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Best Bass Baits for Spring – A Quick Guide
There are a few key things I look for when choosing the right bass lures for spring. These are the features I tend to focus on when deciding what makes it into my lure box.
Bass rely on two main senses when hunting. Sight and vibration.
So, here’s what I like to do when selecting a lure…
I combine both. I try and go for anything that flutters, pops, spits, ducks or dives. The more erratic and chaotic the movement, the better.
Bass fishing isn’t ‘one size’ fits all, so your lures won’t be either. I’d advise going for a range of sizes, but as it is towards spring, try and keep the majority to a smaller size.
Crankbaits have to be some of the simplest (and most effective) bass lures around. The beauty with them is that you can fish them any way you like. Pull them through the top, jig them, even bounce them along the bottom!
The lipless version, such as the above, gives you flexibility. They are also great for fishing in warmer and shallower water as they won’t dive every time you retrieve them, keeping you free of the bottom.
These are wallet-friendly options, and the fact that you get 5 in a single pack means you are getting a range of options for the money.
If I am fishing around weed, I tend to replace the trebles with single hooks.
The water in spring can sometimes be a little colored. These are great as they contain a large and pretty loud rattle that allows the bass to hone in on the lure.
One of the most versatile bass lures around. Lipless crankbaits can be deadly in the late spring. Fish these any time you see signs of fry or smaller fish.
Sure, you can drop $25 on a single piece of plastic, or you can get 3 for about half the cost. What’s it to be hotshot? Bass don’t care about designer brands. All you need to look for is something with a decent lip and looks vaguely like food.
The above is an excellent example. They are guaranteed to dive, dart, and wobble like a wounded baitfish with realistic eyes and a large vane. You’ll find almost every effective bass color out there, including chartreuse, reds, and silvers.
These are some of the best late spring bass lures around and are ideal to use if you are fishing in an area where you know that perch or trout will be spawning.
The downsides are that they tend to get snagged quite easily, so if you are fishing in areas of heavy cover, it could be worth considering a weed-free alternative.
I love great value while also gaining a few options in my lure box. This set represents both. I really like the realistic look, and they swim quite convincingly too!
Poppers aren’t often thought of as good lures for spring bass, but I always carry a couple just in case. I tie one of these on for a few casts as soon as I see any surface action.
Again, you’ll get plenty of movement, and there is something about that concave face that seems to really get the bass going. By far, my standout color amongst this lineup is the ‘blood head’. It is designed to simulate a dying fish on death’s door, presenting an opportunity that is too good to miss for an overwintered bass!
If the bass are in deep cover, one of these ‘walked’ over the surface is normally enough to wake them from their slumber!
Remember how I talked about all-year-round bass catchers? These are prime examples. The feathered tail is the icing on the cake as it also imparts a lot of movement.
I’m not sure why this works so well? I presume it is because they resemble a shoal of fish. It might just be the combination of spinning and fluttering that trigger something primal in the Bass.
Whatever it is…
It really does work. The fluttering skirt in this pattern contains a hint of each color, essentially acting like several lures in one. When fishing in murky water, the spinning blades kick out loads of vibration, allowing bass to zero in, even in poor visibility.
I notice one thing with these lures that I am not a huge fan of. The blades are often the target, yet they don’t have hooks, so expect plenty of taps without a hookup!
Be sure to go for the lighter end when choosing these early spring bass lures. Too heavy, and you are going to frighten the fish away. My top choice would have to be the microking spinner. This seems to magic up bites even on the quietest of spring days.
There’s something about something long, thin, and white whizzing through the water that spring bass just can’t seem to resist. I’ll be honest, these don’t really look like anything you’d find naturally…
But that doesn’t matter, as long as you are catching.
These small rubber lures can be rigged in several ways. Set them up on a jighead if you want to get straight down to deep water, or alternatively, free line them on an LRF set up around rocks and structures.
I find the most effective color to use is white pearl. It is particularly great when fishing in low-light conditions. It creates a really easy-to-spot contrast in the water.
This is a great one to try if the bites are slow. They can be fished almost static and still encourage the occasional snap from a passing bass.
I love that with a handful of jigheads and a pocket full of these, I’ve got loads of options and can fish any way I choose. When bass fishing in spring, there is a lot of trial and error involved. Sets like these allow me to experiment.
Remember when I talked about imparting plenty of movement? This is what I am talking about. In spring, bass might be less likely to go for fish, but their diet through the winter will have been worm-based for sure. Real live worms can be one of the best baits for spring…
And here’s the thing…
This lure presents a sort of halfway house between a worm and a fish! I love the action on this particular lure. The red bug is my favorite color. The tail paddles from side to side and creates a really jerky motion that is sure to grab the Bass’s attention!
I wish they were a little cheaper, as getting a selection can be a little costly, but I genuinely believe they are worth every penny!
Ask 100 different anglers, and they’ll all tell you which color is best. For the money, I’d say go for either red bug or green pumpkin in the spring. Both should net you a bass or two…
Moving towards the start of the summer, you’ll start to see more and more baitfish around. This is the time to tie on one of these.
Want a top tip?
Chartreuse is absolutely deadly when it comes to catching big bass. For a more natural look, ‘watermelon’. This most accurately represents the tiny fry that will be found in the cooler months.
With lifelike eyes and a super mobile tail, these are a great choice. You will want to give this erratic jerks to get the most out of it, be sure to leave it still. If you feel a bass take a swipe, they often come back to finish the job!
This is one of the most realistic-looking bass lures around. To my eye, it looked just like a tiny fish in the water. I really like the flash foil belly too. If the water is clear and the weather sunny, this can be a deadly pattern to try.
If we are talking movement, then this should be your go-to option. Ok, it doesn’t look that realistic, but once you’ve given a topwater ‘devils horse’ a pull through the surface, you are going to be amazed.
The lure has a little propellor on the front and the back. It buzzes, spits, and makes one hell of a commotion on the surface as it is retrieved. It’s designed to imitate a fleeing shad, which is just what gets a bass going!
I’ve found the most effective lure to be the black and white for spring bass, but the blue back also works well.
This is my ‘when all else’ fails lure if there are bass showing, but I haven’t hit the mark. I’d advise against using it too early in the season, as it relies on movement to be at its most effective.
The truth is that any lure where the hook point is facing upward or covered by the body of your lure can be described as ‘weedless’. I included this particular model as it is weedless and resembles something that features heavily on a bass’s diet.
We’re talking frogs…
This won’t be great early in the season, but get to frogspawn time, and you can easily expect to catch. The upward-facing hook points make this a great option to fish around cover. You’ll be less likely to snag up, and also, it is where bass will be waiting for real-life frogs anyway.
I like to ‘walk’ these over the surface, and they are especially effective in areas of dense cover.
One of the keys to being successful at bass fishing is to match what they are likely to consider ‘food’. Frogs form a large part of the Bass’s diet. I find that in Spring, natural-looking lures tend to outfish the bold and brash of those I’d use in the summer.
You’ll find a great range of options among my favorite Spring bass lures. If I had to pick one, I’d undoubtedly head straight to jerk baits. They offer both movement and a natural look. Both are things that work well in spring.
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