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
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
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
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
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
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.
Last Cast Silver Spoon
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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!