Thoughts on Big Baits for Largemouths

I’ve often had conversations with anglers about their favorite go-to bass lures. This is always an interesting topic, as it seems every angler has his or her own personal favorites. However, most will agree that big baits not only catch big bass, but also appeal to smaller fish.

Over the years, I’ve heard anglers talking about the crazy things they’ve found in the stomachs of bass. This ranges from ducklings to snapping turtles to large sunfish. This should tell us something about the capabilities of what these can and do eat with their very large mouths.

One of my favorite bass presentations is the 5-inch wacky worm. This simple contraption seems to attract bass of all sizes, yet is a pretty good mouthful when you think about it. I’m always amazed at the size of the fish that attack this large piece of plastic. It’s not uncommon at all to find that the faint tick on your line was delivered by a hungry 10-inch fish. When I skip this critter back to the boat I often find the wacky worm totally engulfed in the throat of the fish.

But I’ve also found that smaller fish seem to have no problem inhaling a large-skirted jig with a trailer. These large-profile baits clearly have “big fish” written all over them. However, it isn’t always the case.

Many anglers look at the size and profile of some of the bass lures and think they’re just too big or are only for trophy bass. Although there’s little doubt that larger baits will attract larger fish better than smaller baits, I’m quite certain that bigger baits attract plenty of smaller largemouths too. One doesn’t have to feel that by tying on a larger lure. Don’t get me wrong, smaller baits will still catch a wide variety of bass and I’ve caught some enormous fish on crappie jigs in the spring of the year. But I’ve also had incredible largemouth success with a jig and a 6-inch plastic worm so bass of all sizes are willing to chase this presentation.

If anglers want to target numbers of fish but still lean toward the big ones, switching to larger-profile baits is probably the way to go. The size may seem intimidating at first, but after working larger baits, one soon learns that catching large quantities of bass can still be achieved. After all, these are not called “bucketmouths” for nothing.

Whether it’s stickbaits, skirted jigs, surface lures or plastics, bass can and do eat almost anything that comes close to fitting in their mouths, including larger-profile baits.