Largemouth Bass Bait Tips: How to Catch Bass Like A Pro

Largemouth Bass Bait Tips: How to Catch Bass Like A Pro

What is a largemouth bass?

The largemouth bass is a common freshwater gamefish whose habitat is in areas such as reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, and trenches. It is a greenish-gray color, hostile, and strong fish that can sometimes jump out of the lake or water in a remarkable demonstration of acrobatics. In some areas, it can grow up to weights of 21lbs and its growth ability depends on different conditions such as the state of the surrounding environment and food availability. The largemouth bass is the largest of the black bass species that has an average fighting ability for a freshwater or lake fish but it can pull so hard and sometimes try to wrap you in cover where they are often found. It tends to grow slower in places that are weedy because it cannot get much food. Its cover and structure strongly relate and it has nicknames such as Bigmouth Bass, Widemouth Bass, Largies, Bucket Mouth, Potter’s Fish, Big Bass, and more. Largemouth Bass can grow as much as 2 pounds during its first year under suitable conditions and at an average rate of 0.5 pounds annually, though you can find big largemouth bass over 6lbs and those are usually female. They have dark blotches that form a horizontal line that runs down each side of it. The top jaw extends past its eye and the bottom jaw juts out further than the top jaw.

When do largemouth bass spawn?

Largemouth bass spawn during spring when the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees. For spawning to take place, they normally move from the deep waters into shallower waters within 10 feet of the shore, in depths of 1 to 6 feet where the water temperature is above 45 degrees in areas that receive direct sunlight. The male bass looks for a spawning bed in shallow protected areas such as a sunken log, near a rock, or a group of bulrushes in a lake. Largemouth prefers sand, gravel, or muck bottoms for their spawning beds. Their nests are two times the length of the male bass and their color is usually black or white patches depending on the appearance of the lake bottom. The male bass builds the spawning nest more than 30 feet away from another visible spawning nest. The male bass has the responsibility of guarding the nest until the small eggs hatch and until the baby bass is ready to swim out on their own depending on the water’s temperature. The big females come in shortly because they are much more vulnerable to being caught.

What does largemouth bass eat?

The largemouth is a flesh-eater fish with an enormous mouth that enables it to attack and feed on a variety of prey like mice, insects, ducks, frogs, bats, and snakes but when in the water, its food is crayfish and prey fish. When younger, they feed on snails, snakes, frogs, baitfish, small shrimp, crawfish, shad, little water birds, bats, and even baby alligators. The adult bass lives in deep waters, whether in a lake or river, and their diet reflects this. They eat small fish such as the shad, yellow perch, shiners, catfish, walleye, trout, and sunfish. The largemouth bass can feed on prey that is bigger than 50% of their length. Largemouth Lake Bass grows at a slow pace when in waters that have weeds because it is not easy to locate and catch much food, but when there is no cover at all, they wipe out the entire population of prey, hence starving themselves.

What are the best largemouth bass baits?

Bass is carnivorous and usually eats live baits like a variety of fish types such as minnows, shiners, shad, and crawfish although many fishermen pursue them basically with artificial lures. The largemouth bass is aggressive predators that attack even a variety of artificial baits. They attack any small fish that is legal to use.

Whether you use live or artificial bait, it has to be attractive and lively because bass will rarely strike dead bait. Great artificial options are made in a way that they mimic the bass prey – and work well. The long list of artificial baits such as crankbaits, jerk baits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and rubber prey bait like the Texas rig has some good features for catching bass. Choosing the right Texas rigs requires some experience and knowledge. There is a good risk of hooking the bass in the gut when fishing with Texas rigs, so if you plan to release fish, you should pinch down the barbs on hooks. This way, the hook will come out easily and won’t damage the fish if the fish gets hooked in the stomach. Avoid gut hooking by keeping close tabs on the bait and set the hook immediately when the bass takes it.

What is the best artificial bait for largemouth bass? 

The list of artificial baits, especially for fishing in lakes, is quite long.


This is a small lipped deadly bass lure that comes to life when you start retrieving it and its main feature is its bill, which determines how deep the lure runs and what kind of action it produces when pulled through the water. Most crankbaits float at rest and dive when the retrieve starts so you just need to cast them out and retrieve them at a steady rate and work them. The longer the cast, the longer your lure stays in the fish zone in the lake. There’s a variety of crankbaits such as the rattle baits which are unique and work great when fished over vegetation in spring and early summer, when plants are just starting to grow. Rattle baits lack a diving bill, do not float, and produce a lot of sound underwater. Shop for lures, a variety of colors that imitate baitfish work best.


