Having good gear makes bass fishing an enjoyable hobby.
While you might be tempted to skimp on some things, you shouldn’t skimp on lures. The best bass lures will not only help you become a better angler, but you’ll enjoy fishing more as well.
However, walking the aisles of your local sporting goods or fishing store can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are new to bass fishing.
There are so many different types of lures, each with its own, specific purpose, so choosing can be a daunting task.
So, to make your life easier, and to help every bass angler, from the most experienced to the first timer, we’ve scoured the internet, done the research and wandered the fishing department at our local sporting goods store, and have found the best.
In this buying guide we’ll offer our recommendations for the best lures for bass, and give you some helpful information to make shopping for lures a little bit easier.
Our Reviews Of The Best Bait For Bass
BICO BOX – BASS FISHING JIGS SET
BiCO Original Jigs are multipurpose 3/8 oz lead-free bass jig heads engineered to last, owing to their durability and exceptionally snag-resistant properties.
They come equipped with top-quality Owner hooks for strength, durability, and secure hooksets. Jigs are simple to fish and they work great in many applications. You can fish jigs in the fall, winter, spring, or summer – it doesn’t matter.
Yamamoto Senko Bait
The beauty of the Senko is in its simplicity. Senkos are one of the best bass lures for a reason. They’re easy to fish and they work great in weedy situations if you rig them weedless.
These worms have been around forever and they’re one of the most reliable lures on the market, year after year. If you’re unsure about what to use you’ll want to try a Yamamoto Senko.
Strike King Finesse KVD Spinnerbait
The KVD spinner bait is curved on the base and sides and level at the top which blends well while fishing in most fishing positions.
The realistic look and smaller profile in the water create a perfect bait and it maneuvers and jumps over obstructions with ease.
Rebel Pop R Triple Threat
The Rebel Pop-R has been the standard by which all top water poppers have been judged for more than three decades.
The profile and action of the Pop-R make it a favorite of anglers everywhere.
It can be worked quickly across the surface like a panicked baitfish or slowly twitched to mimic a meal that’s almost dead, and every speed in between.
Strike King Square Bill Crankbait
This overbuilt chunk of a mouthwatering bass treat rumbles down to the ideal depth for a do-it-all cranker.
The key with this Strike King crank is to bump it off cover—the square lip prevents most snags and is perfect when the fish want that extra wiggle.
Introduction To Bass Lures
Most anglers will tell you that it is almost as fun to shop for lures as it is to actually fish.
For dedicated bass fishermen, the lure department at the local fishing store is like a candy store for grown-ups.
Bass lures come in so many different colors, styles, shapes and purposes, that it is hard to not want one of each.
Unless you are a professional, or you have tons and tons of storage space, the reality is that you probably don’t need, or have the space for every lure that you come across. Ensuring that you grab the best bass lures is what’s most important.
It’s essential that you buy the right kinds of bait, for the waters that you’ll be fishing most frequently, for the typical weather conditions of your area, and the size of bass that you are most interested in catching.
There are eight essential types of lures.
Each one has a specific purpose, and attracts fish in a certain set of conditions. Knowing which one to use means having a basic understanding of the lure and its purpose.
For simplicity sake, we’ve provided a bit of basic information about each.
Crankbaits are designed to look like the food that bass would like to eat.
They are usually filled with BBs to create a ratting sound as they pass through the water.
This sound attracts bass to the bait making the fish think that they are chasing a small fish, amphibian or invertebrate.
Square bill crankbaits bang off the rocks and have a lifelike appearance. They’re not as great as some other lures in heavy cover though. because of the dual treble hooks.
Crankbaits are great for turbid water, because of their bright colors and rattling sound, though there are some silent crankbaits that work great in clear water.
Check out our complete review of the best crankbaits here.
Topwaters are made in a way that when they are dragged through the water, they look like a scared or injured prey animal.
Anglers can make this action more pronounced by twitching and jerking the rod and reel.
Topwater baits sit on the water surface, just as their name suggests.
Check out our comprehensive review of the best topwater lures for bass.
