There is no single lure or technique that will catch largemouth every day. It’s a simple truth.
Experienced anglers understand that they need to have a variety of lures to fill their live wells. You’ll see that tackle bags and bags are filled with a wide range of lures that each suit a specific situation, challenge, or technique.
However, assembling a largemouth-friendly arsenal is not as difficult as you might think. With just a few carefully chosen lures, it’s possible to cover all your bases.
We are here to help. Below, find our detailed guide to lures.
Best lures for bass fishing
Spinnerbaits, which are the bread and butter of all four seasons, is an essential part of any largemouth anglers’ tacklebox. Spinnerbaits have been covered before. Check out our complete article.
If you have a few tips, it is possible to use a spinnerbait in any water condition, whether it be clear, cloudy, rainy, or shine.
- Spinnerbaits perform best when fished erratically. You can give spinners a striking zig-zag by bumping rocks and pilings. This will draw a lot of attention. Open water: Stop and start, jerk your spinner occasionally to create an equally excited, non-linear path.
- Spinnerbaits should be fished in shallow water. This can include anything from a few inches up to a few feet. However, there are better options for deeper waters.
- Clearer water means faster retrieves! Give hungry bass a chance to get a close look. However, in murky, stained, or muddy waters, you should slow down and let the vibrating blades do their work.
- Match the hatch with skirt and blade colors. Willow blades produce less vibration, but they look more like baitfish flashes. Colorado blades on the other side, however, are more attractive to the eye than the ones that thump like mad but sound less impressive.
A day that has started badly can be made better by switching skirt colors.
The Strike King Finesse KVD is the best spinner for clear water where finesse is crucial. It is available in sizes 3/8-ounce and 1/2-ounce, offering great blade combinations as well as amazing skirt options.
No doubt, Strike King Finesse KVD is a tournament champion.
The Strike King Bleeding spinnerbait is my go-to when visibility is poor. It comes in three sizes: 3/16-, 3/8- and 1/2-ounce. This spinnerbait is a great choice for muddy water because it has flashier colors and vibrates more.
Do you have a problem with your water? It’s no problem!
Spinnerbaits are also available at night. The Booyah Moontalker can call big largemouth from the opposite side of the pond. It is available in three sizes: 3/8-, 1/2-, and 3/4-ounce.
This spinnerbait is not legal to me!
Chatterbaits have been discussed before. You should read our complete guide to this amazing option.
Chatterbaits may not be the spinner bait-killer they are hoped to be, but they make a great bass lure. They are a triple threat because they combine high vibration with soft bait and strike-attracting skirts.
Low-information anglers would be the reason chatter baits don’t dominate bass lures. If you don’t know how to use a chatter bait properly, it might not produce. This could lead to spending more time in the box and less time in the water.
Chatterbaits, as you would expect from a loud lure are most effective when visibility is low and the water’s cold. With these tips in mind, you might just find your next favorite chatter bait.
- Slow down! Chatterbaits should be fished slowly. Bass will often take chatterbaits as they descend so don’t try to rip them through the water like you would a spinner!
- Match the hatch! Chatterbaits are unrivaled in their versatility. By zooming in on the current menu you can get bass bites when no one else is able.
Chatterbaits are best used with technique. Unfortunately, too many anglers have never learned to use them effectively. You can try them all to find the one that works for you.
- Reel and pop. Let your lure sink to its bottom. Next, give it a quick push with your rod and let it sink for a while. Finally, retrieve the lure for a few seconds. Let it fall again, and then repeat. This works especially well with craw-trailers.
- Slow, steady retrieval is worth trying, especially with flukes or craws. This can be deadly when your chatter bait is zipped over the tops of weed bed tops.
- Moving along the bottom. It is easy to make money by working your chatter bait like a jig. Making it rise and fall in short jumps or hops is a great way to make some extra cash. When the bass is holding on to deeper water, slow, low presentations are the best. This technique can be used in any season.
When the bass is eating shad, I reach out for my 3/8 Ounce Z-Man Original chatter bait and a Lake Fork Trophy Lures live magic shad trailer. This combo is deadly when you match the hatch, especially when it forces you to take a wild turn when you grab the blade for a hop.
This combo is hard to beat when shad are at the bass buffet.
The 3/8 Ounce Z-Man Original ChatterBait and a Zoom Z-Craw Trailer are magic when the crawfish run wild and the bass is eating them. Matching the color and movement of a crawfish to a tee, popping this combo, and letting it settle is as deadly as you’ll ever get.
This combo is unbeatable when crawfish are the primary prey item.
