5 Best Baits and Lures for Bass Fishing - Buyers Guide

Best baits (lures) for bass fishing
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To be able to fish for bass as a professional angler, you will have to learn the basics first ...

And most importantly, you have to know what fishing bait to use for bass.

There are numerous options to choose from, and you should always have a few spare options inside of your tackle box, just in case you need to change them on the spot.

You can choose from a variety of lures and live baits, and I am going to list the best ones, together with some fishing tips, in the following chapters:

What is the Difference Between Bait and Lure?

Before listing the specific ones, it is important to know the difference between a lure and a bait, which is something that confuses beginners.

Baits are any kind of natural foods used to catch any kind of fish. Baits can be dead or alive.

Besides crickets, small fish, pieces of meat, corn, and similar, baits are also the man-made food like boilies or bread.

On the other hand, lures are artificial and made from rubber, plastic, metal, or any other combination of materials.


 

They vary in size and shape. Some imitate small fish, while other look like small metal spoons.

Another difference is that baits are used in a way that you present it to a fish while the lure usually has to be moved and worked by the angler to imitate natural movement of the fish prey.

A lot of anglers use the term bait for all of the lures and baits together and it is not uncommon to hear that. And that is the part that often confuses beginners.

Another important thing to know is natural bass food ...


 

What Does Bass Eat in the Wild?

Bass are not picky eaters, and they will eat a lot of smaller animals like leeches, worms, different species of flies and insects.

They will also eat small minnows, panfish and perch.

It is not uncommon for a bass to eat a small frog or a lizard that accidentally ended up in the water.

They will basically eat everything that fits into their mouth. When considering their behaviour, they can be very aggressive predators.

Having such a diet makes it easy to choose a lure or change it to another option if necessary.

Unfortunately, dead baits or any pieces of animal meat are not suitable for bass fishing. They lack the movement and for a predator such as bass, it is highly unlikely they will bite on anything like that.

The best baits and lures for bass fishing - from boat

What Lure Types for Bass Exist?

Here I am going to list the lure types that can be used for bass fishing, followed by the best ones to choose. In the end I will list the best live baits.

Lets get started: here are the best baits (lures) for bass fishing at night, in summer, spring or in pond ...


 

CRANKBAITS AND HARD PLASTICS

These lures are made from very hard plastic, or even wood, often shaped like a small fish. The majority of models have a transparent lip in front that is tilted downwards in order to make the lure dive and move when retrieved.

Size of a lip is responsible for depth. The larger the lip the deeper it will dive. You can find shallow-running and deep-diving crankbaits ...

Crankbait can be used in any time of the year, but they are the best to be used in warmer months, when the bass is very active. Active bass will be ready to make an effort to “catch” the lure.

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SOFT PLASTIC

These are made of rubber and they are usually shaped like worms or similar organisms that are soft and bendy. Some are shaped like lizards and salamanders too, and they can also be used for bass fishing.

When using those, anglers have to carefully work the bait in order to imitate the movement of a worm or a leech that is moving in the water.

These lures usually have no hooks, so you can decide how and where to hook them. Some anglers add pieces of soft plastic lures to hard versions like spinnerbaits to make it more interesting. Also, if your soft plastic lure shaped like a worm breaks in half, keep it, you can use it for smaller specimen fishing.



SWIMBAITS

These lures are made from hard plastic, with a tail that kicks front and back when the lure is retrieved. Those tails are paddle-shaped.

These lures often look very realistic and imitate the real fish in size and colour. These are very attractive to bass but it takes a lot of practice to work them in a way that will not seem suspicious to your targeted fish.



SPINNERS, SPINNERBAITS, SPOONS

These may seem completely unnatural but they are highly effective for bass fishing.

Spinnerbaits made for bass fishing move vertically trough the water and have a jig head and the hook is attached to the bottom. There are spinning blades on the top. These baits make vibrations and movement very attractive to bass.

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TOPWATER

These lures are made to be used on the water surface.

They are not meant to be used year-round for bass, but when the conditions are right, you can be very successful while using them.

There are different types of them, including poppers, buzzbaits, hard-bodied lures and soft plastic. Depending on a type, they make moves left and right, or make a noise by throwing the water.

BEST Lures for Bass Fishing

Now when you know all of the lure types that can be used for bass fishing, you will have to choose the right ones.

And there is no simple answer. It depends on a time of the year or a day and a specific location.

LIPLESS CRANKBAITS

This are perfect for early spring, when the bass migrate from deep waters to warmer, shallow, areas. They are hungry and ready to eat.

As it is still cold, the bass won’t be as aggressive as in warmer months. These are great for lakes that have bottom vegetation, as you can pull them above. Because they make vibrations and wiggle a lot, they are ideal to attract the attention from a slow bass.

PLASTIC WORMS

These are very versatile, as they can be used on different, popular, bass fishing rigs.

Plastic worms are also available in numerous colours and sizes to imitate a variety of prey. These are the best to be used in areas where the bass are present in large numbers. Try using them in shallow parts where the water is warm, when bass come to feed. And you will be amazed how effective they can be.

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TUBES

If you are not quite sure where the bass is, try using tubes. These are also great for spring.

Tubes are easy to use and can be dragged along the ridges. They are made from soft plastic and can cover large area across the bottom.

JIGS

Jigs are probably the most popular choice because they are very versatile.

You can flip them, pitch them, and work around the structures. They work well in every season and can cover large areas.

