It’s always been your dream to reel in a big, fat bass, but you never get any bites when you try. That’s made you think that maybe it’s time to upgrade your setup, beginning with your lures. What are the best lures to attract bass?
Here are our favorite bass lures:
- Topwater frog
- Paddle tail swimbait
- Tube bait
- Vibrating jig
- Finesse worm
- Stick bait
- Curly tail grub
Keep reading for more information on each type of bass lure above as well as product recommendations courtesy of Amazon. Catching bass is about to become easier than ever!
9 Types of Lures to Catch More Bass
Topwater fishing lures, as the name alludes, skid by on the surface of the water. The lure usually floats so you don’t need to use any special technique to keep the topwater lure on the water where a hungry bass might spot it.
If you want a non-floating version of a topwater lure, that’s available as well. As soon as you stop moving the lure, it will begin to sink into the sea. This can make it more apparent to any bass that are swimming deeper in the water.
Topwater baits are modeled after many aquatic creatures, including insects and baitfish. We like topwater frogs for catching bass especially. The paintjob of a topwater lure is realistic enough that the hungry bass will think it is indeed a real frog on the water’s surface.
The walking movement of a topwater lure also enhances its realism. Some lures have more realistic moving actions than others, so it’s worth spending a bit more money to get a quality lure.
At a higher price point, your lure might even make sounds via an internal rattle, feature LED illumination, or have “eyes” that move.
Attached to the topwater lure will be at least one treble hook but sometimes several. When the bass gets close to your topwater frog, the hook will latch into the fish, and they’ll be yours.
We recommend the Blitz Buzz Phrog, which was highlighted in the April 2020 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. The weighted lure has a soft, hollow body for a better hookset as well as plastic paddle tails.
The Blitz Buzz Phrog makes sounds and includes one pointed hook for catching bass!
Crankbait will also bring in more bass. This lure goes by many names, including plugs, deep-divers, shallow-divers, minnows, and wobblers. Minnows refer to skinny, long lures while plugs are for deep-water fishing like bass fishing.
Some crankbaits have hard bodies for durability and others hollow bodies that are lightweight. The bait might be a single piece or two pieces connected by flexible links. This allows the crankbait–which is often modeled after a fish–to give off the impression that it’s moving its “tail.”
Plastic or balsa are the most common materials for crankbaits. The painting on the crankbait is highly detailed to optimize realism, much as is the case with topwater baits. Some crankbaits feature unrealistic colors but can still attract bass due to their unique hues.
Many crankbaits have two hooks while some include three. An eyelet attached to the lure makes it easy for you to thread your fishing line through.
The Dr. Fish bass crankbait lures are an Amazon’s Choice product. For less than $15, you get five crankbaits, all of which are rattling and lipless. The lures accurately replicate a minnow down to the scales across the bodies of these small faux fish.
Made of plastic with high carbon steel hooks and eyelets, the chrome painting on each lure shines and reflects the sunlight like real fish scales would so you can catch more inshore and freshwater bass fish. You could even reel in perch or trout!
Paddle Tail Swimbait
The third type of bass lure you can try is swimbait, particularly paddle tail swimbait. Created in the 1980s and highly popularized since then, swimbaits were originally designed to attract striped bass and largemouth bass in Southern California.
Many years later and paddle tail swimbait is still excellent at luring in bass. One of the biggest advantages of this type of bait is that regardless of the season or water conditions, you can reliably use swimbait.
Paddle-tail swimbait is always soft-bodied. It’s made of plastic or rubber so it’s very malleable. You can buy paddle-tail swimbait in all sorts of sizes, although bigger bait should attract bigger fish such as bass.
This soft-bodied swimbait might have a wider gap hook that’s also weighted; alternately, you’d use a swimbait jig bead.
Some paddle tail swimbait is hard-bodied, although this is less common. Hard-bodied swimbait features hard plastic or wood.
The bait looks like the fish that trout, pike, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass regularly consume, so it’s an effective bait choice. This style of swimbait can even move like it’s swimming.
The JOHNCOO 3D swimbait lures are soft-bodied paddle tail swimbaits that come with 10 to a pack for under $15. The T-tail can do short hops and twitches while the 3D eyes look like you’re gazing into the eyes of a real fish. With its rainbow paper inner body, the lures are reflective so they’re more visible.
If you’re chasing smallmouth bass, then tube bait is a must.
The plastic tubing that comprises this bait is soft, cylindrical, and hollow. One end, which is the head, is enclosed, while the other end is open and features tentacle-like appendages.
For bass, you only need a tube bait that’s about four inches long at most. Select colors that look natural to a fish, including green, white, smoky gray, and brown. You can try some brighter or more unnatural colors too should you want to.
The hook and weight system of a tube jig is quite interesting. The jig head, which is often tungsten or lead-molded, goes into the body cavity.
For the angler looking for more natural tube bait colors, this set of bait from TOPTACKLE is right up your alley. An Amazon’s Choice product, each four-inch lure is made of plastic and intended for bass fishing. You get 36 lures in all for less than $20, which is an awesome deal.
You can’t go wrong with spinnerbait when trying to reel in a huge bass. Named after the propeller-like arrangement of blades attached to the lure, when those blades move, the vibrations and flashing look to a bass like a smaller fish swimming, aka its next lunch.
