Weedless Bass Lures: No More Snags!

May 23, 2020

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Now that summer is around the corner, you’re probably looking to fish for bass in the weedy parts of your local bass fishery. You’ve got your favorite bass fishing reel and your trusty crankbait rod. Some of the largest bass love to hang out in weeded shallows right after dawn and at dusk. But most traditional types of lures won’t work for weed lurkers – their exposed hooks snag and catch too many loose weeds. This is when you need weedless bass lures.

Best Weedless Bass Lures

Weedless bass lures are some of the most popular types of bass lures because they solve the aforementioned problem of snagging on weeds. They’re either designed to cover the tip of the hook in the lure or they have a blocking guard that wicks weeds away while retrieving the lure. 

In this article, we’ll cover the different types of weedless bass lures, which ones are our favorites for different fishing situations, and where you can buy them. Get ready to slay some weed-loving bass! And if you want to learn more about catching bass in the winter, check out our article on the best winter pond bass lures.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick summary of the different types of weedless bass lures and our favorite weedless bass lures.

What are Bass and Why Weedless?

Freshwater bass are comprised of two types of fish: largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Largemouth bass are an olive green to grey colored fish with a series of dark spots and blotches down their side. Female largemouth bass usually grow larger than male largemouth bass. The largest largemouth bass ever caught weighed over 25 lbs!

Smallmouth bass are a close relative to largemouth bass. They’re usually brown colored with dark striped and splotches down their side. As with largemouth bass, female smallmouth bass also grow larger than their male counterparts. The largest recorded smallmouth bass caught weighed 12 lbs.

Since bass love to live near underwater cover (like rocks, logs, and weeds), using a weedless lure allows you to fish for them much more effectively. They prevent you from snagging your bait on the weeds/logs and allow you to get your lure close to where the bass are hiding.

Types of Weedless Lures

There are many types of weedless lures that work well for bass. The most common are soft rubber worm rigs and skirted jigs with hook shields.

The soft rubber worm rigs are weedless because the tip of the hook is buried inside the rubber worm. This prevents it from snagging on weeds, logs, or other underwater structures. When a hungry bass bites the lure and you set the hook, the tip slides out of the rubber and catches the bass in the mouth. Fish on!

Skirted jigs with hook shields are weedless lures because they have a shielding wire that brushes weeds that would normally snag a lure off. When a bass bites the lure and you set the hook, the wire bends out of the way so the tip can bury into the bass’s mouth. Score!

Where to Catch Bass

Before we dive into the best weedless lures for bass, we thought it makes sense to give a quick overview of where to find them. We’ll then recommend the best weedless lure for each situation. We did a more in-depth article on where to fish for bass in the summer if you want to learn more.

Weedless Bass Fishing in May to June

Which lures are best for bass coming out of the spring months? In May/June, the water temperature in the weeded parts of rivers and lakes is lower than the other summer months (usually in the 60s and 70s depending on where you fish). This means bass are more comfortable and are more active. They’re also done with spawning and ready to feed on small creatures – which means lots of aggressive eating throughout the day.

Early summer is one of the most popular times to fish for bass. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass tend to be smaller during this time of year, but easier to catch. This makes it a great time to take out amateur bass fishermen who will enjoy catching the smaller fish. Since the water temperatures are in the 60s and 70s in most parts of the lake/river, the bass will be more active and move around in the body of water.

If a location isn’t working for you, be sure to move on to another weeded area where the bass may be hiding. Look for bubbles coming up from underwater cover.

During the early summer months, we’ve found that using active weedless fishing lures and weedless lures that are a bit more aggressive work best. Bass will be more likely to come out of the weeds to attack a lure, so you don’t have to be as careful. We recommend fishing a Wacky Worm Rig or Topwater frog near weeded areas.

Weedless Bass Fishing in July to August

Once summer is in full swing, a different strategy is needed for bass fishing and lure tactics. Daily water temperatures in the weeded areas are now often in the 70s and 80s, which is too warm for bass to feel comfortable. You’ll need to prioritize fishing these areas early in the morning and at night. As the day progresses and the temperature rises, both largemouth and smallmouth bass will tend to leave the weeded areas for deeper, cooler locations. They’ll also favor areas covered in shadows, such as under a dock or fallen tree.

During the middle summer months, bass tend to hide deep in the weeds for cover from the hot sun. This time of year it’s best to use lures that you can present in the most weeded areas of where you’re fishing. Using lures such as the Carolina Rig or Texas Rig that completely cover the tip of the hook tend to work best.

Weedless Bass Fishing in August to September

August brings varying temperatures depending on where you’re fishing for bass. Some lakes and rivers will remain hot well into September, while others will begin cooling off (especially at night). Depending on where you’re fishing for bass, you’ll need to modify your fishing strategy.

Because the conditions are changing rapidly, you should have several types of bass lures at your disposal. On hot days you’ll need to follow mid-summer bass lure rules (focus on fishing early and late in the day), while on cooler fall-like days you can transition to your May/June strategy.

The farther into late summer you get, however, the more hungry and active bass will get. September and October are great for both largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing because the bass are feeding to stock up on energy reserves for the winter.

Later in the summer, we recommend a mix of weedless lure types. The bass tend to like different types as the season progresses, so make sure you have the equipment to try different lures out. We recommend starting with a Texas Rig, then switching to a more active weedless lure like a skirted jig if you don’t get any bites. If you think bass may be hiding in the heavily weeded sections of the lake/river, switch over to a Carolina Rig.

Final Thoughts

Fishing for bass in weeds can be a test of your patience. They often hide in the densest parts of weed cover, and even weedless bass lures can end up snagging. But some of the largest bass you can catch love hiding in weeds, as it gives them cover to hunt smaller fish. You can even eat freshwater bass if you want to! If you’re still figuring out your bass fishing setup, be sure to check out our guide on the best bass fishing reels as well as lures for summer. And as always, if you catch bass using our advice hit us up in the comments below!

Happy Hunting!

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