The Top 10 Best Bass Fishing Lures You Need To Know About
Bass fishing is a long-standing tradition that’s becoming increasingly popular worldwide. There are thousands of different lures explicitly manufactured for bass fishing, and that number will only continue to grow.
This guide outlines the top 10 bass fishing lures available today. There are many good bass fishing lures on the market, but these are exceptional.
We have divided these lures into the most common categories: crankbaits, jigs, topwater, soft plastic worms, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits, spoons, buzzbaits, and an excellent option for smallmouth bass.
My top bass fishing lures are based on my personal experience and feedback from the fishing community at large. While my list may not be the same as others, I’m confident these lures are a great addition to any tackle box.
Live Bait vs. Artificial Lures
Before diving into the best bass fishing lures, it’s essential to take a step back and ask, ‘why should I use an artificial lure instead of live bait?’.
Live bait is highly effective. Baits such as worms, minnows, and crayfish work exceptionally well because it’s hard for bass to resist the real thing. In many cases, live bait will outfish artificial lures, so why use artificial lures at all?
Well, artificial lures provide anglers with a non-perishable and multiple-use option. While artificial lures come at a higher upfront cost, quality lures can be used across many fishing trips and save money over time.
I love using artificial lures
Bass fishing with lures is also incredibly enjoyable; bass are known to hit lures very aggressively. Plus, figuring out the right lure for the scenario is half the battle and very gratifying when it pays off.
- Type: Squarebilled crankbait
- Hooks/lure pairings: Treble hooks (x2) included
- Weight/size: 2-¾ inch, ⅜ oz
- Colors: Sexy shad, bluegill, chartreuse, chili craw
- Features: Squarebill lip, rattling ball bearings, reflective flakes
- Pros: Lifelike action, durable, versatile use
- Cons: Heavy and relatively bulky
- Price: From $3.99
The Strike King KVD Squarebill is a time-tested lure. It’s useful in many bass fishing scenarios, including around laydowns, weed edges, rock structures, and more. The Strike King KVD Squarebill is a must-have weapon in any bass angler’s armory. To get the most from this lure, take a look at our guide on mastering crankbaits.
The lip on this squarebill helps deflect cover, which limits snags. With the variety of colors available, you can match the hatch for shad, crayfish, sunfish, or just about any baitfish in your area.
With a max diving depth of 5 feet, the Strike King KVD Squarebill is ideal for shallow water fishing. This lure stands out from the crowd because of its tight, lifelike wobble and rattling “hard knock” ball bearings.
Admittedly, this crankbait is on the pricier side, but it’s well worth it for a lure of this quality.
- Type (sub-type): Flipping jig
- Hooks/lure pairings: Soft plastic trailer (chunk style, craw, or creature bait)
- Weight/size: ⅜ oz – 1 oz
- Colors: Black & blue, sexy craw, summer craw
- Features: Weed guard, heavy-duty hook, soft plastic skirt
- Pros: Versatile and excellent for big bass
- Cons: Bulky
- Price: From $6.81
The Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Jig is an excellent choice across most bass fishing conditions, depths, and seasons.
Hack Attack Jigs work well around laydowns, docks, and other near-shore structures but are also very productive around deep offshore structures. It’s nearly impossible to think of a good bass fishing lure with a better resume for catching big bass.
Pair the Hack Attack Jig with your choice of jig trailer, such as a soft plastic craw or creature bait, and you’re ready to catch a new personal best.
- Type: Hollow body frog
- Hooks/lure pairings: 3/0 double hooks included
- Weight/size: ½ oz, 2 ½ in
- Colors: Bullfrog, albino frog, night train
- Features: Hollow floating body, heavy-duty hooks, and soft plastic “legs”
- Pros: Weedless with a realistic appearance
- Cons: Strong hooksets can be challenging
- Price: $6.49
With all the topwater lure options available today, it can be challenging to determine which is the best for you. For me, there is no beating a hollow bodied frog, with the Booyah Pad Crasher taking the cake.
