Best Lures for Bass in 2018 – Top Models You Should Have In Your Tackle Box

Bass lures can be divided into a few basic categories according to the type of lure and the techniques used for fishing with them.

The classic plastic worm is a good place to begin—most fishermen know this bait made from soft, life-like plastic and available in an endless array of colors and designs. Plastics are made to imitate the foods bass love, from worms to minnows, crawfish, leeches, newts, and more.

The crankbait category can be simplified to include spinnerbaits and plugs. Spinnerbaits attract bass with the motion and noise of flashing blades, then draw the bite with a jig head trailing a rubber skirt, or perhaps a plastic worm that covers the hook. Plugs feature an extended front lip or an angled front face that makes the lure gurgle and wobble as it is pulled through the water. Diving plugs work below the surface, while topwater plugs create disturbance on the surface and draw bass up to make dramatic leaping hits.

Jigs carry a lead or tungsten head and often feature some type of plastic trailer that covers the hook—this can be a feathery skirt or streamer, but various lifelike plastics such as worms or crawfish are also common. Jigs are meant to sink to the bottom where they are bounced along to imitate the movement of a crawfish or insect.

Among the three basic lure types, jigs take the most skill to fish. However, they can be used to reach places that are impossible to cast into—and they are known for catching big bass!

Choosing a Bass Lure

With such a wide variety of lures out there, how can anyone choose the best of them? Actually, most bass fishermen will have tackle boxes full of various lures of each type—in fact, some folks get as much fun out of collecting different lures as they do from fishing them.

The choice of which lure to use depends on a few things—the weather, water, and bottom conditions, the preferences of the fish in the area, and the style of fishing you use will all affect which lures will be the most effective. Fishing deep, open water requires different tackle than casting in to weedy banks or flipping bait under overhanging tree limbs. Also, what works on one day or at one spot may not work at other times and places. 

The best approach is to have a variety of lures and, if possible, even several different rod and reel setups at your disposal, particularly when heading out to fish unknown waters.

Stock Your Tackle Box

This review will help beginning bass fishermen start their lure collections, while experienced bass masters might find some new ideas to try on their next fishing trip.

We are going to take a look at a few lures of each type: plastics, crankbaits, and jigs—the focus will be on versatile baits that have a reputation for catching fish in a wide range of conditions. Let’s dive in and see if we can improve your catch the next time you go bass fishing.

Best Lures for Bass in 2018 - Reviews

The Plastics

1. Lunkerhunt Bento Series

The Bento Series baits are about as realistic as a plastic bait can get. Made to imitate small bait fish, they have a holographic core that is amazingly detailed and correct in terms of colors and overall look. The eyes are also very lifelike. Soft plastic and a long split tail give the lure a nice feel and action, yet the bait is still fairly durable. The Bento bait is perfect for tipping a jig with and will work well in clear water.

What we liked

  • Detailed andlifelikedesign
  • Soft feel

What we didn't like

  • Holographic strip can make it hard to get a hook in
  • Price is on the high side

2. Zoom Magnum II Worm

The Magnum II is a big worm with a 4-inch body and 5-inch flutter tail. This worm is heavy enough to use without a weight for short-range work, so it’s perfect for flipping into thick weeds on a weedless hook. The large body also makes it ideal for using with a Texas Rig. The Magnum II comes in a large variety of colors, and the plastic is impregnated with salt to give it a taste that makes fish bite hard and hold on longer.

What we liked

  • Big and burly
  • Heavy enough to use weightless
  • Slots in body hold attractants longer

What we didn't like

  • Fish tend to hit the tail and miss the hook

Crankbaits

1. Lucky Craft Blade Cross

The Blade Cross is a 4.5-inch hard plastic ghost minnow with an underslung flasher blade. Rattle balls inside the hollow body make noise that drives big fish into hard strikes and give the lure ½ ounce of weight to make it slow-sinking. The fast wiggle action of this bait combined with the flasher make it nearly irresistible to fish. The detailing and overall quality of this lure show why this Japanese bait company is one of the favorites among US tournament fishermen.