Jigs are available in different models to enable usage with different rigs so you can choose the one that suits your needs. If you want to have a lure that can be used anywhere and anytime, go for bass jigs (#ad) (this one is from Amazon).

SPINNERBAITS

Spinnerbaits can attract bass and cover large areas of water. They are ideal for locations where you practice straight retrieve.

These lures attract bass by flashing and making noise. The blades make resistance in the water and all of that together attracts the fish. These baits are not the best option for locations with a lot of vegetation or large obstacles.

CRANKBAITS

These are ideal for large and open water.

They can be used around deep covers too. Similar to spinnerbaits, they are versatile and also best to be used for straight retrieve. When choosing them, choose according to a desired depth. When retrieving, you can randomly jerk a rod tip to give the lure a bit of unpredictable movement.

CRAW

Plastic craws imitate crawfish, natural bass food. They are best to be used on Carolina rig, and they imitate the natural movement well. Naturally, crawfish can be found near shallow vegetation and you should try using them in those places. Bass is very likely to bite it.

TOPWATER FROG

This lure, as the name suggests, should be used for topwater fishing.

It is useful to have one in your tackle box, but keep in mind that these can be used in very specific situations only. Frogs are ideal to be used in shallow, muddy water with thick vegetation. Pull them on the surface in short and jumpy motion to imitate the real frog. In places like that, this is the best way to catch a bass.

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PRO'S AND CON'S of Bass Fishing Lures

Lures are available in every tackle shop; you can always buy a variety and change them on the spot if necessary.

They are easy to hook but the downside is that you will need some experience to learn how to work them in a right way to attract the bass.

Lures can cover large areas and can be retrieved fast.

Quality made lures are expensive but unlike live baits they can be reused many times.

You are likely to lose some due to vegetation and obstacles but when you become experienced, it will not happen that often.



BEST Live Baits for Bass Fishing

Except all of the lures mentioned, there is a possibility to use live baits, which are highly effective, but keep in mind that those are not legal in many locations.

If you want to try using live baits, try the following:

NIGHT CRAWLERS

Night crawlers are available in some fishing stores so you can buy them. Use light tackle to fish with live night crawlers. Add a split shot around 20 inches above the hook. Hook the worm near the head and work the bait on the bottom.



CRAWFISH

If you have access to live crawfish, rig them in a way to be able to naturally retrieve them. They will move like the injured fish does and it will be irresistible to the bass. Hook has to be under their tail. Use a sinker to pull the crawfish on the bottom. Cast near some underwater cover, and once in a while move it a few feet to prevent the live bait to find a hiding place.

MINNOWS

Minnows are available in some fishing stores so you should buy them if you have the opportunity to do so. Choose large and lively ones. If stored in a right way, they can survive a few days. Hook them trough the tail and use them to fish with heavier tackle, near the cover.



SUNFISH

Use smaller sunfish specimens. If you are wondering how to use them, the answer is the same as previously mentioned minnows. They tend to be more active so you can add a float to control them better.

FROGS

You can find them by yourself and there is no need to spend money on them. Same as artificial frogs, they are great to be used in shallow and weedy places. Add a splitshot 10-15 inches above the hook and hook the frog trough the leg. The frog will be able to move in a natural way.

SALAMANDERS

Same as frogs, you can find them yourself. But be careful, some species are protected by the law. Hook a salamander through the nose, legs or tail. Add a sinker about 20-25 inches above and work the bait carefully. The goal is to prevent it from hiding. This large bait has very strong movements that will attract the bass.



PRO'S AND CON'S of Live Baits for Bass Fishing

They are harder to hook, and using live baits every time while you fish tends to be more expensive, because you can’t reuse them.

A single live bait costs less that a lure, but if you use numerous live baits on a daily basis, the cost will actually be higher.

Fishing with live baits is forbidden in many locations.

Beginners often have problems with handling them.

However, because of their natural look and movement, bass can’t resist them. Unfortunately, live baits can’t cover as much water as lures can.

If collecting frogs or salamanders you can end up paying a huge fine if you accidentally take a protected species. Make sure you educate yourself first.



How to Catch a Bass Fast? Best Tips ...

Now when you know what fishing bait to use for bass, here are some tips and tricks to increase your success rate:

The importance of colours – when fishing in shallow water around obstacles, use lures that contain red colour. It implies that the lure is injured and the colour will attract the bass.

Skitter the lure – when casting, stop before you reach the targeted area. The abrupt pull will cause the lure to skitter across the surface. That way, you will get the attention from a hidden bass.

Use sharp hooks – bass has a strong mouth and to penetrate the tissue, your hooks have to be very sharp.



Pay attention to the wind and the currents – position yourself to face the wind or the current. You will not be able to cast as far, but bass often swim down the current.

Pay attention to the season – use chrome or silver shiny baits in summer and more natural looking in the beginning of a bass season.

Pay attention to the weather – same as with numerous other fish species, fishing before a storm is the best time to fish.

Get a boat – you don’t have to buy it, try renting or borrowing. With a boat, you will have access to many places that are unreachable from the shore. You will also be able to position yourself away from other anglers.

Conclusion

What fishing bait to use for bass is a complicated question with many possible answers.

When choosing the best lure or live bait from this list, choose according to a season and a location. Always have a few extra lures just in case that your first choice doesn’t bring success.

And one more advice, pay attention to other animals. When you are fishing with crankbaits or jerkbaits, cast to the areas where the birds are feeding. It means that there is small fish and probably a bass hiding in order to catch them.

No matter where you go bass fishing, check the local rules and regulations, especially if fishing with live bait.

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