Best Fishing Lures for Bass
There are several known species of freshwater bass in North America, who are all members of the black bass family. They are a game fish and depending on species can be found in reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, creeks and even in roadside ditches. There are three main bass species of interest to the angler, which are the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass.
The diet of bass is varied, but their preferred food items are small fish such as minnows, sunfish, perch, and shad. They will also feed on other aquatic fare such as frogs, crayfish, insects and even small aquatic birds.
Thereʼs a vast array of artificial lures available to the bass angler, from soft plastic baits such as worms and flukes through to hard baits such as crank baits, buzz baits, and jigs. Knowing when to use a certain type of lure will give you the best chance of landing that trophy fish.
Best Lures for Spring
Spring is the time of year when the waters start to warm up after winter and when the bass switch into spawning mode. Itʼs this time of year that you really should be concentrating on the shallows, as this is not only where bass spawn but itʼs the first part of the water that warms up.
The best lures for bass spring fishing are suspending jerk baits, finesse jigs, craws, finesse worms and frogs.
Suspending jerk baits come into their own during this time of year. They represent an injured baitfish, therefore meaning an easy meal. Fish them around structure such as docks and weed beds with slow jerks and pauses. The bass will generally take these baits while they are suspended, so donʼt be too hasty to keep it moving.
Finesse jigs with some sort of craw mounted as a trailer will represent a crawfish and can be presented very slowly around the structure. Match the craw colour with the skirt of the jig and present it with a few short, slow flicks before letting it sit for a few seconds. The bass will hit this whilst itʼs moving, but generally takes will be when itʼs sitting idle.
Craws represent such things as crayfish which are a staple diet of bass. These are best fished weedless, either free lined or with the use of a worm weight. Again, work these slowly around structure, with plenty of pauses in between flicks. Go for
natural colors such as green and brown, although black is also very successful.
Finesse worms are small worms of 5” or less, have a small diameter and possess a simple tail pattern. These can be presented several ways, but a drop shot rig or a shaky head are probably the best. The drop shot rig allows you to fish the bait vertically and suspended off the bottom, whereas the shaky head allows you to work the bait along the bottom and drop it into deeper holes.
Frogs are a great topwater bait during the spring when the bass are preparing to spawn. Both male and female bass are very territorial and will stop at nothing to defend their breeding ground, so they will see a frog as a threat and will want to eliminate it quickly.
Top Lures for Summer Bass Fishing
During the summer months, the best times to fish for bass are early morning and late evening. The best lures for summer bass fishing are topwater baits, crank baits, flukes and spinnerbaits.
Topwater baits are a great choice when it comes to lure fishing in the height of summer, as bass prefer to hunt close to the surface. Spooks are probably the number one surface bait. Fish it with a walk the dog style, with plenty of pauses. Bass will either explode onto it or simply suck it from under the surface.
Crankbaits are a great summer choice as bass will be feeding on shoals of small fish. They have a round belly and a built in lip which makes the bait dive. They also quite often have a built in rattle, which gives them an audible side. They will dive at various depths depending on the angle of the lip. Choose natural colored baits to try to represent the baitfish bass are feeding on.
Flukes are a soft plastic lure that can be rigged in a manner of ways, but by far the best to fish them is either weedless and weightless or weedless with a hook with a built in belly weight. Flukes are another lure that represents baitfish, so choose lures in natural colors and fish them with erratic movements and lots of pauses.
Spinnerbaits are a great summertime lure which is very flashy and they also produce strong vibrations. These should be worked with a consistent retrieval speed, but vary your speed each cast to cover various depths.
Lures for Autumn Fishing
The best lures for Autumn bass fishing are trick worms, flipping baits and crankbaits.
Trick worms come in a vast array of sizes and colors, from a few inches in length to over a foot. Fish these weedless with a small pinned worm weight with shakes, flicks and pauses to entice takes. These are great baits to fish around structure, but come into their own when worked along reed lines.
Flipping baits are great when bass are sitting in cover and are reluctant to come out. It is now that you have to go in to them. Craw and creature baits Texas rigged with enough weight to get down through the cover is the best way to approach this style of fishing. Use strong gauge hooks and heavy braid so you can bully the fish from their thick cover
Crankbaits are also good in the fall when the bass are feeding on baitfish. The advantage of these baits is that you can make long casts and cover a lot of water quickly. Work them quickly, get them down deep, then pause for a few seconds and let them float back up. This is when youʼll get reaction bites.
Best Frog Lures for Bass Fishing
Lots of companies make frog lures, but probably the best for bass fishing are the Live Target Hollow Belly Frog or the BOOYAH Bait Company Pad Crasher.
The Live Target Hollow Belly Frog comes in a range of color options with amazing detail. Itʼs a weedless design that lets you fish over weed choked areas or lily pads.
The BOOYAH Pad Crasher is a hollow bodied frog that also comes weedless, allowing you to throw it into areas of dense weed and lily pads. It features a strong double hook and spinnerbait style legs and comes in a good range of colors.
Lures for Bank Fishing in Ponds
The best bass fishing lures for bank fishing in ponds are soft plastic baits such as worms, fluke, and senkos.
The one thing to remember when pond fishing is that there wonʼt be any water movement like you get on the big lakes, so lots of sediment settles on the bottom. This means that fishing with baits that have added weight will hit the bottom amongst the sediment and youʼll end up with bits of weed, twigs etc on your lure/hook. The same thing applies with crank baits and jerk baits, especially as ponds are heavily seeded.
Worms, senkos, and flukes can be fished weightless and weedless, along with the markings or out into open water. If they do settle on the bottom, with having no weight they shouldnʼt be pulled under the sediment, theyʼll simply sit on top of it. Let all these baits sink on a slack line as bass will hit them on the drop. Choose senkos and worms in natural colors such as greens and browns and flukes in baitfish colors, with silver and yellow being a favorite.