As I look at the deck of my boat prior to most fishing trips, it is hard not to chuckle every once in a while at the insanely oversized lures we use to catch fish. Even better, is when I’m at the dock and someone looks down and says, “Wow, you’re using lures the size of the fish that I catch,” and, “What do you catch with those, sharks?”
The answer is simple, “Not sharks, but giant bass.”
The largest fish in the lake eat other fish. This is how they grow to such a great size. They are gluttons and will devour as much as they can without spending a lot of effort to do so. And what better way than consuming one large meal at a time? My favorite example is, why would you run a marathon occasionally eating french fries when you can sit on the couch and engulf one double cheeseburger and call it quits?
Yes, it is great fun to catch any fish, but the idea of catching the elusive trophy-sized ones becomes contagious. The best way to do this is to use a lure that does not appeal to the smaller fish, because it is their same size, but by using a lure that represents a significant meal. This will cause the giant bass to become interested, chase and when everything goes right, eat.
In the winter, these monster bass will feed on rainbow trout and kokanee. During these months you will find a number of 8- to 12-inch trout- and kokanee-patterned lures lining the sides of the boat. Some are for fishing deep and others for shallow, while some sneak slowly through the water and others swim aggressively from side-to-side. These enormous lures are the size of the trout that are planted and are a substantial meal that these lunkers that lurk in our reservoirs can’t refuse.
As the water warms in the spring, the sunfish move toward the shallow areas of the lake. At this point, the baby bass, crappie and bluegill become the desired meal on the menu. And yes, bass will eat their own. From a young age, it is a game of eat or be eaten; survival of the fittest. In comparison to humans, I would say these overweight fish are far from fit, but they have the survival part of the equation mastered.
This technique of using enormous lures can be a low percentage technique; it can also be one of the most exhilarating ways to catch big fish. Watching an artificial fish that is attached to the end of your line gracefully swimming back to the boat on each cast is intriguing. Watching it ferociously attacked by a real one that is 10 times its size is a moment that any angler would love to Xperience.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932 or xperiencefishing.net.