Wander into the lure section of your local sporting goods superstore and you’ll find racks filled with a mind-blowing number of bass lures. For the uninitiated, the selection is absolutely staggering. You stand there, face to face, with lures of every imaginable size, color, shape, and design. There are lures designed for different seasons, weather patterns, water temperatures, and conditions. It’s enough to make your head spin.
Each lure promises to catch greater numbers of bigger bass. And narrowing down the options enough to fit in your tackle box seems impossible.
However, there’s no need to load your tackle box with a thousand different bass lures. Doing so will not hedge against what weather and water conditions throw your way. It will not make you a better angler. And, it definitely isn’t going to help keep things organized. To help , we’ve narrowed down the choices to just a few favorites that consistently catch bass under a wide range of conditions.
Whether you are just getting started in bass fishing, or you’re looking for a few new ideas, here are some of our tried and true favorites.
10 of the World’s Best Lures for Largemouth Bass
This lipless crankbait is one of the most successful bass lures of all time. Invented in the 1960s, this has been a favorite go-to lure for beginners and old pros alike. The lure is designed to mimic the swimming motion of a bait fish as it moves through the water with the added appeal of rattling sound and vibration created by the small metal beads in an internal chamber.
The Rat-L-Trap works in all kinds of water conditions. For best results, work it across shallow cover or deeper when the bass take to the beds. Use either a steady retrieve or a yo-yo bob when the fish like to strike on a dropping bait.
We really love this lure. Start with orange and reddish colors when you hit the water in the spring. Water can be a little murky as winter transitions to spring. If you’re trying to match your pattern to something natural, try to mimic a crawfish. Go for a chrome pattern (Chrome/Blue/Black is best) in the summer. When fall rolls around experiment with anything that looks like shad, we typically lean toward natural shades.
Berkley PowerBait Plastic Worms
If you have spent any time on the fishing lure section of your local sporting goods superstore, you’ve certainly noticed how much shelf space is devoted to plastic worms. You really can’t be a devoted bass angler without developing a love affair with the plastic worm.
Plastic worms are simple, offering no flashy action or exciting accessories. The beauty and versatility of a plastic worm lie in its simple design. You can rig and fish them at least a dozen different ways, from the classic weedless Texas rig to bounce around on the bottom to a weightless rig to twitch in shallow water around boat docks and shoreline vegetation.
No matter how you choose to rig or fish a plastic worm, there is one proven fact: plastic worms get strikes all year, in any water condition, anywhere bass hide. With Berkley Powerbait Plastic Worms, you get even more of an edge. In a stroke of utter genius, Berkley decided to impregnate their worms with a natural scent that is dispersed into the water as you fish. Berkley PowerBait Worms are made to taste like the real deal, too, so fish hang on longer for more positive hook sets.
Heddon Super Spook Jr
Stick baits are well-known among bass anglers for their ability to catch monster largemouths. Perhaps the most popular stick bait on the market is the cigar-shaped Super Spook. The junior version of this lure measures 3 ½ inches, an inch and a half shorter than the traditional version. But what this stick bait is missing in length it will make up for in numbers of bass caught. The slightly shorter length of the Super Spook Jr means the smaller bass are just as tempted to snatch this topwater lure, meaning you’re going to see a lot more action.
You’ll want to fish this lure with a “walk-the-dog” back and forth motion that resembles an injured baitfish. It can take some practice, but it is difficult for bass to resist.
The Heddon Super Spook Jr comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Ultimately, you want the color to mimic what the bass are eating. Some of our favorites, however, are the frog and Florida bass patterns. They work best for warm water summer fishing when the bass are busting up anything that swims along the surface.
Buzzbaits are another great topwater lure. Named for the noisy buzzing sound that the flat propeller blades make as they churn through the water, buzz baits are perfect for fishing through grass and debris without getting snagged. The Booyah Buzz has an added clacker that strikes the blade with every revolution creating even more of the surface-disturbing appeal that bass love.
Retrieve the Booyah Buzz with a slow to medium speed. You may have to test out a few speeds to see what works, but you’ll know you’ve hit the sweet spot when the buzz leaves a trail of bubbles along the surface of the water.
Choose a weight that is easy to cast and whatever color skirt catches your eye, although something subtle and subdued works best in clear water. If the water is murky, or you want to fish in the half-light hours of dawn and dusk, choose something brighter.
