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MSBruno

How to "match the hatch"?

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The body of water I fish has the following:

 

Musky

Pike

LM Bass

SM Bass

Walleye

Crappie

BlueGill

Perch

Carp

Catfish

 

I usually fish for pike and bass and I'm trying to understand what or when my target species predates on which baitfish.

 

I've tried reading up on the premise of "match the hatch" and all the info I've read is just to match the hatch, but I haven't found any info on deducing what or when the hatch to match. Other than looking in the water and seeing what species and size are in the water, thats all I've been able to figure out. The list above are all fish I have seen in this body of this water, but I'm not sure if the bass and pike I'm targeting eat all the other fish (at the same time of the year or different times of the year) or they just target 1 species. If there was only perch or only bluegill or only crappie in the lake, then I would deduce that that is the target prey, but they all reside there. I would also assume there are minnnows and crayfish too.

 

Any suggested reading or help is greatly appeciated.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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Put a minnow trap out and see what you catch.

 

Some minnows are more silver, some golden, others have red markings. Also crayfish varying in colors. See whats in your lake and try to find a bait that looks similar. If that doesn't work try something that is vastly different than the forage base...sometimes your bait has to stand out from the pack.

 

Most of the basic colors of rapala type baits will catch anything that swims, for my money its where you cast not so much what you cast.

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i cant say ive ever "matched the hatch" lets say your fishing a lake for walleye and theres no leeches in there and you fished with leeches, you'll still catch the walleye, its just in their make up, its instinct. also tossing bright or different colours works and stands out like what troutologist said. they may bite it cause it may make them mad and want to kill it not cause they are hungry. if your going for pike and there is perch and bluegills in there then try tossing baits that look like those fish. the minnow trap is also a great idea.

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Guest ThisPlaceSucks

matching the hatch refers not just to what is in the lake, but what they are feeding on at a given point in time. a brook trout may feed on dragonfly nymphs in april, hatching mayflies in june, leeches in july/august, crayfish in winter.

 

another example, if you notice walleye have been feeding on smelt, use a minnow bait that may resemble a smelt, find some baitfish schools, and utilize a jerky retrieve to imitate a wounded one. (this might be the standing out concept troutologist mentioned)

 

in other parts of the same lake they may even feed on different forage based on the type of habitat in which they are found - a fish in the sand/detritus may feed on inverts while a fish on a rocky shoreline may be feeding on crayfish or minnows.

 

good luck!

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Match the hatch is a fly-fishing term - trout can become pre-occupied with a certain type of fly when a hatch is on and unless you can match what they're gorging themselves on you'll have a hard time catching anything. The hatches don't always last long hance the fish will become selecetive during that time to take advantage of it.

 

I can't see a bass turning it's nose up at a perch pattern Rapala because the last fish it ate was a silvery minnow but it's probably worth using something with a pattern they've at least seen before and associate with food - all of which goes out of the window when you ctach on a flourescent pattern!!

 

Edit - beaten to it!!!

Edited by cuzza

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A bigger concern for me would be what lures are going to let me effectively fish the waters I intend to fish, the depths I intend to fish. I have had a lot of fish caught on bass lures that weren`t bass, a lot of cross over on food for the species, if it`s smaller than them they might eat it, some stupid fish like a 3 inch bass hitting a 5 inch lure.

 

Most species will take a crank bait. a minnow or smaller species imitator, a plastic worm, a tube, jig and pig, indirectly you are matching the available food supply.

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The absolute best way to match the hatch is to catch a fish and cut it open and examine the stomach contents!... or maybe put it in the live well for a bit and see if it regurgetates anything! You can also open the mouth of the fish and look down the gullet, sometimes if they're feeding on crawfish you can see a claw on antennae sticking out!

 

Like this!

hungrybabe.jpg

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