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A bigger bait equals bigger fish, right? Well sometimes, but not necessarily. Just when you think you've got fish figured out, they throw you a curve ball. A prime example is worm fishing for bass.

Sometimes we fish with such large baits that I think we might actually scare some fish. Let's face it, not every bass we catch is going to be a lunker. More often than not, we would gladly catch some 2 to 3 pound fish and many times when the big boys aren't biting, we should downsize our bait to increase our catch.

If you're not catching fish on your 8 inch worm, fish with a 4 inch. If you don't have any 4 inch worms, just cut the big one in half. Sure a small bass will attack a huge bait, but far more are caught on smaller stuff. The same goes for spinners. You might want to try your 1/8 and 1/4 ounce spinners if your big stuff isn't delivering the goods. I honestly feel that if anglers in areas with a small average bass size would catch more fish if they fished with smaller baits.

Speckled trout fall into this category as well. Often we run into schools of barely-legal sized trout that aren't responding to your shrimp tails or plastic shad. Once again, cut an inch or so off your bait and fish a smaller jig head and you might just surprise yourself with what you catch.

We can also over-gun ourselves on line. Heavy line has its advantages, but if you're having a hard time detecting bites switch to something lighter. Set your drag accordingly and you should have no problem with it.

All of this doesn't mean that you will catch nothing but small fish because you're fishing with small bait. The big boys aren't going to pass up an easy meal. What it does mean is that you can turn an unproductive day into some real fun and that's what counts in the end anyway.

Keith Warren is the host of the Texas Angler and Hunting & Outdoor Adventures Television Shows, both of which broadcast statewide. Catch The Texas Angler from January through June and Hunting & Outdoor Adventures from July through December on Fox Sports Southwest Cable Network on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. CST. You can write to Keith Warren at P.O. Box 310379, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-0379 or visit online at

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