Bass are found everywhere and because of this, it is quite easy to fish for them if you use the right lure or bait. Environmental factors are the largest variables but there are also some distinct behavior changes as well.
It is well understood that bass are ravenous predators, even more so than most freshwater species. Because of this aggression, they make for a great sportfish. Use this to your advantage and opt for lures and baits that tailor to this behavior.
I remember fishing for bass in ponds dotted across northwest Washington state and learning that anything that looks like it is on its last leg makes for a great lure. Most species of fish are opportunistic predators and will always take an easy meal versus a difficult one.
As far as environmental factors are concerned, there are a few truths that apply anywhere you are fishing. And they are important to learn. Fish always seek deeper water with more cover when the temperature rises. This can help you choose what to fish with.
On a hot day, I like to use a deep dive crankbait or a Texas Rig that I can drag through cover. This gets me right on the fish, even when they are hiding. That is but one example of things to think about when gathering a strategy for your next trip.
There are a few bass lures that I would call excellent “all-around” lures, that seem to work just about anywhere and under varying circumstances.
Here, I will discuss 5 of the best bass lures I have ever fished, that have helped me catch boatloads of bass over time. They are as tried and true as it gets. In addition to diving into each lure’s features and strengths, I will also discuss when and how to use them. So let’s get to it!
Strike King Red Eye
While this is the Strike King Red Eye, I want to first clarify that this little guy comes in a variety of patterns for different strategies of fishing. This Strike King is a great lipless lure that imitates injured prey uncannily well.
Because of the lipless profile of these crankbaits, the action is very random and sporadic making for very realistic prey. Another reason I like lipless is the drag factor. The lipless design resists the tendency to collect weeds.
The materials used for the Strike King are of good quality and can take a beating for a good while, making it a good investment for the long haul. The different patterns can be selected for different environments such as low light situations as well.
Try throwing this guy alongside weeds and other cover and drag it right past the weeded area. Though it is lipless, it will still collect weeds if directly thrown into cover. Try to reel sporadically with small light left and right motions to get good action.
As far as tactics for using a Strike King crankbait are concerned, anything goes really. I have found good luck with these types of lures using a sporadic pattern as we discussed above. You can also make deep runs that work very well in a similar fashion.
Just keep the rod tip up when running the bottom so you do not catch on debris. This lure is great for running the weeds but will still catch logs and branches. This crankbait is a good staple item for your tackle box in my opinion because of its versatility so try it out next time you head out!
- Lipless design for great action
- High-strength hooks
- Durable build
XFISHMAN Senko Worms Bass Lure Rig Kit
With this kit, you’ll easily be able to put together Carolina, Wacky and Texas Rigs. I like the Texas Rig, a setup is for fishing the weeds and cover. Now if you do not know what a Texas Rig setup is, please check out this article to learn all about it. It will be worth your time because the Texas Rig is so often rated near the top in any conversation about bass fishing best lures.
All in all, I really like the XFISHMAN Rig Kit because it has a good variety of patterns, hooks, and bullet weights for just about any application. It is also a good starter kit for any kiddos you take with you as well. You get a good number of hooks and other gear with it as well as a case for your plastics as well.
The patterns of plastics are black, moss green, white, red, and evergreen. These are great starter patterns for most environments however, you may need something specific for your area. Personally, I like to use other lures, but the Texas Rig is always a good one to have on deck when the weeds get thick.
Another thing that I really like about this kit is the collars that come in a variety of colors. I like to use lures and baits that have two colors or more just to make them pop and stand out. Here in Montana, it is overcast and grey most of the year so using multiple colors is essential.
This kit comes with a few different sized hooks which are great, but they are a black nickel material so they may not be as strong as other hooks, but they will still perform in a pinch. Essentially what we have here is a good kit for your tackle box.
- Multiple colors
- Three different hook sizes
- Several different weights
BOOYAH Pond Magic Small Water Spinner
The BOOYAH Spinner is one of the best bass fishing lures for ponds, but it is also a great surface lure for any body of water. If you are serious about bass then you should understand the power of a surface lure. Bass are something of an apex predator in their pond and they have a style of hunting that makes surface lures a top choice.
Most predatory fish enjoy hunting from beneath and bass are no exception. Therefore, bass are known to hunt for snakes, mice, and even small birds and this can be turned to your advantage. I like smaller spinnerbaits like this guy, even for larger bass because of its ability to be pulled across weeds.
