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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it fact that bigger baits catch bigger bass? I have caught a lot of "big" bass but they all came out on a small weighted jig. I mainly fish 1/16 oz to 1/4 oz jigs and use nothing longer than a 6 inch plastic baits. I have never thrown anything over a 1/4 oz. Even though I catch big fish, I have yet to catch one in the double digits. Now I know for some people they believe that "big fish" is considered to be in the double digits. My biggest is 8.5 but I can't seem to catch that double digit bass.

I have a mini lake that I fish and I know for a fact there are several bass in there that weigh over 10+ pounds. I saw a 13.3 come out of there a few weeks ago. She was released back. I have TWO questions. 1.) What would you tie on and 2.) How would you locate these BIG BASS. They are in there, trust me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Yes, bigger baits catch bigger bass. The reasoning behind this is that bass that get over 5 lbs. or so are lazy, and will not chase down several smaller meals, when it can get the same amount of food in one large helping. It's like with us humans, would you rather eat 10 Krystals or a 32 oz. steak? My answer would be the steak, with some worchestsher sauce, and a baked potato.

The only thing that bucks this reasoning is that a bass' favorite food is a crawdad. Even in lakes that do not have a strong forage bass of craws, craws of any size will catch bass.

With that being said, you have to tell more information concerning the structure of this place that you are fishing, such as, is it a deeper lake, or a shallower lake. Is there are a lot of cover on the banks and is there a lot of cover in the open water areas. Any vegetation? What forage bases are there? What is the bottom like, i.e., what is the actual structure like?

During the middle of the summer, bass can be found shallow early and late in the day, and can be found deeper when the sun rises. The bigger fish, it has been my experience, will be closer to deeper water. So, if you can find a flat where they could feed easily in the mornings, that has a break on it that sweeps down to deeper water..........that would be a place to start. Also, take note of anything different on the bottom. A small hump, or even a small hole. Perhaps a ridge where only flat area is surrounding, etc.

Also, bigger fish require a slower presentation. They aren't going to be nearly as gullible as the small bank runners that are looking to get a free meal. They are going to be more descerning about what lures they hit. They didn't get that big for any ole reason.............they got that big for eating the right foods, sans hooks, and being picky.
 

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Bottom line: fewer bites bigger fish.
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When I was guiding on Fayette County Res. in TX, we would use a Storm 6" swim baits and slowly drag the bottom in the summer. Never a lot of bites, but never a fish under 5 #!!

Another example, I believe 6 of the top 10 at the recent Clarks Hill used pencil poppers (a stripper bait and salt water sized) most of the tourney.

cbs
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coach.............striper, buddy...........not stripper. :eek: This is a PG rated website. Gotta keep it clean for the kiddies. ;D

You are right. We were told by a guy that used to own Riverside Marina on Lake Weiss that in the middle of winter, you could troll 1 oz. Rat-L-Traps through the river for stripers. We did that, and only got 2 fish, but both were 30 lbs. LOL
 

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I'd have to disagree on the bigger bait for bigger fish.( on worms anyways )

I have caught numerous ( to put it mildly ) ' dinks ' on worms longer then they was.So i realy dont buy into the bigger bait for bigger bass theory as far as worms go.

I think the key to bigger fish is LOCATION, LOCATION ohhh did I mention LOCATION.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let me give yall a little information on this lake.
1.) Depth - deepest part is around 20 to 30 ft deep.
2.) Forage - lily pads, submerged grasses, submerged logs, Lay down trees,
bushes in the water, and it has a lot of shady areas.
3.) The bottom of the lake is a mixture of sand, gravel, and larger rocks.


What would be some good swim baits to get and how would you fish them??
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After reading all the information above, that leads me to one more question.  Why use bigger baits when you can still catch larger fish on the smaller baits?  If you just slow down your presentation and speed retrieve you will still catch larger bass on the smaller baits that you use.  I also gather that it isn't so much the size of the bait but the location of the "bigger bass."
 

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If you are fishing for fun fish what catches the fish you want. If you are fishing a tournament, you should, in most cases but not all (Amistad for example is an exception) get your limit first and then go to big fish baits. You have to make the call. Sometimes in a tourney I will go immediately for bigger fish if I have them spotted in a group, so to speak.

cbs
 

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No doubt smaller baits catch more bass, but in a tournament time is so valuable you don't need a bunch of dinks taking up time. If those are what's coming up upsize the lures to eliminate at least some of the small bites. If you can possibly find and catch larger bass then that usually trumps getting a limit of smaller bass. Consider how much time is spent culling those. I think it's best to focus on quality bass then finish out a limit last with smaller baits. When tournaments are decided in ounces a quick limit up front could be the very wasted time needed to get one more ounce than the winner. By all means limit out if you can, but I won plenty of times on the Arkansas River with 3 nice bass while many had a full limit of small bass. Do the math. 5 bass weighing 12 pounds or 3 weighing 13? If I add two dinks at the last hour a little over 2 pounds each my limit weighs 17 pounds.

