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Using Fishing Lures to “match the hatch”

By Kastking | 24 August 2018 | 0 Comments

 Using Fishing Lures to “match the hatch” can increase your success on the water.


When you tailor your fishing lures to “match the hatch”, you can greatly increase the number of fish you catch.  We’ve all heard the term many times, “match the hatch”, but what does it really mean?  It has got to do with learning what the fish are eating.


You want to make sure that the fishing lures you select from your tackle box looks very close to the forage the fish are used to.  Forage is a fancy term for food.  That being said, all you are trying to do is to present a bait that looks like whatever the fish are feeding on.  This is what the term “match the hatch” refers to.   You will have the biggest success by offering a fishing lure that looks as similar as possible to the natural food of the fish that you are targeting.


For instance, you will use a much different fishing lure when targeting fish that are feeding on balls of schools of bait fish than you will when you are tempting fish that are feeding on crayfish or crawdads.  A crankbait might be a great choice when targeting fish that are feeding on bait fish.  You can make it run through the water, bouncing off cover, and give it the action that will make a game fish believe that an injured or sick bait fish is coming through the water near them.  Fish will almost always target fish that are easier to catch – those that are sick or injured in some way.


When fish are feeding on crayfish or crawdads, a craw imitation would be more appropriate.  A sure clue that fish you are catching are keying in on craws can be found on the roof of their mouths.  Oftentimes fish that are feeding on craws will have a red, raw roof of their mouth.  This comes from cracking the tough shells of the crayfish.


When selecting fishing lures based on the forage, color is also very important.  Keep in mind that different colors may look different based on water color and clarity as well as the depth at which you will be fishing.  The clearer the water you are fishing, the more natural color lures you will want to use.  When the water is stained and/or darker, brighter colors can bring more strikes.


For instance, when I am targeting fish that are feeding on crawdads or crayfish, I may use a jig or a soft plastic that resembles the forage.  I take color into consideration, but if I haven’t seen the crayfish color yet, I will make an educated guess as to the colors I should use in my presentation.  I will choose a hard bait  that will most closely match the colors of the crayfish the fish are seeing.  It’s important to remember, in the case of crayfish, that they usually molt more than one time per year.  This means that their colors can change.  They will change from green early in the spring through to orange and blue colors before they molt.


When I choose a color for my fishing lure, I will take into account not only the water clarity and color, but also the time of year, because crayfish change colors throughout the fishing season.  If I am lucky enough to see crayfish or crawdad scooting across the bottom, I can make a better educated choice in my lures.


I also take size into account when choosing a fishing lure, whether it is a jig, a crankbait, a soft plastic, or any other form of lure.  Obviously, forage comes in different sizes at different times of the year as they grow and reproduce.  In the early spring, I tend to upsize my lure a bit, as I believe fish are targeting the larger bait fish who are about to spawn.  Once the spawn arrives, I tend to downsize my lures or baits.  At this point, fish are thinking only of ensuring the survival of their brood.  They may short-bite or pick a lure up only by the very back to move it out of a nest.  As the summer goes on, I will upsize my lures again.  The same can be said for minnow imitation lures as it is for craw imitations.


Overall, when choosing a fishing lure, an angler should always think about what forage is available for a game fish in the given body of water where the angler will be fishing.  Armed with that information, an angler may then choose lures that will come as close as possible to matching that hatch.  Doing this will increase the likelihood that an angler will have a successful day on the water.


— By Beckie Joki


Beckie Joki is an avid bass angler in Northern Wisconsin. She has an eye on conservation and the environment as it relates to all types of fishing. She is a member of the Hodag Bassmasters, and is a member of the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters. She understands the importance of maintaining fisheries and looks to get younger generations into the sport of fishing. Beckie writes regularly for the Northern Wisconsin Fishing Examiner.




Eposeidon ( www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Hempstead, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

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