The Top 5 Baits for Bass Fishing (Artificial)

Luke Cuenco   03.14.22

Bassmaster Gear: The Top 5 Baits for Bass Fishing (Artificial)

The Bassmaster Classic Tournament just recently wrapped up its 52nd year of continuous fast-paced angler competition. While only one man was able to take the 1st place podium, dozens of other anglers still won decent-sized cash prizes for their efforts using a combination of skill, experience, intuition, and great gear. No angler’s tackle box is complete without a healthy set of lures and bass fishing is no different. Today we’ll be taking a look at the top 5 baits you can use to up your game when it comes to bass fishing. Of course today we’re talking about artificial baits and not live bait which is considered by many to be the superior choice as live bait can be the most consistent winning bait type all year round.

Bassmaster Gear: The Top 5 Baits for Bass Fishing (Artificial)

Bassmaster Gear: The Top 5 Baits for Bass Fishing (Artificial)

1. Z-Man Chatterbait Jack hammer Ever Green Custom Bladed Jig


Z-Man Chatterbait Jack hammer Ever Green Custom Bladed Jig

3 irresistible bass fishing forces teamed up to create the Z-Man® Chatterbait® Jack Hammer Ever Green Custom Bladed Jig, and the bass will just have to learn to live with sore jaws as a result. Developed by Z-Man, top bass pro Brett Hite, and top Japanese luremaker Ever Green International, this bladed swim jig gives you an attention-getting bait that’s built to excel in tough conditions. It features the flash and signature knock-knock noise of Z-Man’s patented ChatterBlade® as it repeatedly strikes the head, plus a unique head shape with a low center of gravity for consistent balance and easy skipping, a custom Gamakatsu® 5/0 heavy wire black nickel hook, and a detailed Hite-selected paint scheme with matching hand-tied silicone skirt. The molded-in stainless wire blade connection, grooved head design, snag-resistant Decoy® Egg Snap line tie, and dual wire trailer keepers ensure trouble-free performance in heavy cover. Natural hunting motion with quick start-up; great at dodging snags and deflecting off cover.

  • Designed by an international team including Brett Hite
  • Attention-getting bladed swim jig
  • Flashy, noisy ChatterBlade
  • Low-gravity head shape
  • Gamakatsu 5/0 heavy wire hook
  • Matching paint and hand-tied silicone skirt
  • Stainless wire blade connection
  • Grooved head eliminates blade detachment
  • Snag-resistant Decoy Egg Snap line tie
  • Dual wire trailer keepers
  • 3D eyes

Pros/Can be flipped, dragged, hopped, or swam without working about getting snagged on foliage.

Cons/Available in Limited patterns

Bottom Line/A great all around bait that does very well in in a variety of situations

2. Mann’s Hardnose Jelly Worms – Flavored


Mann's Hardnose Jelly Worms - Flavored

The Mann’s Jelly Worms were the first soft plastic worms on the market and date back to 1957. These versions feature both the patented HardNose feature and original fruit flavors that made them so popular. The flavoring gives the fish something to lust after while they are attacking it to encourage hooking and the paddle tail on this particular worm generates a very natural looking swimming motion which is sure to attract even the most experienced fish.

Pros/Simple bait that is a classic choice among experienced anglers

Cons/Some swear that artificial worms are something to avoid

Bottom Line/A good backup option to have in your tackle box when nothing else is working

4. Strike King KVD Deep Jerkbait


Strike King KVD Deep Jerkbait

When the situation calls for a jerkbait, but you need to get just a couple feet deeper to hit that sweet spot, reach for the Strike King® KVD Deep Jerkbait. Meticulously designed with an extended diving lip by legendary angler Kevin VanDam, this deadly bait puts the perfect combination of roll, wiggle, and flash right in front of fish lurking in deeper cover or cruising vertical structure. Internal weight transfer system enables extra-long, accurate casts; equipped with realistic 3D eyes and premium black nickel hooks. KVD suggests cranking this Strike King original down to the proper level, then simply working it as you would any jerkbait, with pauses, slack-line twitches, and an irregular cadence.

  • Designed by Kevin VanDam
  • Extended diving lip for working deeper in the water column
  • Superior roll, wiggle, and flash
  • Great over deeper cover or along vertical structure
  • Internal weight transfer system for long, accurate casts
  • Realistic 3D eyes
  • Premium black nickel hooks

Pros/Great for Topwater fishing where you know bass are feeding on live fish – Seeing a fish jump out of the water to get your bait is also a cool bonus.

Cons/Technique for using jerkbaits takes time and practice to master

Bottom Line/A solid bait choice for more difficult to fish waters that is perfect for the warmer months

5. Rebel Lures Pop-R Topwater Popper Fishing Lure


Rebel Lures Pop-R Topwater Popper Fishing Lure

The Rebel Pop-R has been the standard by which all topwater poppers/chuggers have been judged for more than three decades. This lure won anglers hundreds of thousands of dollars in bass tournaments while it was discontinued. After “The Secret Bait of the Pros” was revealed in a major bass fishing magazine, the Pop-R returned to the lineup and sold more than a million lures the first year. The profile and action of the Pop-R make it a favorite of anglers everywhere. It can be worked quickly across the surface like a panicked baitfish or slowly twitched to mimic a meal that’s almost dead, and every speed in between.

Pros/Super easy bait to use for topwater fishing – especially for beginners.

Cons/Popper baits don’t sink very well and this could make it hard to attract fish that aren’t in shallow cover

Bottom Line/A great lure to switch to when the weather is beginning to change

Does lure color matter?

Yes and No. Largemouth bass will eat just about anything they can get their mouth around and they often feed on other small fish like sunfish, minnows, and perch. Some other uncommon small animals they eat include frogs, insects, crayfish, insects, and even smaller birds that land in the water.

However, it has been observed that largemouth bass are most attracted to the color red and red ends up being a very common color with bass bait options. So if nothing else is working, maybe try red!

How do I know if I’m using the right bait?

The better question is to know if you’re using the wrong bait. There are so many options out there for bass lures and this can make things confusing especially when two completely different types of baits may have similar characteristics. The truth is,  you don’t really know when a specific bait will be “the right bait.” You can however observe your location, the weather, the local population, and lots of other factors to determine how you’ll outsmart the fish and get one on the hook. If something is working, take note of the circumstances and add it to your notebook.

Why didn’t you mention crankbaits?

Crankbaits are great types of lures for fishing but I didn’t include any on the list due to how I have observed them being used in most cases. Crankbaits are great for scouting out unfamiliar waters, however, this might require you to have advanced knowledge of what type of prey the bass are feeding on as you’d likely have to match the rough coloring of the live fish to make your particular crankbait effective to use as a mainline fishing lure.

About the Author

Avatar Author ID 693 - 2133775038

Luke Cuenco

Luke is currently a full-time writer for,,, and of course, Luke is a competitive shooter, firearms enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman, and generally takes an interest in anything that has to do with the great outdoors.
Luke is also a private certified pilot and is currently pursuing his commercial pilot’s license in the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Some of Luke’s other interests include anything to do with aviation, aerospace and military technology, and American Conservancy efforts.
Instagram: @ballisticaviation

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