Discover the best bass fishing lures for 2023. Get the top picks from our list of both lures and baits to help you catch more fish in less time while fishing freshwater lakes in your area.
What are bass fishing lures?
Bass fishing lures are artificial baits designed to imitate prey fish, insects, or other natural food sources that largemouth bass feed on. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles, and are made from a range of materials, including plastic, wood, metal, and feathers. Bass fishing lures can be rigged and fished in many different ways to imitate different prey species and to target bass in different types of structures and water conditions. They are a crucial tool in the angler’s arsenal, and choosing the right lure for the right situation can make all the difference in a successful day of fishing.
How do I choose the right lure?
Choosing the best bass lure for a particular situation depends on several factors, including water conditions, weather, time of year, type of structure being fished, and the forage that is available. Here are some tips for choosing the best bass lure:
- Water Conditions: Consider the clarity and color of the water. In clear water, use more natural-looking lures, while in stained or murky water, brighter and more flashy lures are often more effective.
- Time of Year: Different lures work better at different times of the year, depending on the behavior and feeding habits of the bass. For example, in the spring, when bass are in pre-spawn mode, lures that mimic crawfish or shad can be effective, while in the summer, topwater lures or soft plastic worms can be more productive.
- Type of Structure: Different lures work better in different types of structures, such as weed beds, drop-offs, points, and deep water. Consider the type of structure you’re fishing and choose a lure that is designed to work well in that environment.
- Forage: Consider what type of food is available to the bass in the area you’re fishing. Match the size, color, and action of your lure to the type of prey that is abundant in the area.
- Weather and Light Conditions: Consider the time of day, cloud cover, and the amount of sunlight when choosing a lure. Bright lures are often more effective in low light conditions, while more natural-looking lures can be more productive in bright sunlight.
What are the best bass fishing lures?
#1. Ned Rig
The Ned Rig is a finesse technique that involves fishing a small, mushroom-shaped jig head with a soft plastic body, such as a stick bait or a grub. The jig head is typically heavy enough to hold the lure in place on the bottom, while the soft plastic body provides a subtle, undulating action that can trigger bites from hesitant or finicky fish. The Ned Rig is often used in clear water situations, or when the fish are not actively feeding, and is considered a highly effective technique for catching both largemouth and smallmouth bass. It is named after professional angler Mike Iaconelli, who popularized the technique.
A crankbait is designed to mimic the movement and appearance of a small fish or baitfish, and is typically retrieved by reeling in the line. Crankbaits come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be used in different fishing conditions to target bass. They are commonly made of plastic or wood, and often have a bill or lip that helps to create a swimming action when retrieved.
3. Football Jig
A football jig is called a “football” jig due to its shape which resembles a football, and it is designed to be heavy enough to be fished on the bottom. The jig is typically dressed with a soft plastic trailer, which provides additional action and mimics the movement of a prey fish. Football jigs are commonly used for fishing in deep or heavy cover and are often employed in various fishing techniques, such as flipping, pitching, or dragging. They are versatile lures that can be used in different fishing conditions and can effectively catch largemouth and smallmouth bass.
#4. Umbrella Rigs
An umbrella rig (also called an Alabama rig) is designed to mimic a school of baitfish. It consists of multiple wire arms that radiate out from a central point, with each arm holding a hook and a bait. The overall effect is a large, multi-lure rig that looks like several baitfish swimming together. Umbrella rigs are often used in trolling or casting and can effectively target bass when feeding on schools of shad or other baitfish. They can also be adjusted to fish at different depths, making them versatile lures that can be used in various fishing conditions.
#5. Senko Worm
A Senko worm is a straight-tailed worm with a tapered body, designed to mimic the look and action of a worm or other soft-bodied bait. The Senko worm is considered a versatile lure that can be used for a variety of techniques, such as Texas rigging, wacky rigging, or Carolina rigging. It is known for its ability to produce a subtle, natural action in the water that can trigger bites from even the wariest of fish. Senko worms come in a variety of colors, sizes, and scents, and are often used in both freshwater and saltwater fishing. They are named after their creator, professional angler Gary Yamamoto, who introduced the lure to the market in the 1990s.
A spinner-bait is a lure with a metal blade that rotates and creates vibration, flash, and sound in the water, attracting fish to bite. Spinner-baits typically consist of a metal blade attached to a wire frame, with a weighted head and a soft plastic or feather skirt. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be fished at different depths and speeds to mimic the movement of a variety of prey species. Spinner-baits are versatile lures that can be used in a range of fishing conditions and are commonly used for catching largemouth and smallmouth bass. They are a popular choice among anglers due to their ability to cover a lot of water quickly, and the added attraction of the spinning blade.
#7. Buzz Bait
A buzzbait is a surface lure that consists of a metal or plastic blade attached to a wire frame, with a weighted head and a soft plastic or feather skirt. When retrieved, the blade creates a “buzzing” sound and a commotion on the water’s surface, which can attract fish to bite. Buzzbaits are typically fished early or late in the day, when bass are feeding on topwater prey, or in stained water conditions where the fish may be more likely to come to the surface. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be fished at different speeds to imitate different prey species. Buzzbaits are known for their ability to draw explosive strikes from bass and are a popular choice among anglers for their excitement and effectiveness.
A frog lure is designed to mimic the appearance and movement of a frog or toad. It typically has a soft body, with legs that create a kicking action when retrieved across the water’s surface. Frog lures are often used for topwater fishing, where they can be fished slowly and erratically to imitate a struggling frog. They are commonly used to target bass in thick vegetation, such as lily pads or grass beds, where real frogs and toads are commonly found. Frog lures come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be rigged in different ways to suit different fishing conditions and techniques. They are a popular choice among anglers for their ability to draw big strikes from bass and for their excitement and versatility.
#9. Texas-Rigged Worm
A Texas-rigged worm involves rigging a soft plastic worm so that the hook point is concealed inside the body of the worm. The hook is inserted into the nose of the worm, and the point is then pulled out through the center of the worm and re-inserted into the opposite end. This creates a weedless rig that can be fished through heavy cover without getting snagged. The worm is then typically rigged with a bullet weight, which is slid onto the line ahead of the worm, to help it sink and keep the rig from flipping over. The Texas rig is a versatile technique that can be used for fishing a variety of structures, from weed beds to drop-offs, and is considered a highly effective way to catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
10. Chatter Bait
A chatterbait is designed to create vibration and noise in the water to attract bass. It consists of a leadhead jig with a blade attached to the shank that spins and produces a “chattering” sound as the angler retrieves it. Chatterbaits are versatile lures that can be fished in a variety of conditions and can imitate a variety of prey species, making them a popular choice among bass anglers. They can be fished near the surface, in the middle of the water column, or near the bottom, and can be effective in clear or stained water. Chatterbaits can be rigged with a variety of soft plastic trailers, and can be fished at different speeds and retrieved in different ways to produce different types of vibrations and sounds in the water. This versatility makes them a popular choice for many anglers looking to imitate different types of prey and trigger a bass bite.
There are many different types of lures and baits used in bass fishing, each with its own unique design and purpose. Ultimately, the best way to choose the best bass lure is to experiment and learn from your experiences on the water. Try different lures and rigging styles, and pay attention to what works best in different situations. With time and practice, you will develop a better understanding of what lures are best for different conditions and will become a more successful angler.