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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Lure size, action and speed ranges #13443624 02/18/20 10:07 PM
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SenkoSam Offline OP
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I thought about the different lures sizes and designs I've caught fish on over many years, and what may be simple choices when it comes to lure selection, what I decide to use or change isn't quite that simple.

First let me state my belief/opinion that fish don't strike lures to eat them or out of hunger, but rather for other reasons such as reflex strikes, irritation, territorial/ bullying and maybe curiosity. That said, on any single outing or time of day I've found fish have tolerances that anglers should consider such what they'll strike. The range within a lure design or type that fish strike include first and foremost the size of a lure. JMO but too small a lure and large fish won't waste their time; too large a lure and no fish will strike it. A perfect example is ice fishing or using lures in cold water. Sure you can attempt to catch a bass in 45 degree water using a 10" plastic worm, but it usually won't hit it. Using lures in the size range of 1.5-3" have more of a chance in my experience. Warmer water and a higher metabolism usually equate to a higher rate of aggression.
A higher rate of aggression results in fish going after faster moving lures (crankbaits, spinnerbaits) and larger size lures (larger versions of a soft plastic lure, big surface lures) and lures that displace water more especially when in motion.

Most times crappie will strike lures from 1"- 2.5" depending on lure action and shape, but large crappie over 14" will hit lures between 2" and 3" - why? because they can! I've found this rule to be true much of the time where, the larger the fish, the larger the lures it will hit because of an [i]involuntary preference combined with a natural aggressive trait necessary for survival. [/i] Of course the little tykes may strike lures as large as they are:
[Linked Image]
But when the bite seems tough, downsizing the size range fish will strike may be key.

One thing to note (opinion): fish don't hunt prey - prey gets near and predators feed. Catfish do track scent trails and are the closest to being hunters, but I'd bet they prefer to save energy and feed like other species.

Most of us have caught fish on crankbaits. In this case lure size and action are key where size is dependent on size and design (and for that matter any lure.) Different cb bills produce different wobbles. The average crankbait will have a medium-wide wobble and displace quite a bit of water. These more aggressive crankbaits are generally better for warmer water (above 70 degrees). In this temperature range, bass are more willing to chase down an erratic bait. Wide wobblers are also great for current. A thinner, tight wobbling crank (like a Berkley Flicker Shad or Rapala Shad Rap) shines in cold water (below 70 degrees) or anytime the bite is slow. The tight side-to-side action produces a different vibration. Regardless tight or wide wobble, lure size is a big part of a lure's action.

How many prefer Colorado blade spinnerbaits over large willow leaf blades. What should be considered::
1.the range of brightness-of-flash fish will react to. At times I'll cast a spinnerbait with a black Colorado blade, skirt & trailer under overcast skies. When bass are a bit moody, they aggressively strike a huge chrome willow leaf blade, bright white skirt and trailer. But they may also hit a large Colorado blade or two tandem blades medium in size, but the following must be considered:

2. lure retrieve speed depending on blade shape, determines which shape and size blade should be used. Large tandem Colorado blades move at a slower rate of retrieve than a willow leaf. On some days waking-the-blade near the surface causing a wake gets clobbered, part of the reason being the lure's slow speed. But in both examples, the two lure factors must be considered.

We've all used finesse lures or those that quiver with the slightest movement. At times a lure action that is much more obvious gets more strikes. Take soft plastics for example. A straight tail or no tail grub (IE Ned rig) may do better than a grub with a wide curl tail (IE Kalin grub). We've all been amazed by the Senko's action of it's lure tips & body wobbling on the drop that is magical in strike provocation. That same action can entice any size fish to strike when size range (diameter and length) is respected - even much shorter sticks such as this 2":
[Linked Image]
Used with a 1/16 oz. ball head jig, it catches pretty much anything that swims whether wacky or usual rig.

The range of lure factors changes with weather, seasons, nearness to other fish of the same species (especially in a school), location in relation to cover (pockets, weed edges), pre-spawn or during the spawn (but not necessarily on a bed), fishing/ boating activity, depth and time of day. One thing to note about school fish: if one attacks a lure, others soon follow like on a conveyor belt. I doesn't mean the school was actively attacking prey beforehand but that fish are like the lemmings (in myth) - a follow the leader-like mentality.


Please don't shoot the messenger. Just sharing some thoughts on a chilly, rainy February day wishing I still lived and fished in Texas.









Last edited by SenkoSam; 02/20/20 02:26 PM.
Re: Lure size, action and speed ranges [Re: SenkoSam] #13444663 02/19/20 07:35 PM
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duffer Offline
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Thanks for sharing Sam!

Re: Lure size, action and speed ranges [Re: duffer] #13445153 02/20/20 03:32 AM
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SenkoSam Offline OP
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My pleasure !
Again, I base the above on the many lure designs I've caught fish with - many illustrated in many of my TFF posts.

Presentation and the right tackle make all the difference: the light action rod, braid, the right jig weight and colors I have confidence in (not too keen on all black plastics).

Last edited by SenkoSam; 02/20/20 02:19 PM.
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