Catching smaller bass tells me the most aggressive bass are small. Large aggressive bass will take a bait before smaller ones will, so search for aggressive larger bass most of the day, usually in places where the small bite doesn't happen.

Jim
 

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think it's best to focus on quality bass then finish out a limit last with smaller baits.

Your theory is the exact reverse of most fisherman. Now, that being said, "quality" is a relative term. On Amistad in the Spring quality means 6 + pounders. Summer on Clarks Hill, if I am reading this lake correctly means 2-3 pounders. After that, time to put on a bigger bait and upgrade.

But each to his own.

cbs
 

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"Most fishermen" wouldn't in this case include the top pros in my opinion. I've kept up with tournament tactics and find most winners pursue a little fewer bites in favor of locating larger bass. I agree most bass anglers probably do things the way most have always done things, like persisting in pounding worn out shallow shorelines all day and not catching many bass, plagued with mostly small fish unless fishing an unpressured lake. By far the majority recommend fishing shallow since shallow bass are easier to locate, and of course many pros focus on shallow, like the Ike. But I find quality bass are generally scarce there. A lot of the decision rests on what it has taken to win tournaments on a fishery. If 15 pounds a day does it then a quick limit plus culling might be the key. But if it takes 75 pounds over 3 days quick limits of smaller bass is a huge waste of time. If you are not soon catching 5-6 pound bass on day one you won't make the cut. What use would five 3 pounders be when you need five 5 pounders? I'm not saying getting a limit isn't important. If you don't you are just plain super lucky winning a tournament. I'm saying a "limit" isn't just getting your share of legal fish in the boat. It had better be a limit of what's considered high quality bass. So for me the key is to focus on finding the largest of what a lake has to offer then limit out on those, then cull up. If a lake is producing 7 pounders and I'm filling a limit on 4 pounders I'd be mighty unhappy.

If fishing for fun hoping for a new personal best, of course you focus on largest. But even in many tournaments it's possible to capture a nice check just going for Big Bass of the hour or day rather than worrying about limiting out. If I was having problems coming up with the predicted creel required to win on top weight I'd forget that and go for the biggest bass I could find if that meant only one bite a day.

Jim
 

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Remember, what Lucy Mize said, a big Bass is like a big woman. She doesn't want to use a lot of energy chasing baits. Bigger Bass seem are more slective in what they go after. They will not waste their time chasing a bait if it will not replenish the energy they use to catch it. Crawfish is a high protein meals for Bass which is why you hear so many people saying use a jig and pig. No matter where I fish, no matter the weather, season, or size of the body of water, I have a 5/16 jig and pig ready. I also use the lake fork crawtube. Use a large weight to keep it in the zone longer. Happy hog hunting!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We have something in common. We both have a jig tied on. While I don't use a 5/16 oz. jig all the time, most of the time I do have a 1/4 oz. Bitsy Bug tied on, and I couple it with an Arkie Craw Bug for the trailer.

:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
 

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It's true big bass hold out for that one-grab meal instead of trying to bite 20 little minnows. They have learned they must have a net gain of calories. I don't have to look at a cracker box to determine calories in one cracker while silently debating whether to accept that one cracker for a meal or hold out for something better. I can just tell that cracker won't satisfy me. I'd rather pass on that and look for a steak. Assuming most any animal will likely opt for the better of two choices, as with a monkey having to choose between a whole banana or a banana chip (all right, fellas, lay yer money on the table, WHICH way will Stubby go?), apply that to catching big bass. They grow lazier like we grow lazier, using our heads more with age, doing things a bit wiser. So which might a big ole bass take? A 1/2 oz jig that would require 20 more to make his day, or a 5" crankbait with the right colors scooting in the mud right past him? Right there in one inhale would be the equivalent of at least 10 jigs. Add to that the element of surprise to get a dandy reaction bite.

