Bass fishing is the most popular form of fishing in North America. Whether you are looking to catch largemouth bass or small mouth, you will need the best bass lures to reel in some lunkers and get the big bass to bite.
Bass anglers have a variety of different options from topwater, to plastic to crankbaits. In this article I will break down my favorite types and brands of lures for bass fishing.
Having trouble catching bass or just searching for the perfect lure? Take a look at our list of the best bass fishing lures! Find out the qualities and benefits of each lure in order to catch more fish in ponds, rivers, and lakes
Top 10 Bass Lures
- BiCO Original
- Whopper Plopper
- Spro Bronzeye Frog
- Rapala X-Rap
- Strike King 6XD
- Live Target Sucker
- Rebel Pop-R
- Strike King Mini-King
- Booyah Buzz
- Yamamoto Senko Bait
Our #1 bass jig recommendation is the BiCO Original Jig, pictured below. It is one of the best bass lures on the market. I suggest you always have one or more in your tackle box.
Jigs are some of the most popular and effective bass lures out there. They are a very versatile lure, and can be fished year-round and in most bodies of water.
A jig is made up of a heavy metal head attached to a hook, with a rubber or silicone skirt attached to lure in bass. Many jigs have a weed guard as well to help prevent the lure from snagging. Jigs are so versatile because there are different types of jigs: flipping jigs, swim jigs, football jigs, finesse jigs, and punch jigs, all of which have their own best uses.
You can choose from a variety of color patterns for your jig trailers to fish in different conditions like clear water or muddy.
One of our favorite topwater lures is the River2Sea Whopper Plopper, pictured above. This prop bait has propellers to disrupt water and lure in bass. Find more topwater lures and learn how to fish them by visiting our list of the best topwater bass lures.
Topwater lures are a broad category that includes other top lures on this list like poppers and buzzbaits. A topwater lure is any lure that is fished along or just under the surface of the water.
Fishing a topwater lure is an exciting form of bass fishing, as bass aggressively come to the surface to attack topwater lures.
Topwater fishing is most effective in the early Spring and Summer bass fishing seasons.
This is because bass tend to be more active in this season and tend to come closer to the surface. Still, topwater lures can work year-round under the right conditions. I prefer to use these types of lures in open water conditions.
Spro Bronzeye Frog
A bass angler would be incomplete without a frog lure. Frog lures are topwater bass lures that work extremely well when it comes to catching bass.
These lures mimic frogs, a natural prey for many freshwater bass. There are a few different styles of frogs, but the favorites for catching bass are usually hollow bodied.
The best frog lures for bass are weedless. A hollow-bodied, soft frog lure has weedless hooks placed tight against the body of the frog. When a bass bites down, the frog will compress and reveal the otherwise hidden hooks.
This means that frogs are not only great for hooksets, but they are also perfect for areas of heavy cover. Fish your frog lure along the surface of heavy vegetation where bass like to hide and wait for an inevitable bite.
Our top frog lure is the Spro Bronzeye Frog. It is weedless, hollow bodied, and known for triggering bass strikes.
Jerkbaits are another extremely versatile bass lure. They mimic a struggling baitfish, with the same erratic movement and appearance. Our top pick for bass jerkbaits is the Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait, seen above.
Jerkbaits can be fished year-round and with a variety of styles. They are called jerkbaits because they are meant to be jerked or twitched.
It is up to the angler to give jerkbaits their signature movement by jerking their rod to create a frenzied movement in the lure. Without the jerk from the anglers, jerkbaits still wobble or roll with a straight retrieve.
Strike King 6XD
Our favorite crankbait for bass is the Strike King Pro-Model 6XD Crankbait. Crankbaits are a powerful bass fishing lure. If you want to cover a lot of water fast to see where the bass are hiding, start with a crankbait. They are fished quickly and aggressively.
Crankbaits are generally deep water diving lures, and each has a diving lip to cut through the surface of the water. Different crankbaits dive different depths, so you can find one tuned for your location.
They have a round body and a distinctive wobble. There are also lipless crankbaits with a similar action but no deep diving lip. A lipless crankbait works best in spring and fall when bass are near the surface.
Also consider a square bill crankbait as an option for your arsenal.
Live Target Sucker
Our top pick for swimbaits is the Live Target Sucker Soft Body Swimbait. Typically large in size, swimbaits are known for catching huge, trophy-sized bass. These lures are growing in popularity, and although they take patience, they can result in a huge pay-off when you make your biggest catch with one.
There are a variety of swimbait styles, but the main types are hard bodied and soft bodied. Hard swimbaits are best used in areas of light cover or open waters.
