Big bass like big baits. You’ve heard or read this bit of fishing wisdom a million times – because it’s true. No doubt, traditional bass gear will catch fish day-in and day-out, and that’s not to say a super-size largemouth won’t touch an ordinary lure dropped close to its nose. But in most cases it won’t chase a commonplace lure very far either. That would disobey a basic survival principle: Don’t burn more energy than the meal will supply.
Think of it in human terms. It’s unlikely that you’d walk across the room for a handful of popcorn when you’re waiting for a steak and all the trimmings to be put on the table. Bass, especially big bass, behave the same way, and it’s that instinct that helped them to grow to a hefty size in the first place.
What’s the best type of lure to use for oversize bass? Ask five anglers and you’ll get answers ranging from big jigs to mammoth crankbaits. But it’s a safe bet that a monster soft-plastic worm will appear universally on their Top 3 lists. That’s because a large worm, like Berkley’s 10-inch PowerWorm, is long and bulky enough to qualify as “big,” while remaining among the most diverse bass lures in existence. Drag it along the bottom, hop it down the side of a hump, shake it in place, or swim it over weedtops – a plastic worm will attract bass under just about any set of circumstances. If, like the PowerWorm, it’s infused with scent and flavor enhancers, so much the better.
Trophy anglers tend to think of big bass as loners, though if they aren’t off by themselves they often congregate with fish of similar size. In other words, you won’t usually find them running with the pack. So instead of fishing the typical points and weedbeds, focus on deeper structure and isolated cover when targeting trophy-class fish. Each tree in a row of standing timber might hold a dozen or more average fish, for example. But the one tree standing on its own 50 or 100 yards down the shoreline could be the home of a true giant.
Many anglers prefer topwater lures for big bass, particularly during the warm months, claiming they’re the best option to choose during the midday, high-sun period of the day. Stout walking baits, bulky wakebaits and big, noisy buzzbaits definitely fit the bill here, but the new Sunfish Hollow Body from Livetarget is sure to become a favorite as well.
At 3½ inches, it may not compare to a walking bait nearly twice its length. But it creates a surface disturbance equal to that of a larger lure, and that’s what really counts when you’re trying to attract a bass’ attention. Its finish is so realistic it’ll fool even the most skeptical predator, plus, because it naturally lies on its side as it mimics a sick or injured panfish, it appears from below as a full meal deal.
There’s one more thing with which a trophy-bass hunter must be equipped – patience. In most waters, truly large bass make up just a small fraction of the population. But if you tie on an oversize lure, focus on big-fish zones and start the day with the expectation of getting fewer bites, your efforts could be rewarded with the fish of a lifetime.
This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.