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Forum nameTrophy Fishing Forum
Topic subject"Small" Swimbaits vs. Larger Ones
Topic URLhttp://www.calfishing.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=5&topic_id=3852
3852, "Small" Swimbaits vs. Larger Ones
Posted by nscharfe, Thu Jan-29-04 12:40 PM
I guess this question is pertanent to all baits, but especially to swimbaits. It is widely accepted (i think) that large swimbaits are one of the best ways to go for catching giant bass...and more generally, large baits are often seen as the way to go for large bass (i.e. 10" worms, large jigs...). I have never fully understood this phenomenon. I am not saying that small worms or other small baits do not catch big fish (as seen with the current DVL record largemouth)...but rather that they are not used to specifically target big fish. I guess this makes sense since it is not worth it for a big fish to go out of her way to eat a 4" worm.
When it comes to swimbaits, however, a 6" or 7" swimbait seems like it would be a great "meal" for even a huge bass. Therefore, why would a larger...10" or 12" bait be used? Is a large bass going to pass up a 7" trout because it isnt worth the effort? Or is the issue that a 7" trout is not going to match the stocked trout as well as a larger 9" or 12" swimbait would? Or are there other issues that I am not aware of?

I hope the question makes sense.

thanks for the help!
3855, RE:
Posted by woodsac, Thu Jan-29-04 01:30 PM
There is a time and place for all of the sizes you mentioned. One way to look at is like this:

If you are sitting at the dinner table, HUNGRY, and they bring 2 plates, one with a 7 oz steak and one with a 10 oz steak, which one would you pick?

Probably the 10 oz. Why pass up a big, easy meal (they're both right in front you)? :9

I know at certain times smaller meals will outperform the larger ones. But that's usually of case of quality vs. quantity.
3856, re:
Posted by nscharfe, Thu Jan-29-04 02:01 PM
i agree...but if I was presented with the 7 ounce steak I would not pass it up and assume that a 10 ouncer would be given later. If you are using a 7 inch swimbait, would there be a time when a bass would be unwilling to hit it, but willing to eat the 10 inch?

My reasoning may be wrong, but I feel like a 7 inch trout would always be a big enough "meal" for a bass that it would not pass it up if it were in the eating mood.
3857, RE: re:
Posted by swimbait, Thu Jan-29-04 02:14 PM
This is always a fun thing to talk about, because bass are bass, and they are just unpredictable critters. I've seen it where fish would barely look at 7 and 9" lures, but when I put out the 12" they were all over it. Sometimes it goes the other way. You throw the 12" for nothing, and then switch to a 9" and you get some bites. There's no science to it, it's a matter of figuring it out over time.

The main dilemma in trying to figure out this kind of stuff, is that most days you only get 1 or 2 bites if that. How do you pattern fish or put together a theory on bait size, when you only get 1 or 2 bites? It's really hard.

I think people get the idea that you can go out with a big bait and get bit like you would with a worm or a senko or a spinnerbait or whatever. It's just not like that at all. If I look back in time at how many casts with the stocker trout it took before I got a 10+ on it, it's easily easily 10,000 casts. 10,000 casts and 4 fish over 8lbs. That's a lot of casts with no bites. If I look back just at my last 4 fishing trips, I've only caught three bass. Two trips I got skunked fishing almost all day. One trip I caught 2 smaller fish, and the last trip I got a 12. That's about right on par for me. I blank half the time, I stick some small fish, and I get one slug. If I lived in San Diego, I'd probably get a fish over 10 every 10 or 15 trips instead of every 5 to 8 trips. In SD and So-Cal and even on the Central Coast you get everyone out throwing big bait. The fish get used to it and it makes it so much tougher. Up here I can run around to 6 or 10 different lakes and try to find some fresh fish to throw at.

foods for thought anyway.
3865, RE: re:
Posted by nscharfe, Thu Jan-29-04 04:23 PM
thanks for the help =)
3900, RE: re:
Posted by calicokid, Fri Jan-30-04 12:22 PM
I agree with everything swimbait said on the big bait subject. But I do have one idea about why the smaller plastics are more effective around Cali. The fact that we really don't have any aquatic snakes has a big effect on it. You can watch Bill Dance throw a ten inch worm in Tennessee (where they have forage like that) and catch alot of fish, but on the west coast, things are different. Just more thought food.

3907, RE: re:
Posted by Chris, Fri Jan-30-04 07:13 PM
Ever see a real Otay Special? It's a 12" worm, dark brown with a black vein. I haven't seen one in years but I'd love to get a hold of some for Clear Lake.

