I’ve always had small lures in my box but I have had limited confidence in them, until this year. I knew they could catch bass but I wasn’t convinced that they would help me with the big bass. That view has now changed.
I’ve caught good-sized bass on smaller lures in the past but not with the consistency I have found this year.
My small lures are up to around 100-110mm in length but often under that. I’ll go bigger when needed but it’s the smaller lures that have been catching me the majority of my better fish this year so that is where I have the most confidence.
What Are Big Bass Looking For?
My understanding of big bass is that they will look for the easiest way possible to get their meal. Expending the least amount of energy they can.
For that reason, I don’t think they are as keen to chase, compared to the smaller school bass. They pick off the small and weak, or that’s what I think. Big bass are like school bullies, they avoid anyone likely to put up a fight and go for the easy targets.
In my experience, when bass, mackerel, and any other predators are smashing baitfish, the bigger, smarter bass are not the ones putting in the hard work and doing the chasing. They are on the edges, or just off the main action, waiting for anything that breaks off.
Now clearly big bass can still be lazy and eat big meals and it does take more small fish to make a better meal than a big one. I just think when the bass sees a lure, having it a little bit smaller might just bring out the inner bully in them and provoke a reaction.
I could be wrong but that’s the sort of thinking that brings me confidence and confidence is everything in fishing.
A 68cm bass courtesy of a 4-inch Megabass Spindleworm
Small Lures Mean Small Hooks
Previously I have doubted the suitability of small hooks for big bass. I’m not sure why.
My concerns about hook hold have now been dismissed. Something like a 2/0 Decoy Violence jig head has had no problem in dealing with 60cm plus bass.
It’s also worth mentioning that a 2/0 weedless hook isn’t exactly small when compared to what a fly fisherman would use for their fishing.
Bass have big mouths so they can engulf big hooks, that doesn’t mean they can’t take small hooks. Providing the hook goes in and is strong enough, small hooks don’t need to be a concern.
Despite my preference for smaller lures, I’ll still go bigger where needed. I’ll let the conditions dictate this.
However, my ‘bigger’ lures are probably most people’s standard lures. A Xorus Patchinko 125 or a Xorus Frosty can be utilised when the smaller surface lures can’t cope with the conditions or when I feel like I need to try to provoke a reaction from a bass.
As I’ve said, bigger bass will target the weak, so an easy target would be a bigger (medium for me) surface lure that represents a dying fish.
For soft plastics, I’d increase the size to a 5 or 6-inch lure. Something like the standard 6-inch Dolive Stick or the 5-inch Spindleworm. I find if the water is a bit coloured then I get more confidence from a slightly bigger profile.
Metal lures are a good option for when I’m looking to maintain a small profile but have difficult conditions to deal with.
Bass took on a 6-inch Dolive Stick
Small Lures – Some Of My Favourites
Megabass Spindleworm – 4 inches
This has been deadly for me so far this year. Usually fished on a Decoy Violence weedless jig head. I have a good variety of colours which have all done well on their day. If there was one lure I couldn’t live without it would be this one. They can be fished ultra slow and that tail will still be working nicely.
OSP Dolive Stick – 4.5 inches
Fished weedless and weightless in very much the same manner as its bigger brother. Either on a straight retrieve or with added twitches, allowing the lure to sink. Plenty of good bass have fallen to these.
Keitech Easy Shiner – 4 inches
Can be used in the same manner as the Spindleworm as they are very similar in profile, however, I prefer these for bumping down some current on a jig head up to 15 grams.
Xorus Patchinko 100
The perfect representation of a fleeing baitfish. One of the most well-known surface lures around and very easy to use.
Zenith Zclaw Phelps 86
Responsible for one of my biggest ever bass a couple of years back. I like to use this on a twitch and pause retrieve or even just dead drifted.
IMA Chappy 100
This lure has a bigger profile than the others but is used in a similar way to the Zclaw. I’ve had the most success where I have been able to hold the Chappy in some current adding twitches. For some reason, the fish can hit it 5 or 6 times before they hook up.
For The Future
Going forward I see no reason to change from targetting big bass on small lures. I feel small lures suit the areas I fish and the style of fishing I am developing into.
I’ll always have bigger lures in my bag so that I can change it up but I try to fish in a way I am confident. That for me is what makes fishing enjoyable.