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Hey guys I just wanted some insight from some guys that fish tournaments.  I am doing pretty well in my club through the first three tournaments and I am actually in first place in the points but I am having some trouble catching the bigger bass.  I have posted a similar thread before but is catching the bigger bass more about presentation or are the bigger bass typically in different areas that we may overlook? I usually throw cranks, spinnerbaits, topwaters, flukes, and flip soft plastics but just haven't been getting consistent bigger bites.  I am trying to gain confidence in a jig but it is a slow process.  Almost all of our tournaments are on tidal rivers but I fish reservoirs and lakes too so any advice on those is fine also. 

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Everyone claims they consistantly catch big bass, few do, keep in mind that big is in the eye of the beholder.

The bass population dictates the highest numbers are the smallest bass, the large adult population is a low percentage. Location and timing trump lure selection, however the lure must be able to appeal to the big bass enough to create a strike and you must be able to detect that strike.

How many big bass do you see in the water, on sonar or near your lures? Most bass anglers only look for bass during the spawn on beds, you should always be looking for bass and baitfish so you know the big bass are in the areas you fish.

Your lure selection is good for very active bass, you need to focus on keeping lures deeper or at the depth the big bass are at. You can cast a jig the same as a T-rigged worm and fish it the same technique. Flipping and pitching to close targets takes time, it's slow and a technique to practice during mid day until you are catching bass consistantly.

Hope this helps.

Tom

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4 minutes ago, WRB said:

Everyone claims they consistantly catch big bass, keep in mind that big is in the eye of the beholder.

The bass population dictates the highest numbers are the smallest bass, the large adult population is a low percentage. Location and timing trump lure selection, however the lure must be able to appeal to the big bass enough to create a strike and you must be able to detect that strike.

How many big bass do you see in the water, on sonar or near your lures? Most bass anglers only look for bass during the spawn on beds, you should always be looking for bass and baitfish so you know the big bass are in the areas you fish.

Your lure selection is good for very active bass, you need to focus on keeping lures deeper or at the depth the big bass are at. You can cast a jig the same as a T-rigged worm and fish it the same technique. Flipping and pitching to close targets takes time, it's slow and a technique to practice during mid day until you are catching bass consistantly.

Hope this helps.

Tom

Thank you for the input.  And yeah I am trying to get more comfortable with the jig.  It definitely takes time.  I think my main problem is not fishing the deeper portions of the river.  I have been practicing fishing deeper in a reservoir near home but still have a lot to learn.  My best day on the local reservoir I ever had was with a 5XD and had around a 20 pound bag.  All fish came in 15 foot of water.  Just haven't been able to replicate that day.

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People that tend to specifically target trophy bass don't fish tournaments much since big bass fishing involves lots of days where you don't catch many fish. Tournament fishing is all about catching a 5 bass limit in a short amount of time, and that is not very productive way to catch a +10 pound bass. Yes there are tournaments where some people catch +10 pounders, but it is rare, especially in today's age. You could try some lures well known for catching trophy bass such as swimbaits, but don't be surprised if you have a harder time catching a winning 5 bass limit in the short amount of time you get in a tournament.

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As stated earlier big is in the eye of the beholder.

Most tournament anglers go about catching a 5 bass limit during prime activity periods and focus on 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lb bass, the 15 lb limit. After catching the limit they focus on trying for a kicker bass in the 4 to 6 lb size to increase the total weight.

This is standard tournament protocol. When I fished a tournament my goal was to catch big bass whenever they are active while other contestants were focusing on tournament size bass, it's easier to catch smaller bass during off periods then big bass.

Tom

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Are you a team or single angler.  We fish team format, my boater fishes for big bites and I fill out the limit.  Just curious 

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Define “big bass” ..... in my neck of the woods a 20 lb 5 bass string ain’t gonna take you nowhere in a tourney.

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Target bigger fish!

 

Most guys goal is to put 5 in the boat of any size.

 

My goal is I'm in it to win it!

 

Those same guys will tell ya, that aint how the Pros do it!

 

To which I reply, they have 3-4 days to win it, I got 1 

 

When I'm talking bigger fish I'm not talking double digits, that would be nice. The bigger your kicker fish the smaller your next 4 can be.

 

I don't know who started this rumor that jigs & Texas Rigs have to be fished slow!

 

You can flip, pitch, & punch cover as fast as any technique!

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22 hours ago, Djamesbond3 said:

I am actually in first place in the points but I am having some trouble catching the bigger bass.   

Greedy ;)

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Maybe the easiest and simple answer is to upsize the presentations that are already working for you.  Killing it on a 7" worm throw a 10.  Simple is key in my book.

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In my experience a jig is a great way to get bigger bites. Especially fishing offshore you could get a lot more bites with a Texas rig but the jig usually produces fewer but bigger bites. 

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When did you pound them on a 5xd. Because of that was last year I think it would be hard to replicate it right now. For me to find a big fish in a 1 day tourney has been to cover water. Put yourself in the high percentage spots when they are biting and to fish cleanly.

