Best Largemouth Bass Lures and How To Use Them

Oct 11, 2023 | 8 minute read Comments
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Why has Largemouth Bass fishing stood the test of time across the US? Well, these Black Bass varieties are aggressive fighters, can tolerate almost any environment they’re introduced to, and will hit a huge range of lures and bait. Their willingness to strike is what makes fishing for them so exciting. However, this doesn’t mean that just any old bait or lure will do – and that’s where we come in!

A woman holding a Largemouth Bass on a boat in Texas

Below, we’ve covered the basics of Bass lures and bait, as well as how and when to use them. Let’s delve in…

Largemouth Bass Fishing Basics

Think about the size of the Bass you want to target. Smaller Bass feed on things like shrimp, insects, and scuds. When they get bigger, they prefer to munch on bigger creatures. This includes crawfish, frogs, snails, and even baby alligators, depending on the waters they’re inhabiting. Finally, trophy-sized Bass and varieties living in larger lakes and ponds go for small perch, shad, shiners, and sunfish.

Match your bait to the waters you’re fishing in. As we mentioned above, Largemouth Bass inhabit a huge variety of waters, most commonly lakes and ponds. This means that they’re just as likely to live in murky fisheries with plenty of surface coverage and weeds, as clear waters. The bait fish they feed on also differs depending on where you choose to cast your line. Knowing a little about where you’re fishing can go a long way when it comes to choosing the right bait.

A smiling fisherman holding a fishing rod over his shoulder and a Largemouth Bass in the other hand

Pay attention to the time of year. Spring means spawning season for Bass. You’ll usually find them closer to shore, sticking around different types of structure, such as vegetation, fallen trees, and docks. Colder seasons can mean facing off against unpredictable weather conditions, like heavy winds. This will impact the type of bait or lure that’s most effective.

Keep an eye on the time of day. This also plays big part in how active your fish will be. Bass can see better in low-light conditions, which means they can “ambush” their target bait fish then. Low-light conditions generally take place in the early morning and around dusk, which means that these are particularly productive times for fishing.

Best Bass Lure Choices

When it comes to choosing bait for your Bass, variety really is the spice of life. This is especially true if you’re fishing with lures. The sheer amount of Bass artificials out there can make your head spin. There are special varieties for deep waters, murky waters, clear waters, shallow waters… you get the picture! To keep it simple, we’ve covered what consider to be the top four general best Bass lures below…

A Largemouth Bass held next to a lake with a jig in its mouth


What are they? The crankbait is a lure that comes in many shapes and sizes, with one defining feature. It has a plastic lip that “dives” underwater when it’s reeled in. This lip is crucial when it comes to helping your crankbait mimic the natural movements of many bait fish. You cast your crankbait and when you reel it in, it’s dragged underwater, which causes it to wobble and move around. As Largemouth Bass are predatory creatures, the sight of potential prey on the move draws their attention in fast!

Crankbaits range from deep-diving to shallow-diving varieties, with different “wobble” capabilities. Although most manufacturers list the optimal depths on their products, you can also follow this rule of thumb. Longer lips with sharper angles work best in shallow waters, whereas shorter lips with slighter downward angles are made for deeper dives. Although they come in many lengths, a variety of 3–5″ lures will do the job when Bass fishing.

Good for: Versatility, covering a lot of water in a short amount of time, and fishing in deep waters or at specific depths (this can include shallow flats). Be careful if you’re fishing in areas with a lot of vegetation, though. Crankbaits can get easily tangled in weeds and grass, although many are now made to be snag-resistant.

When to use them: Any time is a good time to use a crankbait. There’s a reason why it’s the “go-to” Bass lure! Just make sure you adapt it to your fishing conditions. In clear waters, go for natural colors. In warm waters, you want that wobble factor to be pronounced, whereas colder waters require a tighter wobble. If you’re fishing in murkier stained waters, a crankbait with a rattle comes in handy.

A man holding a Largemouth Bass in Florida


What are they? “Jig” is a catch-all term for a family of artificial lures that you use when jigging for fish. This is a technique where you attempt to mimic the natural movements of bait fish. Essentially, a jig is any type of lure that has a lead sinker with a metal-headed hook molded to it – usually covered by a soft body.

The majority of Bass fishing jigs are skirted. This is because these lures mimic crawfish, one of the Largemouth Bass’s preferred food options. You’ll find jigs in many shapes, colors, and sizes, so the best way to narrow down the list is to think of the natural environment you’ll be fishing in. You want your jig to mimic something your Bass would find in your chosen fishery. Know that shad is on the menu, for example? Opt for a lighter-colored or white jig.

Good for: Fishing around vegetation, in grassy areas, or waters that hold a lot of trees or stumps, as well as areas with lots of heavy cover. Usually paired with a heavier rod, this makes it easier to pull the jig and your fish through thick matted grass. If you’re fishing in clearer flats, they’re probably not the best lure for you.

When to use them: Again, jigs are a great year-round option. Most anglers choose to flip and pitch (two techniques that involve keeping your bait low to the water’s surface and placing lures in and around shallow cover), rather than cast. Spring and summer are especially productive seasons, with light-colored jigs working best on sunny, clear days. In clear waters, you should also opt for light colors. Darker colors (even black) show up best in murky waters.