3906, RE: re:
Posted by Chris, Fri Jan-30-04 07:11 PM
10,000 casts huh! That's some sore muscles as I recently discovered. I threw that Castaic hardhead yesterday from 8 until 2 when I just couldn't do it anymore. I didn't catch anything. But I don't feel bad about it. It's the first time I ever went out with just a swimbait and one rod. So I figure I haven't paid my dues yet. It will be happening more often as I really REALLY want to hang a double digit fish this spring.
Of course owning more than one swimbait, Hammers not included, would help! LOL
Thanks for the encouragement on the BnT board the other day. It helped a lot.

3960, RE: re:
Posted by trophyhunter01, Thu Feb-05-04 11:52 AM
i live down here in san diego and i throw swimbaits alot down here i.e san v, dixon, and poway. i can say this i have casted those damn things at least 10,000 times with only one fish at 5 pounds. now on the other hand i have had a bunch of fish that would push 15 follow my bait or even charge it as fast as they could. that my friend is almost as good as sticking one of those hawgs "almost". anyways time and time again of trowning the big baits has to pay off at one time for sure. its is all about right place right time. i geuss
3961, RE: re:
Posted by trophyhunter01, Thu Feb-05-04 11:55 AM
one more thing here is a 15lbs caught on a 4 inch paddle tail in 24-26 foot of water. again right place right time
5797, RE: re:
Posted by Hooked_Up, Wed Feb-16-05 03:13 PM
I seem to have alot more luck on the 7inch. Still on big fish. At night, the larger baits work better though, for me anyways. Ofcourse i live in Va where they dont stock trout in lakes anywhere near where i live.. Aggravating but the swim baits still catch nice fish..
5838, RE: re:
Posted by BobH, Thu Feb-24-05 08:00 AM
My concept on lure size for big bass is the closer you can put the bait to the bass the smaller it can be. Not that it has to be small just that it seems to matter a lot less than when you're trying to get a bass to come 10-20 feet for dinner. There are probably a lot of reasons bass bite and we've all heard the list. Only one of them is hunger so I would speculate size only matters when you're trying to get them to eat. On the other hand we all know how annoying a mosquito can be buzzing around your head. So if you can get the lure close enough they are likely to bite out of annoyance, curiosity or any of the other reasons. Put that same mosquito on the far side of the room and who cares? My take is that most of the big bass caught on small lures were caught either by people who just got lucky and put it right in their face or people who really know what they're doing and put it right in their face.
As for the finer distinctions between 7" and 12" I think Rob's right it's just a mood thing or maybe on some lakes it's matching the trout or water clarity or who knows?
5839, RE: re:
Posted by magmaster, Thu Feb-24-05 10:45 AM
One of my bigger fish came on the drop shot one night. I was using a 4" roboworm in 18ft, 8 1/2 pounder. Then I go out and throw swimbaits for months and only get 3-6 pound fish. Go figure...Bass are strange and I don't think that anyone will every figure them out 100%. But that goes for women too...}(
5840, RE: re:
Posted by Urban, Thu Feb-24-05 10:01 PM
10,000 casts with the stocker before getting bit on it? Well, based on that cast to bite ratio, Im due for a fish on my stocker. Ive been fishing that thing for a year and aint had a bite on it yet, but its a proven bait and my time will come. I threw all day the other day, and as best as I can tell my cast count is in the 9,000 range, lol! Im close.

I know this post deviates from the original subject matter, but one thing I have figured out for sure, and Rob touched on it, is that fish are getting conditioned to the big baits, its not that easy anymore. Im convinced that the lake I primarily fish with the big baits is likely one of the most difficult to stick a fish. And Im getting to the point where I think if I start targeting lakes that dont see the big baits as frequently, that Id be much more successful. Its not that difficult to identify the key locations in the small lakes, and its not that difficult to fish different baits at differnet depths in those spots. And its not that difficult to target the right weather pattern and time of year. Thus, it has to be conditioning, and in that situation the only option is maximizing time on the water. Do that, and its just a matter of time before something significant happens. And its been proven that the bigger baits are better. Therefore, no doubt that I will likely never throw a bait smaller than 9 inches, no reason to test a theory when I cant spend all day every day on the water. When bites are far and few between, and when you have limited time to formulate your own theories, why go against a proven idea.

Being a short white guy I hate to say this, but bigger is better!
5841, RE: re:
Posted by woodchucker, Fri Feb-25-05 10:27 AM
Never count out the ol 7" stocker,this little bait is what made me and another fisher I know belivers in swimbaits.I was pretty much a barn dawg,but seeing fish blow up on this bait was eye opening,then I slowed it down and stuck my biggest fish of the season on it.But this was,danm Im getting old 6-7 years ago.