Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass in Lakes: The Complete Guide

February 11, 2021

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When traveling to any lake district or area to do some targeted smallmouth bass fishing, you are going to need tools. The tools of the trade, in this case, are the lures that catch you the most and the biggest fish. So what are the best lures for smallmouth bass in lakes?

Glad you asked! Spoons and poppers, minnows and crayfish – smallmouth bass have a diverse diet. The bigger trophy type fish do go for slightly bigger bait than one would expect. After reviewing countless different lures, these are the ones that we found to be most effective in lakes.

Always have a look around at your surroundings and what the fish could be eating. If you can spot a crayfish, you know what to bait up with. Same as when you see small minnow type baitfish, you should try your minnow lures.

The Top 9 Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass in Lakes

1. Lixada Soft Crawfish

This crawfish bait is a must-have in any bass fisherman’s tool kit and will outsmart smallmouth bass with minimal effort. Its retreat type squirming action is very lifelike and extremely hard to resist to most predatory fish. The length is 3.15″ and weighs 0,5oz. 

This amazing lure is not just effective in lakes but in rock, reef, and sea as well. It has a premium top hook designed not to let go. So when visiting some lakes this fishing season, be sure to have the lure you can use anywhere.

The Lixada Soft Crawfish is also a favorite of ours for winter pond bass fishing.

2. BOOYAH Pond Magic Spinner Bait

Spinnerbaits have always been an effective way of catching smallmouth bass. The classic movement flickering light everywhere. Off the boat or from the land, this eye-catching lure is bound to grab the attention of a hungry opportunistic fish.

Matching head and blade colors make for a beautiful and effective weapon against smallmouth bass. With its tailored hook, it resembles a Mustard Ultra 1/0 Hook Size and is perfect for bass. It weighs in at 18.14 grams and only comes in one size. It is highly recommended to give this lure a spin.

3. Yo-Zuri 3DB Crayfish Slow Sinking Lure

This forage favorite of the smallmouth bass species is bound to yield results. The Yo-Zuri Wave Motion Technology makes this lure sink slowly while giving an inciting action and vibration. It comes equipped with a lifelike prism egg sack with UV properties. It has molded legs that cause the vibration which fish can detect with their lateral lines.

It has a double hook design, which is held together with the weed guard. The claws float up when it is sitting on the bottom. The flash from the internal 3D prism is another patented feature. With its jointed tail, it has a very realistic action when used as a swim jig. It is 3″ inches long, weighs ¾ oz, and has a beautiful butterfly stroke action while sinking slowly.

Being patient is sometimes the key ingredient to taunting those big ones into biting.

4. SHARE Top Water Frogs

This lovely looking little frog is an absolute gem. Its bright belly design makes it suitable in muddy and stained water. It has a hollow body and does not fill with water. It expels it on every drag. 

The two sharp upturned hooks are tight against the rubber body, ensure a good hookup, and work as an effective weed guard. The different colors are suited to fit into lots of different types of waters.

These floating frogs can be pulled across the top of the water with ease, hopping from lily to lily without getting stuck. Pull, reel, and wait as it floats between vegetation. It has a 45-degree angle, which makes it difficult to get stuck. This is where this lure gets to exactly where the smallmouth bass feeds. Pull it a little bit more…… Bang, you got one!

5. Thkfish Fishing Jigs

These head jigs are effective. Dress it over a small soft lure and add to the appeal of the bait. It has a very pretty skirt made out of silicon with a choice of different colors. The weed guard helps you stay clear of weeds as you try and get to where the smallmouth bass likes to feed. The compact hydrodynamic head made out of lead and covered in plastic adds weight and color while preventing snagging.

The quality sharp hook design is crafted out of carbon steel and black nickel. It is designed to have the hook point up to increase the strike-hook rate and to be thorough without catching the vegetation. This makes for easy catching in rocky or weedy areas. It’sIt’s 3.54″ inches long and weighs ½ oz.