Jerkbaits are highly effective lures because of how much control one can have over their action which can be fished extremely fast or slow, deep or shallow, or anywhere in between. They are placed on top of the lake or water, as the angler jerks the rod giving the jerk bait a lifelike action thus making it attractive for catching bass. When the rod is jerked, the bait shoots off in various directions. They are long and made to resemble an injured baitfish. They work well in a variety of weather conditions such as in cold but clear lake water or when bass are actively feeding on baitfish.


Jigs work well in a variety of conditions such as steep underwater banks, shoreline grasses as well as in shallow and deep water. They can be perfectly cast to cover like in boat docks, fallen trees, or lily pad clumps during bright sunlight when bass push into shaded spots and when cold fronts reduce bass activity. Jigs are heavy lures that have some skirts that pulse in lake water to attract the bass and can catch from 50-degree to 90-degree weather. The jig lure is made of a combination of heavy-duty hook, compressed frame, and rubber or silicone skirt. A jig with a soft plastic crawfish or another trailer on a hook is appealing to either thick or thin cover, timber, and vegetation at any depth.

Rubber Prey Baits

Rubber baits such as rubber frogs, rubber salamanders, and rubber crawfish accurately resemble the prey of the largemouth bass. They can be rigged in many ways thus making them useful in a variety of cover environments.

Rubber Worms

Rubber Worms are extremely popular and can be used in many different cover conditions. They can be manipulated in a variety of ways enabling them to be used in shallow and deep water. Ordinary ways of rigging rubber worms are the Carolina Rig, Drop Shot, Texas Rig, and Weightless. Rubber worms come in various sizes, styles, brands, and colors and are very effective in bass fishing because they feel and look alive to a bass. They feel like natural food when eaten by bass, making it hold on longer than they would to others hence giving the angler enough time to set the hook before the bass spits the bait.


Spinnerbaits are popular for bass fishing. They have metal blades fixed on them that rotate when hauled through the lake or water to catch and reflect light which makes them resemble baitfish to largemouth bass. The blades are essential for their action when cast because they flash and make underwater vibrations to attract bass causing them to bite the lure. They can be used in shallow or deep water lakes and rivers, plus many other environments and their colorful rubber skirts hover over the water to attract bass. Cast them near the cover and let them sink, bounce off for a while, then stagger them straight back in and the bass will surely nail them.


Swimbaits look alive with a natural spinning movement and their tails shake when rescued. The two actions of swimbaits combined produce unique natural vibrations under water, attracting bass to completely engulf the lure. Swimbaits are great options for big bass and have won various world and state tournaments for anglers. The right swimbaits can work in shallow and very deep waters with a slow, straight retrieve, with just a twitch or pause. They are 6-12 inches and designed to imitate stocked trout and they are of many kinds, some suspend, others float and others sink very fast. The retrieves used are extremely different as well, from reeling very fast to just moving the lure to work it best in lakes.

What is largemouth bass tackle?

The right largemouth bass tackle enormously varies depending on the strategy and mechanism used. A heavy baitcasting rod with 50lb braid with a 30lb leader to fish heavy trout imitation swimbaits or a light spinning rod with 4lb test to fish small drop-shot plastics. This is the most common tactic to be used in heavy-pressured bodies of water such as lakes. The largemouth bass tends to fight stronger, so a 30lb braid with a 20lb leader would be a good choice as there can be a large fish down there and the fish are not shy. The right setup would be a Daiwa Steez baitcasting rod combined with a Daiwa Steez baitcasting reel spooled with Daiwa Samurai braided line. Every bait catches fish under specific situations and one has to narrow it down and figure out the right lure to use to catch bass from east to west under any conditions.

How to catch largemouth bass?

Anglers can catch largemouth bass using a variety of ways, though the right way normally depends on the present conditions (time of day, early morning/afternoon, summer/spring, etc.). Anglers just need to examine the trending situation carefully then adapt your preferred tackle and fishing technique to those circumstances to catch largemouth bass. Bass is found closer to the shore during spring which is the spawning season as well as early morning in summer and winter afternoons. Anglers can catch even small bass around a variety of structure types such as docks, cover vegetation, and fallen trees with the right tackle. Larger bass normally hang out in deeper waters during other times.  

How do you catch largemouth bass in cold water? 

Largemouth bass tend to move slowly in cold lake water and can be caught using a slower retrieve. The bass becomes more active when the lake water becomes warm and they are more likely to bite even a small lure moving very fast. Bass prefer places that provide some type of cover like vegetation, brush, or open water. The largemouth bass can be found in open water though it is not usual. To catch the bass, anglers need to throw a lure or live bait such as shad near or into the cover and you need to choose lures that are great for fishing in cover. There is no specific method of catching largemouth bass because they are fierce and aggressive. A lot of bass strike at lures even if they are not effectively feeding. For a successful catch, always analyze the environmental and current lake or water conditions and adjust tackle accordingly.

What are the best largemouth bass fishing techniques?

