Bass anglers are a funny breed; each of us has our own unique style and preference when it comes to gear. If you are unsure of the perfect gift or looking for a little inspiration, check out this wide assortment of ideas. As a side note, I have used each product listed below and have found great success with all of them. All pictures are links to each respective product page at Tackle Warehouse.
These are key lures known to be just one of many all-around baits. They can be fished slow, fast, and through thick and thin.
A perfectly balanced spinnerbait designed with light wire; perfect for vibration. I prefer the ½ ounce version. As a plus, War Eagle products are all made in America for the geographic gurus.
My least favorite of all fishing lures due to my inapt ability to consistently catch fish. Crankbaits are, however, easy to fish. This is a great way to find those active fish willing to chase their prey.
Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap – $4.49
This lure can cover a lot of water fast. You can burn it in as fast as you desire, or slow down and run it along the bottom. My most successful tip comes from burning this bad boy right over the tops of weeds and structure.
Bomber 4A – $4.69
I have discussed this particular lure before, which has been my most trusted crankbait. The wobble paired with the bright chartreuse color makes it perfect for lightly stained water. It dives 3-6 feet and has produced fish when I have lost confidence in all other cranks.
Jigs are my bread and butter. I excel in finesse situations with light line tied on and a few different jigs in my arsenal. I’ll give you two of my favorites. Notice the difference in materials.
This particular model has a “living rubber” skirt. Flat rubber skirts often have the most action, meaning the individual strands react more lively on the fall and when sitting still. I like the matte colors, the sharp hook, and the durable paint. Anything that survives our local “lava rock” lakes deserves attention.
This jig has a silicone skirt, and I particularly like the rattle chamber. It’s certainly not silent, but these jigs can get you those aggressive strikes from interested fish. Black and Blue can be fished anywhere for great results, but I also have great success with the pictured color – Texas Craw.
Just thinking of these lures gets me excited. Have you ever had a bass blow up on your lure? Jumping, splashing, and taking your bait underneath the water is a surefire way to get excited for spring.
A megaphone for calling big bass. Single handedly my most successful topwater bait comes from River2Sea. The Bubble Popper makes a unique sound, leaves a trail of bubbles, and the Daiichi hooks – they could be used for surgical precision. I recommend the 88 millimeter version with bright colored bellies.
A classic lure that is a proven bass catcher. I prefer the original Zara Spook, but this Super Spook version includes a rattle system. With rotating treble hooks, the fish cannot use the hooks as leverage. With two different sizes, it is a must have topwater lure.
Zoom Horny Toad – $3.39 (5 pack)
Value and performance comes to mind when talking about Zoom’s Horny Toad. They come in a variety of colors, and can be thrown in the nastiest slop if you rig it perfectly. If you’re not pulling in some salad with your meat, you need some lessons on how to get dirty.
Rubber Frogs – $8.00 on average
Keeled frogs such as Spro’s Bronzeye frog and River2Sea’s Bully Wa frog will catch fish. I have had great success with both in the 65mm versions. I have recently added a River2Sea Bully Wa 55mm version to my arsenal, so I am interested in trying a smaller size for finicky fish.
These lures are considered the utility workers. They come in every shape, size and color you can imagine. From worms to creature baits, you can be sure they are a large portion of any bass anglers armory. From the Texas-rig to the drop-shot, you cannot possibly pick one. I will add a couple of my favorites, but the key is experimentation in a vast array of circumstances.
It is so successful that some people think the fish you catch with them don’t count. I say foolish; success is desired, not ignored. Those are people who think they know-it-all; the most destructive characteristic of an angler. Use them and catch fish.
Recommended to me by a friend at my local Wholesale Sports, the Smallie Beaver will catch you largemouth and smallmouth bass. I like to rig them on football jig heads and bounce them along the bottom, and with twelve in a pack, they’ll last you much longer than creature baits from other manufacturers.
I am least experienced in this department, but I am no virgin. I was recommended Basstrix swimbaits last year at my local Wholesale Sports, and they’ve produced. The key is to rigging; you must align the hook perfectly or they will not run straight. Pay attention to detail, and wreak havoc. Not bad in the durability department either.
Go buy dinner, or go buy a trout sized lure. With a new swimbait rod from St. Croix, I am looking forward to this wallet pinching, argument starting with the wife…. lure. But seriously, Huddleston has already created a name for themselves and it is hard to ignore their reputation. You need a rod and reel that can handle a 4-ounce bait, so be sure your favorite angler has the gear it takes to throw it.
While these lures may not cover everything an angler needs to be successful, they are all solid performers. Lure manufacturers use many of the same warehouses when it comes to molding, painting, and assembling hardware, but not all companies are considered equal.
Materials, craftsmanship, and design are crucial to a lure’s presentation. Without one or the other, you will undoubtedly lose opportunity. If you have anything to add to this list, post a comment below. Most importantly, if you find this useful, come back and let me know.
Tight lines and sharp hooks.