Best Bass Lures of 2022: New Baits for Large and Smallmouth Bass

Bass caught with a Bass Lure


Bass—particularly largemouth and smallmouth—are the most popular gamefish in North America for good reasons; they're everywhere, they're relatively easy to catch, and they put up a great fight when on the end of a line—often with exciting acrobatics. Because of this, there is tons of bass fishing gear, from rods and reels to accessories and lures. The sheer volume of baits and lures can lead to choice paralysis, even in seasoned anglers. But, as the saying goes, some lures are made to catch fishermen, not fish.

Knowing this, we've compiled a list of proven bass fishing baits that have won tournaments and acclaim from professional anglers who pursue northern smallmouth to big Florida largemouth. Bass fishing is fun, easy, and accessible, and all you need is a handful of different lures to have a great day fishing.

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The Best Bass Lures - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Bass Lure - Zoom U Tail Worm 6"

Zoom U Tail Worm 6

SPECS

  • Size: 6"
  • Style: Traditional soft plastic worm
  • Number of lures: 20 per pack
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Key colors: Green pumpkin, watermelon red, junebug, red shad

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Talk about a classic lure! Zoom Bait Co. has been pouring timeless worm designs for decades, and is considered one of the quintessential bass fishing lure makers. Zoom pioneered many styles of soft plastic worms that are widely copied today, and perhaps none has caught more fish than the 6" U Tail.

The Zoom U Tail is the best all-around bass lure because of its action in the water and broad appeal. It can be fished at any depth and its color palette offers a likeness for almost anything a bass might eat. Worms like the U Tail are most often fished on a Texas rig, with its curled tail delivering a subtle yet lifelike and tantalizing action upon retrieval. The plastic is durable and one worm can often be reused for more than one fish, which makes it a great value.

What We Like

  • Classic, proven design
  • Nice value with 20 baits per bag
  • Great color selection
  • Good durability

What We Don't Like

  • Not the most versatile lure
  • Would be nice to have different length options

BUY: Zoom U Tail Worm 6"

Best Lure for White Bass - Acme Kastmaster Spoon

Acme Kastmaster Spoon

SPECS

  • Size: 1/2 oz.
  • Style: Casting spoon
  • Number of lures: 1 per pack
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Key colors: Chrome, chrome/blue, gold

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White bass are notorious for traveling and hunting in schools as they chase shad and other baitfish. That's why it makes sense to offer a lure that looks (and moves!) just like a small shad, herring, alewife, or other prey species. The Acme Kastmaster Spoon is the best bait for white bass because it not only looks like a small baitfish, but it can be manipulated to look like it's frantically swimming to avoid becoming lunch. The bright chrome-themed color palette produces a lot of flash in the water, drawing in fish from a distance.

The spoon's compact design allows it to be cast a long way, which is great when you see the bass start "schooling," or breaking the surface of the water en masse as they gorge on a ball of baitfish. Plopping a lure like the Kastmaster into the fray almost guarantees a bite.

What We Like

  • Quality finish is highly reflective
  • Bright colors effectively mimic a variety of baitfish
  • Feathered treble hook adds extra attraction
  • Quality hook and split ring
  • Small, dense design casts a long way

What We Don't Like

  • A split ring at the top to tie your line to would be nice
  • Could use a few more color patterns

BUY: Acme Kastmaster Spoon

Best Lure for Striped Bass - Spro Prime Bucktail Jig

Spro SBTJW-2 Prime Bucktail Jig

SPECS

  • Size: 2 oz., 8" length
  • Style: Bucktail jig
  • Number of lures: 1 per package
  • Material: Painted lead head with synthetic “bucktail" tail/body
  • Key colors: White, green shad

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Spro manufactures premium baits based around high-end Gamakatsu hooks, which are respected in fresh and saltwater. This jig is the best lure for striped bass because it can be presented a couple different ways, depending on what the stripers are doing. When trolled, the tail of Spro Prime Bucktail shimmers through the water and "swims" head forward. When cast, the jig glides downward as it sinks rather than spiraling wildly, which gives it a realistic appearance.

The super stout hook is surrounded by synthetic "bucktail" fibers of different lengths that are tied to/wrapped onto the hook. Many manufacturers use a rubber band, which works for a while, but these eventually dry rot and fall off. With an assortment of weights and colors available, the Spro Prime Bucktail Jig is suitable for stripers in both fresh and saltwater.