Spro Bronzeye Pop Bait
No discussion of top-performing bass lures would be complete without mentioning poppers. Topwater poppers have been around for decades and are some of the most collectible fishing lures around. You can even purchase antique poppers on Ebay for more than you’ll spend on a brand new plastic-packaged one.
Our favorite modern popper is the Spro Bronzeye. Designed to pull bass out of thick grass or other cover, this topwater bait makes a loud popping sound as it is reeled along the surface of the water. Often mistaken for a splashing frog, this lure comes in 16 different colors so you can match your lure to whatever is on the local menu.
Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait – Single Colorado Diamond Blade
You really just won’t find a more versatile lure than a spinnerbait. With its unique shape and swimming action, you can fish a spinnerbait through thick cover, sink it in tangled shoreline structure, or swim it along the surface. Bass will bite a spinnerbait year round, although you may have to experiment with retrieval speeds and fishing depth to find out where the fish are.
There are an overwhelming number of colors, sizes, and blade shapes when it comes to spinnerbaits. All work better under different conditions. A willow-shaped blade works best at faster speeds or when fished in fast currents. We’ve chosen the Strike King with a single Colorado Diamond Blade because of its versatility. The basic shape of this blade will work and create flash and vibration even at the slowest speeds and in the calmest water conditions. But don’t be afraid to work it faster if that’s what the bass where you are fishing prefer.
Rapala Ultra Light Crank
Rapala (pronounced RAP-ah-lah) has been producing awesome crankbaits since 1936. Bass fishing really doesn’t get any easier than it does with their Ultra Light Crank. Don’t let the small size fool you. This inch and a half bait packs a big punch. It is weighted not only to cast like a much larger lure, but also to make it easy to fish depths small baits can’t usually reach, making it a great late season bass magnet.
This crankbait can dive up to 8 feet, but it’s naturally buoyant body will easily back out of thick cover with a simple pause in your retrieve. The special plastic lip generates its own wobbling action with just a straight steady reeling motion.
Be careful when casting this crank, though. It has two dangling treble hooks that are great for snagging bass, but also effectively grab trees and clothing. This is not a bait you want to land in an overhanging maple or on a fishing buddy’s ball cap.
Keitech Fat Swing Impact Swimbait
Soft plastic swimbaits haven’t been around long, but they’ve earned a reputation for being big-league bass catchers. They mimic a variety of baitfish and can be fished year-round. There are numerous ways to rig them, including umbrella rigs, weedless hooks, or with a simple jig head.
While there are plenty of soft plastic swimbaits to choose from, we love the unique design of Keitech’s Fat Swing Impact. It has a wide paddle tail that produces a distinctive swinging action as it moves through the water, and its plump profile resembles shad and other pot-bellied baitfish rather well. It also features a ringed body design for more water displacement but also helps hide your hook points. Also, these babies are all juiced up with a shot of squid scent that drives bass crazy.
Anglers have long known how effective jigging a spoon can be when it comes to catching deepwater largemouths. The spoon’s smooth design and solid weight make it an ideal choice for fishing submerged weed beds and deep cover with minimal concern for snagging.
There are several different spoon designs out there, but the Hopkins spoon is the most popular. The flat design and hammered stainless steel finish create an irresistible amount of reflective flash and water vibration. These work great with both a fast retrieve for quick reaction strikes or a slower retrieve for sluggish cold water fish. You can also effectively jib a Hopkins spoon vertically, with an up and down motion around piers and boat docks, or horizontally through grass and thick vegetation.
Stanley Finesse Jig
Every bass angler should have a jig in his or her tackle box. Nothing beats the design for punching through dense weeds without hanging. The basic design is what makes a finesse jig so effective. The simple slim-profile weighted head will drop down through a thick top-water canopy. Meanwhile the attached skirt provides a bass-enticing motion and weed protection for your hook.
We love the Stanley Finesse Jig because it comes with a matching soft plastic crawfish trailer that makes it look even more like a largemouth’s natural prey. This thing is ready to go, straight out of the pack. No customization necessary.
Effective jig fishing can take some practice. Start by just flipping it out into some cover and hopping it back to the boat. Bass usually bite as it drops, so be prepared.
With a list like this, you’ll have one of the best-stocked lure arsenals on the lake. Of course, we don’t know what works best in your neck of the woods. And, we probably missed a few gems, but this is a good list of reliable and versatile baits proven to catch big bass year round. And do so across a broad range of water and weather conditions. Don’t be afraid to branch out from here. We’ve barely skimmed the surface when it comes to largemouth bass lures.