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Manly Studson

Catching Numbers vs Catching Size

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I just start going early or late and keep fishing the same baits. It only takes one big one to make a trip worthwhile. I start fishing larger topwaters in the low light period.

 

But when I've been a time or two with NO BITES, I'll usually resort to a finesse C rig with a Zoom Finesse Worm or possibly a Ned. Anything is  better than nothing at all.

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i love catching big fish, but i don't fish tournaments (or ever go fishing with another person) so for me it's about numbers. maybe i'm more addicted to the anticipation of what the next bite might be.

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My big fish vs. small fish theories have melded into sort of an overall thought comprising a few ideas.

 

One is that smaller fish are more energetic. You throw something at them, they simply react faster. So, around a fishy spot, maybe there are half dozen 2 pounders, one 5 pounder. I'm betting the big girl just doesn't react as fast, especially in open water, especially on smaller presentations. So, we catch the smaller fish more often because the big one didn't get a chance to bite our presentation.

 

And, bigger bass might have gotten that way by being just naturally more shy. If you take a litter of six 4 week old puppies, sit down on the ground to engage them, 2 will be licking your face, 2 in your lap, and one or two skulking and rather shy keeping more distance from you than the others. Could be some bass are wired just a bit different, helps them live longer lives resulting in more size.

 

Funny thing that the size we like to fish for often defines what we fish for. If an angler really likes a whole lot of activity, he or she might be more inclined to target white bass, crappie or other panfish. An angler who cares not a whit about numbers might be one casting those really large swimbaits, sacrifices numbers for that one big fish.

 

Like most, I waver back and forth a bit. Sometimes, I want the bites; at other times, I use presentations to target larger fish.

 

Brad

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When I first got back into bass fishing a few years back I was all about catching bass, any bass.  Then I started wanting big bass, preferring one or two big ones over a bunch of smaller ones. 

 

Then I was in an online tournament last year and doing pretty good, sitting in 8th place and a couple inches out of 1st on the last day.  I caught about 30 bass and wasn't able to cull any of my existing and as I drove home I was ticked. It was then I decided it was stupid to be ticked about catching 30 bass and I needed to enjoy fishing itself. 


I still go for the big bass and if I keep catching little ones I move spots or change presentations.  But if I'm not catching anything I will go to where I can catch the smaller ones for some fun. 

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I think my chances of catching a five lb plus bass is better if I catch 50 bass  instead of two . 

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I always target the spots where I think that the bigger bass will be located. If they are not there I move on to the next spot. I'm lucky to live in an area where even though I bank fish there are hundreds of lagoons in the community where I fish. So whether I'm in my car or biking I can cover a handful of lagoons (or more!) in the two hours or so that I choose to fish.

 

But sometimes I move on out of necessity. There are days when I might get in only two or three casts before a gator decides he's interested in what I'm doing. In many of the locations I fish bank fishing spots are limited so you can't get away from the gator. Then there are lagoons like I fished the other day where I moved 400 yards away from a big gator and he still tracked me down and ruined my fishing. In that case it was on to the next lagoon.

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I don't really make any correlations between lure size and bass size.  Some of my biggest bass have come on small, finesse type lures.  For me, location, depth control, and presentation are the keys to bigger bass.  Some locations seems to be proving grounds for younger, smaller bass.  They are often more aggressive, therefore it may feel like a numbers game with smaller bass.  If you can think a little differently, discover what specific structural irregularities attract bigger bass, then you have unlocked the puzzle for that day on your lake. 

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I just do both;)

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Well most of the time I am happy if I can find a pattern and land a few dinks. Sometimes when the going is tough, I will bring out a drop shot or maybe a ned rig which not only helps target finicky bass but also has landed me several nice trout. Alternatively, if I know the lake, have a boat and I find some nice looking structure, I may try to target some large ones as well.

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If I'm by myself I usually target bigger fish. The one thing I know; if I'm around bait, have some decent structure, and have confidence in that spot I will catch fish. 

 

If my wife or a buddy comes along I usually go on a standard milk run that works for numbers.  My wife wants to catch. 

 

In the end though if I'm catching some fish and enjoying the day/night, it's a win.

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10 hours ago, J Francho said:

I don't really make any correlations between lure size and bass size.  Some of my biggest bass have come on small, finesse type lures.  For me, location, depth control, and presentation are the keys to bigger bass.  Some locations seems to be proving grounds for younger, smaller bass.  They are often more aggressive, therefore it may feel like a numbers game with smaller bass.  If you can think a little differently, discover what specific structural irregularities attract bigger bass, then you have unlocked the puzzle for that day on your lake. 

 

Exactly!

 

It doesn't matter if I'm fishing a river, creek, or bayou, marshes or swamps, pond, lake or reservoir; I'm targeting the bigger bass.

 

Kinda like deer hunting...I aint here for spikes! 😉

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I'm usually happy with fewer quality bites vs. numbers. If I'm getting desperate I'll pull out the wacky rigged senko.

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