This spinnerbait comes in many patterns, and it is the general style of bait I would recommend to any angler. I once had a friend who made his own spinnerbait skirts in any color pattern he needed, so this is something to consider as well.
Because it is light, it will have a hard time getting out there and reaching the distance that you may need. I recommend grabbing a size up as well just to be safe. The thing I love about most surface lures is the ability to “skitter” them across the top of cover.
The lighter the surface lure, the easier jumping cover will be. This lure is a perfect fit for doing this, as are many crankbaits. There are a few different patterns of this lure that may work better in different situations as well that are worth noting.
One such situation is a bright sunny day is a good time to let the clear plastics do the work for you. Choose a pattern that is relatively clear and has reflection as well to reflect sunlight. Using a lure like this makes it light up from underneath, which is where bass like to strike from.
- Corrosion-resistant frame
- Multiple patterns available
- Very lightweight
Strike King Shim-E-Stick Bait
There are many different types of baits and lures out there tailored for bass fishing but sometimes simplicity works just as well, if not better. The Shim-E-Stick is one of the best lures for bass you’ll find anywhere and a great all-around plastic stick bait that holds up very well.
This bait is available in many different patterns and styles that can tailor to any fishing environment or style. The plastics themselves are 5 inches in length making them great for Texas rigs or other jigging setups.
In my personal experience, I like to use plastics and other lures that have some weight to them to prevent the need to use weights and that is why this bait appeals to me. Another great feature of this bait is the salt impregnated materials that allow it to sink faster.
When buying this product, try to have a few different colors and patterns to try. Color preferences can change in a single day depending on many factors.
Being offered in more patterns than most and boasting incredible durability is what sets this bait apart from the others, and that makes it a good bait to keep stocked for your fishing trips. The packs of 8 also are great for stocking two tackle boxes and make for a great value.
- Durable design
- Available in many colors
- 5-inch length
X-Zone Whiplash Lure Baby Shad Bass
I think most already know this, but bass eat just about anything, even their young. Because of this, try using the baby bass shad from X-Zone post-spawn. Bass will decide their spawn based on temperature as with most species.
Once water is 50 degrees or higher bass will begin spawning. The key here is to understand that they will seek out shallow water during this time. About a month or two after the spawn, you will want to imitate their young.
This plastic bait is very lifelike and is slender in size compared to other plastic baits. The slender size allows it to zip in and out of weeds and cover much like the real thing.
Because the young will stay shallow, closer to shore where they are safe, try this lure in the morning before the water heats up and the adult bass run deep.
The action of this bait in the water is meant to be identical to a small fish swimming. This is exaggerated by the fact that the tail is quite long. Jerking this lure makes for a great, believable action as well.
Consider pulling in multiple directions a few times during retrieval to help with making the action look authentic. If you have watched newly spawned fish schooling in shallow water, you know that these little guys can turn on a dime.
- Realistic design
- Great action
- Smaller hook prevents snagging
The Best Bass Lures Are Simple
The lures we talked about here are what I have always been taught to be the standards of bass fishing. Things like plastics, surface lures, and crankbaits. I feel like sometimes there are just so many lures out there that it can be overwhelming.
I like to think simplistically when it comes to my gear and here is why. Bass are ravenous predators, even more so than others in my opinion. Because of this natural tenacity the bass has, it is the top sport fish in the united states.
Follow the natural ebb and flow of bass throughout their season. Spawn and hatch. Bass are strikers from the bottom and most prey will make the crossing on a pond early in the morning. If it’s early, try a topwater lure.
What I am getting at here is that they can be quite predictable, and you can learn this to better help you catch fish. To this end, the gear you take with you into the field is especially important.
I really like a fishing lure that holds up to the task for a long time. I do not do much bass fishing here in Montana, but I remember my days fishing for them in Washington as a boy.
I remember the beating my lures took from snagging and catching on what seemed like everything but the bass and how expensive that became over time. Simple crankbaits work wonderfully for bass but be sure that they are durable enough for the task.
Another thing that needs to be shared is that because of the number of different lures that are out there, it can be a bit much to try to decide what to buy. Keeping your tackle box simple will save you money and help you fish better.
I know that the fancy new lures are supposed to catch huge bass, that is what the professional bass fisherman was paid to tell you anyways. Truth is, the simple lures on this list are a few different staples you can always use, and they will always yield results if you take the time to understand how to use them.