It’s All About the Destination
If you’re looking to catch bigger largemouth bass or even your next personal best, you need to look at the destination. There are so many places to catch largemouth bass and many lakes and rivers will give you the chance to catch some big bass. However, some places will give you a much better chance to catch multiple big fish or a better chance to catch a giant. If you’re looking for big bass, your best bet is to fish the warm water states down south and to the west. Alabama, Florida, Texas and California give you a very good shot at a bass above 5 pounds on any of the good lakes. Bass in the 7 to 8 pound range are possible on many of the Alabama lakes. If you’re looking for bass up to and above 10 pounds, Florida, Texas and California will give you the best chance. Many anglers now plan a trip to a private fishing lake or club to go after their next personal best bass. You have a lot of options that can accommodate a lot of different budgets.
Upsize Your Baits for Bigger Largemouth
The easiest way to target bigger largemouth bass is to upsize your baits. Whether it’s worms, lizards, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits or other lures, go bigger and you’ll target bigger largemouth bass. Worms in the 10 to 12 inch range, lizards in the 8 to 10 inch range, swimbaits in the 7 to 8 inch range are just some examples. Another factor to consider is the width of the bait as well. A swimbait that is a lot wider than other swimbaits may not need to be that long to give off a big bait look. Width and thickness play a factor as well as length. Big bass prefer to eat bigger baits instead of lots of smaller baits to fill their belly. Go bigger and you’ll have a much better chance to catch a big bass.
Upsized Minnow Baits
Using bigger minnows is probably the easiest way to target bigger largemouth bass. Whether it’s shiners, chubs or suckers, try using those minnows in the 5 to 7 inch range and you’ll most likely catch some of the biggest bass you’ve ever caught. You will get less bites when going bigger, but the bites you will get will be much better.
Bluegill as Bait
Using bluegill as bait is one of the best ways to target bigger largemouth bass. Make sure you’re allowed to fish with bluegill in the state that you live. Each state has its own set of fishing regulations, so it’s important to check before catching bluegill to use as bait. The perfect sized bluegill to use are the ones in that 4 to 5 inch range. The bigger you go, the less bites you will get, the smaller you go, the more smaller bass you’ll catch. I don’t go as long with the bluegill as I do with minnows when I’m targeting big bass because the bluegill are so much wider. 4 to 5 inches works well and you can usually catch some very nice largemouth bass that aren’t willing to hit an artificial lure. It’s one of the best ways to target big bass in ponds since bluegill make up most its diet in the pond.
Bigger crankbaits are one of the best fishing lures to use for targeting big largemouth bass, especially when they’re out in deeper water. In shallower water, there may be too much cover to throw a crankbait, but when you go out deeper, it’s a lot easier to throw some of those bigger deep diving crankbaits. These crankbaits work so well for big bass when they go deep. Trolling can be effective, but casting tends to work better. Fish along the drop-offs where there are bait fish and you’ll most likely catch some very nice largemouth bass. In pre-spawn, summer and late fall, the deep water crankbait bite is usually very good.
Bigger Crayfish Baits
Soft plastic crayfish are great baits for largemouth bass. When targeting bigger bass, upsize to the bigger crayfish baits. Don’t just look at the length of the crayfish bait to upsize because the width and thickness could do the trick more than adding an extra inch to the length. Like you can see above, the Gene Larew Rattlin’ Crawler is 4.25″ long, but it’s a thick crayfish bait with good sized swimming claws. This is the type of crayfish bait that draws strikes from bigger bass. Some of the better big crayfish baits are in the 4.5 to 5 inch range, but they are wide and have some thickness to them. Rig them on the back of a bass jig and you’ll have an even better chance to attract a big fish. The bigger you go, the less overall bites you will get. The ones you do get should be nice fish.
Bigger Creature Baits
There are so many creature baits on the market and there are some very good baits for targeting bigger largemouth bass. Some creature baits are shorter, but have good width and are thick. Some are long with tons of legs coming out of many different parts of the bait. You’ll have to experiment with the different creature baits, but by upsizing them, you’ll attract more big bass. Some creature baits even look great on a bass jig and that’s another way to tempt a big bass.
Soft plastic frogs are one of the better big bass baits when the fish are willing to come up and hit a topwater bait. Largemouth bass love frogs on the surface and by going with some of the bigger frogs, you will attract some of the bigger bass. Most of the frogs on the market are similar size, but if you do some research, you can find some of those bigger models and those bigger models will get a lot of big bass bites. Expect to get less overall bites, but the ones you do get should be quality fish.
