Fishing Bait — Ranked
Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or salt, for walleye or trout, you’ll have the best luck with the right bait.
We’ve compiled the best fishing bait to date. If you get your hands on these six lures, you’ll be able to catch the fish you’re after in any conditions. Keep in mind that while these are some of our top picks, there are certainly effective bait styles that didn’t make the cut.
6 Best Fishing Bait
All anglers should have the following essentials in their tackle boxes:
- Soft plastic stick bait: Put a stick bait in front of a bass and the fish will eat it. Newer versions of stick baits like the BioSpawn ExoStick Pro and the original Senko are a must-have in every angler’s arsenal.
- Curl tail grub: We’ve ranked the curl tail grub fishing bait in our second spot due to its versatility. Serve this classic lure on a barbed jig in 1/8 to 1/4 ounces while keeping the curly tail moving with momentum. As an angler, you can use the 3-inch Brown or White grub to catch almost anything, anywhere.
- Spinnerbait: Flashy and sporting a larger profile, the spinnerbait lures in the bigger, more aggressive bass for a reaction bite. Use this lure for bumping over boulders and sunken timber or working through upright cover like tall reeds and grass. If you’re looking to catch a larger profile, add a curly tail grub and try bumping and rolling it over an attractive stump.
- Square bill crankbaits: This bait is ideal for 4- to 8-foot depths — think shallow water ponds and lakes.
- Paddle tail swimbaits: Swimbaits mimic baitfish, making them great for bass fishing. Use paddle tail swimbait when many baitfish are schooling in a body of water. Cast the fishing bait around the area’s edges where bass are lurking and let the swimbait’s paddle tail thump to alert nearby lurkers.
- Finesse worm: There’s an impressive selection of soft plastics on the market, with Bubble Gum and Green Pumpkin being among the most popular for luring in aggressive bass.
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