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You’re out there on the hunt for smallies and wondering what type of lures work best. Lucky for you, they have a knack for biting almost anything because of their ornery attitude and sharp strike that puts their largemouth counterparts to shame.
The best smallmouth bass lures will control size, and they’ll often create a jigging action because smallies prefer to roam more often, which leads them to moving bodies of water like tributaries, rivers, and streams.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that I use networking with other anglers, research, and personal experience to assemble this list.
It’s all based on facts, but it’s also subjective to the individual. A lure that is the “best” for me might not work for your style of fishing.
Either way, let’s take a look at some of the top smallmouth bass lures.
Our Reviews Of The Best Smallmouth Bass Lures
Sougayilang Spinner Spoon
Okay, let the remarks fly! Yes, I have suggested everyone’s least favorite lure as my choice for smallmouth bass, and I have quite a few reasons for this. Number one, I think blade baits like this and spinnerbaits always work best for bass because of their presentation.
The bright reflection of the blade is necessary when attracting bass because you don’t have any other means of getting their attention. Plus, I like these specific lures since they have a lifelike appeal in the eyes.
There are many things to like about this option, so just get it and find out for yourself!
Spro ½ Ounce Prime Bucktail Jig
Everyone’s looking for a hair jig smallmouth bass love, and this is the one. This bucktail jig creates a brilliant presentation because of the way it always remains parallel, floats through the water with ease, and looks like a real baitfish.
Part of the reason why I enjoy this lure so much is because it provides you with options. I like to fish it near the surface, but others can jig it near the bottom as well.
Berkley PowerBait Tubes
If you know anything about me, you know that I love my PowerBait plastics. These lures are a great choice no matter what you’re fishing for because they’re scented and meant to mimic real bait.
For this, I chose a tube because the smallies like it and I think it’s one of the best small mouth bass baits. You’ll want to jig these as well and choose your colors wisely because it will play a major role in your success.
Always remember to choose a bright color lure during the early spring when the water is murky and on days when it’s sunny because you’ll have better light refraction.
If you’re fishing in summer and fall or on overcast days, choose a natural, earthy color. Outside of that, you don’t have much to worry about because these guys will win every time.
Smithwick Suspending Rattlin Rogue Jerkbait
As you’re searching through the color options for this lure, I would suggest choosing the clown option. I have used this lure on many occasions, and it rids the bass population in any body of water. It’s a killer.
The best smallmouth bass fishing lures are generally suspended lures that aren’t surface or divers. This one is the perfect example. As I said above, make sure you get the line size right because if your line is too heavy, it will dramatically change the presentation of the lure.
This one looks realistic like a lot of other swimbaits. It mimics the appearance of a minnow or shad.
Mister Twister Curly Tail Grub
If you’re new to the angling game, you might be looking at all these lures and thinking you should give up, but please don’t. There are many simple lures out there as well that don’t require any experience.
Mister Twister is a brand that produces a lot of these soft plastic grubs and worms that work in almost any situation. The tail creates the presentation for you as your retrieve it, so you don’t have to worry about jigging, or suspension, or any of that.
Tubes are also excellent river smallmouth bass lures.
All you need to do is cast and reel. When you’re fishing with these, you’ll want to pay close attention to any action in the water because the somewhat dull action of the lure will require you to go closer to the bass if you want their attention.
Arbogast Hula Popper
I’m not a huge fan of topwater lures, but this one puts the power in the hands of the angler. When you cast this guy, you’ll hear a nice “plop” in the water, and that is where it starts.
You’ll want to jig it a few times and let it rest. Repeat that process for a minute or two, and I can almost guarantee you’ll have a bite. Make sure to fish it around heavy cover, and this works especially well in the spring when bass are super active.
What Size Lure For Smallmouth Bass
There are two factors where size is super important.
The size of your lure and the size of your line. When choosing the right size small mouth bass baits, it’s essential to understand that you need to downsize your lures a little compared to largemouth.
I wouldn’t suggest using a lure any larger than five inches in length for smallmouth bass. Bass might be the ornery fish of the water, but they’re also afraid of a lot.
If they feel that the work will outweigh the benefits of chasing down your lure, they won’t bother coming after it. This is another reason why color is super important when choosing your smallmouth bass lure.
Bass like to pick on baitfish and target fish that appear injured. They might feel more motivated to go after a larger bait if it’s colored red because it will mimic blood and appear hurt.
Speaking of color.
How to Choose The Top Smallmouth Bass Lure Color
I am a huge advocate for choosing the right color lure if you want to up your fishing game. This strategy has changed fishing for me, and when I tell you that it will make a difference for you as well, I am not kidding.
Bass are smart, and they show patterns and habits, so you’ll want to pay attention to those. One of the biggest patterns they show is when and how they strike specific lures based on color. Check this out:
- Spring: Bright colors
- Summer: Bright colors
- Fall: Bright/Natural colors
- Winter: Natural colors
You would choose a natural color when the water temperature starts to drop. Bass are cold-blooded, so they’re habits are directly affected by the temperature of the water. When it’s warm out, they’re more active; thus, they’re more prepared for a fight.
So, when choosing smallmouth bass lures for fall, you would want to base your color on the amount of sun that day.
If you have cold water, they’re less active, so they will back off from something that intimidates them. Now, let’s make this even better:
- Spring Sunny: Bright colors
- Spring Overcast: Natural colors
- Summer Sunny: Bright colors
- Summer Overcast: Bright colors
- Fall Sunny: Bright colors
- Fall Overcast: Natural colors
- Winter Sunny: Natural colors
- Winter Overcast: Natural colors
Hopefully, you see the trend here. Warmth and sun go hand in hand, so you’ll want to use a brightly colored lure when it’s sunny out. The sun will create a better reflection off the blade or bright colored smallmouth bass lure, and you’ll have an improved presentation as a result.
Don’t forget that water conditions are important as well. If you have clear water you may want to consider a natural lure. If the water is murky, a bright lure works better.
The Difference Between Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass
Here is a popular question that people always ask me, and there are many ways to tell the difference. Check out this picture below.
I will usually look at the color of the body and the design of the scales to tell the difference between the two. Largemouth bass appear more green colored, and they have a horizontal line that runs across their body.
Smallmouth bass are more of a brown color, and they have vertical zebra-like stripes running up and down their bodies. That characteristic is usually a dead giveaway for me.
If you want to get more in-depth, you can look at their jaw structure. Largemouth bass will have a protruding lower jaw with an upper jaw that is above the eye level. Smallmouth bass will have an upper law below eye level.
As I said, you should be able to tell the difference by only looking at the color and design of the scales.
My friends and I used to play a game where we had to guess what fish we had based on the strike and retrieval feeling. Smallmouth bass also have a much more violent action when you’re trying to bring them in. They’ll jump out of the water a bunch of times, whereas a largemouth bass will only jump once if at all.
One last point worth making about smallmouth bass is that you will find them around cover just like largemouth, but they don’t consider it their habitat. They usually hunt around the vegetation without going directly into it. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to locate them.
That’s all I’ve got on this one. By now, you should have no problem choosing the best smallmouth bass lure. Now, quit wasting time and get out on the water!