Jump to content
Time Bandit

Crawfish Cranks

Recommended Posts

Anyone else ever notice that nearly all crawfish patterns on crankbaits are painted where the claws would be toward the bill of the lure?  It seems odd to me, given that crawfish don't move very quickly going forward.  Crawfish move much nearer the speed of a crankbait when they are going backwards, trying to evade a predator.  Excepting Rebel and the Wee-R craw, I think maybe Live Target and Rapala are the only two companies that I've seen which offer crawfish patterns which are painted in what I think is the more natural orientation.  I know fish can't reason, and I'm sure they aren't inspecting the lures and thinking to themselves "that crawfish is swimming the wrong way."  All that to say, it's interesting to me the orientation of most craw patterns on cranks. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your point is well taken, but actually it has been a trend that has gone both ways.  I have baits with basic craw painting dating to the 70's (cannot remember the names and not on the lure), and some of them had the claws on  the correct end.  Others, well I suspect most lure paint schemes were done by artist in some factory in China and not by biologist of experienced fishermen.

But, as you and Bob have pointed out, if it is a reaction bite, like most crank baits, it probably does not matter all that much.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think the direction the bait's paint job is facing matters.  An old Bomber 7A in a delta red pattern, with a one knocker rattle, still outfishes  every other craw crank here on the CA Delta, when the crawdads are mating.   It is painted "claws forward".

I fish it slowly just above or through the grass, pausing to let it rise up a little when it hits a strand of hydrilla.  The fish get a good look at it, and it still gets hammered on the pause.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BobP said:

I’ve built and painted them both ways and it didn’t seem to make a difference when fishing them.   My takeaway was that ultra realism is not the determining factor in getting what is usually a reaction bite. 

 

I tend to agree.  I've really gotten addicted to fishing crankbaits over the last year and I think the most important thing is to make the fish make a snap decision on whether or not to eat.  I think they decide to eat much more often that not when it looks like a potential meal may be about to get away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made a few flat sided craw baits where I carved out indents for the body segments, painted “wrong way” forward.  One of them is my all time best catching bait and I only use it when I really really need one.  But I don’t think the look of the bait is the main attractor but rather its very staccato thump on the retrieve.

As far as claws go, I’ve read that in a test with real crawfish, it was the craws with one or both claw arms removed that were eaten first.  If we knew what bass will always do, it wouldn’t be much of a sporting pastime.

Edited by BobP
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Arbogast Mudbug, Megabait Yabby and Excalibur Xcs are painted in the ‘correct’ fleeing position with the crawfish tail painted toward the bill of the crankbait. The “Seein’s Believin” Mudbug colors have the crawfish tail fins painted right on the bill. The Yabby has attached free-swinging hard plastic claws at the rear of the bait and ridges on the body to simulate the different shell sections of a real crawfish similar to those on Hughsey’s lure. 

I also agree the claw position doesn’t matter. Most of the crankbaits of that type have such a tight wiggle that I think the bass get fooled by the action, vibration and general color scheme. When the bait is moving, a bass would have trouble seeing specific details. Instinct will dictate a strike or not.

 If the bait is being retrieved slowly or is stopped, and the bass could see the claw detail, and the bass could mentally process which end should be where, I can still reason claw position wouldn’t matter. A real crawfish can move forward and backward at a slow pace. I have watched crawfish slowly back away from the light of a flashlight. 

My best craw cranks, in order, are the Mudbug (correct), Bomber 6A (incorrect), Excalibur Xcs (correct).  I cannot catch a bass on the Yabby which appears to be the ‘most correct’.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do a lot of diving in the local lakes and rivers. Messing around in a local down town river I witnessed about a 3 lb smallie harass a crayfish for a while, paying no attention to me. I think the claws were his biggest concern. Eventually it was downed, but if I'm dropshotting a soft plastic, sometimes I will pinch the claws off on a tough bite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/26/2017 at 11:31 AM, Time Bandit said:

Anyone else ever notice that nearly all crawfish patterns on crankbaits are painted where the claws would be toward the bill of the lure?  It seems odd to me, given that crawfish don't move very quickly going forward.  Crawfish move much nearer the speed of a crankbait when they are going backwards, trying to evade a predator.  Excepting Rebel and the Wee-R craw, I think maybe Live Target and Rapala are the only two companies that I've seen which offer crawfish patterns which are painted in what I think is the more natural orientation.  I know fish can't reason, and I'm sure they aren't inspecting the lures and thinking to themselves "that crawfish is swimming the wrong way."  All that to say, it's interesting to me the orientation of most craw patterns on cranks. 

Yes, I have and also noted that the shrimp are the same way.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think  most crankbaits have the crawfish pattern painted with the claws toward the bill, even though crawfish move backward quickly when evading predators. I've also seen Live Target and Rapala offer more naturally oriented craw patterns , These fish likely aren't scrutinizing the direction of the crawfish, it's still intriguing to consider the design choices behind these lures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...
Top