The Booyah Pad Crasher is the best frog lure because of its lifelike design and super durable double hooks. The Booyah Pad Crasher’s upward-facing weedless hooks make them useful in areas with thick cover, such as lily pads, matted vegetation, and overhanging tree limbs. They can also be used in open water, completing the picture as a highly versatile topwater lure. Read our complete guide to frog fishing to make the most from the Pad Crasher.
The same cannot be said for topwater spooks and popper style baits, as their treble hooks limit them to open water.
The Booyah Pad Crasher is an excellent overall lure and attracts enormous bass. Plus, there’s nothing better than watching a bass blow up on a topwater frog.
- Type: Soft plastic worm/stickbait
- Hooks/lure pairings: Offset worm hooks, wacky rig hooks, bullet weights
- Weight/size: 3 in – 6 in
- Colors: Black, watermelon red flake, green pumpkin chartreuse tip, red shad
- Features: Soft plastic material, ribbed exterior
- Pros: Versatile, cost-effective
- Cons: Not durable – frequent replacement necessary
- Price: From $2.27
A copycat of the original Yamamoto Senko Worm, the YUM Dinger Stickbait features nearly identical characteristics for less than half the price.
The YUM Dinger Stickbait is one of the most valuable and practical lures in the bass fishing world. It can be rigged wacky style, Texas rigged, and Carolina rigged. The possibilities are almost endless for the YUM Dinger, cementing its place on this list as one of the best bass fishing lures.
With a vast selection of colors available, it’s easy to match the forage wherever you’re fishing. My favorite colors are watermelon red flake for clear water, green pumpkin chartreuse tip or red shad for stained water, and black for muddy water conditions.
- Type: Jointed spinnerbait
- Hooks/lure pairings: Standard hook included
- Weight/size: ⅜ oz – 2 oz
- Colors: Chartreuse/white, black, white
- Features: Willow and Colorado blades, jointed mid-section, soft plastic skirt with flake
- Pros: Unique design, versatile
- Cons: More expensive than other spinnerbaits
- Price: From $8.89
The MegaStrike StrikeBack Spinnerbait is a uniquely designed spinnerbait that combines all the best possible features of a spinnerbait into a single lure.
Most notably, the jointed design allows for lifelike action, making it difficult for fish to leverage their way off the hook. The StrikeBack Spinnerbait also features both a willow blade and a Colorado blade, giving the best of both vibration and flash.
There are many different spinnerbaits available on the market, but the StrikeBack stands out as one of the best because of its innovative design. While you may have to pay a few extra bucks, the results are well worth it.
Use the StrikeBack Spinnerbait around submerged or shoreline vegetation to entice strikes from cruising bass. For more spinnerbait tips, check out our article on how to use spinnerbait lures.
- Type: Paddle tail swimbait
- Hooks/lure pairings: Offset worm hook or swimbait jig head
- Weight/size: 8 in – 5.8 in
- Colors: Sight flash, Tennessee shad, green pumpkin
- Features: Ribbed design, paddle tail, soft plastic construction
- Pros: Realistic action, variety of color options
- Cons: Not durable – frequent replacement necessary
- Price: From $5.99
The Keitech FAT Swing Impact Swimbait features a classic ribbed swimbait design with a paddle tail for lifelike action.
Swimbaits have become something of a flavor of the month bass lure. That said, these lures are an excellent option when targeting the middle of the water column in search of cruising bass.
The Keitech Swing Impact series has emerged as an industry leader due to its quality and the wide variety of sizes and color patterns. These swimbaits are also great for smallmouth bass.
Paddle tail swimbaits such as the Keitech FAT Swing Impact work well around submerged vegetation, rocky areas, and weed edges. When Texas rigged with an offset worm hook, they can even be used in areas with very thick vegetation. You can also use an Impact Swimbait as a trailer for swim jigs. This lure really has it all.
