When to Use Small Lures

When to Use Small Lures

When to use small lures presents problems to the fisherman.

Small lures don’t cast well. The hooks are weak and prone to failure. You need to use lighter line and leaders. However, sometimes the fish don’t give you a choice. Use smaller lures or don’t get a bite.

Let’s look at four situations where small baits are necessary.

The fish are keying on small baits. In the southeastern saltwaters the bay anchovy, commonly called a glass minnow, is an important baitfish. These baits are small, frequently two inches or less. Certain gamefish species will feed on them selectively, ignoring other, larger baits.Whenever you find gamefish selectively feeding on small baits of any kind you need to “match the hatch.” Failure to do so will lead to frustration.

Haw River Tackle makes a great lure called a Sting Silver which many fish species will accept as a glass minnow imitation. Find them at www.hrtackle.com.

Orlando Saltwater Tarpon Fishing Report

The Sting Silver is the hot tip for tunny. Doesn’t look like much but they do like it!

Cold water– unlike humans, fish are cold blooded. Their metabolism slows as the water temperature drops. Consequently they are much less interested in eating large meals when the water is cold. For this reason winter fishing often requires the use of smaller lures than used during other seasons.

Heavily pressured fish– in areas where fishing pressure is heavy the fish have seen all the commonly used baits over and over again. The fish learn to avoid these commonly used baits. By using small lures the fisherman gains a competitive advantage. The fish haven’t seen a lot of small baits, and the bait itself is not perceived as a threat.

My current favorite for this situation is the DOA CAL Shad. At three inches in length it qualifies as a small bait. You can rig it with a 2/0 hook , which will hold most any fish likely to eat it.

orlando area fishing report

The lure is a DOA CAL Shad.

Some gamefish just like small baits. Tarpon come to mind. One wouldn’t think a 100 pound fish could derive much nutrition from a two or three inch long minnow. But tarpon often key in on small baits even when larger prey is available. I’ve watched tarpon swim through schools of glass minnows with their mouths open, just filtering the baits out of the water. Again, match the hatch or go fishless.

The DOA TerrorEyz is a small lure which is deadly on tarpon (and other fish). Find them at www.doalures.com.

I’m not suggesting that you toss all your large baits overboard. But you should carry a selection of small baits and be prepared to use them when condition require. If you want to catch more fish, know when to use small lures.

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.

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