Best Baits for Spring Bass (Buying Guide)
Spring is a time of year when bass begin their journey from the deep water where they spend the winter to the shallower, warmer water where they spawn. Bass are moving away from cold water and into the shallow water where they can begin to find some warmth. The good news for bass fishermen is that bass also begin to get ravenous during this period to prepare for the spawn. That makes the springtime one of the best times to get out there and fish for bass.
If you want to catch some bass in the springtime, you’ll need the right bait and the right tackle. Bass lures with good action, like a shaky head or tailfin that mimics the baitfish bass love to eat, will get you the most bites.
There are a variety of bait styles that anglers can match with different fishing styles to get the most out of the pre-spawn bass fishing season. Suspending jerkbaits and squarebills will help anglers catch the attention of bass at every level of the water. You can find giant bass in the shallows among the grass and rocks in the springtime, although there are some outlier tales of giant bass caught in the deep water in spring.
Since they’re on the verge of spawning, bass are eager as ever to bite in the springtime. It’s a good way to get experience with a wide variety of bait if you haven’t had the chance to before. You can learn how to use a jig, crankbait, squarebills and more. If the water is clear and you’re really trying to experiment, try taking an Alabama rig out in the springtime. There are many models, but we’ve included one great one at the end of this post.
In the springtime, anglers should stick to the shallows and in river offshoots where river bass will find their spawning areas when the water temperature is high enough. Early spring bass will still be preparing for that spawning stage and they like to hide under any cover they can find in this period. Major brands like Strike King make baits that can get your hook to any or every stage in the water column to attract the attention of spring bass.
We’ve taken a look at the spring bass bait market on Amazon and compiled this list of the best of the best. Read on for a comprehensive look and make sure to read to the end to see our winner for the best baits for spring bass.
Best Baits for Spring Bass – Overview
This straightforward lure is one of the most often-used lipless crankbaits on the market. The shad on this lure come in a wide variety of colors and there are some nice features meant to attract the attention of the bass you’re chasing near the shores and trees while the water temperature steadily rises in springtime. The free-floating tungsten rattles on this bait have an unusual sound when compared with other similar lipless crankbaits which can make all the difference when you’re trying to attract bass to your line.
The standout sound of the tungsten rattle makes this lure great for snagging pressured bass. It’s also a good lure for clear water and school fishing. Its two hooks and flexibility in running depths make it a nice all-around bait to have in your tackle box.
- Unique rattle for pressured bass
- Variety of color schemes
- Fine in deeper water
- Great in clear water
- Less strong in clear water
2. Z Man Green Pumpkin Chatterbait Elite
- Patented bladed swim jig design
For quick cast and retrieve, this chatterbait is a great option. Whether you burn it, slow roll it or just reel it back in steadily, the Chatterbait Elite is sure to get the attention of the bass you want. It comes in many styles and color schemes, but the green pumpkin scheme is the most versatile for dirty water and the greenish water of most lakes in North America. This chatterbait is loud in the water which suits bass’ fixation with interesting soundwaves coming their way. You can use it in thick cover, making it ideal to fish with in the springtime when pre-spawn bass are lurking in the shallow water to take advantage of the rising water temperature.
The design produces a tight wobble to mimic baitfish that bass love to eat. The chatterbait can be used in a wide variety of fishing styles, including drop-shot, casting, or like you would use a crankbait. The way it mimics a crawfish or shad makes it great bait for bass, but since it is a skirted jig you’ll have to be careful that it doesn’t snag on some cover. The strings of a skirted jig are also likely to take damage fairly quickly if you get lots of attacks on it.
- Loud in the water
- Good for unclear/dirty water
- Tight wobble
- Takes damage quickly
- Snags in cover occasionally
3. XFISHMAN Senko Worms 30-piece Lure Kit
- SIMPLE TO USE --Stick senko worms become so popular because the baits are simple to use. You can simply rig it straight on the hook (weightless), cast it out and let it sink. The lure’s slow fall...
Unlike some other fishing lures that have great action but require some manipulation from the angler to demonstrate it, these Senko worms have a convincing tail wiggle that works even when the bait is simply sinking straight down in the water. It’s ideal for drop-shot fishing when you’re right above the target fish. Simply let this bait sink through the strike zone and bass will surely notice it.
Attach it with a Texas rig, Carolina rig, or similar style. This bait is good for straightforward bass fishing year-round. The 30-pack also comes with a handy carrying case so you don’t have to worry about piecing together a whole box of bait one by one. For the weekend angler, these Senko worms are just the thing.
While they may tear after a bass attack, these worms are a great way to catch bass in the early spring. Since they are coming out of the deeper water and into the shallow flats, the strike zone for bass can be any intermediate depth. The sinking action this bait offers is ideal because it sinks slowly through every level if you let it. There is also a variety of color designs in the 30-pack so you can adjust to conditions or change it up to keep the attention of pressures bass.
