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franklin county times

Large baits equal lunker bass

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
July 19, 2002
During the hot part of the summer, many bass anglers downsize their baits in order to catch finicky bass. While that might be okay if you're looking for eating size fish, most of the time it just won't work if you're searching for lunkers. Many serious trophy bass fishermen will change tactics during the hot summer months by switching to larger sized baits and slowing down their presentations.
While spinnerbaits and crankbaits are great reaction baits and will produce good results at times, they usually aren't the most productive on lunkers during the dog days of summer. And just what would be the best offering you might ask? Aside from using live bait, the best chance a fisherman may have is to employ the use of large, jumbo worms.
Now I'm not talking about using seven or eight inch worms, but worms in the ten to 14 inch range! In fact, if you're looking for those lunkers, the biggest worm that you can buy won't be too big for the bass. An example of this fact was brought home to me when listening to a friend of mine explain about their hard luck fishing trip. Although they were catching quite a few fish, they weren't catching any large fish at all.
Huge surprise
One of the fishermen hung a yearling bass weighing around a pound or a bit more on a rattletrap. What happened next may sound like it is straight out of a believe it or not show. As the angler was ripping the fish back across the top of the water in order to take it off for quick release, a gargantuan largemouth exploded the surface while engulfing the bass and plug at the same time.
With a mouth seemingly as big as a trash can, the huge fish astonished these veteran anglers. It was definitely over 15 pounds and may have even pushed the state record bass! Normally I wouldn't have believed a fisherman that told me such a story, but this angler has caught hundreds of bass in excess of 10 pounds and has documented catches in the thirteen to sixteen pound range.
To say that the anglers were astonished to see a monstrous bass massacre a smaller bass was almost an understatement. It was all the fortunate angler could do to hold on to the lunker. However, his battle was short lived and unsuccessful as the bass literally stole the smaller bass, bait and all!
This story just brings home the fact that you can never fish a bait too large when fishing for big bass. Although large crankbaits such as the Mann's 20 plus, Paul's Crankbait and Norman DD 20 will attract bites from big fish, most lunkers won't chase the crankbaits very far.
Giant worms
Giant worms are another matter however. The big "green trout" usually are very lethargic when the temperatures approach the century mark but they aren't about to pass up an easy tempting meal. Many of these lunkers are used to seeing seven or eight-inch worms but not too many have ever seen a 14-inch worm.
A few years ago when Kemper Lake was in it's prime, we caught many a bass in the four to seven pound range in the middle of the day during late July and early August. Although we did catch a few lunkers on the large crankbaits, most of them came off of 12-inch worms made by Collum baits. At that time I was able to get some of these really weird looking worms from local bait shops.
The worms actually had serrated-looking wings on each side of the bait making for a nasty looking creature that the bass really craved! Although you might not be able to get those worms today, large worms can be found if you look hard enough. If you're tired of catching small fish and are hankering for a tussle with a lunker bass, then tie on a jumbo worm and hold on for dear life! You just might get the fight of your life.

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