Many hard swimbaits have one or more joints to create a more realistic swimming action to attract bass. Soft swimbaits tend to be larger and heavier when full-bodied, but are lighter when hollow. Soft swimbaits have a life-like action.
Our favorite popper for bass is the Rebel Lures Pop-R. Popper lures are a popular topwater fishing lure for bass and other species. They are called poppers because they pop along the surface of the water, creating noise, vibration, and splashing that attracts bass.
Poppers are designed with a cupped mouth that spits or chugs the water on the surface during their retrieve.
Different mouth shapes will make different levels of noise and vibration, so you can tailor your choice of popper to your location, water conditions, and more. Duel treble hooks help you have a better chance to set the hook and catch more fish.
Strike King Mini-King
Our top spinnerbait is the Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait. Spinnerbaits are a tried-and-true, classic bass lure. These lures have metal spinning blades attached to a wire that lure in bass through their vibration, noise, and flashing.
Spinnerbaits are typically made up of a jig head, usually fitted with a skirt, attached to a wire that leads to one or multiple spinning blades.
These blades come in different shapes and sizes, and different types of blades create different motion, noise, and vibration underwater. Different sized jig heads and weights also influence spinnerbaits and how deep they swim.
Another popular type of topwater lure, buzzbaits are known for catching big bass. Fishing a buzzbait is fast-paced, and can be quite rewarding. Our favorite buzzbait is the Booyah Buzz.
Buzzbaits buzz along the surface of water. They are similar looking to spinnerbaits: they feature a jig head with a skirt and hook, attached to a bent wire that leads to a blade propeller.
These stay on top of the water, and the propeller chops at the surface. This creates noise and splashing that lures in bass. Some buzzbaits also have clackers, which hit against the metal propeller for extra noise.
Our top soft plastic is the Yamamoto Senko Bait. This plastic worm is a stickbait, and can be fished in a wide range of manners.
Soft baits can come in various styles, from the widely used plastic worms for bass, to swimbaits, crawfish, and more. These are inexpensive, and they mimic live bait better than most artificial lures.
A simple artificial worm can work wonders when it comes to catching bass. Because soft plastics vary widely in style and appearance, they can be fished various ways. Depending on rig and presentation style, different soft baits work best in different situations.
How To Catch Bass
Bass are the top target for fishermen in the US. With a huge range in styles and types of lures, and then thousands of individual lures within each category, finding the right lure can be difficult.
Conditions and environment play a big role in selecting the right lure for your fishing trip. You will use different lures for lakes and ponds versus rivers and streams.
Your lure isn’t the only factor when fishing for bass, however. Learn how to catch bass by tracking factors like the weather, their behavior, season, diet, and more.
What weather is best for bass fishing?
Bass can be caught year-round depending on your location, the weather, and other environmental factors. The best weather for catching bass depends on your style of fishing and the species of bass you’re looking to catch.
Generally speaking, most anglers consider warm summer weather the best for bass fishing, when the water temperature is between 70 – 75 degrees.
In warm water, bass are more active and more aggressively looking for food. That means that they’ll be more likely to bite. In colder water, bass move more slowly and are less aggressive towards food, so they can be a bit more finicky about biting.
There are lures and techniques for both warmer and colder water bass fishing, however.
Aside from temperature, the best weather for catching bass is typically on an overcast day. Bass tend to avoid bright, sunny areas, so on cloudy days they will come closer to the surface, making it easier to find and catch them. Rainy days can also be great for bass fishing.
What time of day are bass most active?
As we just mentioned, bass prefer low light levels. The best time of day is often early morning or evening, when it’s not too bright out.
The middle of a sunny day is not always the best fishing time, as bass will avoid the bright surface of the water.
Where to Fish for Bass
Bass can be found across the United States in lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. You can also find striped bass or sea bass in the ocean. Bass are an abundant species, so it is easy to find a bass fishery in your state.
There are many factors to consider when searching for bass: temperature, sunlight, time of year, water structures, available food, and more.
In early spring when bass spawn, they are commonly found in shallow waters along the edge of lakes or in channels.
In the summer when the temperature rises, they typically move deeper into the water to keep their ideal temperature, and they will often move around to find forage. In the fall, bass often follow their food to shallower waters again.
You can often find bass hiding under shaded structures like docks, logs, grassy or mossy areas of water, or other vegetation like lily pads during bright times of the day. Target these areas to draw out big bass.
Our list is compiled with lures used by professionals and recreational anglers! Now that you know the best lures to use when fishing for bass, check out some great gear to use them with!