The Best Striper Lures and Baits to Catch Huge Striped Bass: Reviews and Ratings

Last Updated on

BEST OVERALL

Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers

4.5/5

RUNNER-UP

Creek Chub Striper Strike

4/5

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

Fastestever Jig Head Soft Swimbait

4.3/5

The best part of writing about fishing is learning more while you’re researching and networking with other anglers. In my quest for finding the best lures for striped bass, let me tell you that I learned a lot.

The best striper lures aren’t outlined anywhere on the internet or in any fishing guide that you can buy at the marina shop. Knowing what lures to use for striped bass comes from experience and knowledge of how these fish behave and how the water impacts that behavior.

What I will say is that everyone and their brother seem to make lures these days, so it’s challenging to weed through the fakes and get down to the top striper lures that get the job done.

In this article, you’ll find the perfect blend of ol’ faithful lures that we’ve had around forever plus some new ones that you may have never heard of.

Our Reviews Of The Best Lures and Baits For Striped Bass

Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers

BEST OVERALL

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Pencil popper
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 0.96 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • The weighted tail makes this one of the best striper lures for surf fishing
EXTRA FEATURES
  • This lure is known and well respected as the best of the best for striped bass
BUYING ADVICE
  • It’s a large lure ranging between 6-7 inches, so it’s only for offshore fishing
BENEFITS
  • The weighted tail makes it easy to cast beyond the crest
  • Creates a sound that pressures the stripers into biting
  • Great for walking the dog
DRAWBACKS
  • Too large for many inshore applications

I’ve never encountered a lure that worked so well, but so many anglers couldn’t explain why. It’s one of the mysteries of fishing that no one can understand. Anyway, this lure is ridiculous. It creates a beautiful presentation that attracts stripers without much effort, and the weighted tail makes it so easy to cast long distances, which is important for surf fishing as well.

Creek Chub Striper Strike

RUNNER-UP

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Tailed plug
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 2 ⅛ ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Durable design holds up in the salt
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It’s a heavy lure that delivers long casts
BUYING ADVICE
  • I wouldn’t recommend this as a “choice” lure but keep it in your tackle box
BENEFITS
  • Heavy for long casting
  • Strong and durable
  • Great at banging off rocky shores
DRAWBACKS
  • Far too heavy for many anglers

The reason this lure gets the runner-up award is because of its weight. If you have some angling experience, you’ll know what I mean when I say to use this as your secondary lure. There are some situations where you’re feeling daring, and that is when you would bring this lure out.

I wouldn’t leave it hanging at the end of your line all day because, at over two ounces, it’s a bit too heavy for many of the stripers you’ll find.

Fastestever Jig Head Soft Swimbait

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Soft swimbait
  • Number of lures: Six
  • Weight: 0.31 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes in six different colors
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Lifelike tail creates a great presentation
BUYING ADVICE
  • If you’re fishing for striper for the first time you want to have this lure with you
BENEFITS
  • Easy for beginners
  • Creates a natural presentation
  • Comes with a fishy smell that attracts bass
DRAWBACKS
  • Could be more durable

The reason I like these so much for beginners is that it’s easy to create a brilliant presentation. These lures are made with high-quality plastic, and they mimic the baitfish that striper love.

You also get a lead block jig built into the tail with a treble hook hanging from the bottom. These are not complicated to use, you can fish them almost anywhere, and you’ll have no problem catching stripers.

Stan Gibbs Danny Surface Swimmer

BEST SURFACE PLUG

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Surface plug
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 2 ¼ ounce
FEATURED SPECS
  • Weight of the lure allows the water to create the presentation
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Easy to cast and manage in the water
BUYING ADVICE
  • As with the other heavy lures, I only suggest having these as secondary lures
BENEFITS
  • The weight makes it easy to cast
  • Multiple hook points
  • Stan Gibbs is a reputable brand
DRAWBACKS
  • Too heavy for many anglers

Here we have another big fish lure ready to hit the water. I love fishing plugs for bass, and the Stan Gibbs Surface Swimmer made this list for a few reasons. First, it’s a great topwater lure that you can use even though it’s heavy. Second, it comes in a variety of colors, even though black is the one highlighted here. Finally, it has a reflective lip that does a great job of creating a lot of noise and reflecting light if you’re fishing during the day.

Dr.Fish Saltwater GT Popper

RUNNER-UP SURFACE PLUG

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Topwater plug
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 1.4 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Made with ABS material and stainless steel wire
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Designed with a cup mouth design to create a more aggressive popping action
BUYING ADVICE
  • The holographic laser scaling make this a great nighttime lure
BENEFITS
  • Classic design
  • Loud popping presentation
  • Rattling ball allows for a longer cast and improved accuracy
DRAWBACKS
  • Only usable for topwater fishing

Topwater fishing works like a charm for striped bass. That is why I chose this as one of the best topwater striper lures. It’s designed well, durable, and has deep attention to detail throughout the entire lure. You can use this for both saltwater and freshwater, and once you learn some great topwater techniques, you’ll be able to dominate the water.