Bigger Jigging Spoons
Bigger jigging spoons are one of the better fishing lures for targeting bigger largemouth bass when the fish go deep. You’re going to want to look for bait fish on the drop-offs in deeper water. These schools of bait fish will usually hold big bass in the summer and fall in deeper water. Work a jigging spoon around these schools of bait fish and you’ll be able to target some of the bigger bass in the lake. Some of the bigger jigging spoons may range from 1/2 an ounce to over 1 ounce. Grab a few different sizes to see which one will be better on any given day. Many of the pro anglers have success with jigging spoons in the 1 ounce range when targeting real big bass.
Bigger soft plastic lizards are one of the best ways to target big largemouth bass. When you’re fishing around cover and you need a weedless rigged soft plastic bait, it’s tough to beat a big lizard. Above is one of my favorite big bass baits, the Gene Larew 8.5″ Biffle-O Lizard. It’s got good length and it’s a thicker lizard as well. Lizards like this one are great and other lizards in the 8″ range and bigger are the ones you want to be looking at when targeting big bass on lizards. Many manufacturers make fairly skinny lizards. The best ones for targeting bigger bass will also have some thickness to them as well.
Bigger swimbaits are one of the best ways to target big largemouth bass. However, with the bigger swimbaits, you may not get very many bites. On some days, you may not get bit at all and on other days, you may catch many big bass whether they’re 3 to 4 pounders in the midwest or 7 to 8 pounders down south or over 10 pounds out in California. Swimbaits are one of the best big fish baits for targeting largemouth bass. Factor in the length, width and thickness.
Some baits may only be 5 inches long, but their width and thickness give it a bigger profile. Some of the longer, thinner swimbaits in the 7 to 8 inch range may work well also. Try to visualize the size of the bass you’re targeting and the size of their mouths. A 10 to 12 pounder down in Florida or out in California will have a huge mouth and you may be able to get away with a 8 to 9 inch swimbait that is also wide and thick. In the midwest, you may only need to go to a 5 or 6 inch swimbait to target the bigger bass in your lakes.
Bigger Topwater Lures
Big topwater lures are one of the best ways to target bigger largemouth bass. Whether you are fishing with buzzbaits, poppers, stickbaits, frogs or some of the other popular topwater lures, try upsizing them a bit to target the bigger bass. From early summer through early fall, big topwater lures fished in the morning, evening and at night will take some of the biggest bass of the season.
Bigger Trailers on Bass Jigs
By upsizing the trailers on your bass jigs, you give your bait a little bigger profile and that helps to attract some of the bigger largemouth bass. You will get less bites by going bigger, but the bites you get should be quality bites. Whether you’re using crayfish, creature baits or grubs, upsize the length, width and thickness of your trailers and you’ll catch some bigger bass.
Tubes are thought of as baits for smallmouth bass by most anglers, but tubes work great for largemouth bass too and those bigger tubes will target bigger largemouth bass. Fish them alone or on the back of the bass jig. Some of the bigger tubes actually look great worked as a jerkbait through the water column. Fish them however you want, but make sure to upsize them for bigger bass.
Large soft plastic worms in the 10 to 12 inch range may be the best baits for targeting big largemouth bass once the summer hits. Fish these big worms around all types of cover, in shallow or deep water and you can expect to catch some bigger bass. Fish them slow on your favorite weedless rig and hang on.
Add Trailers to Bladed Swim Jigs
By adding trailers to your bladed swim jigs, you can give the lure a bigger profile which helps to attract bigger bass. You want to make sure the jig has the action it needs, so you can’t just throw any big soft plastic on the back of a bladed swim jig. Experiment with some different soft plastics to find the best bait for your jig. The jerkbait type minnows in the 5 to 6 inch range look good on bladed swim jigs and their size is perfect for targeting bigger largemouth bass. You can use other baits too. Just look at your jig in the water with a slow and steady retrieve to make sure the blade is doing what it’s supposed to do. The extra vibration and movement from the blade is really what helps these bladed swim jigs to stand out.
Add Trailers to Spinnerbaits
By adding trailers to your spinnerbaits, you can upsize your spinnerbait without having to change your spinnerbait. Whether you use a grub, soft plastic minnow, ringworm or other type of bait, by adding that trailer, you will be giving your lure a much bigger look. Many of the baits that have a swimming action are perfect for rigging with the spinnerbait. You can even use a small swimbait as a trailer, but the bigger you make the bait look, the less bites you’re going to get overall. The goal is to get a few big bass bites and by adding a trailer, you will usually attract some of those bigger bass to your spinnerbait.