Bass is easily one of the most popular types of fish for anglers across the world due to their excellent taste, relatively large size, and often voracious appetite. However, catching bass can be a bit tricky if you do not have the right tools in your box which is why I put together a list of the best bass lures.
Best Lures For Bass
The jig is one of the most common and versatile lures used in bass fishing and focuses more on a jumping, jerking vertical movement than horizontal. A big part of the draw of jig lures comes from the fact that they can be used in both muddy or clear water as well as water with a multitude of different types of obstructions.
For bass fishing, in particular, jig lures are perfect when fishing in waters with a lot of vegetation whether that is grass, stumps, trees, or surface general vegetation. One thing to keep in mind is that jigs require heavier rods to cast the heavier lure and braided line with a heavier test to pull through debris and reel in largemouth bass.
BOOYAH Boo Jig Bass Fishing Lure with Weed Guard
While there are plenty of excellent bass jigs available, the BOOYAH Boo Jig is one of the most effective and versatile jigs I have encountered. Made specifically to operate in heavily obstructed areas without getting caught or snagged, the BOOYAH Boo Jig is a perfect lure to catch bass where they hide.
The reliable plastic worm is arguably the most versatile fishing lure in your fishing tackle box and can be used to catch any number of different types of fish– including bass. However, a lot has changed since the humble origins of the plastic worm with companies making more specialized rubber worms to better emulate specific prey.
Thankfully, bass will generally strike most types of plastic worm with the main difference between the types centering on your fishing technique. While this is great since you do not need to worry as much about specificity, it also means that you need to make sure you know what technique to use with a given type of plastic worm.
Googan Mondo Worm
While not the most advanced plastic worm on the market, I figure a big part of the draw of a plastic worm is how easy they are to use for beginners and experienced bass fishermen alike. The Googan Mondo Worm’s body is stuffed with salts and slathered with a slaunch sauce to make them extra appealing.
Like the name suggests, spinnerbaits use one or more propellers that spin while fishing to produce motion and flashes of light. However, where the propeller sits can make a big difference depending on the type of bass you fish and where you fish– especially as it relates to water clarity.
One thing to keep in mind is that the propeller of a spinnerbait differs depending on the type, size, and position which will impact how you need to retrieve the lure. While a number of spinnerbait types will work, one of the most effective is the overhead spinnerbait which works best with a steady, horizontal retrieve.
Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail
This is a pretty easy choice as the Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail is a must-have for any bass anglers. For starters, this spinnerbait employs a unique spinning action that, when combined with a wide variety of different styles and a hackle tail that makes it one of the most enticing lures for bass.
Crankbaits are also commonly referred to as plugs that feature a hard body made out of lightweight material, allowing the lure to float at the surface of the water. One of the best qualities of crankbaits is that manufacturers build them to perform the intended lure action without requiring special fishing techniques.
That said, there are plenty of tricks canny bass fisherman can use to further entice a bite like varying the speed or wobbling the lure during the retrieve. One big thing to look for when choosing a crankbait is the bill as this will influence the lure’s wobbling ability as well as how deep it dives.
Rapala DT Series Quick Dive Crankbait
While not ideal for every situation, the Rapala DT (Dives-To) Quick Dive Crankbait is an awesome option for fishing in deep, open waters. Aside from the fact that you can cast this lure out to 150’, its long, extra-thin polycarbonate lip allows this lure to dive deeper, quicker than most of the competition.
This “type” of lure covers a number of different groups but all focus on a lightweight lure that sits at the water’s surface. Aside from the fact that topwater lures are incredibly effective, they also add a dash of excitement and drama to fishing as you will see the bass strike the lure– which can also make it easier for beginning fisherman.
However, beginning fishermen may not find this the easiest type of lure to work with as it relies more on technique during the retrieve than some of the other options. It is also important to consider which specific topwater baits you use as some feature spinner blades, a flat face, or a narrow body– each relying on different techniques.
Arbogast Hula Popper
Poppers are some of the more common topwater lures because of the noise they make, and the Arbogast Hula Popper is an exceptionally loud popper. The hula skirt on this topwater lure for a deadly combo that first wakes the bass with its flat face and then entices it with the skirt– though opt for one of the larger sizes.
Squarebill lures are technically a type of crankbait, but they are so effective and can be used for different areas that I felt they deserve their own mention. Outside of the eponymous bill that features a square, rather than curved, shape, squarebill lures generally follow the same design approach as other crankbaits.
However, that single change has a big impact on where you can use this crankbait as the square bill allows it to navigate weeds, riprap stones, and laydown wood without getting snagged. The square bill best serves fishing in shallow waters, but you do not need to do much more than retrieve steadily, allowing the lure to follow over the contours of the debris and wait for the bass to strike after passing over an obstruction.
Strike King KVD Shallow Square Bill Crankbait
What can I say? I am a guy who likes the classics and the Strike King KVD is an excellent option that is not only effective but affordable as well. This is not a terribly large crankbait and it only dives in about a few feet, but it makes plenty of commotion and accurately replicates the panicked motions of a bait fish.
Frog lures are technically a topwater lure, but because they target a particular prey and are as effective as they are, I want to give them their own spot. One thing to keep in mind when using a frog lure is that it is liable to attract larger fish– which is great on the surface but limits your potential targets.
Frog lures come in both hard and soft plastic bodies, but the hard bodies are best used in open waters where their dangling hooks will not get caught in underwater debris. However, most types of frog lure feature hooks that curve upwards towards the surface making them a great option in weeds.
Snag Proof Original Frog
Now do not get me wrong as I am sure there are plenty of fishermen out there who might disagree with my choice and suggest this is not the best frog lure on the market. While I might be inclined to agree with that assessment, it is awful hard to discount how easy it is to use this lure in heavily obstructed waters.