What We Like

  • Highest quality pearlescent paint jobs
  • Trusted Gamakatsu hook
  • Skirt/tail is tied/wrapped to the hook
  • Maintains horizontal orientation in water
  • Can be cast or trolled

What We Don't Like

  • Different sizes/weights would be nice
  • We'd like to see a wider color selection

BUY: Spro Prime Bucktail Jig

Best Bass Lure for Summer - Spro Bronzeye Frog Pop Bait

Spro Bronzeye Pop Bait

SPECS

  • Size: 4" with tail
  • Style: Topwater, hollow-bodied frog
  • Number of lures: 1 per pack
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Key colors: Albino, Killer Gill, Green Tree, Nightwalker, Red Ear

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In the summertime, bass seek out deeper water, but in some lakes this isn't an option. Instead, they head into and under heavy cover, most often vegetation like lily pads and aquatic grasses. It can be hard to present a lure into these grassy areas without getting hung up, but the Spro Bronzeye Frog Pop Bait is the best summertime lure because the hooks hug the body of the lure, keeping it weedless as it skims across vegetation and lily pads. When a fish bites, the body compresses, exposing the hooks. Gotcha!

This buoyant topwater popping bait is more than a frog imitator; colors like Killer Gill, Albino, and Red Ear imitate injured baitfish like bluegill and shad that are thrashing about on the surface, presenting an easy meal for big bass. When cast, give a sharp jerk with the rod tip and the Bronzeye Frog Pop Bait spits water and makes an enticing "sploosh" sound. A bass striking a topwater frog bait can be heartstopping, as sometimes the fish comes completely out of the water, just like dramatic footage seen on Shark Week.

What We Like

  • Premium Gamakatsu double hook
  • Versatile, vibrant, and realistic color patterns
  • Super durable body
  • Won't waterlog and sink like cheaper frogs
  • Legs can be trimmed to produce different action

What We Don't Like

  • Can be difficult to manipulate
  • You need to wait a second after a strike to set the hook

BUY: Spro Bronzeye Frog Pop Bait

Best Bass Lure for Largemouth Bass - Booyah Super Shad Spinnerbait

Booyah Super Shad Spinnerbait

SPECS

  • Size: 3/8 oz.
  • Style: Spinnerbait
  • Number of lures: 1 per pack
  • Material: Wire, lead head, and silicone skirt
  • Key colors: Chartreuse Silver, Chartreuse Pearl Shiner, Golden Shiner

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Like the soft plastic worm, the spinnerbait is a timeless and proven fish-catcher. Spinnerbaits appeal to bass through movement, feel, and flash. As you reel a spinnerbait through the water, the blades twist and "thump," emitting waves that bass detect in a sensory organ known as the lateral line. This twisting also creates flash that mimics a school of small bait fish swimming.

The Booyah Super Shad spinnerbait builds upon this trio of bass-attracting features with four blades, as opposed to most spinnerbaits' two or three. The blades are separated by ball bearings along the flexible stainless steel arm, which runs into the painted head that features 3D eyes. The bait terminates at a hook that's surrounded by a 55-strand silicone skirt that flutters and pulses as it is retrieved. The Booyah Super Shad is our pick for the best largemouth bass lure because its bright, bold color offerings are great in dingy or stained water, and the white and chrome patterns are perfect for clear water.

What We Like

  • Super simple to use: Simply cast and retrieve!
  • 4 blades deliver more flash and vibration
  • Silicone skirt delivers long-lasting and lively performance
  • Ball bearing swivel on top blade for even more action

What We Don't Like

  • Could use some more subtle colors
  • We wish there were upsized versions for deeper water

BUY: Booyah Super Shad Spinnerbait

Best Bass Lure for Smallmouth Bass - Roboworm Straight Tail 4.5"

Roboworm Straight Tail 4.5

SPECS

  • Size: 4.5"
  • Style: Straight-tail plastic worm
  • Number of lures: 10 per pack
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Key colors: Aaron's Magic, Margarita Mutilator, Pumpkin Punisher

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Roboworm's Straight Tail worm came to notoriety through a series of high-profile professional bass tournament wins where the top technique used was the drop shot rig. This rig features a weight at a tag end of the line and a small hook tied roughly 18" above it, often with a slim plastic worm threaded onto it. This rig is especially appealing to smallmouth bass, which are notorious for suspending off the bottom, making them difficult to target with other fishing methods and techniques.

A Roboworm is still a favorite drop shot worm by today's pros because of its suppleness—thanks to the unique soft plastic formula—and wide color spectrum, letting anglers mimic nearly any bass prey. The Roboworm Straight Tail 4.5" is our choice for the best smallmouth bass lure because of its superior action on drop shot rigs as well as its versatility. This soft plastic worm is also at home on traditional Texas Rigs and Carolina Rigs, or used weightless when floated over and through aquatic vegetation. No matter how you fish it, Roboworms offer a subtle and irresistible action not found in many other lures.

