It's Crawfish Season, for the Bass too!
by: Matt Loetscher & Dusty Anders
If you've ever eaten crawfish, your mouth is watering like mine. It's time to eat some, but today we're talking about the Bass eating them! Here in the south, it's warming up fast, even though its only January. I know we'll have a few more cold fronts but these warm days make everyone get up and move, even the crawfish. One of our guides was out with a customer yesterday and hooked a nice bass, check out what's in his throat!
It's kind of hard to see but yes, those are dark red crawfish claws. The water is warming up and the crawfish are coming out of hibernation. That means its prime time for the bass to enjoy these delectable creatures also.
If you are fishing this time of year, mimicking a crawfish with your lure is a great way to catch bass. This can be done with a variety of different lures. Such as crankbaits (with a lip or without), jigs & soft plastics. Even lures like worms & spinnerbaits can be used in a red or other crawfish color patterns to catch the eye of a hungry bass.
Crawfish are not always red in color though. Throughout the year and under different water conditions crawfish change their colors. They can vary from a sandy or green pumpkin color, to blue, or of coarse dark reds. If the water is clear with a sandy bottom, the crawfish will be a very light color, but if you fish a lake with a muddy bottom and murky water the crawfish will be darker colors. The tips of the crawfish claws often have a different color from the rest of the body as well. We frequently see crawfish of all different colors with a bit of bright orange on the tips of the claws.
Be careful not to think inside the box when considering the type of bait you want to throw. Our guides always select the type of bait they want to throw based on the conditions of the day and the area they are fishing. For example, if you are fishing a grassy lake on a windy, sunny day, than a crankbait could be great. If there is some cloud cover, a spinnerbait may be the ticket. Either one can be thrown in a crawfish imitating color. If the conditions are more calm they may choose a soft plastic or a jig. Water temperature is another variable to consider. In cold conditions a lipless crankbait may be a great way to get a reaction bite from the cold bass. But, if it is warmer out or later in the spring when the fish are spawning then pitching around shallow cover with a soft plastic might get the job done.
Here is a bass caught on a Bill Lewis crankbait under stained water conditions, wind and blue skies.
When using soft plastics, dye markers can be a great tool for adding a little orange to the claws or a little red or blue here and there. Especially if you have seen a crawfish in the throat of a bass. Use markers to match the color of it as closely as you can. A very subtle change in color can make a tremendous difference in the amount of bites you get and how aggressive those bites are.
Keep an open mind and utilize these tips to catch more bass this year!
Please leave any questions or comments and we will get back in touch with you, or you can reach LTD Guide Service at www.ltd.fish or call 318-256-8991