- Type: Floating jerkbait
- Hooks/lure pairings: Treble hooks (x2-3) included
- Weight/size: 2 in – 7 in
- Colors: Silver, gold, fire tiger, yellow perch
- Features: Floating, 6-11 foot running depth
- Pros: Durable, realistic look and action
- Cons: More expensive than other jerkbaits
- Price: $8.99
In my opinion, the Rapala Original Floating Jerkbait deserves the title of best jerkbait. Not only because it more or less invented the category, but because after all these years, they still catch huge bass time and time again. As a matter of fact, one of the first largemouth bass I ever caught was on a Rapala Original Floating Jerkbait.
The simplistic yet realistic design gives off plenty of flash and offers a tight wobble that bass just cannot resist. With various sizes and colors available, this jerkbait can handle any fishing condition and mimic almost every baitfish species.
For best results, use the Rapala Original Floating Jerbkbait in early spring. Fish it along shorelines and weed edges with a “twitch-twitch-pause” technique, and you’ll be in for some incredible pre-spawn bass fishing. For more tips, check out our article on how to use jerkbaits effectively for smallies!
- Type: Blade-style spoon lure
- Hooks/lure pairings: Treble hook (x1) included
- Weight/size: 1/8 oz – 4 oz
- Colors: Chrome, gold
- Features: Ergonomic design, high flash
- Pros: Easy to use, versatile
- Cons: Snag prone
- Price: From $2.79
The Acme KastMaster may not be what first comes to mind when you think of a bass fishing spoon, but the results speak for themselves. The ergonomic design of the KastMaster minimizes line twists and generates an enticing action that can be cast or jigged vertically.
With simple but effective colors – chrome and gold – you can mimic distressed baitfish that bass can’t help but go after in the hope of an easy meal.
The KastMaster can be used much like a spinnerbait, via a simple cast and retrieve approach, or jigged vertically above offshore brush piles and structures. Just be mindful of snags, as the treble hooks tend to get ahold of just about anything they can.
- Type: Skirted buzzbait
- Hooks/lure pairings: Standard hook included
- Weight/size: 1/4 oz – 3/8 oz
- Colors: Black & blue, white, chartreuse
- Features: Titanium buzzbait blade, soft plastic skirt with flake
- Pros: Durable, unique design
- Cons: Niche use
- Price: From $7.79
Buzzbaits are a tremendous style of topwater lure that draw in exciting strikes from aggressive bass. When used in the right scenario, buzzbaits can be extremely productive at hooking into numbers of big bass. But not all buzzbaits are created equal.
The Terminator T1 Original Titanium Buzzbait is a high-quality buzzbait worthy of a spot in your tackle box. Featuring a titanium buzzbait blade, this lure is lightweight and durable enough to be thrown all day, plus it will catch a boatload of bass.
Utilize the Terminator T1 along vegetation such as cattails, the edges of submerged vegetation or lily pads, and next to rip rap (rocky shorelines).
- Type: Finesse worm/drop shot worm
- Hooks/lure pairings: Drop shot hook, drop shot weight
- Weight/size: 4 ½ in
- Colors: Watermelon red, white pearl, junebug
- Features: Ribbed design, soft plastic construction
- Pros: Lifelike finesse action, versatile
- Cons: Attracts small bass (will still catch big bass)
- Price: $7.99 (pack of 20)
Smallmouth bass are just as fun, if not more so, than their ever-popular largemouth brother. I prefer smallmouth bass over largemouths because of their tenacity and the crystal-clear lake and river habitats they live in.
Smallmouths tend to prefer smaller presentations, so finesse fishing is the name of the game. In my book, the best rig for smallmouth bass is the drop shot rig. When paired with a Zoom Finesse Worm, the drop shot rig becomes a deadly weapon for smallmouths.
There are hundreds of soft plastic lures designed specifically for drop shot fishing, but the Zoom Finesse Worm is a simple and cost-effective choice. Because of this, in my view, it is the best smallmouth bass lure.
