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We have bugs

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I have been asked several times about the bugs in the water. After a little digging around and a email asking for help from our local fisheries office this is what we came up with.

 Quote:
Order Hemiptera - Family Corixidae - The Water Boatmen

Distinguishing characteristics - The water boatmen are easily identified by their short front legs modified into scoop-shaped structures (Fig. B). In addition, their hind legs are oarlike with swimming hairs (Fig. C), their antennae are found under the eyes and are shorter than the head (Fig. D), and they have a one segmented, short triangular beak (Fig. E).

Tolerance Value - 5

Feeding Group - Predator

Notes - The water boatmen are a large and diverse group of water bugs. They overwinter as larvae or adults. They are free-swimming bugs that live in running and quiet waters. Depending on the species they can be considered herbivore-detrivores, omnivores, predators, or scavengers. The size of the Water Boatmen at maturity is 3-11 mm.

corixidaedb4.jpg

Cute little bugger. eek.gif

All I know is the lake is full of them, at night the bottom is thick with bugs as they must be going through some sort of hatch or cycle. From what I have read about these swimming critters is they are found in the bog in good population. As pointed out by KellyP the bog water levels are very low and a good rain late last fall may have flushed these bugs out of the small pools of water left and out to the lake.

I have watched fish eat them so...does this have the same effect as a mayfly hatch in the summer?

So do we match the hatch? Best jig I could come up with is a JB Lure Ant, it has about the same shape and size and the legs even match up a bit, maybe in a red or even this orange color? They show up on the camera as bright white even with the lights off so they must be semi transparent in the water or a brighter color then the specimen shown.

bigantchtorgnd7.jpg

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Johnny P, I happen to have quite a few of those ants like that and was wondering what you would tip that with? Would you use wax worms?

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I think I would go with minnow peices and maybe even a waxie or maggie.

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I believe you can find the JB Lures Ants that JonnyP is talking about by Clicking here for JB Lures.

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This weekend when we were on Red with JonnyP and KellyP we got some hits on a flu-flu which if I remember correctly is small like this JB Lure and even has some feathers, which might look like legs to the fish.

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Don't be embarrassed Jon! I know what kind of "bugs" you are talking about. All you need is a special shampoo and a fine toothed comb. And don't forget to wash your laundry. This should take care of the little critters!

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Jonny P.

Which size (JB lures) Ants lures would you use for crappies? Also which color would you choose to imitate the water boatman? Have you actually tried the Ants from JB lures lately to catch crappies?

So the amount of live "bugs" in the water may be a negative factor for catching crappies,right? How long might this be a problem? Thanks for answering my questions in advance, Jonny.

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We have had success in the past with the largest size and the one below. Of course I wish we would actually tried these this weekend.

I wondered what the heck these were. I could see these bugs floating/swimming by each time I put the camera down.....

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Not trying to bust up your match the hatch theory Jonny P, but chances are pretty good it's not the best approach? Most times what fish eat as a regular diet and what they are caught on by fisherman are different. The reason being is there is plenty of whatever the forage may be and trying to imitate it is not productive as there is plenty of the real thing for them to eat--

It will often times concentrate the fish(although maybe not in this case as the bugs seem to be everywhere). A couple examples I think of is when walleyes come in shallow after frogs at night, a good bait would be a Rapala instead of frog. when catfish feed on mussels, a chunk of cut bait is better.Good job on ID of the hatch!

All that being said,who knows, maybe a hatch match will work--

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Well tonight the bite was on small ants and the small Gem-N-Eyes lightly twitched. Could be the bugs or it could just be they like the color and twitch? Who knows with these fish.

I guess how I look at it is when I watch walleye pass up my minnow for a bug well...I'm gonna try some bugs! ;\)

Last year we ran into a spell with a nymph hatch going on, during the day fake nymphs would work great, once nightfall came it was an all minnow bite.

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Point well taken Jonny--- When you sees what you sees that's the way it is. More important than all speculation!

Often times I think matching some aspects of hatch or forage is most important(ie. shape,color,presentation)

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