10 Essential Bass Fishing Lures For Beginners

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We all have a ton of lures in our tackle boxes. Chances are, a lot of them hardly get used more than once! So put aside the ones that never work and buy these tried and tested lures needed for bass.

In this article, I have chosen the ten essential bass lures you should use based on my several years of catching bass. Compare them to what’s in your lure box – Do you have the right ones?

My choices will provide the beginner bass angler with a wide range of options to cover most bass fishing sessions and hopefully get you more bites and fish!

So let’s get started!

What Are The Best Fishing Lures For Bass?

There are thousands of different lures on the market. Most lure categories are made of jigs, plugs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and soft plastic baits.

I will not include plastic baits in this article; you can check out my article on plastic worm baits if these are your preferred bass option.

My choices are based on my own experience, and I have selected one or two in each of the categories as the best options. With so many lures in the market, it gets hard to narrow down to the best ones. If you are searching for a smaller but very durable option, then the Rapala Jointed Shad Fishing Lure is an excellent choice.

If you’re after a lure that catches fish, whatever the size, then go for the Booyah Pond Magic – it’s an awesome spinner bait choice for beginners.

All these lures have been real winners for me and always have a place at the top of my tackle box!

  • Rapala Jointed Shad Fishing Lure – My Top Overall Pick!
  • BOOYAH Pond Magic Fishing Lure – My Best Spinnerbait Pick!
  • Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait Fishing Lure – My Best Jerkbait Pick!
  • Strike King 6XD Crankbait – My Best Crankbait Pick!
  • River2Sea Whopper Plopper – My Best Topwater Pick!
  • Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait
  • Yo-Zuri 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure
  • Rapala Husky Jerk Fishing Lure
  • Rapala Deep Tail Dancer Lure
  • Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Popper Fishing Lure

Rapala Jointed Shad Fishing Lure – My Top Overall Pick!

Highlighted Features

  • Varying Colors
  • Three sizes
  • Material: Blend – plastic body and metal 
  • Weight: Up to 7/16 oz

The first lure on our list is the Rapala Jointed Shad Fishing lure which exhibits the behavior of a wounded minnow. I always chose the jointed version over the standard unjointed Rapala Shad Rap, as I prefer the “wounded feature” look in the water. The unjointed option is better used for very shallow water fishing.

 It has a quick-diving lip design and exhibits a ‘distressed minnow’ signal that is loud and clear for everyone. It has a lightweight, durable plastic body that can be used as often as you deem fit.

The table below shows the options for the three models available. The range is very wide and has a full range of colors available for each model.

All the models are segmented designs for a range of depths. The lip on this lure makes it dive pretty quickly, so it can easily imitate the action of injured baitfish. A built-in rattle helps bring a little more attention to the lure. 

For the larger size (JSR07), my preference and recommendation is to go for the Rapala Jointed Shad Rap 07. Its silver/green multicolor looks like a large minnow which I find bigger bass seem to love to take very aggressively.

For the smaller size (JSR04), my preference and recommendation is to go for the Rapala Jointed Shad Rap 04 Fishing lure – Baby Bass. Its mainly green body with a silver belly looks like a small minnow that bass of any size is always interested in. This one is great for kids using lighter tackle to catch the smaller bass and provides more bites.

Running Depth4′ – 6′6′ – 13′7′ – 15′
Body Length1 1/2″2″2 3/4″
Weight3/16 oz1/4 oz7/16 oz
Treble Hooks8 + 106 + 74 + 4
Rapala Jointed Shad Options


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Reusable
  • It imitates the shad fish action perfectly
  • Various options and sizes


  • None

BOOYAH Pond Magic Fishing Lure – My Best Spinnerbait Pick!

Highlighted Features

  • Ultra Point 2/0 Hook Size
  • It has 60-strand ultra-fine silicone skirts
  • Weight: 1/8 ounces

I put this Booyah pond magic fishing lure on my list as one of our best picks because it’s caught me more fish than any other lure. The fish are not always very large, but if you have kids fishing for bass, this is a great choice for them to try out. 

It is a small spinnerbait with twelve color options to choose from and blade combinations selected to match the forage base of smaller waters. It’s a basic small, well-built spinnerbait.

With an awesome array of color options, choosing one is not easy. My personal favorites are the craw and the firebug, not only for bass but great for crappie. The ultra-fine silicone skirt gives the lure durability and is very hardy in harsh weather conditions, and can last a long time without replacement. 

Lastly, this spinnerbait is at an affordable price. You can get three different ones for the price of some other lures!


