Match the Hatch

Gimmie Fishing Technique:

If there is one truth to the world of fishing, it is this: Big fish eat smaller fish.

And, depending on where you’re at and what time of year it is, the type of smaller fish that are running for their lives from said big fish (kind of like Godzilla) changes.

What does that mean for you?

Well, if you’re fishing with a lure that looks like a little crawfish when the big fish only have a craving for little shad, we’re afraid you’ll be mighty out of luck.

The good news: You can create your own luck.

The bad news: You have to learn stuff.

Basically, “match the hatch” means that you’ve got to match your lure to whatever “hatch,” or baby, smaller fish, that Big Daddy’s snacking on right then.

And to do that, you’ve actually got to figure out what the hatch is. Which requires you to study. (We know, we know. We just died a little on the inside, too.)

Thankfully, the kind of studying you have to do is a lot more fun than what you did in school.

Study Time

Now, there’s about 4 ways you can go about this:

  • A lot of fishing (or experience, for you more educated folks).
    • Trust us, once you’ve fished in a certain spot long enough, you know what’s going on in that water, and that includes what the big fish are eating on.
  • Asking other people who fish a lot (or at least know stuff).
    • This usually means either asking a local (an owner of a tackle shop is a safe bet) or a fisherman who could pass as a local (meaning, he’s fished there a WHOLE lot).
  • Actually seeing the hatch.
    • Meaning, that water’s either got to be clear as Dasani water, or you’ve got to catch one instead.
  • If all else fails, Google.
    • Let’s face it, this is what we usually do now-a-days if we don’t know something.
    • It’s there. It’s useful. It helps you catch fish. And you can eat potato chips while you’re using it.
    • Why not?

Putting It All Together

Now that you’ve done your proper studying (and ate some potato chips), now it’s time to put that brain knowledge to use.

There’s three key info bits that you’re going to need: Season, location, and color.

For season, it all depends on the time of year.

Winter? Summer? Early fall? Halfway through spring? It’s important.

Different times of the year mean different types of hatch.

The location you’re fishing at can also mean different kinds of hatch.

We’d have to guess that what’s hatching in Georgia and what’s hatching in Alaska at the same time of year are probably not going to be the same thing.

And finally, now that you know what’s hatching based on your season and location, you’ve got to determine the hatch’s color.

All this beautiful knowledge won’t do you a bit of good if you can’t match your lure to the hatch.

For example, for one part of the year a crawfish can be bright as a parrot, but for another part it can be as pale as a naked mole rat. (Nice picture we just put in your brain, huh?)

So, if you’re fishing with something that looks like a tricked out peacock with red and yellow when what the fish are really looking for is something that’s pale, blue, and wimpy; chances are you’re probably not going to catch very much.

And that’s basically what “matching the hatch” is.

If you have any questions or would like to add something, feel free to leave a comment.

Or, if you’d like to get a general idea of winter hatch, check out our blog post “Fishing in Winter.”

Happy Fishing!

-The Gimmie Family