Plastic Worms

What are they? Unlike some lures, which can have pretty wacky names, the plastic worm does what it says on the tin. These lures imitate their real-life counterparts, although they can come in a huge variety of colors that aren’t found in nature! Despite the fact that they’re probably the most simple lure on our list, they’re also one of the most effective.

A man holds a Largemouth Bass on a charter boat with the water behind him

This is because of the sheer variety these lures offer for Bass fishing. When fishing with a plastic worm, you can rig it in pretty much any way you’d like. However, one of the most popular setups for Bass fishing with these guys is something called the Texas rig. This is a simple setup that involves combining your worm with a bullet weight at the end of your hook. This allows it to sink to various depths in your chosen fishery.

Good for: Variety and adaptability. As well as the Texas rig, there are many other ways you can rig this lure to suit where you’re fishing. Whether you’re fishing in waters with lots of weeds, or clear shallow bays, you can adapt your worm to produce excellent results.

When to use them: Worms work better in waters that are at least 55 degrees, and when your Bass aren’t super active. This is because they’re not as fast as other types of lures, such as crankbaits or spinners. In colder waters, opt for smaller worms. Warm waters call for straight worms that are at least 6 inches long. Finally, curly tail worms work especially well if you’re fishing in areas with lots of vegetation.


What are they? The spinnerbait has a lead head combined with a wire framework, hook (covered by a soft rubber or plastic skirt), and one or more flashing spinner blades. It’s sometimes referred to as the “safety pin lure,” as it looks like an open safety pin. The main aim of a spinnerbait is to (you guessed it!) mimic the movement of your Bass’s bait fish. This is due to the spinning blades, which vibrate and flash.

A man holding a big Largemouth Bass on a boat in the Everglades, Florida

There are a variety of spinnerbait designs, and which one you’ll want to use depends on where you’re fishing. A short-arm spinnerbait can be fished anywhere, but is best suited for dropping off ledges. A long-arm spinnerbait can also be used anywhere, but is the best choice for areas with lots of grass and vegetation. Finally, the twinspin works best if you’re fishing along the bottom of a lake or pond.

Good for: Targeting those big Bass! These lures have earned a reputation among experienced Bass anglers as being especially effective when it comes to targeting the larger, wiser varieties of these fish. This is due to their relative quietness when presented. Their design also means they’re highly resistant to snagging. They’re an excellent option when it comes to fishing areas with lots of vegetation and structure.

When to use them: Often hailed by many anglers as the most versatile lure around, there’s really no bad time to fish a spinnerbait. You can use them in nearly any water or weather conditions. In clear waters, opt for small (around 3/8 ounce) spinnerbaits in natural, translucent colors to mimic shad and other bait fish. In waters that are deeper than 20 feet or murky, 3/8 should be the minimum size you use (feel free to go bigger!). Bright fluorescent colors are especially effective.

What about live bait for Bass?

Perhaps the most important rule to follow when choosing your bait is matching it to what your target fish is already eating. Because of this, live bait is always a popular option. It requires less presentation from the angler, and will draw less skepticism from your Bass.

An image of a man holding a Bass in Florida

You’ll want to use whatever is prevalent in your local waters to attract your fish, so doing a little bit of research is always a good idea. However, crawfish are a good “go-to” bait fish for Bass, as they live in a vast variety of waterways. Shiners, minnows, and shad are also common prey for these fish, whereas some areas see them feeding on frogs, snakes, and other creatures such as bats. Again, this is where getting to grips with your local fishery will come in handy!

Best Bass Lures: Variety Is the Spice of Life

As you can see, there’s more than just one way to bait a Bass! We’ve outlined our favorite lures above, as well as a quick note on live bait, but they’re by no means the only options out there. However, they’re a great way to get started on your Bass fishing journey – so why not grab a few spinners and worms and test them out?

What do you think is the best Bass lure around? Drop us your top tips in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

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Katie is a Philosophy graduate from the UK, and now she spends her time asking (and answering!) the important questions, such as: What, exactly, are the best ways to bait a hook for Redfish? She first cast a line in Florida as a teenager, and it took her a while to circle back to angling as a hobby, but now she's hooked. Her personal fishing highlight? Reeling in a rare Golden Trevally while cruising the deep waters off the United Arab Emirates!

Comments (3)


Mar 14, 2024

Great breakdown of Bass lures! Matching bait to Bass behavior is key. I’ve had success with jigs in weedy areas and crankbaits for covering more water. Can’t beat live bait for natural presentation. Thanks for the insights!

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Apr 16, 2022

You mentioned that most jigs are skirted because they are meant to mimic crawfish. I find it strange that you would write that since crawfish don’t wear skirts.

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    Apr 18, 2022

    Hi David,

    You managed to make me laugh, anyway! I think the logic is that crawfish have so many different appendages on their body that skirted lures can often seem similar to them when dragged along the bottom. In murky waters, they can be especially tempting for Bass.

    Tight lines,

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