Text & photos: Jörgen Larsson
As predator anglers we meet this question all the time: Will a big lure catch bigger fish? To be honest there is no simple answer to this subject. In some occasions a big lure will definitely attract bigger fish. In general the average size fish you catch on big lures will also be higher. In other situations there might not be any difference between a big and a small lure, and there will also be days when a small lure catch the bigger fish.
Most of the times you never get a chance to see how the fish react to your lure, but when doing pelagic vertical jigging you can actually see both the lure and the fish you are trying to catch. With this method you get an exciting live show on the fish finder, where you can see how the fish respond; if you are using the right lure and if it is presented in the right way. The pelagic style of fishing has given me lots of large zander and exciting moments, but also a lot of knowledge about the species' behavior; how they hunt and what lures they prefer.
To me it was a big revolution once I started to use bigger lures when fishing for zander. Before, when using “normal” size soft lures of 10-15 cm, I had to fish on many big fish to get a reaction. But when I started to use lures of 20-25 cm almost every fish suddenly reacted to my lure in some way. Of course every fish did not bite, but most of them checked out my lure and many took it without hesitation – and the strikes on the bigger lures were often extremely hard and violent!
Today I use lures of 20-22,5 cm, sometimes even 25 cm, for about 75-80 % of my zander fishing, both on the bottom and pelagic. I have a few lakes where big lures are not working very well, here even the bigger fish prefer smaller lures of 10-15 cm, but in most waters I catch more and bigger fish with big lures.
My favorite soft lure for big zander is the 20 cm Westin Twin Teez. This lure comes in a wide range of effective colors and has proven itself again and again. In Sweden it has been the number one “big fish lure” since it came out on the market in 2012 with countless big zander on it´s conscience. In 2014 a new Swedish record zander of 12,53 kilos were also caught on an 20 cm Twin Teez in the color “Slime”.
If you ask me, one explanation to the success behind Twin Teez is the size of the lure. It is a big lure without being too big. It is big enough to get the attention from the bigger fish, but not so big that it will affect the hooking of the fish in a bad way. To me it´s the perfect size lure for big zander!
Another interesting lure, and a good complement to Twin Teez, is the 15 cm Westin KickTeez. This is a slimmer and softer lure and it´s often good when the fish is shy and tricky. KickTeez is also a good lure to use on a “dead rod” in a rod holder when you are doing normal vertical jigging. The size will attract big fish and the softness of the lure will make it swim seductive with hardly any movements.
If big fish is on your mind, don´t be shy. Go big and the result will come. To me, the size definitely matters!