Effective Bass Fishing Lures

| June 5, 2015

Whether your target is a smallmouth bass, or a largemouth bass, most bass fishing lures work for both species. The primary difference is the size of the lure itself – a small lure for smallmouth bass, and a large lure for largemouth bass.

When you are looking at which type of lure you will use, there is a lot more to it that simply picking one off the shelf – you need to assess everything from the location you will be fishing in, the water type, water temperature, weather conditions, weed beds, and what the native life will be in the area you are bass fishing – you lure and bait need to be something your bass is familiar with in its usual habitat.

Lures For Bass Fishing

Lures For Bass Fishing

Both species of, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, are opportunistic feeders and voracious eaters, and their behavior under certain conditions has been well –studied, making it relatively predictable.

Below is a list of very effective lures for both smallmouth largemouth bass fishing.

Top water lures / Surface lures

Top water lures are the kind that float on top of the water, and can be very effective for luring bass. These lures can resemble baitfish, minnows, and insects, sometimes making noise or move in ways that mimic typical bass prey. Typically, surface lures work best when the surface of the water is flat and calm, since it helps your lure stand out more. Top water lures encourage a bite on the surface, so you often get to see the bite itself happen, which is very cool.

The Jitterbug

Definitely one of the more popular bass fishing lures, probably of all-time, the Jitterbug is very effective for fishing over weed bed on calm water. Done at the right speed the lure does a kind of gurgling dance which attracts both largemouth and smallmouth bass alike.


Sometimes called Plugs, Crankbaits are usually made of wood or hard plastic. These fishing lures are designed to move in such a way as to mimic the movement s of a small fish or other prey attractive to bass. Crankbait are usually classified as one of the following: floaters, shallow divers, or deep divers – referring to the depth they ride at in the water.

Usually these lures are made to look like crawfish or baitfish – common prey for bass – and can work in most types of water. You’ll often see these used to teach newcomers to the sport. Coming in every possible color and size imaginable, these lures are best used when made to look as lifelike as possible. Cast them out and reel them in so they move and wriggle in the water, looking as much like real bass prey as possible for best effect. One excellent example of a crankbait is called the Kicktail Minnow, which is designed to mimic a typical bass baitfish.

The KickTail Minnow

An effective lure because of how realistic it is in the water; the KickTail Minnow moves and looks just like the real thing, which is a very tasty little meal to any bass in the area. While it may not be the best known lure amongst anglers, this lure proves to be very effective amongst those anglers who do chose to use it.


A Jig is a simple weighted hook that usually gets combined with a soft plastic worm. The weight causes the hook to sink to the bottom of the water, so the angler on the surface needs to continually tug, or jig, the rod tip to keep it moving. The idea with this kind of lure is to mimic an injured prey fish, and can be so effective that often the bass being targeted will hit the bait as it falls. As simple as this lure is, it’s known to be extremely effective. Plastic worms and grubs are known to be some of the best fishing lures of all time. Plastic worms fished on a “Carolina Rig” have always been known as a great bass fishing lure.

Jig and Pig

The jig and Pig resembles a crawfish and is often seen used in tournaments, which acts as a testament to how effective it can be. Jigged just right, the crawfish looks like an awfully tasty, and easy to catch meal for the bass you are fishing for.

Bucktail Jig

The bucktail jig is designed to look like a smaller fish and comes with a tail that can be either curled or straight. This lure is used for many species of fish including both the smallmouth and largemouth. Like all good lures, it works by mimicking the typical prey of the fish you are hunting.


Swimbaits are soft plastic bass fishing lures which are made to look like very small prey fish. Most of them have tails that automatically wave, as they are reeled in. Usually, swim baits are retrieved in a similar way to plugs, either at a constant pace or they can be brought to a complete stop, then retrieved again at a high speed.


Designed to look just like baitfish, the spinnerbait lure comes in a huge variety of shapes and colors, and with varying blade shapes, all of which can impact the bite rate. These lures are perfect for covering a lot of water in a small amount of time.

Designed to be cast and retrieved quickly, the spinning metal blades are able to attract bass visually – it sees the spinning metal blades and mistakes it for baitfish.  Spinnerbait can be tailored for either small or largemouth bass simple by scaling the size of the lure. Larger lures for largemouth bass, smaller lures for smallmouth bass.


Spoon lures look like the inside of a spoon, hence the name. They are metal, have a color side and a plain, shiny side. As a spoon is retrieved, it spins and attracts the bass visually. Knowing which bait to use under what conditions can be the deciding factor between no catch, and getting the catch of the day. Of course, as any Bass Angler will tell you, every other factor involved in bass fishing can also be the deciding factor, the trick to a great day of bass fishing it judging them all as close to perfect as possible.



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