In today’s market, there certainly is a ton of fishing lures to choose from. When you consider largemouth bass fishing, there are thousands of different lures in many colors, shapes, sizes, and actions created just for this species of fish alone. This makes it much harder to figure out what the best largemouth bass lures are. Many fishing lures are similar in size, shape, color, and appearance. Usually, the hardest part is deciding on your favorite brand name. They all work but there are many brands and types available that catch fish better than others do. Bass love lures.
How do you decide which lures are the best for you? There are a few different lure types that a largemouth bass angler should never take out of their tackle box because they will consistently catch fish in pretty much every water body. These lures are effective at targeting largemouth all across the country in all temperatures and all water clarities. These are some staple lures that you need to have in your tackle box no matter how often you go fishing. You need to have them.
1. Crankbaits – For Covering A Lot Of Water Very Quickly
In all my years of catching fish, there is one lure that truly sticks out from the rest. This same style of lure has caught so many fish for me in less than optimal conditions. That mystifying lure is the crankbait. The crankbait is a reaction lure with a lengthy fish-catching reputation. The reason it is so effective can be summed up in one word. Versatility. You can cover a lot of water quickly or take your time with slower retrieves. Also, many people tend to falsely think it is exclusively a warm-water bait. This isn’t necessarily true. Reaction baits work in all weather.
On most days, I can go out even when lakes are still half-frozen and catch fish on them. Many would think it is an incompatible lure for the season but it isn’t. You can throw them regardless of weather conditions also. Many anglers think you need to fish a worm, a jig, or a swimbait when it is extremely cold out. My own experience, however, has been that fish will still hit crankbaits when fished at the right speed. Usually, all you need to consider is the lip style.
A lot of the time, just switching a traditional style to a square bill is all it takes to trigger huge and explosive strikes. The unnatural action allows the fish to find it when the water is murky or if there are bigger currents. For those summer and spring largemouth, fishing it much faster or burning it back to the boat will often get you an aggressive reaction strike from the more territorial females. Depending on how deep you want it to go, you can very easily work one near the surface or bump it across rocks on the bottom. Either way, they are versatile anywhere.
After you find what depth the fish are at, you must choose the right color. This is usually the determining factor for success. Being familiar with what the predators naturally eat can help with this. In clearer water, throw colors that look more natural. In dirty or stained water, start with throwing darker colors like black and navy blue. If they don’t work, try bright ones like bright red, chartreuse, neon green, and yellow. Make sure to match the hatch if you possibly can.
The Strike King KVD Squarebill is the best and most versatile crankbait we have ever seen. Designed by Kevin VanDam himself, this is what he prefers to throw. Renowned for power fishing, VanDam prefers crankbaits to cover more water quickly.
It is even great if you are already good at crankbait fishing. This lure has a great track record. It comes in a wide array of colors, three sizes, and will cover most situations that you typically encounter on the water. This one is a shallower diving crankbait and it will be the most effective in shallow water. Try it out and see!
2. Stick Bait Worms – For When The Bite Is Getting Tough
It does not really matter which tackle store you go into today. One of the options you will never fail to find is a plastic worm of some sort. This is for a great reason too. Fish love to eat worms! We are all aware. We have likely caught our first fish on a worm. Aside from that, the ones that imitate them rarely fail to produce catch after catch after catch. Soft plastic worms make excellent choices to consider when you want a bait that is soft and chewy. They feel extremely natural in the mouth of their adversaries. Fish don’t naturally eat worms but they still work.
Aside from that, the versatility of plastic worms is nothing short of incredible. You can use them in open water, the thickest of grass, and pretty much everywhere else. They can be rigged completely weedless by using the Texas rig. They can also be fished wacky style, on a Carolina rig, drop shot, shaky head, and many other ways. Just by changing the color of the worm, you can imitate shad, bluegill, snakes, worms, and many other things. By changing the tail design, you can add more action or less. You can cover pretty much all water depths with them too, as long as you change the weight of your sinker. You can even throw it weightless to avoid sinkers.
