How to make homemade bait?
There are many anglers that absolutely swear by natural fish lures and there are some strong reasons why. The smell, texture, and action of natural bait can be imitated by artificial lures but is very difficult to replicate exactly.
|Spinnerbait: Strike King Mini-King 5-Inch||4.5*||$|
|Topwater Bait: Zara Spook by Heddon 4.5-Inch||4.5*||$$|
|Worm Bait: Yamamoto Senko 3-Inch||4.5*||$$$|
|Crankbait: RapalaClackin Magnum 2-Inch 5 pack||4.5*||$$$$|
|Jig Bait: Booyah Boo 2.4-Inch||4*||$$$$$|
It is also cheaper to make homemade bass fishing lures but that comes with a number of trade-offs. The first is the fact that the process of making natural bait requires knowledge about the kind of fish to use, collecting that bait, storing it and then doing it again before you head out the next time!
Some of the natural bait that bass go for include crawfish, minnows, small sunfish, shad, and madtoms.
Fishermen also need to know the correct way to hook live bait, the best place to hook it from and are restricted by the conditions in which they can use the live bait. All of this means that for the vast majority of anglers, artificial lures end up being the most convenient, easy and equally effective choice.
What are bass fishing lures?
A fishing lure is an artificial bait which has been designed to mimic the natural prey of the fish in terms of appearance. Lures use sounds, vibrations, and colors to attract the fish to them. The simplest kind of fishing lure is the plastic worm, which is pretty versatile in terms of the conditions that it can be used in.
Unlike natural bait, lures are easy to use, easy to store and can be reused multiple times making their cost per use very competitive.
The sheer variety of these lures and ability to fine tune your target through them means that hard core anglers see them as an excellent way to gain that edge while bass fishing.
Bass fishing lures can be very diverse with different ones being used in different conditions. The charm of collecting the ‘right’ lure can be a lot of fun with most serious anglers having a large collection at their disposal.
The idea is to have lures for each zone of water that you will be fishing in i.e. surface, subsurface, and bottom. The sheer diversity that is available to use is breathtaking and almost every angler will have their own particular approach to choosing the right lures.
All of the hundreds and thousands of lures though fall into some basic categories that we will discuss in detail.
How many types of bass fishing lures are there?
Crankbaits are very versatile lures that are excellent for both beginners and seasoned anglers. Choosing the right crankbait lure depends on the kind of water and depth that you will be fishing in. These lures are some of the most lifelike available to a bass fisher and very popular since bass goes for them around the year.
A lot of crankbait fishing is getting the right lure and then reeling (or cranking) in a straight retrieve. Pros recommend using square-billed crankbaits during early spring time in shallow waters, Citrus Shad’s for deep holding bass and a Shad Rap during the colder months.
No one takes crankbait fishing seriously and owns just one lure the square billed one may be a good place to start.
Topwater lures can be among the most fun ones to use as the bass attempts to jump out and catch it. These lures are designed to cause ripples, splashes, and noises in order to attract the fish. The idea is to give the impression of a prey in trouble which should equate for an easy meal for the bass.
Some of the things that should be kept in mind while using topwater lures are that they are most effective in low light conditions like early morning and the late evening, they are best when used near grass, stumps, and shorelines and under calm conditions when the water is not particularly choppy.
A drawback of these lures is that bass rushing upwards can often miss the lure altogether.
Spinnerbaits are a fantastic choice for bass fishers because they are excellent at attracting bass as well as covering a lot of water. They may appear a little odd in shape to beginners as they mainly contain spinning blades of different colors from an opened pin design.
The blades may be of different kinds with the most common ones being the Willow Blade or the Colorado Blade. They work by the spin of these blades in the water which results in a lot of commotion in the water that the bass is attracted to.
A straight retrieve with some natural dips to keep the movement erratic is the best way to fish a spinnerbait.
Bass Jigs are the kinds of lures that you want to be using if you are after some real trophy catches. Jigs can be a little harder to use for beginners but their success in attracting the big catches makes them invaluable.