  • Tailored Hook
  • Amazing Bait Design
  • Eye-Catching Color patterns
  • Works for other fish species
  • Very attractive price range 


  • Better for the smaller bass

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 – My Best Jerkbait Pick!

Highlighted Features

  • Different colors
  • Size: 10
  • Weight: 0.01 kgs.

Regarding effective bass baits, jerk baits are an excellent option. The Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait range mimics the action of a struggling baitfish with the same erratic appearance and movement. You can fish it year-round with a variety of fishing styles.

The XR10 is 4” long, which is the second-longest of the range, and has a running depth of 4” – 6” inches. There are 19 different color options for the X10. I have three different colors, but the rainbow trout color option has proven to catch more than the others. The XR10 has size 4 and 5 treble hooks, which are perfect for catching bigger bass.

Alternating fish-catching actions in a single retrieve is the best use of the X-Rap. It can be fished both in an aggressive technique or the classic wobble. Simply jerk the rod to create a frenzied movement within the bait. Even if you don’t jerk it, the bait will still roll or wobble with a straight retrieve. 

Its features include a translucent body, internal and 3D holographic foil/eyes, and a flashy tail. These will also cast like a bullet, which helps provide a long and accurate cast.


  • Aggressive, Hard-cutting darting action
  • Running depth of 4 to 6 feet
  • Weight: 7/16 oz.
  • It comes with an irresistible rattle.
  • It has an integrated long-casting system.


  • The split ring may sometimes separate from the spinner.

Strike King 6XD Crankbait – My Best Crankbait Pick!

Highlighted Features

  • 2 Hooks
  • Diving Depth: 19+ feet
  • Weight: 1 oz.
  • Silent Model Available

Crankbaits are powerful, amazing bass fishing baits. Our top crankbait pick is the Strike King Pro 6XD. If you want to cover a lot of water in one go and find out where the bass is hiding, you should start with this bait.

This is a deep-diving crankbaits, but it seems to dive much faster than other crankbaits. The XD series from Strike King is one of my favorites for deeper-running crankbaits.

My personal choice is the brightly colored #561, which is a Chartreuse / Powder with Blue Back. I use this one as most of my other lures are more minnow or darker shades. The bright Chartreuse Belly Craw stands out as part of my lure box. It’s best to carry a mix of dark and bright colors to ensure you have options in your tackle box.

It has a diving lip that helps it cut through the surface of the water, a round body, and a distinctive wobble. The wobble emits a frequency that the bass gets enticed to strike at.


  • Very easy to fish
  • Come with free-floating rattle chambers
  • It emits different sound frequencies.
  • It has a lifelike finish.


  • A little more expensive as compared to other similar crankbaits.

River2Sea Whopper Plopper – My Best Topwater Pick!

Highlighted Features

  • Different Colors
  • 2 Hooks
  • Weight: 0.01 lbs.

Probably one of the most popular and favorite baits for bass is the River2Sea Whopper Plopper. This bait comes with propellers that disrupt water and lure the bass in. 

A topwater lure aims to ripple the water’s surface, creating splashing and plopping noises as the lure is retrieved. This mimics an injured fish which the bass can’t resist. 

Topwater fishing is at its best in low light conditions, early morning and late afternoon, or on a cloudy day. If the water is calm, the bass can see any color, but if it’s a choppy surface, a brighter color is best.

Since bass come to the top more often in the spring and summer, the topwater lure is best during these times. 

My recommendation in the series is the Whopper Plopper, Size 130, blueblood color. 

Whopper Plopper comes in five sizes. The largest, the 130, is the favorite choice for bass. It’s a big lure at 5 inches long and weighs 1 3 ⁄ 8 ounces. Its weight means it can cast much longer distances. Coupled with its weight, it creates a lot of sound and splashing.


  • Sharp, strong hooks
  • Works in both freshwater and saltwater
  • Durable Topwater bait
  • Easy Retrieve


  • One of the most expensive lures on the market

Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait 

Highlighted Features

  • Synthetic Material
  • Different Colors
  • Weight 1/8 oz.
  • Features Tennessee Diamond Blade

Spinnerbaits are classic, tried-and-tested bass fishing lures. The range from strike king is very large, with so many styles and colors to choose from. The mini king is the most affordable on my list and also very versatile. This lure has a diamond spinning blade attached to it with the wire that attracts the bass through its flashing, vibration, and noise.

The mini-king spinnerbait is made up of a jig head, fitted with a skirt, and attached with a wire that leads to the spinning blade. It can swim deep and helps you catch bass very easily and quickly.

This lure is for smaller bass and other fish like crappie. The chartreuse color is my best choice, as it has a much better visual attraction than the other colors. 


