The bass will eat anything that looks like food, whether they've previously eaten it or not.

In terms of whether it does or does not have crayfish, they don't live everywhere, period. It's more than possible that they're not present in a water body.

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I fish a lake that has had a poor crawfish population for years. Past few years the crawfish population has rebounded. They bite a jig and crawfish imitations much better now then in the past. But I also think a jig could represent a bluegill or something else if fished with a swimming motion. If you know the lake or pond has few crawfish those type baits wouldn't be my first choice but I would mix them in and try to learn what the fish will hit when the fish are active. If you are catching them good on a worm then mix in the jig etc. to see what happens. Best time to try things you have little confidence in is when the fish are biting and easy to catch vs. trying to find the right bait when they aren't eating.

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This pond DOESN'T have craw fish. This pond doesn't have any external outlet of water. This pond is in the middle of a trailer park, i found it on google maps about a year ago and have fished it ever since. This was kinda a loaded question because i've caught a 5 lber using a blk/blu sweet beaver but that has been the only time i've ever got a bite with a sweet beaver or chigger craw and was wondering if that could have been a fluke or something. As far as this pond goes, the only food that i could tell for the bass is small frogs, fish (but don't know what type of fish since all i've caught is bass out of there) and probably snakes. Thanks for everyone's input.

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This pond DOESN'T have craw fish. This pond doesn't have any external outlet of water. This pond is in the middle of a trailer park, i found it on google maps about a year ago and have fished it ever since. This was kinda a loaded question because i've caught a 5 lber using a blk/blu sweet beaver but that has been the only time i've ever got a bite with a sweet beaver or chigger craw and was wondering if that could have been a fluke or something. As far as this pond goes, the only food that i could tell for the bass is small frogs, fish (but don't know what type of fish since all i've caught is bass out of there) and probably snakes. Thanks for everyone's input.

I've always though it'd be fun to use those topwater snake lures and see a bass crush one....never done it yet though.

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I ask myself this.....How often does a bass see a real worm swimming the bottom of a lake? Other than rain maybe washing them in,I've never heard of a worm swimming in the water. Yet Bass eat them pretty readily anywhere and everywhere. Just because it's not in the water doesn't mean Bass won't eat it.

I don't have shad in my pond at work,yet they'll hammer the shad pattern crankbait.Bass are predators,if they can fit it in their mouth,they'll try and eat it.

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You could texas rig a shoe string and catch a bass, don't overestimate a hungry bass they will mostly eat anything in front of them.

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You could texas rig a shoe string and catch a bass, don't overestimate a hungry bass they will mostly eat anything in front of them.

Darn Right.

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If a bass will eat a hot dog on a bobber, I am gonna bet he'll eat something that looks and moves more like his natural prey even if he doesn't know what it is.

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My tiny city lake (a cement fish bowl for Arizona States Rowing team is more accurate) in arizona is completely concrete with absolutely zero cover. It doesnt have crawdads lol guaranfrickenteed. But they love those Rage Chunks!

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Again, I would doubt those ponds have no crayfish in them. Certainly possible, but just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there. Case in point, my parents small pond. Build in the 80's with no crayfish stocked and the nearest water of any kind is a small creek, maybe 3 feet across and 6 inches deep that's about 1/4-1/2 a mile away through the woods. The nearest pond of any kind is half mile away. I've never once seen a crayfish in that pond, the only reason I know they are there is because it's a type of burrowing crayfish and every now and then a new burrow shows up. Plus once I found on in the mouth of a bass I caught. If it were a non-burrowing species, I would have almost no idea that crayfish lived there.

I agree, however, that even if they really aren't there, bass will eat just about anything that looks alive and edible.

Few people know that crawdads when fully grown have wings. They fly over bodies of water and drop their eggs; that is how they get into so many detached ponds.

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Man I've caught tons of bass in ponds where there isn't any crawfish on crawfish imitating lures. Depending on the cover you have in the pond is how you should fish lures like jigs and soft plastics that would indicate crawfish or anything else. I believe the bass bite it due to territory, predatory nature, and even curiosity. Very little cover would indicate to me to fish fast and look for a reaction bite. Burning a jig with a trailer that has a lot of action has proved to be absolutely fantastic on some days. Fish could be anywhere in a pond with little cover, but they'll probably be on the banks most of the time or suspended somewhere off the bank, and believe me they will chase down a fast moving lure in both scenarios. Heck most of the jigs I've burned to catch some true pond monsters have been crawfish patterned with chigger craws or rage craws as trailers. Thicker cover like lilly pads, grass, willow trees etc. would indicate some texas rigged soft plastics or everyone's favorite, TOPWATER. Snag Proof Ish's Phat Frog is my absolute favorite. In regards to frogs being a food source in your pond, I would say probably not at the top of the bass' list. I believe they don't necessarily want to bite a frog imitating bait because it looks like a frog but because of the action it imparts, regardless of whether it's topwater or subsurface. I've been fishing this pond for the past few summers to test out new equipment, lures, etc. and the same frogs sit in the same place every time I go down there. If bass loved frog's so much, there wouldn't be hardly any in ponds in my opinion. Any way you want to look at it, I believe a bass's predatory nature, territorial instincts, and curiosity, are the main reasons they would bite any artificial lure in the first place. So experiment around and even match the hatch sometimes, but I've seen days where a hot pink creature bait will fish a bluegill patterned paddle tail into the ground. So chew on that lol. Good Luck!

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Few people know that crawdads when fully grown have wings. They fly over bodies of water and drop their eggs; that is how they get into so many detached ponds.

Might wanna check those invertebrate zoology books again...

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@Fishin4AZ: My wife grad from ASU in 2007 lol, i know where your talking about lol

@nwabass609: Very well put. Thank you

This pond i fish is probably 250/300 yards in length and at the fat end of the lake is probably 70-80 yards and during the summer, the entire lake is ringed with lilly pads that extend 5 feet from the shore. The only problem with the lake is there are only a few spots to fish from the shore due to bushes and weeds blocking the shore...and not to mention those d**n cottonmouths that live around the pond. I've never caught a fish off a frog but cranks/spinnerbaits worked. I do plan this year to somehow fish the entire lake from the shore, i just need snake boots or a jon boat...which ever is cheaper to get lmao j/k.

If you want to see where i fish. Googlemaps "Lake McKay Spring Lake NC" and look at bubble "C" and you will see what i'm talking about. I've caught all my fish on the southeast side walking the bank counter clockwise. Let me know what you guys think.

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my grandfather used to have a small lure that looked like a mini budweiser bottle. I bet him I could catch a bass on it and he told me I was nuts. Took it out on the pier and Bam...caught one.

I'd be the first to admit I am a sucker for the marketing and have too many lures, but Bass dont eat lures, they eat a moving shape because it's the right size. Put anything in the right column of water with the correct general shape and move it right and you will catch bass.

It's fishermen that worry about color, brand, etc. not fish.

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Might wanna check those invertebrate zoology books again...

Its true! Another thing most people don't know: Bass actually migrate to Mexico in winter then return in spring; that's why you can never catch one in a month that ends in "er" or "ary"...

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