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Five Must-Have Bass Fishing Lures

Finding, collecting, and testing different lures is one of the most interesting parts of bass fishing. There are countless different lures available on the market, in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. These range from simple and inconspicuous to brightly colored, bold lures that fish simply can’t ignore. Each lure has its own strengths and weaknesses, so picking just one is rarely the best solution.

Instead of sticking with just one type of lure, we suggest stocking your tackle box with several different options. This will allow you to mix and match your lures to your fishing conditions. We’ve picked out a few types of lures that should always have a spot in any tackle box.

spinner-bait

Spinnerbaits


The spinnerbait is a time-tested lure that has proven its ability to produce results, season after season. Bass fishermen have always loved spinnerbaits for their versatility and effectiveness. These lures are shaped like open safety pins and feature spinning blades to propel them through the water. Within the spinnerbait category, there are three distinct options, which are categorized by the type of blade they utilize.

  • Indiana Blade - Produces both flash and movement
  • Colorado Blade - Rounded blade that focuses on producing vibrations
  • Willow Leaf Blade - Slender blade that produces a lot of flash

In murkier water, we suggest going for more vibration. In clearer water, you’ll want lots of flash. Spinnerbaits work well in most conditions, including very high coverage and weedy areas. This is because the profile of the lure keeps it relatively weed-free.

Spinnerbaits are very simple to use. Because a straight retrieve is ideal with spinnerbaits, they are easy to master for anglers of all skill levels. With a couple of jerks and flutters, it’s easy to create an irresistible lure with a spinnerbait.

jigs

Basic Jigs


Basic jigs should always be included in your tackle box. These sinking baits are versatile enough to be used in all seasons, but they do require a bit of skill. This is because jigs perform best when flipped or pitched, rather than traditionally cast. However, jigs can be hopped and dragged through waters of almost any depth. Anglers just need to pay extra attention to cast accuracy and entry angle when fishing with jigs -- short-range throws will be more effective than long, arching casts.

For landing larger bass, jigs are regarded as an ideal lure. They feature an assortment of color options and can be fitted with a worm trailer to create more movement in the water. There are several head styles available for jigs -- we suggest experimenting and finding which works best for your application.

crank-bait

Crankbaits


Crankbaits are built with a hard body profile. They are very versatile and can be used in most conditions, with the exception of heavily weeded areas. This is because crankbaits often have treble hooks, which makes them liable to catch on underwater debris and vegetation.

Crankbaits also have a bill on the front of the lure that helps them dive very quickly. Because bass swim in deeper water, crankbaits do well for bass fishing. The longer the bill on a crankbait, the deeper you can expect it to run. You can also find ‘lipless’ crankbaits that do not have a bill. On lipless crankbaits, the weight of the lure itself will determine how far it sinks.

Crankbaits push a lot of water, which means that fish can easily feel them moving. This helps to draw the attention of nearby fish before they can see the lure. Some crankbaits even contain small beads that make noise in the water to attract game fish. There are many different styles of crankbaits that are optimized for different conditions and species of fish.

topwater

Topwaters


As the name implies, topwaters are designed to move along the top of the water. Fish attack from the bottom, grabbing the lure aggressively and often breaching the surface. This can create photo-friendly bass fishing moments.

Topwater lures are available in many different styles. There are topwaters that feature a water-churning blade, topwater frogs, topwater mice, and even popping-style topwater baits that are made to push as much water as possible.

Because they create so much motion on the water, topwater lures are very effective in low-light conditions. If you’re looking for a more dynamic and active fishing experience, topwaters may be just the thing for you.

plastics

Plastics


Last, but certainly not least, every bass fisherman should have some form of soft plastic bait. This is a very broad category that gives anglers a huge variety of color and shape choices. You can find soft plastic baits made to resemble lizards, stick baits, and even crawfish. There is a soft plastic bait designed to entice almost every type of game fish.

Soft plastic lures are simple in design. The soft, silicone material accurately mimics worms and baitfish. Soft plastics are also very economical. This combination of effectiveness and affordability has made soft plastic lures very popular with modern anglers.

Fishermen can rig soft plastic in several ways, depending on the water and weather conditions in which they are fishing. Again, we suggest experimenting with different setups to see what works best for you.

Bass fishing is a sport with endless opportunities for adjustment, fine-tuning, and optimization. Regardless of what lure you decide to keep on the end of your line, we definitely recommend keeping each of these five lures in your tackle box at all times.