what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing? - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 05-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

A little shameless market research here, I hope Don does not charge me for it.

Actually, I was really wondering if my experience fishing swimbaits and other large lures locally squared with you all.

I have fished swimbaits up to a foot long and a full pound in weight, and down to 4" and 3/4 oz.

My overall impression is that, at least around here, I don't get bigger fish on really big baits, just less bites. I feel like my best bet is fishing a bait that is big enough to have pulling power (that is, it will "pull" fish out of hiding places or off deeper structure) but still small enough that they can choke it, get the whole bait down in one bite. I am talking about a smallie four pounds or a largie say three pounds. For me that is a bait that is about six to seven inches. For baits like Slammers/rats I only count the length of the body, not the tail.

I still get the bigger bites, topping out at about seven pounds, but catch plenty of quality fish in the three to five pound range. This is all bass. I don't have a ton of pike experience, and almost no laker experience. I DO want to pursue those fish more actively. I have all but abandoned my fly gear for the time being, and love to fish big baits with heavy gear. But you pike and laker experts feel free to weigh in. I assume the baits y'all dig might be a bit larger, mostly because the fish get so much bigger.

Anyone who disagrees with my assessment, please explain why.

SS
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

I have limited experience with big baits and pike and lake trout, but a growing amount of experience on walleye and bass (mainly largemouth). I used to think that baits of >8" would only attract big fish but I'm now convinced that I get as many hits from fish in the 1 - 2 lb range on those baits as I do on smaller (6 - 7") baits. Of course, like most things fishing, it's all based on confidence and right now my confidence baits are the 9" Slammer, followed by the 8" hudd. I know I can catch a lot of fish on the G2 Shellcracker (a little bait), but I think the calling power of the big Slammer is much greater, so it tends to get the nod more often than not.

As far as pike go, I've had them eat, 6, 7, 8, and 9" baits with the majority eating 7" baits, but I wouldn't say that I throw the bait sizes in even proportions. I started off throwing a 7" bait because (1) the particular bait was durable and (2) it was a surface bait and (3) I could change out hooks. I now throw the same bait because of the same reasons, but also because it is a proven performer - a bigger bait might draw fish in from deeper water/farther away, while a smaller bait might get attacked more often by followers, assuming it triggered a follow in the first place. Interestingly, whereas it is common for me to get bass as small as the lures (6" fish on a 6" lure, 9" fish on a 9" lure) to hit swimbaits, I've not had that happen with northerns.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

I have the most confidence with soft baits in the 5.5-7" range. I do not have much experience with hard swimming baits but the ones I do have are all larger 8"-10". As far as topwater and wake baits, I am going to have to disagree. I prefer a bigger profile for these baits, but that is just me and where my confidence lies.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

Just started throwing bigger baits, so i cant really pitch in as far as swimbaits go, but i mostly use to throw senkos 99% of the time, and worked my way up to huge profile soft plastics, into 1 oz jigs and such, last year was throwing small line threw swimbaits, and some smaller hudds, it takes alot of time to to figure those things out, im still trying, and on a recent trip to the q i threw a swimbait prob 80% of the time i was there. I caught way more fish throwing the senko
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

My biggest pike, 20# +, came on a 2" Storm Thin Fin.......... go figure. That said most have been caught on 6" hard plastics.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

shaun
if you are debating on your next project, my bro and I were joking about a 10-12 inch shad around 6-7oz. We are still waiting for "the man" to make it, but it wont hurt to be the first.
To answer your post, I used to fish 6-8in, solid fishes (3-4lbs).
Wakers: Most of my fish came off the baby wake, but I think profile has to do more with it as it was more rounded.
Sinkers: Most of my fish came off the 8in TT. The farther I can throw it out, the better I have of creating a scene before the strike area, I was focusing on. I dont want a wobbler sinker, too un-natural in my book. Silent and agile (hence the reason my SS spro trout is a bath toy).
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

I will make you whatever you want if you are willing to pay for the R & D + materials it would take.

The problem is that very few folks will want a foot long shad. You could make a baby seal, but only three guys in South Africa are going to buy one.

I get the big bait thing, I do, but there is only so much hauling water people can live with. At the end of the day they want to get bit, and I think mid-sized baits are best for general purposes.

I just read that the trout plants have ceased in SoCal. That has changed the way that those cats are fishing. Instead of 10-12 inch baits, they are fishing 6-8 inch baits and getting six pounders. Sounds like Colorado. Sucks for them, but unless the plants resume they won't be seeing another Dottie any time soon.

I plan on making some big stuff, but I wanna start with a good mid-sized bait that a smallmouth could choke.

Will take it a step at a time.

BTW, no love for Nate's big shad? I have never used it, but I wondered if it could be a good tool for you.

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Old 05-15-2012, 07:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

7"-8" , I am a chubby chaser, don't want any dinks in the boat. I catch LMB and pike as well as a few smallies. I would say for bass in CO, 7" and under is gonna put fish in the boat.

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Old 05-15-2012, 08:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

I agree with your point about the # of bites in relation to the size of the lure. I primarily fish for Lakers and rarely fish with anything smaller than 5" and usually stick around 8" but I do have a few 10-12s in my box. I started using salt water baits about 10 years ago because I couldnt find a good variety of larger baits for fresh water. I enjoy catching fish and the larger baits seem to keep the dinks off the line, the trick is finding a size to keep my catch rate up to the point that most days on the lake arent just a boat ride.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: what size "big bait" do you feel best fishing?

I had a long talk with a researcher at Berkley (Not Berkeley...) who said that their studies indicated a strong preference for food roughly one-third the bass's body length. Putting that info into play, a 5-7" bait should be just right around here for both decent size and numbers.

Bass also showed preference for long, thin profiles over more rounded profiles in their studies. I applaud your scientific and lure-making efforts, 'Tator...CL

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