These baits are essentially a metal blade that is attached to a hook and swivel arm.
These baits attract bass by creating a flash of light that resembles small, shiny fish, like quick moving minnows.
These baits are pulled through the water using the reel and are most attractive under a smooth reel action.
If you want to know more about spinnerbaits, we reviewed the top spinnerbaits here.
Jig were originally designed to mimic craws, one of a bass’ favorite meals.
These lures are very versatile and are one of the essential for every tackle box.
These lures work well under a variety of reel and rod movements.
These baits should mimic baitfish like minnows and shads that have become shocked by cold water and are struggling.
They entice bass by looking like minnows and mimicking their movements. These often have a paddle tail and moving appendages.
For best results, use quick jerking actions with your rod, combined with a fast reeling motion.
Click here to read our complete review of the best jerkbaits.
These aren’t as popular as other types of baits, but they are growing in popularity.
Swimbaits are jointed and hollow bodied which allow them to mimic the swimming motions of small fish and other prey animals. Swimbaits come in both hard and soft versions.
Check out our review of the best swimbaits for bass fishing right here.
Spoons are not typically used for bass fishing, but can be effective in this arena, if you are willing to give them a shot and have patience.
These simple lures, consisting of a shiny metal “spoon” attached to a hook, work similarly to spinner baits. They work well in open water when there’s a lot of sun.
These lures are intended to be added on to hooks, and imitate prey animals in shape, color and texture.
These baits often work well for enticing fish to hold on to a hook, giving you more time to set your hook. I’m a huge fan of Senko worms.
They also come in a variety of rigs including:
- Texas Rig
- Carolina Rig
- Weedless Wacky Rig
- And more
Check out our review of the best soft plastic worms here.
How to Choose the Best Lure for Bass
There are some criteria to keep in mind when shopping around for bass lures. You want to make sure to factor all of these into your decision.
The time of year is a huge factor because bass breed in the Spring and they slow down during the Fall and Winter months. The Spring is a huge feeding time because there very active and if you fish in the morning and evening during the Summer, you’ll find active bass as well.
These factors matter because they determine the size and color of your lure. It’s not as simple as just picking a type of lure based on what you want to catch, you have to pay attention to how large it is and what color it is.
For example, during the late Spring, you might use a neon green 1/4 ounce spinnerbait and catch smallmouth bass all day long. That same bait wouldn’t perform as well during the fall.
Another important consideration is the water. Stick something down into the water and if you can’t see it past one or two feet, you’ve got murky conditions and you need specific lures to work with in that situation.
The water is usually the murkiest during the Spring when there is a lot of rain or if there is snow runoff. When the snow melts, it drags a lot of dirt and mud into the water as it runs down. This causes low visibility which makes it harder for the bass to see your lures.
So, now is when you need something that makes a lot of noise, reflects light, or is bright enough to draw attention. In murky conditions I would use a bass popper or a chugger because they make a lot of noise.
This last point has nothing to do with your lure and everything to do with you. How do you like to fish? Do you want something that requires a lot of attention? Like a stickbait or jig?
Or, would you prefer something like a frog or swimbait that does all the work for you? Are you using a spinning reel or casting reel? Do you prefer trolling, fishing the bottom, topwaters, or cranks?
There are many questions to ask yourself and that’s why I believe you should have a lot of different tackle. If I could recommend anything, I would suggest getting one of each lure from this review so you have some options.
Live Bait vs Artificial Lures
There are pros and cons to both of these options, but it really comes down to angler preference and skill.
For the most part, live bait is a great option for bass fishing, or for any game fish for that matter. Bass are carnivores and their natural prey are other small fish, worms, insects, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates like crawfish, so naturally, the most effective bait is live bait.
Using live bait doesn’t require any special rod or reel techniques, except having a slow reel action.
So, they are also good for beginners. The two biggest cons with live bait are the mess and making sure to get the bait to the right depth.
Artificial lures are also a good option for bass fishing.
They give you the results of live bait without the mess and the need to refrigerate and carry around living animals.
