A Guide to Bass Fishing Lures

Knowing which bass fishing lure to use for a given situation on the water, in its simplest form, is what often decides whether you'll have a great day fishing or a less than stellar day on the water. We could literally spend an eternity talking about bass fishing lures. It’s the part of bass fishing ...

Knowing which bass fishing lure to use for a given situation on the water, in its simplest form, is what often decides whether you'll have a great day fishing or a less than stellar day on the water. We could literally spend an eternity talking about bass fishing lures. It’s the part of bass fishing that really separates and individualizes us.

We basically break bass fishing lures into the major categories. Below is a list of guides to each one of the bass fishing lures categories so you can learn the differences in the various baits in each of those categories. This ultimately will help you make an informed decision on what to throw in given situations. Each article below will also highlight a lot of techniques with those baits that are proven to be effective for catching bass.

Click each underlined category of fishing lure to learn more techniques, lure differences and when and where to use them.

Crankbaits - this guide talks about the differences in running depth, colors, and systems for employing various crankbaits.

Topwaters - this guide discusses the many different shapes and actions for fishing on the waters surface for bass.

Spinnerbaits - this article discusses blade shape, size, color, as well as spinnerbait applications for different situations.

Jigs - this article breaks down the various head styles, and provides where and when to use each one.

Jerkbaits - This article discusses the allure of jerkbaits and talks about action, depth and more for bass fishing.

Swimbaits - this article addresses the differences between hard and soft jerkbaits and the various styles and rigs for them.

Spoons - there actually are more spoons than you thought for bass fishing and this article breaks the four main ones down.

Soft Plastics - this article gives a brief overview of the various styles and why and how to apply them in different situations

Terminal Tackle - a key ingredient to fishing is good terminal tackle and this talks about some of the common components for bass.


A lure is nothing more than a means to fool a bass into thinking it’s either 1) eating something it feels will satisfy its hunger or 2) destroying something it doesn’t like in its environment. Bass basically hit an artificial lure out of those two impulses—hunger or agitation. Just keeping that in mind as you fish will make you a better angler.

Now having said that, a lure is a tool specificly designed to look like something alive and most effectively cover a certain situation. It’s just like any other tool. If I need to unscrew a screw, I’m not going to reach for a hammer. I’m going to reach for a screwdriver. If I know bass are under matted grass, I’m not going to reach for a lure with treble hooks. I’m going to reach for a snagless lure that either goes easily over the top of the grass and tempts the bass to come up and strike, or I will choose one that I can pierce through the grass easily to put directly in front of the bass.

For that reason you essentially need to know what each lure is designed for and then choose the one that best exploits the bass’s impulse in the given situation you are facing. It’s why we have so many rods and reels on our decks with so many different lures. I might be faced with one condition on this bank and a totally different situation on the next bank. I don’t want to have to retie every time I move spots if I can help it because it wastes so much of my fishing day.

Obviously inside of each of these categories there are going to be infinite variations, brands, colors, sizes and configurations, but generally speaking, this classifies what you will see by the thousands at any tackle shop across the globe for bass fishing. And now you'll be better prepared to have the right tackle when you head out bass fishing.

For a better idea of when to use which lure, check out our Bass Fishing Lure Selector Chart. For more information, see our How to Bass Fish Guide, When to Bass Fish Guide and Where to Bass Fish Guide.  

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