"So what" you ask? Well, if you are satisfied with a 3# sack then fine, that's great. But some folks need a lot more than that to win tournaments. It's one thing to keep your club standings up with limits, and over a season one 2# bass can make THE difference in going to Regional or staying home. But I'm not seeing that mentality in the big tournaments beyond that lower level of limit versus limit. Very few of the big boys come in with a full limit. Many are skunked on day one and they go home. They don't need that as much as they need two bass bigger than 3/4 of the field, those two outweighing a limit of dinks there wasn't time or fortune enough to cull bigger. They had better be caught ASAP before the tournament pressure or weather shuts the big bass bite off! When things go sour the small bass are so much easier to catch. Replacement bass for the limit getters tend to be more of the same, gaining maybe a couple ounces an hour. So how hard would the small bait/small bass hunters have to work to catch up to your 3 bass weighing 18#?  ANY keeper you got past those would make it all the tougher. But if you spend your time mostly going for "a" limit instead of pounds your name isn't going to be spoken in many American kitchens, BUT you might keep going back to a Regional contest because you limit out best among your neighbors. That won't hold up to the top 200 anglers. So I'd rather see a fellow focus on trusting in bigger baits fished deeper for bigger bass. That's why I firmly believe bigger is better unless you are just out there to relax.

Jim
 

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Excellent discussion thread, thought it might be good to see if we can get it going again. :thumbup01:
 

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This thread is like a diamond. There are dozens of facets, and hundreds of reflections. Yesterday I took George W. an excellent fisherman down to the (cold) river to try for some bass. Tide was outgoing, water temp less than 43 degrees. We only caught 2 in 3 hours. Them and some other fish hit crankbaits. Anyhow, it can be location as well as time of year, water temperature trends, forage availability, shelter or sex drive, or bait size just to mention a few angles determining whether one catches large fish vs. small ones. Once the water temperature stabilizes in the river, and after the winter equinox (today), the larger fish move upriver to more placid waters where they do not have to fight the tide currents in the cold. When conditions get right, usually in January or February, a two man team throwing the right baits will usually catch between 25-35 quality (2+) bass in a 5 hour day, but it's uncomfortably cold to fish. With regard to whether one should get a bag of fish and then look for lunker, depends on the territory. Some rivers I fish keeper size bass are hard to catch, and I want a full 5 fish bag, as 5 almost always beats 4. I had a 5-12, which is big for a Delaware/Eastern Shore fish and 3 others and took lunker, but missed total bag by a few ounces and had to settle for second place. Too many variables for an absolute, concrete answer.
 

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We have other threads on the subject of big lure = big bass and have debated that topic in depth.
After going through the big swimbait period that some anglers are now starting, my thinking hasn't changed; you must fish for big bass to consistently catch them. What I mean by fishing for big bass is knowing their habits, what they are eating at the time you are on the water and where they are located.
I will use lake Casitas as my example. Lake Casitas was a world class giant bass fishery for 28 years; 1980 to 2008. Big lures that looked like planted rainbow trout; length, girth, profile and coloration were very effective for big bass in the 8 lb to 12 lb range, plus a few rare bass over 15 lbs caught on big swimbaits that weighed 3 to 5 oz, 8" to a 12" long. The big bass grew up eating planted trout and targeted them. During that same time period at Casitas I managed to catch a few bass over 15 lbs (several 16's, 17.4, 17.6 & 18.6) on jigs that are less than 5" long including the trailer and weighed less than 1/2 oz; a small size lure that looked and acted like a crawdad. Casitas had a good population of big bass that ate both planted trout and crawdads; my thinking was fish both trout and crawdad profile lures.
Today Dec 2011 Casitas no longer has a big population of giant bass, the average weight for a big bass is now about 8 lbs. Big lures like trout imitation swimbaits no longer work effectively at Casitas, jigs still work! Why??? Hatchery size Rainbow trout are no longer planted into Casitas due to a law suit that prevents non native fish to be planted into Casitas and other California streams, rivers and lakes that may have native trout, steelhead or salmon. The Casitas big bass no longer look for planted size trout and stopped feeding on bigger bait and the big bass population crashed as a result.
Bottom line is; use lures that look like the prey the big bass are targeting, big isn't better if the bass don't want it and it is when they do.
Tom
 

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old school has some very helpful info. big bass are a different critter than the rest of the bass population. understanding where they live, and what foods they are eating are crucial to consistently catch the bigger bass. you really have to understand the habits of really big bass and target them. here on table rock, bluff ends and the major points i tag as community holes. you will catch the occassional big bass of such structures but not consistently. the big one will gang up on some very subtle isolated things here in table rock. most often these areas will be isolated ledges on the main lake, or further back in the bigger coves and creek arms. it really takes lots of looking with your electronics to find thses out of the way places. i know that at todays high fuel prices this can get to be very expensive looking. i know that even what few times that i have fished falcon lake the same rules apply for the really big bass there. the monsters are on very specific stuff, and you have to sit and fish for them. what little i have fished there, i have 3 dd's. all three of these bass came on something that took some searching to find. i know from the amount of giant bass that tom has caught, he knows how to target big fish. understand where they live, what they eat, and have the patience to fish for them.
 

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A wise old fisherman once told me regarding this subject;

"Even elephants eat peanuts"

Take that for what it's worth.

Merry Christmas!
 
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