In-line spinnerbaits are a very popular type. The blade has a wire that acts as its central axis. That blade is connected to a piece of metal that’s curved like a C called the clevis. Behind the blade is a weight that keeps the wire and clevis apart so the lure can rotate freely.
Another type of spinnerbait is the overhead arm spinnerbait, aka the safety pin spinnerbait. This was created in 1951 in Missouri. Anglers use safety pin spinnerbait regularly to catch redfish, northern pike, and bass, so it’s a type of lure you should certainly consider.
The wireframe of a safety pin spinnerbait is angled at 90 degrees and then attached to the lead body, which might be shaped like an arrow, cone, or bullet. Then a single hook is installed on the lure.
The BOOYAH small-water spinnerbait is intended for bass fishing. The lures are also an Amazon’s Choice pick. Each lure features a silicone skirt that’s 60-strand as well as a Mustad Ultra Point 2/0 hook that’s especially good for bass.
You can select from several colors for your BOOYAH spinnerbait, including hues such as white, gray, light green, dark green, dark blue, brown, or red.
Midway through our list of the best bass lures is the vibrating jig, which is more commonly referred to as the chatterbait. Vibrating jigs are especially beloved among anglers who like to catch bass. Like spinnerbait, you can use chatterbait regardless of the season.
Vibrating jigs are available in nearly every color you can imagine, from those that blend into the foliage in lakes and rivers to brighter colors that are less natural in the wild. A combination of colors can work well in attracting fish like bass.
So where does the vibrating part of the vibrating jig name come from? Metal that’s connected to the jig head triggers vibrations in the chatterbait. The bait vibrates strongly enough that the water around it will ripple. The attached jig skirt will move quickly as well, which can further pique the interest of a hungry bass.
In deeper waters, it’s recommended you utilize a slower-moving chatterbait, whereas higher in the water column, the bait should move faster.
We like the Reaction Tackle tungsten vibrating bladed jigs, which come in a two-pack. The diamond polishing of the included professional-grade fishing hooks will easily sink into bass. The hooks are up to 97 percent tungsten and include no lead.
The jig itself features a realistic fish head and a large, full skirt. You can buy the Reaction Tackle chatterbait jigs in colors such as black with blue, black with dark green (for bluegill fishing), neon green, dark brown, and black and white (for Tennessee chad fishing).
Although some people discard finesse worms as lures for beginners only, we think anglers of all experience levels can get something out of them. Finesse worms are plastic pieces of bait that look just like–you guessed it–worms!
They’re very simple and inexpensive, as they’re only painted or dyed plastic. Sometimes finesse worms include glitter within their plastic bodies to lend them sparkle and shine when in the water, but they can be single-colored as well. Their colors are usually natural and match the water in shades of brown and green.
With finesse worms, it’s all about how you use them. They go well with a 1/8th-ounce or 3/16th-ounce sinker. You can also put the finesse worm’s head through an offset worm hook. Using a shaky-headed rig with the finesse worm is a common trick that often leads to big results.
The Strike King KVD fat baby finesse worms are thicker and meatier than your average worms. You can get the worms in a pack of 12. They have a scent like coffee that could get the fish biting. Available in a multitude of colors and flecked with glitter, for $14, you’ll have all the finesse worms you need for a fishing season!
Although finesse worms might sound like a form of stick bait, this is an entirely different type of lure. Stick baits are long and lean too, but they resemble fish, not worms. They’re often made of durable materials such as wood or plastic.
You’re supposed to suspend the stick bait after casting it very far out. Then, as you retrieve the line, the speed and action of the stick bait can vary depending on your technique. It’s this technique that can send the bass your way.
Stick baits, despite being a long, singular piece of plastic or wood with no 3D details, are painted to look incredibly realistic. You won’t see any LED lights or moving tails on this bait, so we must again reiterate that how you use stick bait will determine its success.
The Ecooda Hornet saltwater fishing lures are stick bait style. Each lure is 2.9 ounces and seven inches long for topwater, onshore, or offshore fishing. The lures do float, and you only get one to a pack for $18, so you’ll want to take good care of your bait.
The available colors include white and green, pink and purple, blue and white, orange and red, and blue and pink. You’ll quite appreciate the craftsmanship of the lure as well as the attention to detail in the paintjob.
Curly Tail Grub
The curl tail jig or curly tail grub is the last bass lure we suggest. This soft-bodied lure is made of plastic with a tail that gently curves and can move and wiggle during retrieval. Ribbing throughout the body is common, but you can buy smooth curly tail grubs as well.
Most curly tail jigs feature a single tail, but if you want to really attract attention, look for the versions with twin tails.
The size of a curly tail jig is about three inches. You’ll need a leadhead jig to make the most of a curly tail grub, but spinnerbaits and spoons can work as well. Outside of smallmouth and largemouth bass, fish such as yellow perch, crappies, pickerel, pike, stripers, trout, and walleye will also bite for curly tail grub.
You can even use this fishing lure in saltwater to catch spot, croaker, bluefish, bonefish, snook, spotted seatrout, flounder, and striped bass.
Here are some curly tail grub courtesy of XFISHMAN. The 25-pack for $15 comes in five different colors, including white, blue, red, orange, and off-white with green.
When you want to go bass fishing, the right lure is everything. With the 9 options we discussed today, no matter your budget or your fishing style, you can switch to a lure that’s likelier to get results. Good luck!