Spoon baits are some of the most basic lures based on design and cut their name from originating as spoon heads cut from the handle. However, spoon baits have come a long way and, while still relatively simple compared to other types of lures, offer a couple of different designs.
Of the different types of spoon baits, the flutter spoon is one of the most popular thanks to the fluttering action it makes. Alternatively, you can also go with jigging spoons which tend to offer a brighter flash, but they are also lighter and do not provide an action that does not stir docile fish as much.
Nichols Lures Ben Parker Magnum Flutter Spoon
This is a pretty easy choice as the Nichols Lures Ben Parker Magnum Flutter Spoon provides an excellent action for attracting docile bass. On top of that, this spoonbait flashes more than most while also coming with enough heft to cast on windy days without as much worry about getting caught or snagged on obstacles.
Swimbaits stand out in a couple of ways but one of the bigger differences is that this type of artificial lure tends to run a bit on the larger side in order to properly emulate bait fish. This is great when fishing for larger bass but can size many swim jigs out of catching smaller quarries that are intimidated.
Swimbaits are some of the most popular bass fishing lures available, but they are also remarkably easy to use for beginners. Rather than some of the more advanced techniques required, the design of swimbaits does all of the work and only requires a steady retrieve with the occasional pop.
Berkley PowerBait Power Swimmer
The Berkley PowerBait Power Swimmer offers a one-two punch starting with a ribbed design that generates plenty of vibration and noise in the water to attract bass. Then this swimbait combines that excellent action with a coating of Power Bait to make them smell and taste irresistible to bass.
While fly fishing might be more notably associated with fishing for trout, it still offers a great option for bass fishing too. Thankfully, fly lures are already similar to a number of other lure types commonly used for fishing bass which makes choosing one easier than you might think.
Generally, fly lures used for fishing bass use either a popper’s action or a swimbait’s meaning you also get to choose the type of technique you want to use. That said, anyone familiar with traditional fly fishing will have to adjust to get used to fishing for bass with a fly lure as they require a less frenetic and slower-paced technique.
Clouser Deep Minnow
I cannot get away from the classics, but thankfully the Clouser Deep Minnow is one of the more renowned and effective fly lures for catching smallmouth bass. For starters, this fly lure comes in a wide variety of different patterns and colors, but it is the subsurface action that really makes this option a winner.
This is another entry that was technically covered previously but is so effective and commonly used I felt it deserved its own spot. Walker lures are yet another type of topwater lure, but unlike the popper or frog, this lure offers some of the best movement to coax larger bass out of their hiding spots.
As the name suggests, walker artificial lures employ a side-to-side action to emulate struggling bait fish and are perfect when fishing in open waters. It is worth noting that the technique of walking a walker lure is not the easiest, so these are probably best reserved for more experienced anglers.
Heddon Zara Spook
If you are going to try your hand at walking the dog, there is no better place to turn than the one that started it all with the Heddon Zara Spook. I went with a model that actually combines the walker body with a couple of propellers as this will make more noise and vibration to draw in big bass.
How to Choose the Best Bass Lure
While different types of bait are more versatile than others, it is important to remember that bass tends to feed on different prey depending on the time of the year. This is not to say you cannot catch bass with bait that would otherwise be out of season for them, but you might not have nearly as much luck– regardless of your skill.
Still, there is no getting around the fact that animals often reproduce seasonally– including bass’ prey– which will make them more likely to strike lures that resemble prey they expect to see. Similarly, you should also consider the weather as bass respond differently depending on the temperature, light, and precipitation.
Much like with seasonality, you should do a bit of research on what kinds of prey the bass in your area regularly have available and choose your lures to match. Also similar to seasonality, you might still be able to catch bass without lures emulating the type of prey commonly found in your area, but they will likely be warier.
For example, many species of largemouth bass love to feed on crayfish, but if you do not live in the pacific northwest or the southeast US, the bass in your area may not go after a crayfish lure. While it is often sufficient to just figure out what kind of prey inhabits your region, you can take it a step further by identifying what prey lives in or near your fishing waters specifically.
Bass is actually a bit of a catch-all term used to refer to a wide variety of different types of perch– though not all perch are bass. Still, the fact that this term has such a broad application means that you can find “bass” in a wide variety of different types of waters, each with their own behaviors and hunting habits.
While the differences between freshwater and marine bass might be a bit more obvious, the difference between largemouth and smallmouth bass might not be quite as apparent. Not only do you need to consider the clarity of the water that your potential bass hunt in, but whether you will be fishing in deep water or shallow water as you may have to use more of a surface lure for one and a deep diving lure for the other. Water conditions can also play a big part. It is always good the know the bodies of water you are going to be fishing in before buying your gear.
Let’s go over some of the fishing gear you will need to consider before you head out to catch bass.
Recommended bass fishing gear:
- Fishing rod / Bass rods
- Tackle Box
- Quality Bait Reel
- Spare Lures (in case of snags and such)
- New Quality Fishing Line
- Life Jacket
- LeatherMan / Pliers
- Quality Knife
- Boots / Proper Clothing
Having quality fishing rods and reels alone can make your experience so much better. Dealing with a reel that doesn’t cast well is never fun. Having a variety of lures can also play a big part as some days they are bitting on one lure and not the other.
There are so many different great options when it comes to picking the right lure for bass fishing that you should consider this list a primer at best. While I tried to offer a high quality fishing guide and a number of suggestions, there is still so much more to choosing the right lure for your particular fishing hole.
Hopefully, you will stick around and check out some of our other fishing articles for more in-depth bass fishing tips and tricks.