Whether you’re just getting into fishing, getting BACK into fishing, or are a seasoned vet, there is one thing all anglers can agree on: Going to the bait shop can be a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of thousands of bass fishing lures out there, and once you pick a bait, you need to pick a color, size, scent, and every other detail!
The most overwhelming part is that EVERYTHING in there works. Given the right circumstance, every bait in every tackle retail superstore will catch a fish. So, how do you know how to get started, which baits should you get first? Well, here is a list of the 10 bass fishing lures you definitely need to keep in your tackle box at all times.
Surely there are other types of bass fishing lures you’ll need, but if you have these 10 in your box, you can catch fish any day of the week, any time of year, anywhere in the country.
1. Soft Plastic Stick Bait
Without question, a soft plastic stick bait should be your #1 priority of bass fishing lures. They are the most versatile of all soft plastics, and all species of fish will eat them, just like all species of fish will eat worms. The original Senko and newer versions like the BioSpawn ExoStick Pro are great options for wacky rigging, Texas rigging, or just putting on a hook under a bobber.
2. Finesse Worm
Finesse worms like the Z-Man Finesse WormZ are so high on this list because they are just about as effective as a soft plastic can be. Generally 4 to 6 inches in length, a finesse worm will feature some flattened out edge, side, or tail. This flat part of the body will produce a natural glide as it falls through the water, which will produce tons of strikes as soon as you get it wet. Finesse worms are also great on a shakey head, drop shot, or on a Carolina Rig.
Jigs like the All-Terrain Tackle Football Jig are effectively fished all across the lake. Flip them, cast them, drag them, hop them, swim them – it all works. Throw a white jig to imitate shad, a brown one to imitate crawfish, and a green one to imitate bream. Whatever you’re trying to emulate, a jig can do it. The best part of a jig is your ability to also mix and match trailers, so you have a seemingly neverending combination of looks to keep bass on their toes even in a highly pressured area.
4. Lipless Crankbait
Lipless crankbaits like the Sebile Action First Lipless Seeker are must have bass fishing lures for any angler. The perfect combination of vibration, noise, and speed, these baits are MONEY in shallow water. You can cast and retrieve these quickly, allowing you to cover tons of water, and ripping them through submerged grass gives off a fleeing baitfish look no actively feeding bass can resist.
No bass fishing lures list would be complete without the venerable spinnerbait like the Lucky Craft RV Series Spinnerbait. When fishing brush, laydowns, or other submerged cover and structure, there isn’t a better choice in your tackle box. They combine a loud thump and flashy colors to almost annoy a bass into striking. They are also great search baits, ideal to tie on when fishing new waters.
6. Square Bill
Another of the shallow water heavy hitters on our list of bass fishing lures, squarebills like the River2Sea Biggie can catch BIG bass all across the lake. The squared bill gives you the opportunity to bang these baits off rocks, crawl through rip rap, and deflect off cover. This disturbance makes these bass fishing lures some of the best and most consistent fish catchers you can stock your box with.
7. Deep Diving Crank
Pretty self explanatory, you’ll want a deep diving crankbait because, well, they’re the only bass fishing lures that dive deep. Usually deep water fishing is reserved for soft plastics and other weighted bass fishing lures, but the deep diving crank has an extra-long bill which allows the bait to run as deep as 20+ feet, where you can seek out bass feeding on baitfish in the depths. Deep divers like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Crank are great for summer, when bass are avoiding the heat of the top water.
The best part of fishing frogs is they are totally weedless, as they sit atop the water. Working them over flats, skipping them under docks, or crashing them into pads. If you are fishing lakes with any kinds of vegetation, a hollow frog like the Booyah Baits Pad Crasher might be the only bass fishing lures you even need.
9. Topwater Walking Bait
Topwater walking baits are must-have bass fishing lures for their versatility in depth. Their main function is to imitate struggling baitfish dying atop the water, an easy snack for feeding bass. Walking baits like the Livetarget Yearling are great from the deepest parts of the lake to up against the banks. They are also responsible for some of the most arm-bending topwater blowups you can get!
Jerkbaits have one main function: imitate minnows. Whenever bass are feeding on minnows, these bass fishing lures are the baits you absolutely need. Jerking a long slender body like the Ima Flit through the water, with pauses to suspend in the strike zone, is a simple, sure-fire tactic for catching bass when you are looking to imitate a wounded minnow. These are ideal in the fall when temperatures drop as bass look to feed in bunches.
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