Although soft plastics are available in an almost endless number of shapes, the simple worm works best for finesse presentations. We’ve already discussed the best bass worms, and you can use them in a Carolina or Texas-style rig or on a drop shot. They’re great for bringing big bass into your home.
Why? It’s because a good, worm can offer action that no other can match, and when properly rigged, it triggers every bell and whistle in the bass’s head.
Worms can work in almost every weather condition, with every type of water, and in all kinds of situations. It is still a mystery as to why. Although worms aren’t a common prey item for bass fishermen, many anglers have witnessed them catch bigger bass more often than any other species.
For beginners, worms can be difficult to manage. However, these tips will help you get through it.
- A Texas rig with a free-sliding slide sinker is nine times more effective than a Texas rig. The sinker will settle after the cast and let the worm do its work as it flutters down to the bottom. This is when the magic happens!
- Larger worms sink quicker than smaller worms, while lighter worms sink slower. You should choose the worm that is suitable for the depth at which you are working.
- Take your time! Wait for the cast to dry. Wait until your worm is settled. Give your worm a few gentle hops and allow it to settle. Over-reaction can occur when you wait for the bass to engulf your worm. The keys to unlocking the magic of the worm are patience, finesse, and time.
- You can try different methods for the drop shot. Using the middle of the worm instead of at the end can make a big difference in your chances of winning.
Plain worms work well in open areas without thick cover. Yamamoto Senkos are my favorite, especially for drop shot rigs. You’ll find colors such as watermelon and pumpkin in a variety of hues that are great for all occasions.
These Senkos are famous for a reason!
Active tails are great for working in the green stuff. When I’m working thick lily pads I like to throw a large Zoom Magnum II Texas-style and slide it across the lilies. This site and the fluttering tail are great for large fish that are looking for a snake. They do indeed look like that!
For heavy vegetation and cover, curly-tailed worms are a great choice.
Fine-wire hooks are my favorite for my worms, such as those made by Gamakatsu or Mustad. The trick to a smaller hook than you think is whether it’s straight or offset. To make your hook weedless, you should leave a small gap between the hook and the worm. Too much gap can lead to a thrown hook.
Although they are not new, Kelly’s Bass Worms pre-rigged tandem-hooked Worms work like a charm. These worms prevent tail bites and short strikes, and I have had no problems with them
Topwater frogs are heart-stopping species that can produce incredible results in ponds or rivers with thick vegetation and weeds.
We’ve already talked about them, so for a complete rundown, please see our article on topwater frogs.
It’s not difficult to pick a frog: A good frog must float well, look right and avoid its two up-turned hooks.
You can do the rest.
- Frogs can be thrown in thick vegetation. They are essentially weedless and can be used in plants like grass or lily pads.
- Use a slow pace to work your frogs. Slow down! Real frogs won’t race through the water.
- After you cast–stop! You will see plenty of bass hitting the frog as soon as it lands. Don’t wait to start your retrieve!
- Don’t set the hook right away. Before you start hammering those hooks, wait a second for the bass to get the frog in its jaw.
Topwater frogs must look professional, more so than other lures. You need to use hyper-realistic patterns and shapes and match the hatch wherever you fish.
The Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog is my favorite. These topwater frogs are designed in a hyper-realistic pattern with lifelike legs. They track well and float all day. You can also find them in different styles to match your local frogs.
Lunkerhunt’s photo-realistic patterns are unbeatable
The Lunkerhunt has a weakness: the legs are not built to withstand a beating. Booyah Bait Company’s Pad Crasher is a good option if you believe this to be true. Booyah designs this topwater frog in a beautiful pattern. It has tasseled legs and can take strike after strike.
You can trim your legs if you have too many strikes on your legs.
I cannot count the number of times a Heddon Tiny Torpedo clear has delivered me an explosive strike. If you don’t have some prop baits, you are really missing out.
No doubt, the clear Tiny Torpedo bass slayer is unbeatable!
These topwater options are designed to be stable and provide erratic action. They have the ability to produce powerful strikes and keep bass biting.
These are some things you should remember to ensure the best performance of these lures:
- Use a light snap knot or loop knot to allow your prop or popper to do its job. To minimize the distance the lure moves back towards you, you need to be able to turn it as you walk your dog.
- It is best to not immediately start working on it. Many basses will take advantage of a prop bait, much like a topwater Frog. Before you give it a three count, make sure it is still breathing.
- Varietate your cadence. Try varying your cadence.
