The River Buffet
By Justin Tralli
people often wonder what is on the menu of a Connecticut River bass. Is it crawfish, is it
shad, is it other game fish. They are often fooled when they see massive schools of bait
swimming past the boat. Well let's find out just what is.
Connecticut River is home to more than fifteen major species of game fish. The bass, both
small and largemouth, have a wide array of food to choose from.
let's take a moment and look at the make-up of both the smallmouth and largemouth.
especially are an open-water feeder. Yes, they can be sitting next to a log or rock
waiting for a minnow or crawfish to come by, but as a species, they are built to run down
prey in open water. Why is this important you may ask? Because this piece of knowledge
will help you decide what type of lure to use and where to use it.
look at a smallmouth bass' tail you will notice that it is "fork" shaped. Much
more narrow than a largemouth. Just like every other species of fish with this shape tail,
for example a tuna, they are built for speed. This piece of information should tell you
that you can use a faster moving lure (example: spinnerbait, buzzbait, crankbait, etc.) to
catch the fish. A smallmouth's strike range is more than three times that of a largemouth;
meaning they will chase a lure or bait further.
largemouth however, is more lazy and cunning. They don't' have a large strike range,
especially a Connecticut River largemouth. Also, they don't like moving water so therefore
you need to bring the bait to them. Flipping and pitching worms and jigs into thick wood
or grass are the two most effective ways to bring the bait to the fish. You have to almost
drop it their face to catch them.
talk about the food they eat. Alewives, brim and crawfish are the three most predominant
food sources for a bass in the River.
especially are on the menu. They are slow, high in protein, and are abundant. During the
spring of the year the crawfish have a orange to red color. Their shells are constantly
shedding and they are very visible to the bass. (*Red is the most
predominant color a bass can see!*) During the summer and fall they change to a
green color with hints of orange and blue. As the angler, you want your lure to resemble,
to the best you can, the color of the crawfish. You even want to match the color
with your spinnerbaits and buzzbaits! Naturally, during a certain time of year, the bass
are looking for a specific color. For instance, if it's spring they are looking for red.
So, throw lures with red in them.
time you go out bassin' on the beautiful Connecticut River, be sure to "match the
hatch" and key in, on the craws!
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