Largemouth Bass Lures

When it comes to fishing, one has to choose the best method, such as artificial lures, depending on the current conditions you see. There is a long list of options. A lure can be best at some point. A lot of fishing lures are tiny artificial objects mostly shaped like the fish’s prey (e.g. shad), then attached to a hook that is tied to the end of a fishing line. There are different kinds of lures that are made from plastic, rubber, metal, or a combination of such materials. A lot of fishing lures are weighted and use combined motions, vibrations, colors, and shiny reflections to attract the fish to bite. Plastic worms and lizards are an old bass lure method that you can still see in action, as they work very well. You can see plastic lizards have a ribbon tail design with a variety of colors such as purple, green pumpkin, black or blue flake, and black with chartreuse tail for muddy water. Black is best in summer when the fish are feeding on shad, and green pumpkin and watermelon in spring and fall. Examine each day’s water clarity and lightness to get to know what the fish wants at a particular time. You can use the lightest weight to get them to the bottom because most of the time you get a bite while it is sinking so it should sink slowly. Let them settle at the bottom for some time then slide them forward on the bottom one or two feet and let them settle again. The bass will see and ingest the lure then chew it vigorously and when you feel the weight, reel in the slack and set the hook. A plastic worm feels natural and bass often hold on to a worm for some time compared to hard lures that they spit out instantly. Bass may swallow a worm if you do not strike fast, so you need to use a barbless hook to give the bass a better survival chance after release.  

Drop Shotting

Drop shotting involves suspending a small plastic lure above a weight using the drop-shot knot which is then cast out or dropped down and then jiggled up and down then allowed to rest. Keep the line tight to have a feeling of the fine bite. The purple or shad color 4-inch Robo Worm is the top choice tackle for drop shotting. This worm is soft and whirls better than other plastic lures. The natural shad color of the worm is best for the feeding bass as most drop-shot fish come in one of those colors. A baby color is also good if there are a lot of bass fry swimming around in vegetation. These lures are quite soft and with them, you usually don’t catch more than one or two bass on each. Then you need a new one. During drop-shotting, you don’t usually get large bass but it is a very good technique for numbers. Once you feel a good bite on a presented drop-shot, you should set the hook.


Senkos are one of the easiest lures to fish. You either rig them either Texas or wacky, cast them out unweighted if in shallow waters and with a little weight if fishing in deep waters then just let them sink. If the line moves off it means the fish has taken it and you should reel up the slack and set the hook. Regular use of Senko will enable you to tell when a fish has taken it as opposed to the line just moving straight out as the lure sinks. You will see what the lure looks like as it sinks and know if it does anything else then it is a fish, but if the line does not move unusually, let it sink to the bottom and wait a little longer. When you feel the weight, lift the rod slowly and set the hook but if not, lift it a few feet reel in a bit and let it sink again. Senkos are not to be used when the bass is in shallow waters. If you fish with them hooked through the middle, it is better to use o-rings and hook those instead of the Senko itself which makes them last longer. You get one fish per Senko during a hot bite even in little ponds or a lake. Use barbless hooks when fishing with Senko because the bass will often swallow them and set the hook quickly in order not to let the hook be swallowed.

When is the best time to fish for largemouth bass? 

Fishing can be best done when the weather is great and the fish have something to hunt for. The best time of the day to fish for largemouth bass is usually early in the morning until 8:00 am and late afternoon, from 5:30 pm until dusk when the sun is not too bright although this certainly is not a hard and fast rule. Bass are visual meat-eaters that rely on their keen sense of eyesight to help them identify and attack prey. The largemouth sees better in low-light environments than most of their hunted prey which is a good reason why dawn, early morning, and dusk are specifically better times for fishing. Bass can attack their prey without being spotted first. In lakes, they can also be caught well during their pre-spawn in spring when water temperatures are around 55 to 65 degrees. Largemouth bass also bite at midday if the weather is cloudy or if lakes are muddy. Therefore, every season usually has its opportunities and shortcomings. Fishing can seem to be alive in the dead of winter on a mild afternoon, though the best choice is during spring and fall. Drop-offs, points, channel bends, and small ditches are all excellent night fishing targets.

When are largemouth bass most active? 

Bass are cold-blooded animals and are most active in warm water where their metabolisms are faster, meaning that they use more energy and must eat more. It is easier to catch them when they are eating. Varying seasons and temperatures play a significant role in the activeness of bass and where you can find them. As the water warms up during spring and early summer, they become more active and it is easier to catch them in shallower water. During summer at hot temperatures, bass become active but they normally get deeper into the water. The water starts to cool as fall approaches, then the largemouth bass can again be found in shallower waters. Bass are less active during winter months when the water is coldest although they can still be caught. During the height of summer, the bass moves as deep as 15 or 20 feet, especially in clear water.

What is considered a trophy largemouth bass? 