The idea is to use a jig, most often with a trailer, get a soft entry and then gently lower it to the bottom. Once at the bottom, the jig is gently dragged across the floor to imitate crawfish and attract the bass.
A huge variety of jigs exist with weight being one of the more important things to consider before buying them.
Jerkbaits are very popular among bass fishers all year long but really come into their own during the colder months. These lures are longer and have no action of their own. Any action that the lure has is through the jerking of the rod, hence the name.
A jerkbait is meant to imitate an injured or dying baitfish, the equivalent of dinner served on a plate for the bass, hopefully, enticing enough to get them moving even when they are low on energy.
The fact that all the action on them is controlled by the angler allows them to be used at a variety of depths at different seeds.
Swimbait lures come in a wide variety of sizes and with greatly varying features. Swimbait fishing has actually expanded to be a whole different subculture of bass fishing. Lures can be multi-jointed, single jointed, metallic or rubber each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The one thing common among all of them is the fact that when people refer to swimbait lures they think of big lures of about 6 to 12 inches in length to catch some of the biggest bass fish in the water. The big bites are less common and require a lot of patience but the payoff is usually well worth it.
Plastic worm bait is the most common kind of lure used for bass fishing. They can be found everywhere and are often the cheapest kind of lures that one can buy. This does not mean though that these lures are ineffective or inferior.
Contrary to that, plastic worms are considered to be even better than live bait by a lot of anglers, especially the soft plastic kinds. Professional anglers use these in tournaments but just about anyone can use them in any weather or at any depth.
Try and chose darker colors in clearer waters while the more brightly colored worms are effective in darker waters.
A spoon, as the name suggests, is a piece of metal or plastic with a curved body. These lures come in every color imaginable and in a wide variety of sizes.
They imitate the speedy minnow fish as they wriggle around in the water and it is this erratic movement that is very effective at attracting at bass. Spoon lures have a huge advantage because they can be used at any depth or any kind of conditions effectively.
There are different kinds of fishing spoons such as casting, trolling, jigging and surface spoons with subtle differences to each of them.
How to choose best bass fishing lures?
Choosing fishing lures is an art and once anglers are experienced enough they will develop a ‘feel’ for it which can be a little difficult to explain. Here are a few basic points to keep in mind to help make the right choices though.
Consider the water that you will be fishing in. The conditions can be either clear, stained or muddy and that will be the most important aspect of choosing the right lure.
On a clear bright day in relatively clear water, choosing a bright lure is a good idea while a darker lure will work better on a darker day. This should then be followed by a consideration of the vegetation that is present in the water and what is the bottom surface likely to be like.
The prevailing weather and light conditions also important variables to be taken into account along with the column of water that is being targeted should be considered before choosing the lure. Jerkbaits are considered to be the absolute best choice for days when the temperatures are colder while using a topbait is recommended when fishing in water that has a decent amount of cover on it.
If the conditions start to get a little muddy or you are planning to fish near the bottom then a spinnerbait or a jig should be the first lure that you try for.
The fishing techniques also vary according to the kind of bait with some requiring more action to be exerted by the rod and some just needing a straight pull back. The size of the bait that you choose is also important because the smallmouth bass can be targeted by using small to medium sized bait while almost anything works for the largemouth kind.
What are suitable bass fishing lures for:
Beginners with less experience?
It can be intimidating for a beginner to try and figure out what lures to use when they discover the sheer amount of choice that is in front of them. There are some lures that are easier for the beginners to use, however.
It is very difficult to go wrong when using a soft plastic worm because of the sheer versatility with which they can be used. They are attractive to bass because they resemble their natural prey and appear very similar to the real thing.
A beginner may not see these odd looking contraptions as the easiest to use bait but they allow a lot of water to be covered while attracting bass at the same time. They remain weedless thanks to the blades making them easy to use as well. Beginners should stick to sizes between a quarter and three-fourths of an ounce.
