The best baiter of 2022

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Updated on November 7, 2022 at 13:07

If you want to start catching bass consistently, then you need to be prepared for any type of situation that may arise. This means having lots of different lures and baits ready to use at a moment’s notice. You should always have a bass lure ready for whatever the day has in store, from soft plastics and fine-style crankbaits to topwater and weedless rigs. But if you don’t have a few different bass baits in your box, you could be missing out on a lot of fish. The characters come in different types and sizes, designed to work in different conditions, habitats and seasons. Calling which piece of fishing gear works best for your water takes practice and experimentation. Here are five to get you started.

Lump shots help you find the fish

Lumpy rigs are a useful and effective tool for bass anglers to have in their arsenal. These bass lures can be fished most of the year. They are often one of the first lures I fish when exploring new areas. They allow you to cover water quickly and hopefully produce a bite so you can incorporate your strategy.

I like to throw them on when I start fishing new water that I haven’t modeled yet. It is a good moving bait that allows you to cover large stretches of water at specific depths. They help you cover areas quickly so you can find fish and focus on a pattern.

Square, rimless and deep plunge options

Cart with square cards are designed to be fished in shallow water and cast from the bottom. The erratic movement of the lure’s strike structure will generate strikes from the bass. You should fish them without worrying about getting hung up; their square bills are designed to take a beating and help protect the hooks from catching on rocks and sticks. This lure is a perfect piece of fishing tackle for fishing in 0 to 5 feet of water and cover.

Rimless cart are another option for shallow water, and they excel in vegetated areas. Working the edges of the cover provides the perfect opportunity to trigger a big bite. If your square bill isn’t doing it, throw in a rimless one for a change of pace. You might catch a few weeds here and there, but the bass will still crush them.

After the spawning season, deep diving bait are an excellent option. Bass start to move back into deeper water after they spawn and you’ll need a lure to get down into the strike zone. Deep diving baits have an elongated bill to drive the lure deep into the water column. When the summer heat rolls in, break out the deep-diving baits and head for the big water.

Best square bill: Strike King KVD Square Bill Crankbait

Brown skull, square billed silent crankbait

One of the best square chairs for shallow water situations.
The king of kicking

The KVD square bill cart is a proven tour winner. This bass lure is perfect for bouncing off rocks and structure providing excellent action. The silent design makes it ideal for jumping and pressured fish. Fish these lures in shallow water, around rocks, wood debris and above weed beds.

Best Noise: Rapala Rippin’ Rap Rattling Rimless Crankbait

Chrome, sharp bait, no edge

Make a noise in the water and let any bass know where the food is.

When you’re looking to draw attention to your lure, noise and commotion are essential. The vibrating BBs inside this bait send a disturbance throughout the water column, drawing bass to the area. This lure is a perfect piece of fishing tackle to use when you want to cover the water quickly. If you don’t know where the fish are holding, you can throw them in potential spots and burn them back to the boat. After drawing a few strokes, consider switching to a less flashy presentation.

Best Deep Dive Character: Bass Pro Shops XPS Laser Eye Deep Diver Crankbait

Brilliantly colored, long billed, laser shot

The right bait for when the bass are deep.
Bass Pro Shops

This long billed deep diving bait is perfect for those hot summer days when all the bass are deep. The realistic paint pattern combined with a strong sound makes this lure irresistible to bass. Get your bait deep and into the strike zone when the water temperatures start to rise.

Best without rims: Strike King Red Eyed Shad Crankbait

Chrome blue, red eyed, rimless

Fish effectively in shallow water from 0 to 7 feet.
The king of kicking

If one of the best bass anglers of all time, Kevin VanDam, recommends a bait, chances are he’s going to catch some fish. This lure is good for casting along weed edges and in shallow water. It is a brightly colored fishing lure with a loud noise to elicit aggressive bites.

The best budget: Bass Pro Shops Tourney Special Rattle Bait

Golden tiger, noise bait

You don’t need fancy lures to catch fish. Bass Pro Shops

Spending $10 on a bait can hurt your wallet, especially when you have to constantly replace lost baits. This Bass Pro Shops lure is a classic design that will always attract bass. For a few bucks, you can’t go wrong with its durable and detailed design.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How do I choose a crankbait?

To choose the right bait, consider several factors such as water depth, time of year and water temperature. When the water is cooler during the prespawn and early spring, square bills will be preferred in shallow water and around structure. When the summer months roll around and the water starts to warm, bass will move deeper to find cooler temperatures. This is when deep diving baits will come in handy and get you into the game with those bass down in the water column.

Q: How deep do rimless chairs go?

Lipless baits are incredibly versatile because they can cover a good range of depths. You can fish them in inches of water or in 8 to 10 feet. Once you start getting deeper than 10 feet, you’ll want a lip bait further down.

Q: What is the best color bait?

Finding the best color lure depends on the area you fish. It’s smart to “match the switch” and choose a color and pattern based on the baitfish in your area. In Lake Erie, I like to use baits that resemble gobies, an invasive species that feed on bass. If you don’t have anything to match in particular, then try bright colors that will attract attention. I often find that red is a productive color when nothing else works.

Experiment with Crankbaits to find more bass

Lures are one of the most popular lures for a reason, and it’s worth taking the time to figure out how to fish them. It’s not as simple as taking any old bait and making a cast. Each crankbait is useful for a different situation and when you start to understand where to fish them, your days on the water will be even better. Try different styles this season and push yourself to improve your skills.

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