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Live Crawdads- question on rigging/ presentation


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Hey there. First off.. I have to say that I have never really been much of a artifical bait fisherman for bass; I might toss out a Rapala once in awhile.. but seldom do much with it as the lakes I fish are hard hit by catch and release fishing; and fishing anything but live is often tough.

Plus theres just some aspect for me in fishing with livebait for Bass.

Anyways.. the only problem with things like harnessed/slip bobbered nightcrawlers is that the sunfish will tear them apart. Leeches are out of season, and finding anywheres that sells the big ones is hard to begin with.

I know where I can get crawdads...and would be curious to try them once... I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to rig them? on the bottom with split shot or with something like a lindy rig? And how do you grab em so they don't pinch ya?

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Crayfish will pinch cha no matter what. It doesn't hurt that bad, maybe the bigger ones but still not bad. Unless you're a wussy. smile.gif If you are fast you can grab them behind them on the body and they shouldn't be able to pinch ya.

As far as fishing with them, don't let them crawl around on the bottom. They will tuck in among the rocks and get you snagged. Maybe a bobber will work.

You really don't need live bait for largemouth bass, seriously you don't.

And they're right about transporting them.

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  • we are 'the leading edge' HSO Creators

the guys are right and fish really do go after plastics that imitate crawfish. Put a little crawfish bio bait on it if you feel you need that live bait scent.

Topwaters, spinnerbaits, and stickbaits are also effective. Bass are a little more inclined to take artificail, but most others aren't far behind.

It's mainly a practice and confidence issue. Many times when we go out, we bring bait along as a crutch but don't use it. Of course, there are times when it IS the confidence bait for us.

As the water cools plastics will really start to shine, especially for walleyes.

They all love crawdads.

Good Imitators are Ring-N Tubes, Kick-N Craws, Monster-do's and the jig-n-pig.

You can see some of these at Catch-N Tackle - Click Here.

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Humm ... If you really feel thats the only way you are going to catch some bass, the book I have here says you just put a hook through the tail and put them on an oversized lindy rig basically. I guess it would be a pretty laid back style of fishing, but really, you just might catch more bass if you put a little confidence in an artificial bait (yes even during heavy catch and release pressure) like a jig or a spinnerbait. Either way, have fun out there!!

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Again.. I'm just saying I HAVE TRIED various options for artifical bait in the past for bass. It just doesn't seem to work for me.

Northerns on the other hand are a fish of a different color. I fish primarily with Daredevils and Mepps. They are the ONLY fish I have done better with artificals than with live bait. I think it has a lot to do with how hard a Northern will generally slam a lure, so theres no second guessing whether it is a fish or a snag?

I admit, I am a dying breed, but I kinda like the more laid back approach to bass fishing. I don't like the fellas with the 30# test spider wire, the $200 rod and reels and the 16' rangers with a 250 HP johnson on it. I think trying to make fishing into a "no lose" situation and making it as competive as it becomes takes a lot away from the principals of it. BUt thats just a personal viewpoint, I am NOT trying to put anyone down

As far as the legality issues go... yes I am well aware of that. I also am well aware that it is illegal to transport ANY kind of live bait from lake to lake, and thats not just crawdads. Plus the fact that there are some bait stores that sell them. And finding a sandbar in the lake I want to fish with them in, and getting a friend to run a seine before we go out isn't that much of an issue either. I know a lot of livebait fisherman here "bend" that rule... so it should be no big suprise. Espically with things like bullheads, eh? wink.gif

Anyways I'm going to stop before I start a flame war.. I'm just expressing my personal views on the matter. I have had some sucess with Rapalas; but again that is generally only on lakes that don't see as much C&R fishing on them. I guess I just don't really have a good "rhythm" for making an artifical presentation for Bass? Nor am I all that thrilled about devolping it. It frustrates me. With northerns you can pitch a daredevil out 50 yds, then give it a steady retrieve, and just wait for one to hammer it. They rarely worry about presentations....

