I’ve seen a lot of fishermen walk through aisles of lures and scoff at the large ones as they pass right by. Yes, oversized lures are a little intimidating, but they have their place in the fishing world and have been known to produce numbers when they’re needed most.

As effective as they can be, big baits have still not become commonplace for many recreational anglers, and the primary reason is because they require the right circumstances and take a bit of time to master. In order to get the most out of them, you need to know when, where and how to fish big lures.


Oversized lures can actually be effective almost year-round; the biggest rule here, though, is they still need to imitate the prey in a given region during a given season. During the pre-spawn period, for instance, bass feed on big shad, making over-sized shad imitating baits effective. Once the bass move shallow to spawn, however, they’re more likely to get off the shad bite and focus on bluegill, so you’ll want to throw big bluegill baits when this transition occurs. Then, once the bass move offshore, they’ll go back to feeding on big gizzard shad or perch, which means—you guessed it—switch to big shad or perch imitators.


For bass to strike the big baits you’re throwing, there first needs to be big forage available in the lakes you fish that matches your bait. Throw a big gizzard shad imitator in a lake that’s only got bluegill or smaller threadfin shad, for example, and you’ll probably have a long, slow day. To avoid being skunked, do a little research on the forage of your intended lake and tailor your presentation to match the biggest forage species that’s actually available. Furthermore, the best places to target bass with big baits are places the bait congregates naturally. Shad baits work well in offshore structure like ledges and humps, for instance, while throwing a bluegill imitator will yield results around laydowns, grass edges and docks.


To start off your big lure fishing on the right foot, it pays to learn how fast your oversized baits sink and how to count them down on the retrieve to make sure that you’re fishing the right depth. This takes some time, but the payoff is well worth it. Also, learning how to read your electronics can raise your big bait fishing game to the next level. This way you know you’re fishing where the bass are located. Solid options if you’re looking for big baits include the Strike King 10XD, Rapala’s DT Series and the Lucky Craft Magnum series. These baits may be a little difficult to cast because of their size, but they dive deep and get the job done when the big bait bite is on.

© Bernhard Richter | Dreamstime.com – Fishing Lure