6. Arbogast Hula Popper Top Water Lure

This is a true tried and tested lure and has been around for over 60 years. It is as effective in catching bass today as it was back then. The secret is the pulsating skirt. The popping sound with that puff and streamlines drives the big smallmouth bass crazy, especially in a lake area. Even during pausing, it still has a bit of movement. It is highly recommended that you try it out over submerged logs, grass, or weed beds.

It is renowned for its topwater strikes and fish sometimes breaching the water. You will know when you get a strike because of the water noise.

It comes with dual treble hooks, weighs 18.14g, and is 2″ inches long.

Do not purchase one only, Buy 2 or 3 because if you lose one to a massive fish, you will have to order and wait before you use one again.

As the saying goes, “once you pop, you just can’t stop.”

7. Rapala Shallow Shad Rap

This little balsa wood baby smallmouth bass is not just effective against shad. It certainly nails its own species, which it is trying to mimic.

When casting in an open lake over some tricky places, this lure acts as a delicious meal. With its beautiful action, smallmouth bass have been known to eat smaller fish, even the same species.

They seem to find the idea of cannibalistic ideals all right. So taking advantage of that, this shallow running lip design has the “wounded-minnow” wobble action.

On the edge of the lake by shallow 2 feet, water is where this lure performs at its best. This is an attractive lure, and you will miss it if it is lost. Some you don’t remember, but this one you will.

Rapala is known for its tough design, hard diving lips, and the ability to withstand some of the hardest strikes. It has high-quality, sharp treble hooks that have been tried and tested through the years and gives a secure hold.

8. JOHN COO Double Jointed Vibrational Swimbait

The red face of one of these lures always makes me think of what the color of the other fishermen’s faces are after using it. Especially as you reel in the largest catch of the day. While this lure doesn’t come with a concrete guarantee, it certainly is one of the best lures for bass. 

It has 3D eyes that look like it’s watching you. The lifelike scale patterns and laser coating are beautifully detailed and add to its appeal. This lure is great if you want to catch smallmouth bass in any water where they might be living. 

The strong metal join assists in its realistic swimming action. The two treble hooks are made of stainless steel and assure you the fish is caught firmly and never misses a fish. The body is crafted out of high-quality ABS plastic, which is non-toxic to the fish and more durable. 

This lure weighs 11g and is 2.95″ inches long, and the two segments vibrate like a wounded baitfish as it swims. This attracts even more attention to it than it already does. The fish knows the lure is there. It will strike.

9. Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow

If you are targeting trophy smallmouth bass in a large lake, this minnow twitch bait is a secret weapon. If you are on a boat and find an area with boulders or around a point, this is the place where this minnow shines.

It has a diamond-shaped lip that causes it to dip down the pull and posture as if it was an injured baitfish. It has a tight side to side movement when retrieving in a straight line.

It is 2-3/4 “inches long and weighs 7g, and the holographic golden black color is truly amazing. It does not dive deeper than 2.5 feet. This means it sits beautifully placed to be ambushed. The 3D prism design finish allows the light to penetrate murky water.

There are some great colors to choose from and can be used to target other species as well. Smallmouth bass can not resist the erratic movements that are created, with a pause that keeps the bait at the same depth. You should just buy this lure and never show it to anyone until you are caught out.

Tips for Catching Smallmouth Bass in Lakes

Smallmouth bass are a favorite for fishermen. Here are some tips for catching Smallmouth Bass in lakes:

If you are targeting pre-spawn smallmouth, the best time is in the early spring. The pre spawn begin the migration to spawning areas. These spawning areas are usually the gravel flats or even in the pea gravel areas. And what about bait?

Well, if you want to give yourself a fighting chance then give the medium diving crankbait, fire tiger hues, crawfish, plastic grubs, or even jigs with plastic chunks. 

When you are targeting these fish during nesting season, give the French fry finesse words or Mojo rig a try. 

As the autumn sets in, you can start seeking the smallmouth bass in the shallows again. 


So, are you ready to use a new fast-moving lure to get your next bass? Buy yours today and start reeling in those smallmouths. Did you know you can eat freshwater bass too? Bass taste a lot like other freshwater fish. We hope you enjoyed this article on the best lures for smallmouth bass in lakes!

Happy Hunting!

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