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TNFL

Crawfish

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What color are crayfish? I've seen pics (or live) of brown, orange, even slightly green. Is this a seasonal thing? Does it relate to the body of water? Are there different species of Crawfish?

I'm just trying to figure out how to match the hatch on these guys.

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Great question.... I am guessing it depends on the area and the time of year. Have seen some brilliant blue and red ones besides various other colors. Had one in the live well last week that looked as if it had be "airbrushed" bright red. I am sure someone has a link to answer this.

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Water clarity has a lot to do with color choices as well.

The same rules usually hold true as crankbait colors - clear water go with a lighter color, darker water go with the darker colors. I prefer blue and black in most of plastics. The whole point is to enable the bass to see the craw if its not picked up by the vibration. Most, if not all colors change underwater so I don't believe color is as much a factor as shape or movement. An old pro once told me color is for fisherman, shape and movement is for fish.

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A lot depends on season too. I have seen blue crayfish as well as brown and orange. The majority of what Ive seen around here are brown and orange

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Fish seem to prefer molting crawfish, so I usually try to match the color of a molting crawfish if I'm in clean water. In dirty water brighter colors have worked better for me.

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Agreed it is a little dense, if you wanted to get serious about "matching the hatch" though I suppose it would be a good place to start. You could even match the type of crawfish to the specific watershed you are fishing, although that may be going a bit too far. If anyone is interested the "Publications" section of the DNR HSOforum has a lot of cool studies, click on fisheries..

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/index.html

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Agreed. The Native mn species of Crayfish are normally orange to Brownish green in color most of the year. However, the Rusty, is also similar in color most of the year. Here is a picture of the rusty crayfish. Remember, in the absence of a lot of light most colors appear greyish... If your fishing jigs in water deeper than 15ish feet in stained or green water particularly... Color is almost insignificant... the sillouete, shape, movement (action), smell-taste factors in more... Once again a case of fisherman possibly over thinking the Bass (who has a brain the size of a garden pea).

rustycrayfish_redspot1.jpg

And here is a Native Mn Crayfish sometimes referred to as the Mn bug crayfish.

mnbugcrayfish.jpg

Not sure where that name came from. As you can see they are very similar in color. they also mature to about the same size however the rusty grows faster and is more resilant to a variety of water qualities. They also lay more eggs on average. All these things combined turns the scale in favor of this evasive species. They are native to the Ohio River valley and have been in Mn waters dating back to the early 1960's.

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