Dress Like A Crawfish … Catch A Bass
By Iain Loveman
Early spring signals bass to emerge from their winter hangouts and move to staging areas and eventually to shallow flats.
Now you ask yourself, what is the most effective way to catch these elusive fish?
Well the answer is by using a crawfish imitating lure. It is a known fact that bass have a fondness for freshwater crawfish and even though they will eat crawfish throughout the year, bass especially crave crawfish in the early spring.
Why you ask do bass crave crawfish in the early spring? Well in my opinion it is due to the fact that the crawfish possess important nutrients that the pre-spawn bass need. Also during the cold water period, the crawfish matches the low metabolic activity of the bass which makes it the perfect delicacy.
Now I am going to teach you the art of catching bass in early spring. The simplest way to do this is by dressing like a crawfish, by this statement I mean using a lure that looks like a crawfish. There are a few different lures you can use to accomplish this task.
The water temperature in early spring is lower, so this means that the metabolism of the bass is still slow. Now you are going to want bait that will fall slowly and stay in the strike zone for as long as possible. This is why the jig/pig is the best option. It is important to match the hatch and go with the lightest jig possible. It is also effective when it is cast out and slowly dragged over deep structure. Some combinations you could use are a black/blue jig with a metal flake trailer or a green/pumpkin with a green/pumpkin trailer.
The trailer is important because it gives the jig a natural appearance and it doesn’t hurt that it encourages the bass to hold onto the lure longer thus increasing your chances of a successful catch. It is said that the jig/pig combo is hard to beat, but there are other lures that you could use to get the job done.
The next best thing compared to the jig/pig is a Carolina rigged worm especially if the fish are looking for something small to bite. It is extremely effective to use this lure when bass are on deep structure and feeding on crawfish. It is a known fact that when crawfish emerge from hibernation they are covered in mud.
Naturally they are going to want to free themselves of said mud. When they accomplish this, it causes a disturbance known as a cloud of dirt along the bottom which attracts the bass. Now you are probably asking yourself how this relates to the Carolina rigged worm. If you attach a rattler to the lure, it imitates the noise of the crawfish’s pinchers, thus attracting bass and if the worm is dragged across the bottom it will kick up silt which tricks the bass into thinking that the crawfish are emerging from their winter hideout.
The largest population of crawfish is found on weed beds and timber filled flats at the back of creeks. It is believed that actively feeding bass are on the move, which flushes crawfish and other forage from the grass beds and shallows.
The perfect lure to use when fishing weed beds is a slow rolled spinnerbait like a Rat-L-Trap crankbait. This type of lure is effective because it draws a reaction bite due to the fact that a bass will think it is a crawfish fleeing a grassy area.
A helpful tip to drawing a reaction bite with this type of lure is retrieving it so that it stays in contact with the grass throughout the retrieve. The technique to use is keeping it in touch with the grass then when it snags, rip it free.
This mimics a crawfish fleeing danger and effectively attracts bass. Using all of these helpful hints will definitely improve your fishing game. Just keep in mind that the key to catching bass in early spring is to use a lure that actively mimics a crawfish. Remember dress like a crawfish, catch a bass.