Fish eat plankton, larvae, nymphs, fresh water shrimp, insects, perch, smelt, shiners, ciscoes, tulibee, shad, herring, leeches and all types of minnows for survival! In the spring, new bait hatches make "young-of-the-year" forage plentiful and vulnerable. As a rule . . . you want your bait to "match-the-hatch" for size during the seasonal cycle of the year. Therefore, in the spring small lures usually work best. During the summer months, medium sized lures are often preferred. In the fall, a large bait presentation normally triggers the most strikes.