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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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.

SS
 

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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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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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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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I'm not a big bait expert by any means. I became enlightened about big baits a few years ago, and well, I now have some pretty big baits, to 14 inches. I fear they not near big enough, and I haven't caught anything on a 14 inch bait.

It is of course, difficult to catch anything on a 14 inch bait if you haven't taken it out of the tackle box trunk, such is my dilemma.
 

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I'am different, my mind and my thought process is different from most people, hell even at 30 years old going on 31 I still rock baggy clothing and will wear a shemagh around in public and not think twice about it.

When it comes to the bass fishing that I like do big baits are always on my mind and I have no fear in throwing the really big sh_t, with 8 inch Hudds being on the small side. I have little fear in being skunked and have smelled the skunk stench many a time. Hauling water is part of the game and I have been able to convince myself that it is no big deal to get skunked multiple times and I do mean multiple times. Deep down I know there is a biggun out there that will make it all worth while.

A few years back I stuck a 4 pounder on a bright white and pink 12 inch XL Nezumma rat. The fish straight fucking blasted the big rat about 4 feet in front of me (I was wade fishing) on a day when most guys would rather be balls deep in some warm poonani instead of bassin, I mean it was little cold but the rain was mean and wind was meaner, Im talkin howlin. That moment plus a few others really opened my eyes and something clicked in me brain and I was like " I knew it, I knew it would happen". Another thing that got the wheels turning was when I was at the Bass-A-Thon and some guys where talking to me and telling me "dude you have northern strains out there and those guys are pissed and are ready to tear sh_t up". These guys gave me the scoop and said "sure we have Florida's out here and they get really big but they can be really really fickle and in general the northerns are more aggressive and are not as affected by the weather.


I have had the chance to throw stuff like the 3:16 armegeddon, OG wake bait, Rago 10 inch Tool, Orso 12 inch split tail on some ponds that really are not all that great but I had the mind frame that I was going to stick a monster and that is all that mattered to me. I want to catch bigger fish on big baits. A 5 pounder on the 13 inch Rago Toolie would be just as cool to me as a 8 pounder on a 8 inch Hudd.

My biggest problem by far is that I am bait rich and time poor. I have a decent amount of baits that are sick, baits that guys would give thier left nut for and I have collected these baits over the years even with out a rod to throw them with because they are so big but they have been chilling, marinating and waiting for the call to duty. Work, life, and bad choices in my life have all got in the way of fishing. Once I get back to that place where I can really put that time into big baiting and bassin in general I feel that big fish will come my way and by big fish I mean those 7 and 8's but I believe without a doubt there are some waters that I know of and have fished that have to hold a 9 or 10 pound LMB. Smallies get love too and like I said in my mind I know a place that has gordo's in it and those 6's will eat a 8 inch Hudd or a 10 inch triple trout and there has to be a 7 or 8 pounder in there. If Idaho can get a 9 pound smallie CO should be able to get a 8 in my opinion. The problem for me is not getting the time on the water and time on the agua is what gets you those pigs.


Im glad most people out here won't throw and really commit to real swimbaits or even something like a football jig or frog. I like it when clueless people say "no bass will hit that bait and your wasting your time or thats way to big" and I like reading posts on fishexplorer written by some clueless dipshit that likes to tell people how most people in CO use the wrong gear or to heavy of gear and all you need is a spinning rod with some 8 pound test a Zoom fluke.

So many people on that site and in general here in CO seem to be stuck in this mind set that CO has small fish so there is no need for baitcasters or heavier gear and that spinning rods will work just fine for all techniques. I don't give a flying fart blasting out of a bitches booty hole what any of them clueless gomers say. Fishing a 1/2 blade (spinnerbait) on a MH to H powered rod with a baitcaster on some 14-17 pound flouro or mono is far superior to fishing that blade on a medium powered spinning rod on some 8-10 pound test regardless if your fishing a featureless tolietbowl with no cover filled with dinks in the 1 pound range.

Anyway its swimbaits, frogs and jigs for me and I like those big swimbaits even for these CO bass. A 10 to 12 inch shad bait would be cool. I remember seeing a picture of a Pickwick smallie that had choked down on a 9 inch Bullshad, so if the biggun smallies in Alabama will mash on some big baits why won't they here in CO even at a place like Chatfield. ???

For me what it boils down to is. I agree that the 5-6-7 inch baits will get you way more bites, but I have that confidence in them 8 to 13 inch baits and If I can get a 6 pound LMB on a 12 inch bait that will make me more happy than two 4 pounders on a 7 inch bait even though 4 pounders are cool. Also I realize fish change and some days they prefer smaller baits over big stuff so it really depends on what your fishing goals are.

Maybe I should just STFU and go throw a Lucky Craft Fat BDS 4 and do some shallow crankin on a medium powered noodle stick with some 6 pound mono or even some bright neon green 10 pound braid.