Acme Kastmaster with BuckTail Hook

BEST SPOON

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: BuckTail Spoon
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 1.5 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Machined from solid brass for durability
EXTRA FEATURES
  • One of the best lures for stripers
BUYING ADVICE
  • Always keep one of these in your tackle box
BENEFITS
  • Strong reputation for success
  • Machined for durability
  • Works well with big stripers
  • Shiny for a great presentation
DRAWBACKS
  • Pricey (especially if you lose a lot of lures)

Last Cast Silver Spoon

RUNNER-UP SPOON

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Silver spoon jig
  • Number of lures: Four
  • Weight: .035-2.0 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes with four casting spoons
EXTRA FEATURES
  • The shiny finish helps create a nice presentation
BUYING ADVICE
  • I wouldn’t recommend going any larger than one ounce in size. The larger sizes are great for Mackerel, though!
BENEFITS
  • Easy to use
  • Works like a charm
DRAWBACKS
  • Some customers have issues with scratches on their spoons

When most people think of casting spoons, they often turn their attention to Acme Kastmater. After researching and talking with some anglers about these, many find that these do the trick just fine, and you get four for the price of one.

Rapala X-Rap

BEST LIPPED MINNOW

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Lipped slash bait
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 0.75 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Holographic inserts
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Designed to provide an aggressive darting action
BUYING ADVICE
  • These work great for fishing around inshore cover where stripers hang out
BENEFITS
  • Great presentation
  • Easy to cast
  • Natural bait colors
  • Loud rattling noise
DRAWBACKS
  • Hooks are not stainless steel

If you’ve read any of my articles, you know I believe in these types of lures. They work like a charm. This lipped minnow does a great job of creating a natural presentation while throwing enough noise through the water to generate attention. They come in a few different colors and sizes, so be sure to pick one up that works for you.

Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Floating Minnow

RUNNER-UP LIPPED MINNOW

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Lipped minnow
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 0.75 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes in 11 different colors
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Designed to reflect a lot of light
BUYING ADVICE
  • These work best during the morning and early afternoon
BENEFITS
  • Dives quickly
  • Creates a lot of light refraction
  • Many color choices
DRAWBACKS
  • Might take a little practice to learn

While this might be a runner-up, it’s more a “buy with the last lure” kind of deal. I’ve been saying this a lot throughout the guide, but the best anglers know how to pair lures perfectly. The best striper lures often have different applications.

I would suggest using this one during bright and sunny days and the Rapala X-Rap on overcast days and evenings.

Lucky Craft Flash Minnow

BEST INSHORE MINNOW

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Suspending minnow
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 0.64 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Made with high-quality materials
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Great for suspending inshore rock beds
BUYING ADVICE
  • Make sure you understand that some of the options come with treble hooks while others require you to purchase it separately.
BENEFITS
  • A solid choice for inshore striper fishing
  • Great for banging off rocks
DRAWBACKS
  • Only comes in one size

Ah yes, another minnow. What can I say? California In-shore Fishing developed these lures for limited use among the bay area. While I have never personally used these, I’ve done a lot of research and found that they work well around the waterways in Florida and South Carolina as well. (AKA striped bass land)

Calissa Offshore Suspending Minnow

RUNNER-UP INSHORE MINNOW

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Suspending minnow
  • Number of lures: 1-5
  • Weight: ⅝ ounce
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes with a 12-month guarantee
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Designed specifically for striped bass
BUYING ADVICE
  • Go for the five-pack
BENEFITS
  • Saltwater corrosion resistant
  • American owned company
  • 12-month warranty
DRAWBACKS
  • Only comes in one size
  • Not weighted

I was intrigued when I saw a lure with a 12-month warranty. I couldn’t even imagine trying to explain why I couldn’t have success with the lure. Anyway, this minnow does a great job inshore, but it doesn’t offer a lot of weight. You’ll have a hard time casting on windy days because of that.

That said, the presentation is nice and easy to manage. It’s one of the best striped bass fishing lures for a reason, and I think I understand why.

EliasVFishing Extreme Swim Shad

BEST SOFT PLASTIC

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Ultra-soft shad
  • Number of lures: Eight
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • 5.5 inches long and super soft
EXTRA FEATURES
  • The design and shape offers exceptional action
BUYING ADVICE
  • Use with a one or two-ounce jig head
BENEFITS
  • Great action
  • Easy to use
  • Works in most situations
DRAWBACKS
  • A little less durable than most would like

If you’re a lover of soft plastics, you’ll absolutely want to go no further beyond this one. This is the best striper bait for fishing amongst cover because the jig head is able to maintain the presentation as you’re working your way through the weeds.