- Automatic action
- Good presentation
- Expansive 30-pack
- Year-round use
- May tear easily
4. Havoc Pit Boss
This 8-pack of creature bait is ideal for spring bass fishing because it can be used with a jig head to get into cover, which is where bass like to hide pre-spawn. You can also use them as a trailer on a jig, with an offset hook, or on a weighted Texas rig, which means you can use it in the post-spawn season or even year-round.
The watermelon color and orange flecks allow it to blend well with greenish, dirty water while still attracting the attention of the coveted bass. It was designed with a minnow-like forebody and mimics both crawfish and baitfish, so any simple jiggling action from the angler will make it dance underwater to elicit an attack from hungry bass.
You can fish the Havoc Pit Boss like buzz bait and they will make a noise on the surface of the water. If you let them hit the bottom there will be a slight shake action for a second or two. Watch out if you’re expecting slim bait, though, because these are a bit larger than expected. You may have to pair them with a larger hook to make sure you can still snag a largemouth.
- Great for fishing in cover
- Useful for multiple fishing styles
- Convincing color and creature bait design
- Makes a noise
- Brief action on the bottom
- Large-size bait
5. Rapala X-Rap XR10 Minnow Lure
- The adrenaline-pumping X-rap slashbait has Xtreme attitude with its hard-cutting, aggressive darting action
Rapala is one of the most well-known fishing bait and lure manufacturers in the world and this minnow-style jerkbait is a good illustration of some of the reasons why. The slim design makes it great for both a steady reel or a quick jerk shot reel. The design gives this bait a fast, jerking motion to mimic a minnow and it also has a rattle underwater that works great to catch spring bass.
Rapala is famous for the action of its lures and bait and this one won’t disappoint in that regard. The two hooks are sharp and relatively easy to set but some anglers have difficulty because they don’t let the bass get a really solid bit on the bait first.
It may not be the best if you want to go really deep since it only has a running depth of between 3 and 8 feet. If you stop the line, this bait will start to roll. That’s an important action because that’s just the time when bass will attack. There’s a long casting system designed into this bait which makes it great for casting out and getting a bite on the reel in when it’s swimming through the topwater.
- Great action
- Long-distance casting
- Skims through topwater well
- 8-foot running depth limit
6. LiveTarget Threadfin Shad Squarebill
- Color: Pearl/Violet Shad
Designed to mimic a small trio of juvenile shad, this squarebill bait dives up to 8.5 feet and has realistic eyes to attract the attention of bass. It has two sharp hooks for a better set and it’s a bit longer than some other small bait which means it should stand out better. Unfortunately, whereas an Alabama rig or similar kind of lure has individual baitfish mimics, this squarebill has a single body that is designed to look like three shad. Because of this, there is a lack of action with this bait that’s pretty unfortunate considering how much more effective the violet and white fish could be if they move their false fins individually under the water. That being said, this bait does definitely work for catching bass in the springtime.
- Nice baitfish design
- Sharp hooks
- Realistic color scheme
- Baitfish are connected
- Less action
7. Zoom Bait Finesse Worm
- Number one in fishing sports
Just like the classic bait that it’s designed to mimic, this finesse worm is great for drop-shot fishing or dragging slowly through the water after a long cast out. One of the reasons earthworm bait works so well for bass fishing in springtime is because worms look like some of their other food sources like larvae, leeches, or worm species that live in the water.
These finesse worms have that going for them as well as a large amount of water displacement. This attracts the attention of bass because they can feel movement in the water. Water displacement makes them more likely to strike. Zoom also adds some salt and other minerals to get the bass to hang onto the bait for a split second longer, giving the angler more time to successfully set the hook.
The weight of these finesse worms is very light. In fact, it’s quite close to buoyancy weight, which means they will stay at strike level in the water until the angler acts on them. This makes them ideal for use as floating bait. You can rig these finesse worms in a variety of ways, including wacky style or splitshot. Try flicking this bait into the weeds near the shoreline where bass move to in the pre-spawn period in springtime. You can use a finesse worm with lots of drop-shot rigs to get the bait right in front of a bass’ nose.
- Great for finesse anglers
- Large water displacement
- Salt added to the construction
- Float suspended in water
- Variety of riggings, including finesse
- Jerkbait might work better in some situations
8. Matzuo Ikari Lipless Crankbait
- Capable of covering all levels of the water column by simply varying the retrieval speed.
A lipless crankbait is a great style of bait because it is capable of crossing through deep water and topwater all in the same cast. This lipless crankbait from Matzuo Ikari is an industry favorite because all you have to do to get it to reach just about every level is vary the speed at which you reel it in. For the bass fisherman trying spring bass fishing, being able to fish around grass, rocks, and docks is really important for getting bait in close to the fish.