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Hey Crawlerman!

If ya wanna go bass fishing sometime, let me know. I am no expert but I can give ya some tips on catching bass on artificials! I personally believe that live bait is more detrimental to bass fishing than tournaments are. In my opinion you will get alot of gut hooked bass with livebait.

Talk to ya later!

Cory Frantzick

Visit us on the web at www.Athomeonthelake.com

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It's something to consider... right now I guess I just don't have the paitence for it.. and I need to get around a lot of the 'stero-types' I have in my head about artifical bass fisherman? I guess I'm more used to sitting watching a cork, or straight line, or rendunatly casting the same retrieve over and over (as in the case with northerns) Take a bit of getting me out of that habit, I think. Maybe next year?

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Hiya Crawlerman -
I don't know much, but if I hope I can help you.
I like my fishing easy, too. I like catching bass, and I've had the same trouble you have - keeping sunnies off the bait. Crawdads won't completely solve the problem, though. Sunnies will attack the crawdads, too, they just won't be able to fully engulf them. I've caught a few bass on craws, and I clipped one claw and hook 'em under and up through a joint or fissure in the carapice forward of the tail - the objective is to get the point facing the rear of the 'dad. They will scurry around trying to hide, and if the hook is pointed to the front of them they will snag you in a rock-hole if there's rocks available.
You can also hook 'em though the tail on a stand-up jig head and hop 'em around real slowly - take a crawdad dancing!
You could try a big minnow, like a small sucker minnow or great big fatheads.

A slow-n-easy artificial is a 6" rubber worm with no weight or a couple of glass beads, or maybe a rattle insert, dragged s l o w l y on the bottom and along vegetation. This was really effective for me when I was a teenager.
This year I became a fan of spinnerbaits - but I had to get a fish on one to believe. Now I have at least one with me almost everywhere I go. They're a pain to keep in a tackle bag, though.

Good luck, & whatever you do, don't ruin the reputation we baitfishers have for being lazy, impoverished, sportless, crude, unrefined, Lil' Abner-like, ignorant fish-killing embarrassments to the High Art of Bass Angling. I couldn't live with the shame.


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Hey crawlerman, You said you dont want to keep going with articials for bass because your having a hard time telling weeds from strikes? Id say dont give up keep throwing them eventually you will learn the difference.

Just start throwing your lure, when you think you got a fish set the hook, if its weeds clean off the bait and do it agian. Eventually you will see the difference between weeds and fish.

Plus who cares if you set the hook and it ends up weeds, I do it, everyone does (I think). Heck Ive even had weeds/snags and thought I had a nice fish, only to pull in a bunch of weeds, just laugh at yourself and try agian.

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You don't need the real thing for bass. They are pigs and artificials will out-produce livebait most of the time.

Try a Kick-N Craw from Catch-N.com next time you are out. You will find you can work plastics about as slow as you would like, you don't have to cast 1000 times a day to catch fish. If they are inactive, put a pinch of craw bio-bait on the hook (just enough to cover the hook). That stuff really works well for those fish that are not very active, and it stays on your hook much better than livebait.

To answere your question, yes, transporting crayfish is illegal. They are only legal to use in waters in which you catch them.


[This message has been edited by fishnAddict (edited 09-11-2003).]

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These are the most life like craw baits I've used. Catch'n Tackle has a great selection of sizes and colors to fit your needs.

Run them T-rigged (sliding weight):

or, with a pegged weight (or crimped weight):

Or, Slider rigged:

Or, with a weedless jighead:

Or Carolina Rigged:

T-rigged run these skin hooked for best results (tip all the way through the plastic, with the tip in the plastic just enough to keep from snagging weeds)

I use Gamakatsu 2/O for the 3" craws and 4/O for the 4.5" craws (both EWG offset worm hooks).

Look at these in more detail at the Catch'n Tackle site.

[This message has been edited by fishnAddict (edited 09-15-2003).]

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