Of all the bass lures available to anglers, these seven are the ones you need.
Face it, every angler's going to have their opinions, and every region can differ when it comes to bait choices.
But if you want to make it easy, listen up. Here are seven that deserve a spot in just about anyone's tackle box, and three that you can pretty much forget about.
1. Zoom Super Fluke
While colors will vary from region to region, I really like throwing a watermelon with red flake Zoom Super Fluke on a 2/0 offset hook for bass of all species. If you are fishing in deep grass, add a 1/2 ounce bullet weight and a bobber stop to get it down deep.
My favorite way to fish the Fluke is with no weight at all, just watch your line carefully because the bass will inhale it and move off in a hurry.
2. Rapala DT-10
This crankbait from Rapala dives to 10 feet (which is what the DT-10 stands for) and is a great search bait. Whether you are pounding underwater rocks, trees or open flats, this lure will call up the fish.
For lakes with a good shad population I like the Pearl Gray Shiner color, and for lakes with a bluegill and perch population the old classic Firetiger works great.
3. Strike King Swim Jig
Swim jigs are a very versatile search bait and can also convince those tree hugging bass to come out and eat. A swim jig is a quality bait that won't get hung up as often as other types (looking at you football jigs) and can move through trees easier than most.
Whether you need a slow presentation or a quick retrieve to mimic fleeing bait, this is one that can do it. For all purpose use, I like a black and blue color on my jigs though a bluegill or craw pattern can work well also.
4. Jackall Super Eruption Double Bladed Spinnerbait
A spinnerbait can come in lots of varieties and configurations to meet your needs. My favorite combination is a pair of willow leaf blades, one in gold and one in silver and on a shad colored skirt.
The Jackall Super Eruption uses a No. 3 blade and a No. 4 blade to get a lot of thump through the water. The Tidal Shad color mimics shad and bluegill colors pretty well so it is versatile for different forage situations. I also like to make sure and add a trailer like a curly tail grub or a small paddle taile swimbait for a little extra enticement.
5. Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits Senko
The Senko comes in all different sizes and colors (and plenty of knockoffs exist), but the original, in a five inch size, watermelon with red flake is the one you need. Whether you want to fish it wacky rigged, Texas rigged, Carolina rigged, or weightless, the Senko produces when other baits won't. A secret ratio blend of salt, sand and plastic imitates the perfect fall rate for fish to want to pounce. If you were to only keep one bait from this list, this would be the one.
6. Keitech Swing Impact FAT Paddle Tail Swimbait
These Keitech baits are pretty widely known and work great in smaller sizes for trailers but the larger sizes convince stubborn bass to bite. I prefer a 4.8 inch FAT in Tennessee Shad on a ½ ounce jig head.
This is my go to bait when I need to rip a bait through grass or slow roll through an underwater forest. The ribbed bait produces vibration beyond what the paddle tail does by itself which is what I think sets it apart.
7. Z Man Original Chatterbait
A crazy combination of a crankbait and a jig is the best way to explain a chatterbait. Being able to fish it fast, slow or anywhere in between makes them very versatile. I like the 3/8 ounce Z Man Chatterbait in Greenback Shad color. The color covers almost as wide of a spectrum as this bait's uses.
As with all things, someone is trying to make a buck off of you, and while some people can catch fish on these baits, the catch to cost ratio just doesn't pan out for me.
Here are three baits you don't need.
1. Alabama Rig
Before they were outlawed in many tournaments, a couple of big names won some big money throwing these umbrella style lures. The dirty little secret is you have to have really big equipment upgrades to throw them and they hang up all the time. On top of that, many are wrecked forever after catching a few fish. Save the money for more crankbaits and Senkos.
2. Big Swimbaits
When I say big swimbaits, I am talking more about the large, hardbait kind of lures that cost $50 and more. Beyond the upgraded rods and reels you have to have to throw them, the catch rate is way low. Sure, you might catch a nine pound bass the first time out, but you may also throw big swimbaits for months before enticing a fish to bite. It takes a very special set of skills to dial this bite in and most anglers don't have the patience for it. Go buy a couple of spinnerbaits and call it a day.
3. Gimmick Lures
If you plug it in, buy it from an infomercial, or need to charge it, skip the purchase. If you are relying on a clicking, chirping, blinking lure to catch fish, you are doing it wrong.