Another very versatile and easy to use option for beginners. Crankbaits are available in a huge variety of options for different depths and this might require some additional research by beginners but once in the water, they are very user-friendly.
It is said that catching bass with crankbaits is a lot about choosing the right lure and then just cranking the catch in with a straight retrieve.
Catching largemouth bass?
There are a lot of variables that need to be considered when fishing for largemouth bass but choosing the right bait is definitely one of the more important ones.
A very popular option is the jerkbait particularly when the weather is colder. In times just before the lake freezes up or has just opened up after the winter jerkbait would be perfect to catch largemouth bass. If you are fishing from the shore near water that has a lot of cover then a topwater bait is also an excellent option.
The risk with this kind of bait is that the bass will miss it because of poor visibility but the regularity with which it attracts the fish more than makes up for it.
The last kind of lure that is recommended for the largemouth bass is the jig with a trailer attached to it. These are perfect when you are fishing in deeper waters and are looking for a largemouth bass.
Catching smallmouth bass?
Catching smallmouth bass requires a different approach to that from the largemouth bass but the basics remain the same. Take into account the weather and water conditions and then choose your lure.
A medium sized jerkbait of a slightly darker color works very well in open waters that are clear, while the ever dependable plastic worm is also an excellent choice when fishing from the bank. There are anglers that use the plastic worms with success in open waters as well, which is a testament to their versatility.
Also, consider the tube jighead lure for catching smallmouth bass in deep water or the spinnerbaits in muddy water. The size of the lure must be kept towards the medium or even smaller end if a smallmouth bass is the specific target.
What are 5 best bass fishing lures on the market?
Worm Bait: Yamamoto Senko
This a soft plastic worm lure that is one of our favorite to use. There is no question about its efficacy. The fact that you see so many of them around will help aid to the fact that these lures catch bass and that you require next to no skill in using them is an advantage in our opinion.
Of course, some of the more experienced anglers do not like them for that very reason!
The color of this lure is dark and the size ranges around 5 inches. The best feature of the Senko is the unique stiffness that gives it a very lifelike action in the water and makes it easy for the beginner bass fisher as well.
Crankbait: RapalaClackin Magnum
Made by a company that has been making fishing lures for over 75 years now, the Clackin Magnum Lure is a quality product. It has a new and improved rattling system that produces more undamped noise than its predecessors and this makes it an absolute magnet for fish.
A disadvantage of this lure is that it will not target bass fish in particular and will catch all kinds of fish! The finish of this lure is top notch as is the fully dressed hook that comes with it.
This is not the cheapest lure that you can buy but it almost damn near guarantees a good day of fishing!
Topwater Bait: Zara Spook by Heddon
This is an old classic that any angler around for any considerable amount of time would have tried or owns. Heddon is another company that has been making quality fishing products for decades now and the Zara Spook is in our opinion the best topwater lure in the market.
The lure is available in multiple colors and with rattling options as well. The best way to use it is in a zig-zag motion across the top of the water, something that beginners might take a little getting used to.
The lure has two double sided hooks of excellent durability and quality attached to it.
Spinnerbait: Strike King Mini-King
Spinnerbaits are extremely versatile in their use and this is one reason that most anglers always have them in their tackle box. We chose the Mini-King Spinnerbait because it is affordable, reliable, made with quality materials from a company (Strike King) that has a history of making excellent fishing products.
This lure comes with a single Colorado Diamond Blade and a reputation for catching bass. The tackle is durable enough to be dragged across the ground without fear of damage.
If you are struggling to catch fish with this tackle then Strike King also has another one with two blades that give off a unique frequency of sound that some people find more effective in attracting fish.
Jig Bait: Booyah Boo
This is a jig that has been designed to go through brushpiles and grassbeds from the outset. It is made by Booyah and has some pretty desirable features to it. It has flat bottom 18-degree rise, a high-quality black nickel hook and a magnum rattle to attract bass.
The jig can be used in deep waters throughout the year with success. It also has a full body 50-strand silicone skirt that is durable across multiple uses.
