Perceptions of size.

Whilst lure-fishing for bass last summer, & failing miserably to connect, I clipped on a small metal lure, & quickly hooked a big feisty Mackeral. Then half-way in, the Mackeral went completely bonkers as a bass did it’s best to try & nail it. The sight was fascinating, as a bass of around 5lbs did it’s very best to find an angle to swallow this sizeable Mackeral. I was guilty of pausing the Mackeral at my feet in the clear water, and watching the stand-off. I eventually managed to spook the bass whilst reaching for my camera, but the encounter got the cogs turning and the coal burning in my head.

Do we limit ourselves too much on lure size?

An angler casting a big lure

An angler casting a big lure at sunset

I was getting no joy that morning, yet the bass were frustratingly present. The Mackeral was bigger than any lure in my armoury that morning, so what did that mean?

175mm lure

A 175mm lure

The bass were feeding, but I clearly wasn’t presenting anything to them that was convincing enough to induce an attack. Was I fishing too small, or was I not presenting the lure in the correct way? Of course the sensible thing to do was to switch to live-baiting tactics, but being a lure junkie and not being entirely practical and sensible, it just presented a scenario which needed to be cracked with a lure.

If you look into your lure box on your next trip, what will you see? My feeling is that perhaps 90% of anglers will see that 90%+ of their lures are between 100mm and 145mm long. There might be a bonus 175mm lure in there, and there might be something smaller, but in many cases the 100 – 145mm range will have a strong presence.

Experienced live-bait anglers will already know just how big a bait a bass will hit. They’ll also know that we would rarely ever fish a lure that size.

A selection of big shads

A selection of big soft plastics rigged & ready to use

I’ve personally had bass this year on lures up to 300mm long, and regularly fish lures 200mm long. Anglers often scale-down to ‘match the hatch’, but how often do we scale-up to match the bigger prey that the bass may be targeting?

Clip a ‘big’ lure on, cast it out & give it a fair go …. you might get a surprise !

3 Comments
  1. Interesting thoughts Si. The soft plastic I have caught most of my biggest bass or my mates have caught on over the past 5 years are around 180 -200mm long. The problem is the patterns I have the most confidence in unfortunately in dont go bigger than this! Its got me thinking though and I will now try out the 10 and 14 inch hoggies and 10 inch fin-s SPs when in Ireland in a weeks time.

  2. We have successfully used 9 and 12″ soft lures and sometimes even larger. As for hard lures, I have a few 10 and 12″ needlefish.

    To be fair, I fish launce a fair bit or have in the past. These were/are often 10″ plus and the largest i ever caught to fish with was 14″.

    Bass are not opposed to BIG lures. Just use appropiate gear to throw it.

  3. As Kieth has touched on bigger lures need bigger rods and most people have a one rod does it all solution that might not suit lures over say 35g especially when casting into a headwind!

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