Tight lines to all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As usual, Coyne pops up out of nowhere, spits some tough wisdom, and fades back into the mist. ;D ;D ;D

I am glad you spoke up man, because know you are one of a handfull of big bait die-hards. There are a lot of people around these days that talk the talk, but not that many that walk the walk. So what you say matters, IMO. (And Terry, and Chris, etc.)

I totally agree 110% that you WILL get big bites if you commit to giant baits. Musky guys have pissed and moaned about all the big bass they catch since the beginning of time.

But one thing you said stuck out to me... you got a 4 pounder on the XL rat. OK.

I am still not hearing people say that they actually catch BIGGER fish on the 12" baits. They just have to go longer between bites. Which is fine if you have balls of steel. But I remember a couple slobs you got in the last few years, and if I am not mistaken, both were on 8" baits. 8" is just a bit bigger than what I am talking about here.

So my question to you is this, do you just enjoy the dynamic of feeling like you are "in the hunt" for a giant, even if you blank? When I blank, I deal with it, and it happens all the time. For me, if I go fishing for bass and catch three trout and a walleye, I got skunked. If I catch a bluegill, I got skunked. Skunks happen when you fish, and my experience tells me it does not reflect poorly on the angler if the angler is being bold and fishing outside the box. I could always tie on a tube and get a bite or twenty, if that was all that mattered to me. I ain't skeered of the kitty.

But I want to see validation of a theory at some point, or I discard that theory. Time and time again, fishing swimbaits on the medium/large side of the spectrum, I have had bags like a bunch of threes, two fours, and a seven. Fishing footlong baits, I might just get the seven, or nothing. So, I have never seen better size fishing a Generic Trout vs. a Raptor, or fishing the 10" Castaic vs. the 8". But you get the point.

Would you be willing to expand on your philosophy just a touch?

BTW, you had better call me, or I will hunt you down and beat you with a fools gold loaf. 8)

SS
 

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I have PLAYED with 12" and 14" baits, for pike it is not much of an issue but for bass I will stick with the 7"-8" flavor of the week, mainly because I know what our waters hold. I may get a fish here or there but I pick up some decent fish throwing what I do.
 

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"what size big bait do you feel best fishing"?

Well, I definitely feel a lot better after a day spent chucking 3/4oz baits vs. 5oz baits!

I think some people miss the train on this. The big push of commercial/cool/hip swimbaits came from CA guys fishing to bass that were conditioned to eating stocked trout. So it wasn't that the lure was wildy different in size from common baits that made it work, it was the fact it matched the hatch. All fish are opportunistic, and there is situations that present themselves that offer a fish a huge meal given their size. But, just like the CA bass, they all become conditioned to noticing/keying in on the forage that makes up the majority of what the water has to offer. I am most comfortable throwing a bait that is generally the same size of the main forage for a given fish. That may be a 10"trout for lakers in one lake, and a 5" perch for eyes in another.
 

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Dictator Tot said:
As usual, Coyne pops up out of nowhere, spits some tough wisdom, and fades back into the mist. ;D ;D ;D

I am glad you spoke up man, because know you are one of a handfull of big bait die-hards. There are a lot of people around these days that talk the talk, but not that many that walk the walk. So what you say matters, IMO. (And Terry, and Chris, etc.)

I totally agree 110% that you WILL get big bites if you commit to giant baits. Musky guys have pissed and moaned about all the big bass they catch since the beginning of time.

But one thing you said stuck out to me... you got a 4 pounder on the XL rat. OK.

I am still not hearing people say that they actually catch BIGGER fish on the 12" baits. They just have to go longer between bites. Which is fine if you have balls of steel. But I remember a couple slobs you got in the last few years, and if I am not mistaken, both were on 8" baits. 8" is just a bit bigger than what I am talking about here.

So my question to you is this, do you just enjoy the dynamic of feeling like you are "in the hunt" for a giant, even if you blank? When I blank, I deal with it, and it happens all the time. For me, if I go fishing for bass and catch three trout and a walleye, I got skunked. If I catch a bluegill, I got skunked. Skunks happen when you fish, and my experience tells me it does not reflect poorly on the angler if the angler is being bold and fishing outside the box. I could always tie on a tube and get a bite or twenty, if that was all that mattered to me. I ain't skeered of the kitty.

But I want to see validation of a theory at some point, or I discard that theory. Time and time again, fishing swimbaits on the medium/large side of the spectrum, I have had bags like a bunch of threes, two fours, and a seven. Fishing footlong baits, I might just get the seven, or nothing. So, I have never seen better size fishing a Generic Trout vs. a Raptor, or fishing the 10" Castaic vs. the 8". But you get the point.

Would you be willing to expand on your philosophy just a touch?