The Gary Yamamoto Yamasenko is one of the best plastic worms. It lacks fancy tails or other things but it really doesn’t need them to be effective. It’s simple but effective. It has a distinct shimmy as it falls to the bottom. It may not seem like much but the bass will rip it apart because of it. It is most popular and known for its effectiveness on a wacky rig. It is the one you can rely on if nothing else works. This is why. It catches fish! The Yamasenko is a great one to try if your just starting out. Learning how to fish with stick baits is one of those things where you lose to many opportunities if you never learn how to fish these great lures properly and efficiently.
3. Jerkbaits – Great For Cold Water Fishing And Catching
If you are after some explosive strikes in clear water, jerkbaits may be your best bet in open water. Designed with a profile similar to many forage fish, these lures can be used to hunt down the biggest fish in the lake. You can change the color to a silver or chrome pattern to imitate shiners or to a Perch or Trout pattern if the fish happen to eat those. You can copy anything and everything your water has in it all with one bait. This is without it looking very artificial at all too. You fish them by making a very long cast and ripping it after a pause. Make sure it slashes.
You can cover a lot of water with an approach like this. It makes a great option to choose in warmer months but the coldest waters in the dead of winter are where these really shine. On many days, you can catch cold-water fish that will be otherwise pecking and tapping on lures such as swimbaits that have a single hook. Jerkbaits come in hard versions similar to crankbaits and in soft plastic versions similar to swimbaits. The result after you twitch your rod tip on a slack fishing line is something that looks exactly like a dying baitfish. Predators love it.
Since they have no real action of their own, you can completely change the action and how the bait performs just by varying how you slash your rod tip. You can very easily cover the top of the water column, the bottom, and everything in between. You also have the option of using suspending models which are great for when you want to get some bites from all different levels in the water. Different models will dive to different depths so choose the right lure for you.
The Rapala X-Rap extreme action slash bait is one that can do pretty much anything you want it to do. It features a wide array of excellent color patterns, enough to imitate absolutely anything. Because of this, a highly realistic presentation is easy if you know how to fish jerkbaits. The action of the X-Rap is also different from most other jerking lures. Unlike most other competitors, you can actually use a straight retrieve to reproduce the classic Rapala wounded baitfish wobble. The same action that invented the modern wounded baitfish fishing lure.
4. Swimbaits – For The Biggest And Most Delicate Biters
When it comes time to match the hatch for clear water fishing, very few lures will do it better than the swimbait. They are somewhat new in comparison to the other lures on this list, but they are here because they catch fish and do it very consistently. Soft plastic swimbaits also have the added perk of feeling very lifelike in addition to the visual appeal. Most of the time when you are fishing swimbaits, the fish are feeding on shad, sunfish, minnows or many other forage fish.
When the fish picks up the lure in its mouth, it gets a chewy bait that is softer and a little more natural feeling opposed to a harder lure made of wood, plastic, or metal. This feature alone can be what it takes to get the fish to hold onto the bait longer so you can set the hook on it. Every predator eats small fish and they rarely seem to get tired of them. These come in many varieties which include the soft plastic paddle tail, jointed hard versions, huge lifelike swimbaits with real looking tails, and many other kinds. They all work well and catch big fish when fished right.
The soft plastic ones can be rigged on a drop shot rig, jighead, Texas rig, Alabama rig, and even used as a trailer to give some of the other lures in your arsenal a little more action. Baits like the spinnerbait, the bladed swim jig (normally called the Chatterbait), the buzz bait, and the Arkie jig can really come alive with the addition of a soft swimbait as a trailer. It makes much more action.
The Kaitech Swing Impact is the perfect representation of the swimbait category. Being a soft body in contrast to the harder bodies that merely require a knot and a cast, this one is a particularly versatile bait that can get it done. The plastic is extremely soft. This allows for extreme action when it matters most. Since you are not going after small ones when fishing with swimbaits anyways, these naturally catch bigger fish. Once you have your terminal tackle in easy reach, you can easily get the very big girls with them. The ribs work well to displace water.
