coastalfreak

Debate Time: Is Matching the Hatch Necessary?

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During my small amount of years as a fisherman, I have heard many people say matching the hatch is necessary to catch fish, and others say it does't matter, and that as long as you have a tasty-looking lure the fish will take it. From your experience, is matching the hatch incredibly beneficial? Or does it really not natter? 

 

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I feel that most of the time matching the hatch is the way to go. However, sometimes going the opposite direction gets hits when matching the hatch doesn't. For example, when there's so much bait present your presentation is getting ignored unless you drag it right into the fishes mouth. I find that going opposite of what the bait is will get hits. I guess because now your plug stands out instead of blending in. So basically what I'm saying is it depends.

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i am a believer, in match the hatch, but one thing i learned over years, and time, from surf fishing, there are no rules..... So let the debate begin !!... lol :howdy:

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It only matters if you want to catch fish.  You have to at least throw the color the fish are zero'd in on.  I know this will draw fire but even Bluefish can get color fussy.

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I'm a ''topwater'' guy so I cast topwater lures...

 

The answer for me is no.

 

One fish on top for me is worth 10 fish under.

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let the fish tell you

Always good to have something on you that resembles the forage....

 

 

I caught a bass on a parakeet lure....... :)

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm a swimmer guy and I sit right on the fence with this idea.

I have seen small fish breaking all over the place and guys will be catching a few,me?,,i'd throw a swimmer that goes down and slow crank it,,,most times I'd be the guy that caught the pair of 15-20lb fish while everyone else is catching 3-6lb'ers.

I will even fish farther out,away from the food bashing and pick up fine fish compared to whats being caught.

I try to keep out of the action zone whilst still being in it.

I def could go smaller but,not wanting to catch the fish I am seeing makes me go the other direction.

HH

Edited by Heavy Hooksetter

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To me, it's more about profile and shade than dead on matching, especially with albies, bonito, and Spanish. Other times, they just want that neon thang screaming by em.

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Ehhh I go on and off with this. When theres sandeels I'll throw nothing else but needlefish and tins, that's it. However other than that I never really feel the need to match an exact bait or pattern. If baits REALLY thick, I'll throw stuff that'll stand out more. 

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It's not important until it is. 

 

I say if you can identify what bait the fish are actively/most likely feeding on try to match it.

If you can't then go through the typical rotation, covering different depths, colors, profiles and retreives until the fish tell you what they want.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

When matching the hatch there are a couple of different schools of thought. There's the ultra realistic exact imitation school of thought and there's the impressionistic school of thought. 

 

I'm by far more of a believer in impressionism than I am exact representations.

 

The first rule of thumb and impressionism is you have to present the bait the proper way. This is where most people tend to whiff. Assuming you are fishing the bait properly and in a manner that matches conditions, then you begin to work on other components of general impressionism.

 

As long as you have the basic size and shape covered and you fish the impression in similar fashion to the way the naturals are behaving, you will definitely catch fish.

 

I know this is true because more times than not I throw a Tin that matches the basic size and shape of whatever bait fish are around. If I put this tin in the right spot where there is a predator, I often have no problem picking up fish. Flies also produce for me consistently & similarly.

 

I use four basic Tins and then deviate only as needed. When fish tend to get fussy, a well-placed teaser can take your game to a whole new level.

 

During times when there's a ton of bait present it's still important to have the right size and shape most of the time. Sometimes, what will help you catch fish is to have a color that stands out as different. This technique works time and time again.for example during the middle of a peanut bunker blitz try a chartreuse peanut bunker imitation that's the proper size and shape. This helps differentiate your offering from the millions of naturals at all look alike.Also don't forget to fish your imitation the right way. Peanut bunker swim in short bursts. Learn to flutter your bait slow it down and then flutter it again. Boom, suddenly you're getting pretty good during a peanut bunker blitz when you didn't used to be that effective.

 

There is also something to be said for fishing the sides or edges of a feeding zone rather than right smack dab in the middle of it. Often it's not what you're fishing it's where/how you're fishing it that are the catalysts.

 

And there is going to always be that one off where you throw something large and it picks up a big fish here and there.

 

Still when you match the hatch with the basic size and shape and movement, this technique will outproduce all others 10 to 1 over the course of a fishing career. 

 

Also water clarity and light conditions come into play and there are certainly times when more realistic colors out produce other choices then there are times when the opposite holds true. For example on a sunny day when your flats fishing, you're going to need a pretty realistic imitation to get the fish to actually take.

 

Sometimes we also need to remember  appeal to the predator. Anything you can do to help in this department ups your chances.

 

In general any sub surface offering that has a little contrast is usually very productive especially if it's in the color spectrum that the predator wants. 

 

That's why so many great surface lures are white. The main thing is to have the belly of the bait fish covered when the bait is up top. Color is a lot less important on the surface and is more for the fisherman so he can see the offering.

 

Below the water's surface, contrast never hurts. Other elements can come into play also like rattles & scent. 

 

Lastly finding fish is probably the most important part of the whole game. 9 times out of 10 when you're not catching it's because you're not putting your offering in front of feeding fish -or- something's wrong with the way your offering is being presented vs what the naturals are doing/how they are behaving.

 

For example when people fish jetties they often cast at a right angle out into the water and they keep throwing and throwing and throwing with no results. However if they cast parallel to the jetty and work the bait back at the right speed and in the way a natural might behave, suddenly the game changes, especially if they've got other bases covered such as sound, reflective or prismatic flash, scent..etc. 

 

As a general rule of thumb, slowing things down a little bit often helps. Try to keep your bait in the zone as long as possible. Give the fish a chance to find your lure. Make your lure look alive & use your eyeballs.

 

It may sound silly to say this but try to become one with the bait. 

 

As you look around the water do you see a lot of bait fish panicking and jumping out of the water or or do you see pretty much nothing going on? If the latter is the case then why burn a rattling chugging surface lure back to yourself 300 times over the course of the next hour? Oftentimes in order to be successful you have to understand what's going on under the surface. 

 

As you get better at varying your tactics your success rate will go up if you're able to hang in the zone with something that's the basic size and shape the predator is keying in on.

 

"Got a whale of a tale to tell you lads. A whale of a tail or two-ooo"

 

"'Bout the flappin  fish and the girls I've loved on nights like this with the moon above, oh it's all truuuue, I swear on my tattoo!"

Edited by CaryGreene

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