Hunting Smallies – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

When deciding what to fish for, if you’re lucky enough to be around waters that hold them, try your luck fishing for smallmouth bass. They can get pretty big and put on one heck of a fight. Considering they share many of the same waters, smallmouth bass fans will tell you smallmouth are more fun to fight than trout.  Trout guys may disagree, but we all can agree that smallmouth bass fishing is some of the best you can find in freshwater. To catch smallmouth, you need good tackle so we’ve compiled a list of the best lures for smallmouth bass that all anglers should have.

You might think baits that work with largemouth can also be successful with smallmouth. This is absolutely true. Smallmouth will strike a buzzbait just as a largemouth would. Do you have a favorite, go to largemouth spinnerbait? Chances are it works with smallmouth. I haven’t found any reasons, either through research or experience, to suggest only certain colors work for smallmouth, but you should consider a couple things that may be different from largemouth. First, smallmouth typically inhabit clear, cooler water. Where you expect to find trout you can also find smallmouth, so make sure you choose appropriate colors based on clear water conditions. Secondly, you’ll find more and bigger smallmouth in and near boulders and rocky bottoms. Using jigs that don’t get hung up easily on would be a wise choice in those situations. Don’t get me wrong, a sunken log will hold smallmouth too. But they tend to prefer rocky structure. Finally, early morning and late evening are your best chances to get smallmouth on the surface. The cooler water from the night brings them to the shallows but as the day wears on they’ll recede to the depths. Find them early and throw some topwaters for incredible action. Okay, here is the best lures for smallmouth bass- happy hunting!

Cotton Cordell Big O – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Cotton Cordell Big O - The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass
Cotton Cordell Big O

Cotton Cordell has been around for a very long time and for good reason- they produce. The Big O is a terrific crankbait to fish over rock and gravel beds, where smallmouth tend to feed. Vary your speeds, even letting the Big O float to the surface to add a different action with each cast. Even the laziest of bronzebacks will have a hard time resisting its allure.

 Other Good Choices 

Booyah Blade Spinnerbait – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Booyah Blade Double Willow Spinnerbait - The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass
Booyah Blade Double Willow Spinnerbait

Spinnerbaits belong in every bass anglers tacklebox, and the Booyah Blade should be one of them. With the double willow configuration, smallmouth go nuts for that extra flash. Reinforced with jewelers grade nickel and gold plate, the corrosion-resistant double blades mimic a bait fish perfectly even in murky water. Its 3d eyes and red gills add some realism to its presentation and of course it’s .035 gauge wire is tuned to maximum vibrations.

 Other Good Choices 

Storm WildEye Swim Shad – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Storm WildEye Swim Shad - The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass
Storm WildEye Swim Shad

I love these lures. I love these lures! First cast of the season was with a chartreuse swim shad and within seconds I had a 2 pound smallmouth on the line. I love these lures! They’re incredibly detailed and mimic lifelike action with their paddle tails making them irresistible. You need a few of these in your arsenal as they will produce for you in all types of conditions. Be sure to vary your colors to find what works best depending on the situation.

 Other Good Choices 

Mepps Aglia Double Blade – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Mepps Aglia Double Blade - The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass
Mepps Aglia Double Blade

One of my favorite all around lures, not just for bass, is the Mepps Aglia. It is my go to lure when fishing for trout and salmon in streams and rivers. But many anglers don’t think to use spinners when targeting bass and that’s a mistake. The double blade action of the Aglia gives off tons of flash and vibration. Aglias come in several sizes, but for smallmouth you should use size 3 or bigger. The bigger sizes extend your cast distance and put just enough wobble in the water to bring in the laziest of bass.

 Other Good Choices 

Strike King Bitsy Bug Mini Jig – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Strike King Bitsy Bug Mini Jig - The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass
Strike King Bitsy Bug Mini Jig

Perfect for working those rocky beds, the Bitsy Bug Mini Jig should help coax out those hiding bass out of their rocky homes. Jig the bait on and over the rocks with confidence as these baits are designed to minimize getting hung up. Green and brown are always good choices for colors, but black and blue have been successful for many anglers. Carry a box dedicated to jigs with a ride range of colors so you can get the right bait on to the right fish.

 Other Good Choices 

Yamamoto Senko – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Yamamoto Senko
Yamamoto Senko

If you don’t have plastics in your tacklebox, you’re really missing out on incredibly fun fishing. Such a versatile bait, Senko’s can be used in a variety of setups. Alone as a wacky rig or texas rig, or maybe as a trailer to a jig or spinnerbait. Whatever rig you decide (there are so many), have a few of them ready to go before you head onto the water so you can switch out quickly. Yamamoto is the standard bearer in plastic baits, and their Senko line more that exceeds their reputations.

 Other Good Choices 

Booyah Buzz – The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass

Booyah Buzz - The Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass
Booyah Buzz

Yeah, I’d be crazy if I didn’t include at least one buzzbait in this list. The Booyah Buzz is perfect for extreme topwater action. The Buzz is designed with a clacker to make even more noise on the water than a standard buzzbait. When smallmouth are cruising the shallows for bait in the early mornings or late evenings, a topwater buzzbait is my choice to get a strike. Made in a wide selection of colors you can find exactly what you need with the Booyah Buzz. Be sure to grab a few to give you as many options on the water!

 Other Good Choices