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wasabi_VA

Smaller lure size in winter?

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A new (to me) pond I'm fishing is producing some nice fish. I'm not 100% sure this is the pattern but it just seems I'm getting more fish when throwing smaller lures.

 

I started fishing this pond a few weeks ago, and initially used smaller crappie spinnerbaits and plastics. In fact my best bait has been a little 1/8 ounce beetlespin, which has looked tiny in some of these fish's mouths! After seeing the quality of these fish I started throwing full size spinnerbaits and plugs but not getting as good a bite on them. So I mix it up between the smaller and larger baits and feel like the smaller baits are more productive.

 

Is this just a winter bite thing? Heck, I thought they would like a bigger meal since I vaguely recall hering they eat less in winter, hence a big meal would go further in a more lethargic fish.

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A bass isn't smart enough to know that a big meal is going to last him longer. Winter bass aren't as aggressive as they are in warmer water so smaller stuff moving slow makes it easier for them.

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Smaller baits in general will catch more fish. You're just sacrificing quality on a lot of those fish. 

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36 minutes ago, The Bassman said:

stuff moving slow

   That's been the key from what I've found. Size doesn't change, or at least not significantly . Just gotta slooooow ...... iiiittttt ....... doooowwwwwn.   jj

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Wasabi, in the latest issue of Bassmasters Magazine there is an interesting article on page 36, "5 Winter Myths Busted" which I found very interesting and believe you would enjoy.

 

If you can find a copy at your local bookstore please pick up at copy. It is the January/February 2019 issue with Keith Combs on the cover.

 

Enjoy!

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I have had luck with Beetle Spins in cold water too . 

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There's some real biological research behind the idea, having mostly to do with bass performance capabilities relative to their prey, and with winter digestion rates.

 

Wow! One sentence! I did it! :)

 

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5 hours ago, wasabi_VA said:

this is the pattern but it just seems I'm getting more fish when throwing smaller lures.

 

It aint broke why you trying to fix it!  😉

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3 hours ago, scaleface said:

I have had luck with Beetle Spins in cold water too . 

Me too. A 1/8 and 1/4 beetle spin has been a good cold water bait also

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It's all about moving slowly and looking easy to catch during the winter. Small creatures are less likely to be able to make a quick escape and are easily overtaken, so a fish has a very high chance of success going for small prey items and since it burns very few calories during the winter they don't require as many making a small prey item more appealing than normal. 

 

I still fish normal size to large size baits a majority of the time during the winter because I'm willing to trade bites for quality. The bites are usually pretty aggressive too, case in point;

41* degree water, KVD 300 jerkbait, 6.5+lb fish.

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Bass are no different than people.  When I'm full and tired, the last thing I want is a big meal.  I do have a hard time passing up a small piece of candy any time.  When a bass is hungry he will want a big meal, regardless of temperature. When he isn't, he still might like a snack.  In cold water a bass isn't hungry as often as in warm water, odds are better offering a snack.  Not saying you won't run into a very hungry bass in the winter, that will chase a big lure and eat it.  Just happens less often.

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I know a lot of guys that have caught nice bass while they were crappie fishing, and I know a lot of guys that have caught nice bass fishing with a 3/4 oz. crankbait.  I guess it goes back to using what the bass want to bite. 

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Baits don't get any smaller than a float and fly and they catch a lot of bass.

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