HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LURE SIZE
Fortunately it isn’t really all that hard to choose the correct fishing lure size. There’s a really easy answer based on a few simple factors.
MATCH THE HATCH
In bass fishing you always want to try to match whatever the fish is eating naturally. This means you try to match both the color and size of your lure. I know it’s easier said than done.
Try to learn what that bass is eating in his environment. Is he eating small crawfish, medium sized bluegill,bugs, shiners or even full sized shad? Just try and match the size of the forage with a simple google search of what bass eat on whichever lake your fishing.
When you get up to the lake just try to observe your surroundings. Look at the size of the minnows swimming along the bank, check out the bluegills underneath a dock or you could even turn over a few rocks to check out the crawfish and bugs that come crawling out.
If bass seem to be feeding on crawfish you might want to try a Watermelon Zoom Speed Craw or Orange Belly Craw Square Bill Crankbait. At the other side of the spectrum if you see them eating oversized shad you’ll want to go with a big 6″ Berkley Jerk Shad.
As a general rule the clearer the water the smaller the bait size needs to be. Dirty water on the other hand needs a bigger lure to really make some waves through the water.
It should seem pretty obvious when you think about it. In clear water the fish will get a really good look at the lure from farther away. As he swims up he has a much longer time frame to inspect the lure. So you’re going to want to downsize the lure so it looks more natural.
In dirty water he isn’t really going to be able to get a good look at your fishing lure. So you’re going to want to increase the size of your lure to create more of a presence in that dirty water.
Why do you think plastic worms come in all those different sizes? These Yamamoto Senko’s Range all the way from 3 inches to 7 inches. It’s so you can fish a plastic worm just about anywhere. In clear water you might want to use a little 3 inch Senko. In dirty water go the other way with an oversized 10 inch PowerBait worm with a big ribbon tail.
ACTIVITY LEVEL OF THE FISH
The last factor that will help you determine the size of your bait is the activity level of the fish. How aggressive are the fish biting? Just like with water clarity it’s really easy to pick out the size based on how the fish are biting.
When the bite is tough and fish aren’t actively feeding go towards a smaller fishing lure. On the opposite side on those days where the activity level is crazy increase the size of your bait.
WHY AREN’T FISH BITING?
What causes a noticeable drop in fish activity? This could happen because of a wide variety of reasons. It happens because the water temperature is cold, heavy fishing pressure, or maybe there’s a cold front coming in.
WHEN FISHING GETS TOUGH
When fishing gets tough you want to look at the different sizes that are available to you. When it’s tough switch to a little 3.5-4.5 inch Strike King Swimbait. They’re really small and have a really natural looking movement pattern.
WHY DO FISH SOMETIMES BITE LIKE CRAZY?
Fish activity can go wild for a wide variety of conditions. Whenever you notice low light conditions fish are going to start biting. That’s why it’s so nice to fish in the mornings, dusk and on overcast days. In low light conditions fish are going to bite like crazy.
Make sure you go out just before a cold front approaches. When you notice it start to get cloudy and windy fish are going to feed like crazy. These are the days to opt for those fast moving oversized lures. Really work the water hard and fast with an oversized lure.
Another time you’ll notice a ton of bites is on lakes that don’t get a lot of pressure. On these lakes I really clean up with lures that are long and fat. Try tossing out a Big Fat Berkley Grass Pig working the banks where bass naturally feed. The fat 6″ body and big tail really moves a ton of water.
WHAT TIME OF YEAR ARE YOU FISHING?
The time of year you’re fishing is going to play a huge role in the fishing lure you choose. If you’re fishing the spring or summer you’ll probably want to use a larger lure. Bass are really active and willing to expend some energy on a male.
On the other hand during the winter when the metabolism is slow you’ll want to use a smaller lure. The smallest lure possible fished with a very slow retrieve should draw in a few bites. You’ll never get those same summer strikes, but you won’t be able to complain.
HOW FAST IS THE WATER CURRENT?
Water current probably won’t make a huge difference in most lakes and ponds. When you’re fishing small lakes and streams it can’t be ignored.
During the early spring when the water level is high you can expect a fast and swift current. In fast water you almost need to use a larger weighted lure. Strong current is difficult to fish and you’ll need a heavy lure to target the slower moving pockets. Once summer roles around and the water level drops you can switch back to smaller options.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A VARIETY OF OPTIONS AVAILABLE
Fishing effectively is all about having options out on the water. You never know what’s going to work on any given day. Even the pros have off days where they misread the situation. Don’t give up! When something isn’t working change up your strategy and move on.
Having a wide variety of sizes, colors and weights will allow you to experiment and figure out what’s working. It doesn’t matter how much you prepare there’s no guarantees in fishing. So move on with your head held high and make some adjustments until you get a bite.
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED
The Next time you go to a bait store you don’t need to feel intimidated. Fishing is meant to be fun and honestly your lure size shouldn’t make or break your day. When you really don’t know what to do you can’t go wrong with a medium sized worm.
You might not be fishing optimally, but you’ll almost always still get bites on a medium sized 6″ worm. It’s not to big to scare off approaching bass, yet it’s big enough to move a little water.
All credit for these great tips goes to Range to Reel. https://rangetoreel.com/fishing-lure-size/