BTW, you had better call me, or I will hunt you down and beat you with a fools gold loaf. 8)

SS

King Solomon,

I totally agree with you on the 8 inch baits really being the bread and butter bait and that size will catch the CO bigguns and littluns with more regularity. A guy could stock up on 6,7 and 8 inch baits and call it a day and be armed with baits that will put them in the boat.

With out a doubt the bait that I have done the most damage with is the 7.5 inch 3:16 wake jr in baby bass. That bait for me equals success and they chomp it out here big time.

For me personally there is a huge fascination in what a bass will eat and how big of baits they will eat or attack and I bet it's the same feeling with other guys around the country (especially the serious toad hunters in CA). Sure I could catch a monster on a 7 inch bait but what if I catch a giant on a 10 to 13 inch bait, how cool would that be? How cool would it be to see a massive swimbait hanging out the toad's mouth you just caught. I think some guys are fascinated and they want to see a big fish hit a really big swimbait even though deep down they know a smaller bait will probably get them more bites and they still have that chance at a donkey with those smaller 6 to 8 inch baits. There is a certain coolness factor to those big big baits and thats part of the fun. When you bomb one out and it makes a huge splash you know its game on and at that any moment you could be doing battle with Moby Dick even here in Colorado.


I Remember when I went to my second Bass-A-Thon in 08. I got the chance to shoot the sh_t with Dave Roberson of Orso baits (RIP Dave). The guy was awesome, I mean a swimbait die hard and just engulfed in swimbaits and bass fishing, a true Lake Casitas barbarian who made you feel a like a close friend and he told me he had heard of Quincy res here in CO ;D. At his booth he says "check this out dude" and pulls out a 16 inch Orso split tail, a 16 inch floating wake bait with a trout photo finish. My eyes got as big as Jupiter the gas giant and I said "holy sh_t". He said they "eat it out here". I went with the 12 inch wake bait but I regret not dropping the $200 for that bait.

Any way fast forward in time and I see a picture of Dave at Casitas with a 7 pounder on the 16 inch. Sure it's just a 7 pounder from a place that has produced teeners but how cool was it to see a 7 pounder with a 16 inch bait hanging from its mouth and same goes with the pic of Matt S with a chunk on that big 12 inch dead stick bait, the "Gigantoid" at where I think was probably Lake Jennings. Another example is a pic of Greg Ross with a giant 13 he caught on a 10 inch Real Prey trout ( picture a 8 inch hudd on Hulkamania steroids for those not familair with the bait ) at I would bet either Don Pedro or New Melones and the last example is a video on You tube produced by Deps show casing the slide swimmer 250. The guy has a giant he caught that choked the 10 inch slide swimmer at where I think is probably lake Biwa.

It could be a case of chest thumping for some but i think some guys just want to see what will happen when you step it up and launch out some true big baits.

I agree that going huge doesn't necessarily mean bigger bass as well.

Expect a pm soon. It would be good to catch up. I hope all is well in your world dude.


Sean
 

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Damn G-man, 3 post is 2 days, WTF is wrong with you lately...............lol. Good to see you on here.
Completely off topic, but wanted to add my 2cents to help you out.

When I first started swimming 4 yrs ago, I wanted to be different. A few in Colorado were swimming already, but the craze was just in Cali. I stuck with 6-8in baits for the time as that was almost the norm. A year later I started seeing post about swimming, and I was like F-this, I gotta change again. I thought and thought and I came across Nates El Grande. I was like sh*t, thats a swimbait, then I saw I believe 14oz. I stood at my comp and said F this, no rod was made yet to handle that weight correctly and if it did, it was going to cost a fortune. Now its different, LDC is here, along with other companies. When I saw pics of the Orso-16, I was like please be affordable (Keep in mind, I basically sided with 3:16)
Then the more I saw swimming in post, the more I didnt want to do it anymore cause I did for the soul purpose of being different. I weighed the cost and time I didnt have and eventually I went out of the game, but will still buy.
When G-man decided to post on his 22nd strawberry ice cream Rat, and I was like wow, that dude is F-in nuts chucking that thing on his rods. But in my head, I was calculating how much it would cost to get a rod and that rat, just to see that thing go kaboom.
The most F-up part of this is learning what came out when I quit. You have Mickey throwing out the BA, 10in FS, and now the Sports. Mike throwing out the 9in shad. Matt coming with Gigantoid. Huddleston 12 was up the arse on ebay.
Point is, I want bigger, not smaller. You appease the masses with the little sh*t, you appease the die-hards with the bigger sh*t, IMO. There are exceptions, but Ive seen a movement towards bigger baits. I love Mickey cause of this. He makes the big stuff for the hardcores, who barely ever flip them back, but the avg joes, he puts out a decent snack

You can always get the joes to buy, the hardcores always put the money up front....At least from what Ive seen.
 
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