When it comes to enticing trophy bronzebacks, Bill Dance is a big believer in big lures. By large baits, Dance means 1/2- to 1-ounce spinnerbaits, 3/4-ounce jigs and 10-inch-plus plastic worms. This is obviously not what most anglers consider normal fare for catching a bass named for the size of its mouth. It is his form of matching the hatch.

     “There are some very good reasons why bigger baits attract big smallmouths,” he says. “Bigger baits create a bigger image. There's more room for contact and less room for error.

     “And I think big fish are very selective in their feeding. They don't want to exert more energy than necessary to eat. They're not going to do the hundred-yard dash and run 100 1-inch threadfin shad when they can ear one big shad and fill up. I've been on schools of fish when a 10-inch worm was a noticeable preference over a 6-inch worm. I don't know if they could just see it better or what.”






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