White bass are not near as popular as stripers or largemouth. Even so, they are starting to make a noticeable comeback in the angling industry as many anglers are starting to target them specifically. The best White Bass lures are a heated topic too and this makes it much more difficult to choose the right lure on any given day. We go over in this post, some of the best ones we believe you can tie on to catch them. This is consistently and efficiently, regardless if you trophy hunt or are just looking to fill up the stringer.
They are very fun to catch and can even make a great meal if you are a fan of deep-fried fish with a side of coleslaw and hushpuppies. They lack the reputation of the black bass family yet what they lack in the reputation is more than made up for in numbers and fight. They are a bit of fun for everybody.
How To Choose A White Bass Lure
- Consider A Shad – These aggressive feeders love to eat mainly one thing. Shad or similar baitfish. Gizzard shad, threadfin shad, american shad, or hickory shad are what they tend to chase. No matter what on you decide to try first, consider making it look like some sort of shad. Stay away from the crayfish, the frogs, and lizards too. Shad is the name of this game and your bait choice should look like one regardless. It doesn’t have to be an exact copy but it should look similar.
- Water Displacement – If you can displace water, you can really draw in some strikes. They are extremely aggressive predators and if you can displace water enough to get their attention, you likely can get a strike 60% of the time. Crankbaits and other reaction lures work well in warmer weather when small swimbaits and jigs work well in all weather. Displacing water is important because this is what real shad do in the wild as they try to avoid predators.
- Keep It Small – Whatever you do, do not and I repeat, do not throw big baits at white bass for any reason. Trust me on this. If you want to trophy hunt for them, throwing absurdly huge shad imitators at them will not get the job done for you. They max out at around 3 1/2 to 4 pounds. If you want to trophy hunt, your trophy will be caught on the exact same size as the rest of the catches. I see so many people who upsize the jig or crank just a hair and get drastically fewer bites because of it. Of the fish that are landed on them, they are usually the same size as the rest of them. You might as well just use a spinning rod and throw the small stuff anyway.
Don’t ever be afraid to throw a swimbait if you are targeting any size of white bass. Swimbaits make a very real and effective presentation no matter where you throw them. Swimbaits of both kinds can be especially productive. You can rig soft swimbaits a few ways. Use swimbaits with foiled out bodies and shad patterns for best results. Both hard and soft swimbaits can be effective depending on the action you are trying to achieve.
Soft swimbaits give generally more options to consider than hard ones do, especially when fish are this size. You may also get a little more realistic action on soft swimbaits. Either way, learning to fish swimbaits is something that will help you out in the long run. They can be effective in literally every water temperature as well as in every season of the year with absolutely no restrictions. You will often get some of the biggest catches on these too.
It perfectly imitates a shad or minnow and is great on a Texas rig, swimbait hook, or as a trailer on something else. It also makes swimbait fishing easy.
Regardless of whether you should choose a jigging spoon or a casting spoon, understand that a spoon of any kind can be a top producer. because of their natural baitfish profile and action, they do a good job of imitating literally hundreds of species of baitfish. If you have a color that matches what the predators naturally feed on, you can easily fill up the stringer.
Spoons are popular because they have been around a very long time and have one of the highest reputations of any artificial out there. In their simplest form, they are nothing more than an oddly shaped piece of metal with a hook on the end. Although it may sound basic, they have produced enough fish to be considered essential in the tackle box.
Casting spoons are very easy to use. just cast them out and reel it back it. If you have a jigging spoon, it is better to get on top of the school, drop it down, and jig it until they strike. This is also great for ice fishing when you need to sit at a hole and stay there.
The Little Cleo works well as a casting or jigging spoon and can even be retrieved. This means you can have the versatility of three different spoon types, all without changing baits.
Instead of taking 3 boxes, you can take only 1 and be all set to start fishing spoons. They come with a razor-sharp hook and are even regarded as one of the greatest lures of all time.