Rig the Zoom Finesse Worm with a small drop shot hook, up to a ¼ oz drop shot weight, and combine with a spinning rod. Utilize this beast in areas with any submerged structure, especially rocky areas.
What Is the Best Fishing Lure for Bass?
If we gathered 100 bass anglers and asked them, “what is the best fishing lure for bass?” we would likely get 150 different answers. Many of these answers probably wouldn’t consider season or water conditions. This is a huge mistake.
To select the best bass fishing lure, you need to assess the conditions you’re in. The focus here was to highlight my top bass fishing lures, but it would be a colossal miss if I didn’t touch on how water conditions affect lure selection.
Water clarity will impact the fish’s behavior in many ways and change what they will be caught on.
Bass don’t rely on a single sense to locate and hunt their prey. The clarity of the water will dictate whether they are depending on sound or sight to key in on their target. A good bass angler will recognize this and select an appropriate lure for that moment.
The most popular bass fishing lures in murky conditions will be ones that have a large silhouette and create plenty of noise, commotion, or flash (if fishing in daylight). The vibration from these lures will draw in bass, even if they can’t directly see the lure.
In clear water conditions, bass become wary of shadows, unnatural presentations, and loud noises. While it may seem illogical, selecting a smaller, more subtle lure will lead to more bites.
This big winter bass required a slower presentation
Seasonality is a critical factor for lure selection. It affects water temperature, as well as the plants and other aquatic life that will be present in the water.
For example, summer and fall hydrilla and lily pad growth will hinder the use of swimbaits but improve the effectiveness of pitched jigs and frogs.Bass anglers should take note and adjust their lure as the natural forage changes with the seasons. Shad are a common winter baitfish, whereas frogs, lizards, and bluegills are common summertime foods. The change will influence both lure shape and color.
Bass, like most fish, become sluggish when water temperatures drop. This fact requires anglers to adjust their presentation and fish slower-moving lures. A fast-moving squarebill will draw bites from active fish. But when used in cold water, it won’t be as successful as a slower rolling flat-sided crankbait.
Ultimately, the best bait for bass fishing is unknown until the water conditions have been assessed. Bass anglers have been winning competitions for decades by honing their skills with specific lures. But just because the latest bass master classic was won with a spinnerbait doesn’t mean you should toss all your crankbaits into the garbage.
An assortment of bass fishing lures
Price vs. Quality
Make sure to choose a good quality lure, though this doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive option in the shop. Pay attention to the build quality and check to see if the lure is built from high-caliber materials such as wood, durable plastic, and strong metal.Poor quality material will have giveaways, such as flaking paint and components that feel flimsy when you hold them. Generally speaking, the most popular bass fishing lures are built to a quality standard, although there are always exceptions.
With most retail products, you get what you pay for – but not always. The same is true for fishing lures. There is a fine line between finding a good quality lure and not spending more than you have to.
As you may have noticed from my top ten bass lures, some are premium brands (with prices to match), but some are budget options.
A good rule of thumb is not to buy the cheapest lure you can find, but don’t buy the most expensive one, either. Try different brands to see which lures you like and get a feel for what you’re willing to spend more for.
With the thousands of bass fishing lures available today, deciding which to buy is a challenge, let alone agreeing on a universal best fishing lure for bass.
Any lures mentioned above will be a great addition to your tackle box and result in many fun days on the water. Once you experiment with different lure styles and brands, you’ll work out your own list of the top 10 bass fishing lures.
Learning and finding out what works for you is a fun process. Enjoy every minute of it, and keep those lines tight!
- Bass Fishing Lures: A Complete Breakdown
- A Total Guide to Bass Fishing Crankbaits
- Frog Fishing for Bass: Everything You Need to Know
- 15 Killer Topwater Bass Fishing Lures
- 11 Killer Spinnerbait Tips for Bass
- The Complete Guide to Jerkbait Fishing For Smallmouth Bass
- Our Top 11 Bass Flies: The Best Fly Fishing Lures for Bass
- The Complete Bass Fishing Lure Color Selection Guide