The Booyah Boo Jig is a remarkable lure and an excellent value proposition at the cost it is being offered.
How to catch more fish with bass fishing lures?
The trick to crankbait fishing is all about choosing the right bait. Make sure you use the correct weight of the crankbait lure and allow it to sink to the desired depth. These are usually incredibly lifelife so the trick is to use them with random motion and allow the rod to dip in the middle randomly.
A straight cast and retrieve is all that needs to be done with crankbait.
This is the lure that you will be using when the temperature is colder and the bass are just not biting. A jerkbait does not have any action of its own and so all of the action has to be provided by the rod.
Let the jerkbait drop to the desired depth and then retrieve it with a series of jerks to imitate a dying or injured baitfish.
The number one thing you want to keep in mind while using swimbait is to have patience. These almost always refer to the larger sized bait and will be used to try and catch some monster bass.
It is also recommended to use swimbait in deep waters. As an angler, you need to let the bait sink to its depth and then continue to make random dipping movements with the rod. Most of the times, the bass will attack when the swimbait is being retrieved.
Easily the most fun kind of bait to be used because of the spectacle they provide, they also require a little more expertise in handling. A topwater bait should be cast out among some vegetation or grass cover and then ‘hopped’ across the surface in a series of zig-zag motions.
This commotion will attract the bass who will try to attack it from below, often missing it, but almost always coming back for a second try.
These are considered to be among the most versatile lures by anglers. The jig should be rigged keeping in mind that the bite is almost always very light and difficult to detect. This is why jigs should be fished with a fast action rod and enough flex in it to cast the lightest possible line.
The best method is to cast the jig, let it drop to the bottom which you will know when the line starts to slack and then reel it back up with random hops.
The advantage of this lure is that there is no particular technique that bass fishers need to follow. All that needs to be done is for the lure to be cast and then retrieved.
The spinning lure is excellent at attracting bass although you can try to vary the speed of the retrieve to mix things up a bit.
There are different kinds of spoons that are used as lures. The most common ones that beginners use are the castable ones that are very simple to use. All that needs to be done is for the line to be cast and retrieved.
Care should be taken to keep the spoon wobbling as it imitates an injured baitfish. If the spoon begins to spin though then the speed of the retrieve needs to be slowed down.
Soft Plastic Worm
The most popular technique for rigging a soft plastic lure is the Texas Rig. The technique involves the use of a bullet weight on the line just above the hook and then inserting the hook through the top of the plastic worm.
The stiffer worms are much easier to use and end up having a more realistic action inside the water.
This technique has the advantage of hiding the hook inside the body of the worm, thus, making it weedless.
The Carolina Rig is also a popular technique used for plastic worms. Some of the other rigging methods include the Drop Shot Rig and the Wacky Rig.
Should we add scent to bass fishing lures?
Adding scents to lures is a controversial topic. There is no doubt that smell is one of the things that can attract bass to a lure but figuring out what they smell is something that no one has figured out until now.
This means that there is no harm in trying to use the essence of eel, squid, or anything else under this sun but it is difficult to estimate how much of a difference it will make. The real world fact of the matter is that fish attractants have been getting a lot of positive press from people whose job is to catch bass on most days of their lives.
The best time to use scent to attract the bass is when they are not biting or you need that extra push in slightly colder temparatures. Legendary professional angler, Kevin Van Dam says that he is a huge proponent of using fish attractants and insists that it has helped him win many bass fishing competitions.
There is also plenty of bait available from companies like Strike and King that has scent impregnated in it and is something that could help the fish realy latch on after they make the first bite.
The decision to buy a certain lure or a bunch of them ultimately comes down to the passion you have for bass fishing. The quest to find the perfect lure is a never-ending rabbit hole that fisherman willingly go down because it adds to their overall experience of fishing.
The adventure of researching different lures, learning about their use and finally trying them out in the wild is fun. You have to decide what kind of bass fisher you are and then dip your toes in or jump in whole hearted.