What we liked

  • Good quality and detail
  • Flasher has a good motion while the lure is sinking

What we didn't like

  • Finish is easily damaged
  • High price

2. Jackall Boil Trigger

The Boil Trigger is a slender lure with a popper mouth and jointed body that combine to produce the jerking, zigzagging action of a dying baitfish thrashing on the surface. We liked the realism of the silhouette and color details on these lures.

The small size of the head and mouth area do not produce much in the way of splashing and gurgling, but the rattles make up for that. This is a versatile lure with an action that is easy to change by varying the retrieve rate and the angle of the rod tip.

What we liked

  • Good detailing
  • Responsive action
  • Floats tail down when paused

What we didn't like

  • Tail feathers get beat up quickly
  • High price

3. Rapala Rattling Lure

The Rapala Rattlin’ Rap was one of the first of the rattling lures, and this lipless shallow-running crankbait puts out a lot of sound. The chin angle on this 1-inch lure gives it the classic Rapala wobble that fish cannot resist whether you work it on a slow retrieve or rip it in.

At 6 ounces, the weight of this lure is perfect for casting or slow trolling. As expected from Rapala, the color and detailing on this lure is excellent, and we liked the black nickel hooks.

What we liked

  • Good detailing
  • Good action on both fast and slow retrieves
  • Balanced float
  • Good price point

What we didn't like

  • Finish can get damaged easily

4. Booyah Pond Magic Buzz

If bass are off their bite or cautious due to heavy pressure, a tiny topwater lure like the Pond Magic Buzz might do the trick.

This Booyah buzzbait is very sturdy for an 1/8-ounce lure. A 60-strand silicone skirt conceals the Mustad Ultra Point hook and comes in colors that let you match what the bass are eating. The color-coordinated spinner blade generates enough sound to draw fish even in the murkiest pond waters. For a lure to throw with light gear, the Pond Magic buzzbait is the way to go.

What we liked

  • Quality build
  • Good color combinations

What we didn't like

  • Skirt streamers go missing

The Jigs

1. BiCO Original Jig

Hand-assembled in the USA and lead-free, the BiCO Original is great for flipping and pitching or swimming. Leaving out the lead allows for a larger head profile without increasing the weight and meets the no-lead requirements emplaced in some states. This jig is designed to be weed- and snag-free. When resting on the bottom, the hook is angled up so the bait presentation stands up—attach a plastic crawfish and it will float claws-up in a realistic manner. 

The quality of the build is obvious on this jig. It features extra-sharp Owner hooks, tough skirt material, and a detailed finish that will not peel off in big chunks like the paint on most jigs. These come at a high price-point compared to most jigs, but they are worth it for their durability and fish-catching power.

2. Reaction Tackle Tungsten Flipping Jig

Tungsten is becoming the standard material to replace the lead in jigs and sinkers, and it is used to good advantage in the Reaction Tackle Flipping Jig. Tungsten is heavier than lead and can produce a jig head that is nearly 50% smaller than the same weight lead head—this makes it easier to stay snag-free in heavy cover and also produces a more sensitive bait that lets you feel the lightest bites.

The diamond-polished paint is very durable and chip-resistant. This jig works very well as a swim jig and can be used on smaller fish species like bluegill and crappies.

What we liked

  • Effective weed-free performance
  • Tough paint job

What we didn't like

  • High price point

Having the Right Tools for the Job

Bass fishing can be as simple as a kid with a worm on a hook or as complex as a pro with 40 rods in a $100,000 boat. Sometimes bass will swallow anything that hits the water—other times, you can run through the whole tackle box and still not get a hit.

The best way to get started is to grab a couple each of the basics—some plastic baits, crankbaits, and jigs—then just get out there and fish. Build your collection slowly by finding out what works best at your specific fishing location. Then, when you’ve figuredout what you like, look for sales and close-outs where you can grab multiples, because you will lose lures, especially when fishing heavy cover—and of course your favorite lure is the one that will get lost first.

We hope this article has been helpful to those of you who are just learning to fish bass with artificial baits. Just keep putting in days on the water, and you are sure to find your own best lures for bass.

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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