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Its seems funny watching pros weigh in 12 inch 3/4 lb bass from all these famous lakes when we have 15 inch limits .

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For me in minnesota a big bass is 5lb+. I usually catch them punchimg with skirts and jigs 3/4 to 1-1/2oz. They seem not to school and inhabit the best cover in places other people don't fish. 

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On ‎4‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 10:47 PM, Raul said:

Define “big bass” ..... in my neck of the woods a 20 lb 5 bass string ain’t gonna take you nowhere in a tourney.

I said bigger bass.  We fish tidal rivers here in south Mississippi so a 15 pound bag will win the majority of tournaments. We only fish one small reservoir as well.   Im just wanting to know how to target the larger than average fish. Im trying to determine if I am fishing the wrong depths (shallow), wrong techniques, or if the bigger bass tend to be in different areas

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It's a myth that all sizes of bass live together in the same areas, small bass live where there aren't any big bass with the exception of the spawn cycle.

3lb LMB is an adult bass where 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb LMB is usually a juvenile. When LMB are 4 lbs or larger they can eat nearly any bass prey and go anywhere in the lake or river where they choose. 4 to 6lb LMB are more plentiful then 7 to 8 lb LMB and this is the size group to target. If you can locate and catch 4 lb+ LMB you can catch larger bass.

You find big bass where there is an abundance of food close to a sanctuary area. Depth is usually critical and the most difficult to determine, your sonar is your freind because this is the tool to determine what depth the bait and bass are using and that is where you should be fishing.

Tom

 

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While my PBS was on a crank, fish I catch on jigs are usually bigger than average.....Truth  be told, a 5-6 lb bass on my lake is big

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5 hours ago, WRB said:

It's a myth that all sizes of bass live together in the same areas, small bass live where there aren't any big bass with the exception of the spawn cycle.

3lb LMB is an adult bass where 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb LMB is usually a juvenile. When LMB are 4 lbs or larger they can eat nearly any bass prey and go anywhere in the lake or river where they choose. 4 to 6lb LMB are more plentiful then 7 to 8 lb LMB and this is the size group to target. If you can locate and catch 4 lb+ LMB you can catch larger bass.

You find big bass where there is an abundance of food close to a sanctuary area. Depth is usually critical and the most difficult to determine, your sonar is your freind because this is the tool to determine what depth the bait and bass are using and that is where you should be fishing.

Tom

 

 

Amazing considering underwater videos disprove those statements!

 

Can't tell ya how many times I've had to cull through 3-4# bass to catch an 7-10# bass off the same piece of structure!

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24 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

Amazing considering underwater videos disprove those statements!

 

Can't tell ya how many times I've had to cull through 3-4# bass to catch an 7-10# bass off the same piece of structure!

3-4 lb bass aren't small bass, they are adults and could be adult males the same age group as those 7-10 lb females. The OP is looking for those 3-4 lb bass!

Tom

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6 hours ago, WRB said:

3-4 lb bass aren't small bass, they are adults and could be adult males the same age group as those 7-10 lb females. The OP is looking for those 3-4 lb bass!

Tom

 

Or "could be" smaller bass living in close proximity to larger bass!

 

To much evidence showing "small" bass living in the same areas with "bigger" bass.

 

Not only do bass of different sizes live together but they live with bream, shad, minnows, crawfish, & other aquatic species.

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On 4/8/2018 at 9:46 AM, scaleface said:

Its seems funny watching pros weigh in 12 inch 3/4 lb bass from all these famous lakes when we have 15 inch limits .

Well said @scaleface. Down here we have several tournaments in the Everglades where most of the competitors have never caught a 10 pound or better largemouth bass in their entire life, even though they bass fish in the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, Lake Istokpoga, Lake Weohyakapka, and other well known trophy bass lakes from a boat.These are people who live and breathe bass fishing and rarely fish for other fish.Makes me appreciate all the big bass I have caught from land in public waters to say the least!

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Tidal waters present one more huge variable that must be taken into account.  I don't know much about your tidal waters down there, but I would betcha a dollar that, just like up here, knowing how they move during seasons, weather, wind, moons, time of day, etc....won't be enough when you put tides (or worse, tides AND currents) into the mix.  Are you keeping notes about your catches?  Are the bigger fish on the inside weed lines during high tides?  Or less active near main points during incoming tides?  Again, I don't know much about your area, but I do know that tides can make things a lot more complicated; notes can help.  I've seen tourny fishermen stake out reliable areas where there's no fish because they know the fish will come to them with the tide.  Seems crazy to me.  And then you hear about guys that chase them all over the place and never catch up to them.  Nothing remarkable here...just keep in mind that the tide CAN be a significant factor.    Sometimes its as simple as which side of a laydown gets the big girl - generally the eddy side -- the 'best' spot in a tree will often have the biggest fish

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