This lipless crankbait works great in those conditions and the stainless steel BB’s on it create a strong vibration that the bass will definitely want to investigate. There’s also a really loud rattle when this bait hits the water. The red gills in the design also help create a realistic presentation for bass. The treble hooks may show some bending after lots of use so it might be wise to replace them.
- Crosses deep water and shallow water in a single cast
- Great around grass, rocks, and docks
- Strong vibration and rattle
- Nice color scheme
- Treble hooks may bend
9. Lucky Craft Pointer 100 mm Jerkbait
This is a really solid option for use as a suspended jerkbait. It floats suspended from four to five feet deep in the water and its action doesn’t stop while it’s suspended. It can also be slowly reeled in at a constant pace and with a short twitch of the fishing rod for a convincing presentation as baitfish to bass. It has a low center of balance due to weights included in the design, which causes it to wobble and vibrate when the angler stops reeling.
This wobbling and vibrating act like a siren song to nearby bass. Make sure to use this bait the right way; which is to stay, don’t simply cast out and then reel it back in. Take care to leave it suspended and reel in slowly with stops to take advantage of the wobbling and vibrating when you stop reeling. It has great action but the finish can start to wash off after lots of use.
- Great suspended jerkbait
- Convincing presentation
- Low center of balance causes wobbling and vibrating
- Finish may wash off after long use
10. Sunlure Topwater Mini Crankbait
- Mini fishing lures Crankbait- Length: 2.85cm/4.7cm; Weight: 1.95g/4g; 10 colors are avaiable
This crankbait is constructed with strong rings and carbon steel treble hooks which means they can take a pretty solid beating considering their size. They have just the right baitfish appearance for attracting attacks from bass and their color design and metal hooks create a flashy presentation that bass will see from a good distance away in murky or dirty water.
This topwater crankbait also has a realistic swimming action that works well near the surface or in deep water. They are super durable and have all the right design features for drawing in the bass, plus their small size makes them great for fishing in shallow flats and among grass, rocks, and docks. While some lures and bait seem to have to end to the design features and decorations, this mini crankbait is exactly what you need and nothing else. For that reason, it’s our winner for the best bait for spring bass.
- Small size to avoid snags
- Baitfish appearance
- Great presentation
- Sharp, shiny stainless steel treble hooks
- May be unsuitable for massive fish
11. Bassdash Alabama Rigs
- These rigs allow you to attach up to 5 lures to a single line, creating the potential of catching more than one bass at a time
A controversial topic in sport fishing, the Alabama rig, or A-rig, is nonetheless a great way to reel in multiple bass at one time, especially in the springtime because they really want to fatten up in the pre-spawn period. This rig from Bassdash is a great example of the A-rig because of its stainless steel, heat-treated wire construction, strong snaps, and copper swivels. Added together, all three of these features make this Bassdash A-rig durable and prevent the various arms from getting tangled.
The stainless steel makes for a great flash and the sheer size causes a large vibration in the water, all of which attract bass like nothing else. You can mimic an entire school of baitfish with this rig. Be careful using it in the springtime if you try and go through tall grass or around other potential snags.
All the arms on an A-rig up its chances of getting caught. If it weren’t for that nagging sense that it’s somehow overkill or less skillful than old-fashioned fishing, this might be our winner for best spring bass bait. It’s definitely fun to use some of the time but we wouldn’t recommend abandoning other bait entirely for the A-rig.
- Mimic an entire school of fish
- Catch multiple bass at once
- Bright, good vibration
- More complicated than other baits
- Large size
- Snags easily
For its versatility, convincing presentation, compact size, and overall effectiveness, the Sunlure Topwater Mini Crankbait is our winner for the best spring bass bait. Their construction is solid and they are nowhere near as complicated to use as the Alabama rig.
This crankbait works great is unclear or dirty water and their stainless steel treble hooks are surprisingly effective on fish that you might think would be too large for them. The ability to work in deep water or on shallow flats makes this crankbait optimal for year-round bass fishing and their small size lets an angler cast them into grass and rocks in the shallow parts of the water where bass begin to go in their pre-spawn period each spring.
Fishing for bass in the springtime is great fun because the conditions at that pre-spawn stage are in the intermediary between the winter when they tend to stay still and near the bottom of deep water, and summer, when bass like to be everywhere and eating everything. The conditions are always changing in the spring as the water temperature rises. It makes for exciting fishing and the bait you use for it can greatly affect how successful you are at catching bass in the springtime.
The Sunlure Topwater Mini Crankbait is durable, versatile, and simple enough for anglers of every experience level to use and snag a bass with. For that reason, it’s our winner for the best bait for spring bass. Take some with you out on the water when spring rolls around again.
Bonus tip: Eager to try fishing in springtime? Check out this informative video guide to pre-spawn bass fishing!