However, artificial lures like plastic worms, finesse worms, swim jigs, and craws require the angler to know how to “work” the lure to make it attractive to bass.
Each lure is intended to mimic a particular prey animal, so you need to use your rod and reel to create the movements of these living creatures in a metal or plastic lure.
If you are new to bass fishing, this can be a big con to artificial lures.
What is the best lure for shore fishing?
If you are shore fishing for bass, you are going to want to carefully select the type of lure you choose.
Select a lure that is going to be effective at attracting bass from a bit of a distance, but also one that is going to pull easily through mud and vegetation as you get closer to shore.
For the best results, you will want to have a variety of crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.
Topwaters are also great especially if you want to keep your lures out of the weeds and mud.
Shore fishing is a lot like fishing in the fall, for best results, be prepared with a variety of lures, so that you can quickly adjust to shore conditions, dense vegetation and a varieties of water and weather conditions.
Best Bass Fishing Lures FAQ’s
Now you know the basics about bass lure types, you probably have even more questions. So below, we’ve laid out some of the most frequently asked questions about fishing lures for bass, and the answers to each. Hopefully this guide will make it easier for you to find the perfect lure for your next bass fishing adventure.
What lure catches the biggest bass?
Many anglers think it’s as simple as going out, buying the best lures of all time, throwing them in the water, and catching bass. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Bass fishing requires technique, finesse, and a bit of luck.
The lures that are the best for catching trophy sized bass are those that are not typically used by most bass anglers, because they are more difficult to use or require a specific rod or reel technique.
Large sized bass are the oldest, wisest fish in the lake. They’ve been around, they’ve avoided hooks and tricky lures. They’ve seen the normal “fake” fish, and they know what they need to avoid. If you really want to catch a large, trophy sized fish, don’t use the same old lure that everyone else has.
Sure, the normal stuff may occasionally catch bass, but if you want “the big one”, use a different lure. Jigs are a great option, since they require a bit of skill on the reel.
They are also good for pulling through weedy areas, where the big fish hide, so they are a great option.
They haven’t been used as much for bass fishing so they are a nice alternative to the normal lures.
They don’t require a lot of extra skill, but they are heavy, so many anglers don’t really know how to throw them well.
Finally, if you really want to find the big fish, use a lure that is great for pulling through the weeds.
Largemouth bass love to hide in dense, matted lake vegetation. Most lures can’t handle being pulled through the weeds, however, punch rigs are perfect.
Punch rigs are a type of jig bait, but they are different because they have a big, heavy, weighted head that pulls the hook and jig through the weeds. This may be the perfect lure for catching “the big one”.
What Bait to use for bass in the fall?
Fall is a tricky time of year.
Depending on where you live or where you like to travel to, you are going to encounter a variety of weather conditions.
When most people are cleaning out their tackle boxes for the winter, the fall is actually the time when you should keep a variety of lures on hand, so that you can quickly adjust to changing weather and water conditions.
Topwater lures are great when the water is still fairly warm. Select a topwater buzzbait that will make lots of noise and attract big fish to the surface.
When water starts to cool, use a lipless crankbait. These lures will entice fish out of stumps, grass clumps and brush.
In the fall, fish are attracted to these features because they hold warmth and provide good shelter during fall storms.
Spinnerbaits with high shine blades are great for changing water conditions.
For the most variety, without having to carry a ton of lures, select a lure that has a combination of gold and silver blades.
This will attract big bass when water is clear, but can also be used after lake the lake turns over and water is murky.
Finally, for the end of fall, when winter is just around the corner, use a flat-sided crankbait.
These baits will go deep, and help you find bass that have found the warm pockets of deep water.
Use this type of bait when surface water temperatures are in the low 50s and when you want a bait that will get at least 6 feet down in the water column.
Shopping for the right lures doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
We’ve given you our suggestions for this year’s best lures, and some helpful suggestions for finding the right lures for a variety of conditions.
We hope that this buying guide has helped you navigate through the fishing section of your favorite sporting goods store, and will lead you to a season of success.