Catching bass with crankbaits is fun and efficient. They work well because they are reaction lures. You can use them for power fishing as well as casting and retrieving. When they are all schooled together chewing on shad, the crankbait is nice because it is erratic. You can trigger them into striking by making them react.
Crankbaits are generally more effective in the cases of rising temperatures although not always. Any predator that chases baitfish will bite a crankbait. Crankbaits can be used as search and find tools too. You can troll them behind your boat to cover a lot of water quickly. They also make hooking up easier because the targeted species have small mouths and having two trebles increases the hookup ratio.
The key to fish any crankbait effectively is to choose the right color beforehand as well as the right depth of diving lip. We typically suggest a normal size, shallow-diving, crank with a square bill and a shad pattern for the best versatility.
Our Top Pick: A very easy decision, the best crankbait in our opinion is the Rapala Shad Rap. Aside from the obvious, the profile of this incredible crank is one that appeals to literally anything that likes to eat shad.
Something unique about the Shad Rap is that it has no rattle. This is a reaction profile with no sound to speak of. The presentation is realistic and effective.
4. Curly Tail Grubs
One of the most popular attractors out there is a curly tail grub mounted onto a jig head. Anywhere from a 1/32 oz all the way to a 1/16 oz jig head work well. The 1/16 sized jig head is a good versatile jig head to use. Curly tail grubs are extremely effective producers, especially when retrieved at a slow to moderate speed over an actively feeding school. Solid white or silver and Shad colors tend to work well.
You can cast or retrieve them as well as use them for vertical jigging. You can rig a curly tail by taking one and threading it onto a jig head. Make sure the curly tail is facing upwards like the hook is. Curly tail grubs perfectly match fry or new hatchlings. Curly tails have a nice action on the retrieve. Cast it out and retrieve it at a moderate or slow speed, depending on the temperature.
Zoom has been manufacturing quality tackle for a very long time and just the name alone proves effectiveness.
You can mount the Zoom grub on a jig head to appeal to every size of fish out there.
5. Umbrella Rigs
While it is actually a rig and not technically a single baitfish image, the umbrella rig makes this list because of how effective it is. A great way to catch a ton is to fish an umbrella rig with some white curly tail grubs on each wire or some silver-colored shad swimbaits. You can even attach spinning blades on a few of them if you choose. The result looks exactly like a school of swimming shad, which is what you want.
The umbrella rig will readily accept many different kinds of soft plastic swimbaits, curly tail grubs, jigs, or trailers. An umbrella rig consists of a weighted head with two or more wire arms that jet off the back and these have barrel snap swivels attached. You attach your minnows by snapping them onto the barrel swivels with the line ties. Your mainline should be tied onto the front end of the weighted head.
These particular rigs are regulated in some states so it’s important to know your local laws. Especially concerning the ones regarding how many minnows or hooks you can use, you can replace a number of either with spinning blades to keep you legal. Although many tournaments also ban the use of umbrella rigs too, some may allow it depending on the rules. Be familiar with the regulations always.
Our Top Pick: The Yumbrella is exactly how it sounds. An umbrella from Yum. The Yumbrella has wire arms that will allow you to attach swimbaits, curly tail grubs, and others while giving you the look of a swimming school of baitfish.
We chose the Yumbrella because it is not expensive, easy to use, and can easily be modified to use spinner blades when requested.
This particular one has 3 wire arms which are usually legal in most places. You can successfully copy a school of fleeing bait very easily without fear of a fine from the game warden.
Putting It All Together
Many people love to catch white bass but the best lures for them are highly debated. While there really is no one single bait that is better than all the others, using certain ones over others will only help your success. All in all, the main things you should look for are shad or baitfish, imitators. Keep them rather small and make sure they displace a little water. If you have these qualities, you should be able to catch more fish more often.
Got something to add? Don’t forget to leave us a reply in the comments below to tell us what your favorite lures or techniques are.