  • Durable Diamond Dust Head
  • Lightweight blade
  • Attractive silicone skirt
  • It comes with a safety pin wire.


  • The rubber hair is fragile

Yo-Zuri 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure

Highlighted Features

  • Material: Crystal
  • Two sizes are available 5¼” and 6” inches 
  • Variety of colors and patterns

This is a deep diver lure and can go as deep as 13 ft. easily. This lure works great as a trolling option since it comes with a tight wiggle that causes it to look like a foraging baitfish. It is a great casing lure for a little bit of stop-and-go action as well as slow retrieves.

The color patterns on this lure are nice and have some great choices. The translucent patterns and the striking UV colors reflect as much subsurface light as possible. Therefore, this lure is visible to fish, even in low-light conditions. 

These big and heavy lures help get to the bass located farther away than normal.

The perch color Yo-Zuri is a great design and a stand-out color. Since perch are usually found in deeper water, this is an excellent dive lure. I have very few perch-colored lures, but this is one I use regularly.  


  • Works great in low-light conditions
  • Available in different colors
  • It comes in floating as well as suspending variants.
  • Deep-diver lure


  • Hooks are not rust-resistant

Rapala Husky Jerk Fishing Lure

Highlighted Features

  • Multi-Colored
  • It comes in five different sizes.
  • Material: Synthetic
  • ⅛ oz to ⅝ oz in weight

This is another amazing lure from Rapala and is a suspending jerk, long-casting jerk bait that you can easily fish with at any speed. It is an amazing, versatile lure that is perfect for both casting and trolling around any cover bass are hiding in. 

The retrieve is pretty straight, and the lure is perfectly balanced. It is almost 2.5” to 5.5” inches in length and can easily run from 4 to 8 ft. deep. It is a large jerk bait and will definitely attract the interest of some bigger bass. 

It can be used as cast or troll fishing, and it even has a rattle chamber that convinces any sitting bass to get interested. 

The silver blue and the fire tiger are nice colors, and they will be visible even in the cloudiest waters and are a great lure choice, especially in the winter months.


  • Perfectly Balanced lure
  • It comes with a rattle chamber.
  • Multiple ranges and options are available
  • Durable


  • None

Rapala Deep Tail Dancer Lure

Highlighted Features

  • Multi-Colored
  • Material: Blend
  • Three sizes – 2 ¾, 3 ½, and 4 ⅜ inches
  • Weight: 0.02 Kg

This lure is one of the most favorite and popular lures manufactured by Rapala and deserves even more clout. The wide-tail swimming action of the lure will produce a ton of bites, season after season. The balsa wood lure body comes with an internal rattle, a classic and proven tested approach to snare bass.

The longest lure, 4 ½ inches long, has an impressive running depth of 30 ft. The shortest, at 2 ¾  inches, can go to a depth of 15 feet. This amazing lure will reach the bottom without any assistance and will help you land more and bigger bass with minimal effort. This is a great option for those trying to get down into the deeper depths.

I regularly use the multi-color 4 3/8″ long deep tail dancer, a fantastic green upper and red belly with six dark “V” stripes on its body.


  • Great running depth
  • It comes with an internal rattle.
  • Wide-tail swimming action
  • Durable


  • The split ring is slightly large in size

Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Popper Fishing Lure

Highlighted Features

  • Color: Ghost Shad
  • Three sizes available 
  • Floating lure

When you are out fishing, nothing is more fun than having some topwater gear in your tackle box, as it gets you a lot of aggressive bass-biting action. This classic style popper works great in lower light conditions before sunrise and just after sunset. 

The color and patterns on this wide-cupped mouth popper lure from Yo-Zuri are attractive. The 3D internal prism finish and the neutral ghost shad color are perfect for low-light scenarios.

The 3D Inshore Popper is a saltwater popper and has excellent balance. It is designed for shallow water and areas with cover.

Fish can see the brightly painted surface from a great distance. The internal hologram sheet never wears off and keeps flashing even when the clear body is scratched after multiple uses. 

It’s best fished when used with a stop-and-pop retrieve. It has a good price point for a quality lure.


  • Durable
  • Long-Lasting
  • Attractive Pattern
  • Saltwater Safe


  • Considered a little small for saltwater fishing

Final Thoughts

Lures are great fun to fish with and so easy to interchange. When your favorite lure is not getting any bites, switch to one of these on my list.

With so many factors impacting catching all the different types of bass, having multiple lure options for winter and summer is a wise decision. We always have to give ourselves the best chance to catch bass all year round.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out my in-depth article on Rapala fresh and saltwater lures here! Which covers lures focused on trout/ bass fishing and saltwater predators.

Steve Fitzjohn