The 2 1/2-inch Baby Torpedo from “Bullfrog”, a 2 1/2-inch Torpedo, is deadly near vegetation. These Heddon lures make great dog walking companions. I prefer to keep them close to the cover. Bass loves them, so I use them to throw them in the lily pads or work them down the edge.
I don’t know of any bass anglers that would consider fishing without a crankbait. Even the most experienced worm fishermen know that a crankbait can make a big difference in a day’s fishing.
You can make the best of your choice by learning as much as you can about it, whether you are choosing a lipless rattler to deep dive or a crankbait that is billable for deep diving.
- Crankbaits can’t be used for a steady retrieve. Instead, you can run them so that they are covered in weeds or other covers. Then give them a go. This works especially well with lipless crankbaits.
- Get to know your crankbaits well. Mike Iaconelli says that each crankbait has its strengths and weaknesses. There are wide wobble and tight wobble options for wood, plastic, and wooden baits. You can feel at ease with a crankbait or a group of crankbaits. Find out the depth that a specific bait can run with a given line size. The general line conversion can be used to increase or decrease depth. Example: A Norman Deep Little N on 12 pounds would cast at the same distance. The line will measure approximately 10.5 feet. It will run 12 on 10, 13.5 on 8, and 6 on the 15 range. It will run around 7.5 feet on 14 and 17 respectively. With every change in the inline size, you can expect a change of about a foot and a half in depth.
- Cooler water will benefit from tighter wobbling crankbaits. Wide wobbling lures are better when it’s hot.
- Crankbaits work best when they are covered, much like spinnerbaits. Bass strike is triggered by this erratic change of direction. If you don’t run your cranks into the bad stuff, you are missing out on a lot of what they can do.
- You can remove the lower of the three hooks in your treble if you get too hung up. This will still allow you to hold a bass but it will reduce the snags.
Strike King Red Eye Shad is my favorite crankbait. This little guy is available in sizes 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 ounces. If you match the hatch and fish it against cover, it can be a real miracle worker.
These are the tournament anglers’ favorite fish.
The Rattlin’ Rapala is a favorite among anglers all over the world. It comes in a variety of sizes, including the 1 1/2-, 2-, 3 1/8- or 2 3/4-inch models. They provide incredible action and great vibration. This cake is topped off with photo-realistic imitations of common prey species.
What’s the secret to matching the hatch?
Strike King’s Square Bill is my go-to for crawfish. I’ll use it in “Chili Craw” to run this deep diver along the bottom over submerged logs, and along weed beds when crawfish are major prey items.
It is a given that every angler should have at least one Rapala Shad Rap in their tackle box.
Last but not least, I always have a few jerk baits on me. These lures are a mix of life-like design and erratic motion. They can be used year-round and in any weather condition.
Clearwater is the best environment for jerk baits. They prefer natural patterns and subdued colors. They look very similar to crankbaits but you don’t have to fish them the same way.
Instead of running them into cover, jerk baits can be fished shallower than normal. It’s as though they are a severely injured prey item having difficulty maintaining depth. To reflect this, many are neutrally buoyant.
They are named after an erratic twitch-pause technique.
The pause is what novice anglers often forget. While the twitch maybe there to draw attention, the strike is usually what will happen. Voilà!
It is very easy to fish jerk baits. Keep these things in mind:
- Always jerkbait your hands with a loose line. An untightened line will not produce the same erratic behavior.
- Cadence is important. You can start with Twitch-twitch rest. If that fails, you can try another method.
- Let your jerk bait sit for a while in cooler water and on windy days. Bass will strike your lure more often if it is still than usual, so you need to allow them to do that strike.
- Windy days make jerkbaits look even more realistic. The lure looks more natural when there is less chop or dispersed light.
I confess to being a huge fan of jerk baits. My favorite is the Rapala X-Rap. It has crazy action, great design, and just enough color to make the bass think the dinner bell is ringing.
The X-Rap can be used to produce aggressive bass.
The KVD Jerkbait from Strike King is no fool. It’s designed to attract hard strikes. This lure is available in many different patterns that mimic active prey items. It’s the lure I use when I need to catch bluegills or shad.
A Yo-Zuri 3DS is also in my tackle box. It’s my most successful jerk bait. This little guy is amazing, regardless of whether it’s the action or the paint job.
The Bomber Long A is a favorite of many anglers. The extra treble is always a good thing, and these jerk baits are incredibly effective.
There is no “best” bass lure, but most anglers agree that these are the essentials you need to have a tackle box. These lures will cover you for every season, no matter what challenge, from winter’s slow strikes to summer’s topwater fish frogs.
We hope this article helped you find some new lures. If not, we would love to hear about it!
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