What We Like

  • Amazing lifelike action in the water
  • Time-released salt-impregnated design
  • Amazing color palette
  • Great when used with a wide variety of techniques, especially the drop shot rig

What We Don't Like

  • Super soft plastic isn't the most durable
  • Requires a fine-wire hook to be most effective

BUY: Roboworm Straight Tail 4.5"

Best Bass Lure for Spring - Megabass Vision ONETEN Jerkbait

Megabass Vision Oneten GP Pro

SPECS

  • Size: 4 1/3"
  • Style: Jerkbait
  • Number of lures: 1 per package
  • Material: Plastic
  • Key colors: GP Pro Blue

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The Megabass Vision ONETEN is commonly thought of as the standard by which all other jerkbaits are judged. It earned this distinction because of its innovative internal weighting system, extensive refinement of its swimming action, superb color offerings, and top-tier hardware. All of these also make the Vision ONETEN the best bass lure for spring, because this is when many anglers reach for a jerkbait.

The internal weighting system features two ball bearings on a track that runs from the head to the tail of the bait. As the lure is cast, the weights roll to the back of the lure and help propel the bait through the air without fluttering or "helicoptering." As the lure splashes down and the retrieve begins, the weights roll forward where they present the bait in a slightly nose-down orientation. From there, the angler is free to impart either a "jerking" action (hence the name jerkbait) or a twitch-and-pause retrieve, both of which are effective in colder early spring waters when the bass is more sluggish. Regardless of how it's worked, the Megabass Vision ONETEN is an effective springtime lure for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

What We Like

  • Excellent action whether steadily retrieved or twitched/paused
  • Superior attention to detail
  • Great castability thanks to the weighting system
  • Realistic finish

What We Don't Like

  • Hooks are super sharp, but could be stronger
  • Price point is on the higher end

BUY: Megabass Vision ONETEN

FAQs About Bass Fishing Lures


What colors do bass like?

As with many topics concerning fishing, the answer is, it depends! However, there are rules of thumb you can follow when it comes to choosing the best lure color for bass when using either hard or soft baits. An adage you'll often hear on the dock or in the tackle shop applies: Match the hatch. In other words, ask around and find out what the bass are eating, and use baits that mimic that forage. Most often you'll hear that they're eating crawfish, shad, and bluegill/perch.

Next, take into consideration the color of the water. When using soft plastics, if you're fishing in really clear water, consider more "natural" colors, or those that resemble things in nature. Browns, greens, and red tones are subtle and mimic popular bass prey like crawfish. Silver and subdued yellow tones do a good job imitating shad and perch. Bait colors have some wacky names, but the ones that produce most anywhere (and any time) are green pumpkin and any of its wealth of variations, watermelon red, and black/blue flake.

In off-color (not as clear) water, consider adding a touch of color to your offerings, such as something with a chartreuse (bright yellow) or orange tail. This grabs the bass' attention and gives them something to key in on. Brighter oranges, yellows, and silvers work here depending on what is top on the bass menu.

In dirty or stained water, colors such as chartreuse, bubble gum, and white work well in soft plastics. When using hard baits such as crankbaits and jerkbaits or wire baits like spinnerbaits, you want one that causes a commotion in the water. Crankbaits with a wide, wobbling action, spinnerbaits with big blades, and soft plastics with large tails are easier for bass to find in dirty water. Another proven winner in dirty water is a big black-and-blue jig with rattles and a big trailer.

What are the best months for bass fishing?

Bass can be caught year-round because, well, they have to eat year-round, too! That said, there are definitely better times for bass fishing than others. Seasonally, spring ranks as the best time for bass fishing because the fish are shaking off the winter chill and looking to fatten up before they spawn, which can be physically taxing.

In the summer months, bass move to deeper, cooler water as they follow their prey of choice, shad and perch. In July and August, fishing becomes tough as the bass are harder to find because they stay in deeper water or under shoreline aquatic vegetation. But, if you find one fish, there are likely more with it and you can have quite a day.

Bass fishing in the fall improves as the fish school up to feast in preparation for winter. Activity picks up and fish can be caught more easily and in a wider variety of ways from shallow water to deep.

As winter sets in, the fish once again move to deeper water where they become sluggish as their metabolism slows to a crawl. But, like in summertime, the bass are schooled up and the potential to catch many from one spot is high.

What lure has won the most bass tournaments?

Bass tournaments have been around since the 1960s, and without a doubt, the lure that has accounted for more fish caught and money won is the humble plastic worm. Not just one type, brand, or color, but a variety of worms in a multitude of colors fished in a lot of different ways. This shows just how versatile soft plastic worms are for bass fishing. It's the reason that a worm of some flavor is many professional anglers' go-to as well as Plan B.

What time of day is best to catch bass?

Like lots of wildlife, bass are most active at dawn and dusk. This is the reason why many tournaments start at sunup and end in the afternoon. But, don't discount night fishing. Many big bass are caught at night. Although it sounds counterintuitive, if you fish at night, use large, dark-colored lures and fish more slowly than in the daytime.

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