Using the concept of “optimal foraging,” you can dial in to what makes trophy largemouth bass more prone to gulp a bait.
A number of years ago, a fisheries biologist friend introduced me to the concept of “optimal foraging,” of which the basic premise states that organisms forage in such a way as to maximize energy intake per unit of time.
This behavior makes a large bass more prone to gulp a bigger bait over a smaller one, when given the choice.
Largemouth bass make their living off baitfish one-quarter to one-third their body size.
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Therefore, a 12-pound bass, which averages 26 inches in length, prefers a bait that is 6 to 9 inches. Likewise, a 1-pound bass that measures 12 inches in length favors a bait 3 to 4 inches.
It is not that giant largemouth bass won’t hit smaller baits when presented properly, but their survival depends on their ability to consume the largest meal possible.
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I have taken this concept to heart, and with surprising success, by using an oversized shad-colored, soft-plastic swimbait. Mega lures of all types can be equally effective.
I also only target waters that have a history of producing double-digit largemouths.
And I have found the optimum conditions to be low light levels, on overcast days with a slight wind, and when temperatures are less than ideal.