EliasVFishing Extreme Whiptail Shad

RUNNER-UP SOFT PLASTIC

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Whiptail Shad
  • Number of lures: Eight
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Suspended when using the right jig head
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Designed for striped bass
BUYING ADVICE
  • Great for inshore fishing in Florida around marshes and wetlands
BENEFITS
  • Great action
  • Easy to create a spot-on presentation
DRAWBACKS
  • Attracts a lot of bluefish as well (that’s okay for some but not if you want striped bass)

I chose this one as the runner-up because it doesn’t have a lot of the weight that you want when fishing for striped bass. Granted, you have the freedom to choose your jig head size, but if you go too big, it will impact your presentation.

Overall, I would recommend a light head with frequent jigging of the rod tip that gets the tail wagging in the water.

Bay State Tackle Trolling Tube

BEST TROLLING LURE

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Trolling Tube
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 1.0 ounce
FEATURED SPECS
  • 135 lb flexible through wire for strength
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Imitates a saltwater worm
BUYING ADVICE
  • Just get it, you won’t be sorry!
BENEFITS
  • Easy to rig
  • Handles a lot of pressure
  • Durable
DRAWBACKS
  • I think the 6/0 hook is a bit small

Here’s a lure that a lot of anglers haven’t seen before. This tube is supposed to mimic the appearance of a saltwater worm, and it does a great job. It’s one of the best striped bass trolling lures because the motion of the water is what creates the presentation of the lure.

I would suggest going with the 12-inch option and soak it in some form of powerbait worm scent to enhance the effect.

SteelShad XL Lipless Crankbait

BEST CRANKBAIT

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Lipless Crankbait Blade
  • Number of lures: One
  • Weight: 0.75 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes in four sizes
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Balanced design for long casting and optimal presentation
BUYING ADVICE
  • This option is the XL which I recommend for striper
BENEFITS
  • Simple but effective design
  • Two treble hooks
  • Reflective for sunny day angling
  • Comes in many different colors
DRAWBACKS
  • The eyes are not reflective or lifelike

I love crankbaits, jerkbaits, and spoons, so you get the best of every lure here. This blade can dive and suspend anywhere between 2-60 feet beneath the water. It’s designed to create a throbbing action in the water that makes a lot of vibrations to get attention.

Dr. Fish Bucktail Jig Fluke

BEST BUCKTAL JIG

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Bucktail Jig
  • Number of lures: Three
  • Weight: 2.0 ounces
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes with 3D eyes and a lifelike scaled body
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Great for bottom jigging
BUYING ADVICE
  • I like to use these for smaller inshore fishing situations
BENEFITS
  • Great presentation
  • Comes in many colors
  • Sharp and durable hooks
DRAWBACKS
  • Not for offshore fishing

I like these for striper fishing baits because I am more of an inshore angler myself. Finesse fishing is my chosen style, so even when I am thinking larger fish, I still tend to run a bit smaller and more technical with my fishing.

If that sounds anything like you, you’ll want to check these bucktail jigs out. They provide a lifelike appearance, great jigging presentation, and they come in a variety of different colors.

How to Catch More Striped Bass

Catch More Striped Bass

Now that you know the best striper lures let’s talk about how, where, and when to locate these saltwater bass.

Tip #1: Where to Look

To catch striped bass, you need to know where to look. This species originated in the Northeast area of the country around the Chesapeake and Cape Cod. They’ve gradually spread around the entire coast from there. If you’re fishing for striper, you’ll want to fish around structure. Look for bridge pilings, docks, marina buildings, and anything else that could act as cover.

Tip #2: When to Look

As with most fish, they’re habits change based on the season and water temperature. Even though these bass roam the salt, their habits are the same. In early spring through early summer, you’ll want to look around rocky ledges and grassy shallows. When the water temperature rises is when they make their way out into deep water.

Final Thoughts

The best lures for striped bass can only get you so far, never forget that. Don’t dwell too much on not knowing what lures to use. If you’re unsure, grab a couple of my favorites and try them all out. Make sure you give the lure enough time to do its job and research how you should present it to the bass as well. Good luck!

You Might also like

Neko Rig: Everything You Need To Know

Neko Rig: Everything You Need To Know

Read More →
Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth: Understand the Differences and Catch More

Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth: Understand the Differences and Catch More

Read More →
Wacky Rig Fishing: Worms, Hooks, O-Rings, and More

Wacky Rig Fishing: Worms, Hooks, O-Rings, and More

Read More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *