Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
JewellOutdoors

Does Size Matter?

25 posts in this topic

I'm always getting questions about the size of the leech, crawler, shiner, etc. Thought I'd put the question out there: How much does the size of your live bait matter? Do bigger leeches really catch bigger walleyes? Is a big fat canadian crawler the answer to your fishing quest? Curious on everyone's thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I like a large M or the average L size. One of my largest summertime LOTW Walleye came off of a rockpile in August and I had the last Leech in the boat on.. It was'nt but about an inch and a half tops stretched out but the 31 inch Wally did'nt mind snappin it up for a midday snack!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it matters, especially in the fall when those fish want big meals. IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest gills I have ever cought in my life used to want sm or xsm leaches. Nothing else would catch 'em.

I have also found that the bigger leaches catch walleye's better. Not necesaraly the "Biggest" eye's, but numbers.

The larger the minnows, the larger the pike.....

The bigger and fatter the crawlers, the bigger the carp....

It goes on, and on, and on, and........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caught my PB eye on the biggest leach Ive ever seen in person, fluke or not it covinced me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it always matters, no matter what she say's

but does the width matter more than the length??

Example...would a fat crawler of the same length catch more fish than a thinner one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe size does matter to an extent. However, many people here including me always have a story of that giant muskie hitting their crappie minnow on 4 lb test.... so sometimes fish just eat whatever as long as your putting it in the right spot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leech size should be consistant!

I HATE paying for jumbos or larges, but then get 10 out of the dozen that are a size or two smaller! Stores that do this only burn me once,...

Do most bait shops get riven-run leeches and sort their own?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

big is always bettter i never heard her say i wish it was smaller

in the spring i think little smaller minow might be beter

on tuff bitin days

when i was fishing mille lacs alot i knew the store owner i picked mine out specially for tourments big and BLACK with shoulders and as some one said it wasnt that they caught bigger fish just consistent

as far as the bait store i think u can order them the way you want them

most of the time i see very little difference in large and jumbo other a buck and half lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe size does matter at times. Most of the time bigger would be better. I have actually had a few occasions where I would get 10 to 1 on very small leaches. They just would not hit the big ones. So it can go both ways and in many cases it may not matter but there are times when I am sure it does matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kato -

I trapped leeches and sorted them all the way through high school and college - still trap when I get a chance. There are several factors that affect the size and condition of leeches. Your bait store will sometimes sort their own - depending on who they buy them from. However, many wholesalers do the sorting too.

The number of leeches per pound is the best way (in my opinion) to judge consistency. A normal Jumbo this time of year will count somewhere between 110-120 per pound. Some will argue what this should be - but this is the honest answer of what is normal. As water temps rise, sometimes the average will get closer to 100-105 per pound. If we have a good crop and good weather, this happens. If its cool and rainy - it doesn't. Your real Hogs might get as low as 85-95 per pound - but they are a rare commodity.

Size and consistency are all dependent on weather, proper handling, and time of the year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been out numerous times where by shortening the crawler has made the differance. Fished side by side with someone fishing a half crawler and only to be out fished 3 to 1.

You may ask why didnt I go to a half crawler

Well, it was my grandmother that outfished us all and we all had as much fun watching her catch the fish while we caught few in comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think size of your bait is very important and can change quite frequently, even during the course of the same day. The full crawler/half crawler is a good example. In my experiences, Spring and Fall can be really quirky when fishing with live bait. I always carry a good variety of live bait in both seasons and it's saved my day more than once. As far as leeches go, I only care that their firm and BLACK...large and jumbos only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny you mention "Black" as a requirement - we've actually had people pay extra for us to sort out the "blackest" ones in the past.

Anyone ever use bloodsuckers for catfish? I've seen some monsters! I caught one once that stretched out longer than 2 feet. Wish I had a picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the main requirements when picking a bait is to be sure that it is healthy. Any of the forementioned baits will catch more fish if it is healthy and thus has much more movement and a better scent. Size matters at times but not always.

Cliff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cliff has a good point. Healthy bait is key.

In winter ice fishing I have always had better luck with smaller sized minnows catching big crappies.

Fishing open water for walleyes I usually prefer the larger leeches.

Bottom line, I don't think bigger is always better when it comes to bait cool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting point about the health of your bait - and I couldn't agree more. Sometimes it is difficult to tell how long a leech, minnow, shiner, etc has been living at the retail store. It is probably a worth while question to ask your retailer.

Also ask where they buy their bait - there is no industry standard for how different distributors take care of the bait before it gets to the store. It is very important how it is handled.

Perhaps we should develop some sort of online rating system for quality, consistency, and overall health of live bait with various retailers? smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it dose but it dose not .....it is what it is ....sometimes sometimes not ....lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bigger is usually better for size but not numbers for me. On the other hand, I got a 6" perch on a 4" sucker minnow last weekend. (I'm assuming he hit the jig not the minnow though.)

Finicky walleyes sometimes want small meals, crappie minnows and small jigs worked great for me in the winter.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in my experience,

all my bigger walleyes have come while going for crappie. but i dont fish walleye very much. so i dont have much experience there

but if you want bigger bass, freeline a big 6-8" shiner. its very natural, and no matter what, the bass will love it!

crappies, it all depends on the weather. during cold fronts i fish with the smallest minnows i have, for the biggest crappies.

but during a warm front, i go with 2" shiners for the bigger crappies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it is all about consistency. This weekend I bought a half pound of leeches from a shop in Madison lake, and half of the leeches should have been in the small container.

There is almost nothing worse than inconsistency in the bait bucket. Especially for the price that live bait is today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. Consistency is an important aspect in my opinion regardless of size. I have heard your story from a lot of people this year. Weather has affected live bait supply this year, so that could have something to do with it.

Your retailer needs to know a thing or two about live bait before they buy it off the truck. They should inspect it to make sure they know what they are selling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0