Largemouth bass can be considered a trophy depending on where the fish are caught. Northern largemouth top out at about 10 pounds while the Southern female largemouth bass grows up to 20 pounds. They are the most popular trophy game fish in the world attracting the attention of many anglers. A trophy bass is usually between 8-20 pounds. The argument currently is that a trophy largemouth bass must attain 51% of the world record. That idea would mean that bass would weigh 11 pounds, 3 ounces to be considered a trophy though this is not agreed upon. One could say that a trophy bass is in the eyes of the beholder. Around the world, there are tournaments, television shows, podcasts, and even video games dedicated to bass fishing. Each year millions of dollars are spent on largemouth bass fishing. They normally strike aggressively, fight hard, and leap out of the water in stunning displays of acrobatics.

Is largemouth bass a good fish to eat?

The largemouth bass mostly from clean freshwater sources like rivers and lakes, is tasty and edible, with white meat with a firm, tender texture though it has a fishy flavor that won’t go down well with several people. It has a smell that makes it unsuitable for indoor cooking but the meat itself is very clean. It is easy to prepare and the cooking process eliminates all the bacteria or any contaminants acquired during handling.

Freshwater bass and saltwater bass are safe to eat as long as it is well cooked. It is rich in vitamins and proteins as well as being low in calories. It has very few bones hence can make a fish fillet and can be cooked using techniques such as grilling, frying, broiling, baking, or can be added to other recipes. The meat is somewhat dense, watery, and not as clean as that of smallmouth bass. After catching largemouth bass, clean it immediately, carefully remove the skin, and don’t overcook it. Its flavor depends on its diet and habitat.

How to catch largemouth bass – Frequently Asked Questions

How long does largemouth bass live? 

The largemouth bass growth rate depends on several conditions such as the state of food supply and the adjacent environment. Under normal conditions, they would usually grow up to two pounds in their first year. The average growth rate is roughly 0.5 pounds per year and their average life span is 16 years. On average, the largemouth bass can live between 5 to 10 years while the maximum age of bass is between 16 and 20 years. Bass in colder areas live longer than those in warmer regions. Immature largemouth bass remain in a group but adults are usually solitary.

What colors attract largemouth bass? 

The cellular composition of the eyes of largemouth bass is tuned to respond to two colors which are red and green. Bass can see these two colors well and can make high selectivity decisions based on them. The other great colors apart from red and green appear almost similar to bass which makes them unable to decide based on those colors, like blue and black, often found on Texas-rigs. Bass cannot clearly distinguish between bright colors like white and chartreuse in clear water. Their eyes have various photoreceptor cells called rods and cones which provide bass with great visual abilities under low light conditions and at night. Cone cells are sensitive to specific colors. The best color is a great consideration when choosing a bass lure.

What are some nicknames for largemouth bass?

The largemouth bass is commonly known by a variety of regional names such as wide mouth bass, black bass, bucket mouth bass, largies, bigmouth bass, Florida State largemouth, potter’s fish, green trout, southern largemouth, Gilsdorf bass, Oswego bass, northern largemouth, and LMB.

What are some nicknames for big largemouth bass?

There are a variety of words that are used to describe a really big bass such as bruiser, stud, hoss, toad, pig, mile, big momma, hawg, bucket, tank, fatty, lunker, hogzilla, wall hanger, and many more. These names are given to them based on their body features or character traits. They may also be named based on the state or areas in which they are prevalent. Their mouth is usually big, and they are usually aggressive and fight harder than small bass so they get the name that describes this, like hawg.

How fast does largemouth bass grow? 

The growth rate of a new largemouth bass depends a lot on various conditions such as food supply and the surrounding environment. Under normal conditions, they will grow up to two pounds in their first year. The average growth rate is roughly 0.5 pounds per year. Feeding new largemouth bass threadfin shad will make it grow faster because of its protein. The average length of a new or year-old largemouth bass ranges between 2-8 inches and it can grow up to 10 inches in the second year or third year. The growth rate is fastest in the first year and reduces in the subsequent years. Old fish grow slowly in length each year but they do continue increasing in weight each year. The female is normally larger than the male. Their eggs hatch in 2 days at 72 degrees F or 5 days at 66 degrees F.  

What is the current world record largemouth bass?

The current world record for the huge largemouth is a two-way tie. George Perry caught a largemouth undefeated bass that weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces on 2nd June 1932 out of Lake Montgomery which is an oxbow lake off Ocmulgee River in the State of Georgia. World records for fish did not exist at that moment. Mr Perry was then told about a big fish contest that Field and Stream magazine was running where he presented the fish and its remarkable weight and measurements were enough to win the contest. Manabu Kurita, a Japanese angler, stamped his name in the books alongside Perry’s with a mega-bass of his own caught in Japan that weighed the same, in 2009.


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