Bass fishing is no longer just a hobby; it’s becoming a national obsession. There are many different types of lures that you can use for bass fishing, but with so many options, filling your tackle box with the right bait can seem impossible.
While there are hundreds if not thousands of different varieties of bass lures, you can basically divide these lures into five broad categories. Each one of these categories has its own uses, and a good bass angler will keep a few of each in their tackle box.
Soft Plastics- First introduced in 1951 as a large worm, soft plastics have expanded into a seemingly endless variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and even scents. Go to your nearest freshwater tackle shop and you’ll find soft plastics shaped to portray minnows, crayfish, salamanders, frogs, lizards, slugs, snakes, and anything else that a largemouth bass will eat. There are many different ways to use soft plastics, and many ways to rig them to a hook, so talk to your local experts if you need guidance on the best techniques for using soft plastics in your area.
Surface Lures- Also refereed to as topwater lures, surface lures are designed to kick up noise while splashing across the top, triggering the feeding instincts of hungry bass. Like soft plastics, they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and some are even equipped with propellers that really get the water churning while they are retrieved. These lures are especially handy for areas where near lily pads and weeds where frogs and other top water animals might be lurking.
Stickbaits- These long, slender lures are created to depict the frantic motions of a dying or injured baitfish, which really gets a bass’ feeding instincts going. They come in many different sizes, from small minnows to full-grown trout, so you can easily find the stickbait that fits your fishing goals. You can even find two-piece stickbaits that are jointed in the middle, which enhances the appearance of a frantic fish. Reel these lures in with a jerky, erratic action and any bass in the area will have a hard time staying put.
Spinnerbaits- Although they look nothing like an actual baitfish, spinnerbaits are one of the most popular tools for catching largemouth bass. With a safety-pin body, including a spinning blade on one end and a weight, skirt, and hook on the other, these lures deliver lots of noise and vibrations. The spinning blade in often flecked with metal specks, creating visual stimulation as well. These lures can be used to fish along the bottom or retrieved quickly so they hover just below the surface as you reel them in.
Crankbaits- If you want to fish in deeper waters, you have to have at least one crankbait in your tackle box. These hard-bodied lures are essential for anglers who fish deep lakes, but they can also be effective for catching bass in shallower waters. They have a rounded body that is shorter than a stickbait, giving them a fat, rotund appearance, and a bill at the front that causes them to dive. The bigger the bill, the deeper the dive, but most lures will tell you how deep each bait is designed to go on the packaging.
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