5. Spinnerbaits – To Create Aggressive Reaction Strikes
Do not let the odd appearance and design of the spinnerbait prevent you from throwing one when things need a little more action. It is not natural looking by any means. Even so, most largemouth bass anglers that consistently win tournaments will have at least one tied on every season and this a for a reason. The spinnerbait may look odd but make no mistake about it. They catch fish in a way that has earned them the reputation and bragging rights in the tackle boxes of many including professionals and civilians alike. Spinnerbaits will work wherever fish swim.
The traditional spinnerbait design is an original one. Today, we associate absolutely everything that has a blade and spins around the water, to this name. The design is pretty straight forward. A lead or tungsten jighead is molded around a jig hook. Before the molding process, a wire arm is placed inside of the mold before pouring the molten metal inside. The exposed wire arm is then bent to accommodate a ball bearing swivel, a split ring, and one or more rotating blades.
One of the best spinnerbaits that we have found is the legendary Strike King KVD model. Again, another lure designed by Kevin Vandam, the world’s best angler. While it is the most durable we have seen, we just love that Kevin has great colors. You can very easily mimic Bluegill, Shad, frogs, mice, small birds, and many other things. This gives you versatility as well as an edge. The blades disrupt different amounts of water depending on how many and their blade styles.
6. Skirted Jigs – Probably The Most Versatile Bass Lure
The jig is a tried and true fish catcher. The jig can be used in many situations. You can bounce it off the bottom for an enticing action or add a soft plastic trailer to swim in on through the water column. Trailers give the lure a bigger profile in the water and well as more water displacement. Use a red Arkie jig tipped with a craw trailer for when the bass is on crayfish beds and bounce it on the bottom for consistent strikes. If the fish are on bluegill beds, the jig gives you the option to choose a sunfish color tipped with a bluegill colored paddle tail trailer on the hook.
In that case, swim it through the water using a straight retrieve or a twitch and pause method. The jig is a very versatile lure that can be fished with success in open or snaggy water that is clear as crystal or clear as mud. They are one of the most versatile lures available. They have a built-in weed guard that helps prevent unnecessary snagging when fishing in less than open water. Bass of all sizes will hit a skirted jig if fished correctly. Its very easy to fish one.
Most of the time, they will hammer on it instead of just sucking it in too. Depending on the type of jig you decide to use, you can swim it, drag it along the rocky bottom, pitch it, throw it into the nastiest vegetation and brush, and even fish it in open water. Jigs of all kinds have a lead or tungsten jighead molded onto a hook and dressed in skirts. On many models, also included is a built-in weed guard. This lets you cast into the thick grass without hanging up or snagging it.
The Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Brush and cover skirted jig is the one to throw. These work extremely well in most places. The interesting shape of the head means you can swim it as well as use it for bottom bouncing, flipping, pitching, and pretty much anything and everything else you would want to do with a skirted jig. What sets it apart from many other models is the versatility aspect. While jigs are pretty versatile in their own right already, this provides you with the ability to cover most jig fishing scenarios without cutting a single line.
The Greatest Bass Lures Of All Time – A Brief Recap
Catching largemouth bass is a fun sport. More fishing tackle has been made targeting fish of this species than every other species of fish combined; even saltwater. Everyone may have their own reason as to why they want to catch largemouth. They may want them for fight or food or maybe some other reason. Whatever the cause, some of the best largemouth bass lures are simple in design and easy to use. Every bass angler can benefit from having these lures in their tackle box. I highly recommend you give them a try next time you go out on the water.
To sum it up, we believe the greatest baits to throw for are crankbaits, soft plastic worms, jerkbaits, swimbaits, swimbaits, and skirted jigs, in that order. of course, this is just an opinion and everything on this list may produce different results for you. There really isn’t a best lure because one could be the best for you and not even get bit by someone else. You need to try the lures out, catch some fish, and build confidence in them. Its about what works best for you.
Do you agree with our list? Let us know what you think by leaving a reply in a comment below this post! Let us know which lures you think is the best one for largemouth and why! We always want to catch some more largemouth! You can help us do that! Leave a comment below!