When it comes to bass fishing, the pre-spawn Spring bite is about as good as it gets. Fish are feeding aggressively, and large bass are willing to smash just about any lure you throw at them.
Today, we’re going to cover the best bass lures for pre-spawn fishing and share some essential tips to help you make the most of what should be an incredibly productive season.
The Most Productive Pre-Spawn Lures
From crankbaits to spinners and everything in between, pre-spawn bass are rarely too picky about what they’ll eat. Still, some lures are more effective than others. The most effective lures for pre-spawn fishing are:
- Soft Plastic Worms
Here’s what you’ll want to look for when selecting these styles to add to your tackle box.
Crankbaits of all styles can be deadly during the early spring bass run. Virtually any finesse-style crankbait will do, especially those with flat sides and a tight wobble when you retrieve it.
When waters are around the 50°F mark, big bass like to hang in the shallows where the water is warmer. During this time, lipless crankbaits that stay near the surface are especially effective.
Bass jigs are deadly in all seasons, and they’re perfect for techniques like flipping and pitching, which can net you some monster bass when used effectively.
Weedless football-style jigs are typically the best choice. Flip or pitch these jigs into grass, areas of cover, or along structures like dock pilings, and you’ll have no trouble putting some monster pre-spawn bass on the deck.
Soft Plastic Worms
Soft plastics are another proven killer, and they’re also one of the most cost-effective and versatile baits on the market. The conditions you’re fishing will dictate the best way to rig the bait, but finesse rigs or Carolina rigs tend to work especially well when fishing a soft plastic in the Spring.
Jerkbaits are a proven winner for all sorts of predatory fish throughout the year. But, their action makes them especially effective for pre-spawn bass. Opt for minnow-style jerkbaits that deliver an erratic swimming motion and suspend when paused.
While the waters are still cold, even bass waking up from a lazy winter can’t resist smashing a jerkbait on the pause. Throw a jerkbait anytime you’re fishing around open water structures like bluffs and rock outcroppings.
Spinnerbaits are the perfect pre-spawn bass lure for finesse anglers that are especially adept at working a lure. Spinnerbaits are especially effective during the early season when you’re trying to cover open water and find where the bass are staging.
Spinnerbaits with large blades can be especially deadly during the pre-spawn season, as the water disturbance they create is too much for hungry bass to resist.
Best Bass Lures for Pre-Spawn
Now that we’ve covered some of the best styles of lures for pre-spawn bass fishing, let’s check out five of the most deadly lures on the market.
If you’re looking for a proven killer that’s used by some of the top pros in the game, the Strike King Red Eye Shad is the perfect lure for you. This lure has literally everything going for it. They’re pretty cheap, beautifully made, available in more than 60 color combinations, and they flat out catch bass.
These lures are available in 2”, 2.5”, and 3” sizes in ¼, ½, and ¾ weights. The smaller lures tend to perform best in the early season. Most Red Eye Shads are outfitted with Trokar hooks, while the pro team colors come with upgraded VMC vanadium steel hooks. While the Trokar hooks are mediocre at best, the VMC variety is strong, sticky, and ready to go right out of the package.
With so many different color combos, selecting the right lure can be a daunting task. To start, stick with the craw colors, which bass can’t seem to resist in the early season.
Rounding out these premium lures are large 3D eyes and a loud rattle that works hungry bass into a frenzy. The new 2-Tap model features a tungsten rattle chamber with a 2-tap cadence that proves especially effective for bagging big pre-spawn bass.
- Great value for money
- Pro team colors are outfitted with VMC hooks
- Loud rattle triggers aggressive strikes
- Swimming action perfectly mimics early-season baitfish
- Most colors are outfitted with mediocre hooks
- Paint chips easily
The Booyah Baits Baby Boo is the perfect weedless football-style finesse jig for techniques like flipping and pitching. These lures are dirt cheap, well made, and bass can’t seem to resist them.
Booyah makes these jigs in six different colors and two sizes, so you should be able to find a suitable style for the waters you fish. These jigs come in 3/16 and 5/16 ounce styles, and each lure features a painted jig head with a high contrast skirt. The 3D Green Pumpkin color is an incredibly effective pre-spawn bass lure, but all the colors will help you slay some monster bass.
The Baby Boo jigs are outfitted with 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point light wire hooks. Everyone has a preference when it comes to hook manufacturers, but these Mustads are about as good as it gets when it comes to hooking a trophy bass.
At under three bucks a lure, the Baby Boo Jig is one of the most effective and affordable bass jigs you’ll find anywhere.
- Super affordable
- Ultrafine skirt delivers incredibly life-like action underwater
- Premium components
- Only available in six colors
- Silicone skirt is delicate and gets bit up quickly
Gary Yamamoto is one of the most legendary bait makers of all time, and he’s developed several of the most effective soft baits on the market. While each of Gary’s creations can be deadly in the right conditions, the world-famous Senko worm is far and away the most effective bait in his catalog.
Sometimes, the inspiration for groundbreaking products strikes where you least expect it, which is undoubtedly the case with the Senko worm. The idea for this bait came to Gary Yamamoto as he examined the profile of a basic Bic ballpoint pen. The prototype was developed in 1995, and in the 25-plus years since, millions of Senko worms have been sold.
Today, the Senko worm is available in more than 100 colors and five sizes, so you’ll have no trouble selecting the perfect bait for the waters you fish. The 5” size is especially effective when targeting pre-spawn bass.
As for rigging, there’s virtually no wrong way to rig up a Senko worm. Whether it’s fished on a jig, Carolina rig, Texas rig, whacky-style, weightless, or any other style for that matter, the Senko worm is a sure-fire way to start catching monster bass.
- Available in more than 100 colors
- Excellent value – 10 baits to a package
- Can be rigged in endless ways
- Not very durable
If you’re getting a bait that uses premium materials and cutting-edge technologies, you’re going to pay a premium price. While we have no issue paying for quality, it can sometimes seem like a path of diminishing returns, which is why Yo-Zuri’s lures are so great. Their lures are always on the cutting edge, yet they aren’t much pricier than a bargain lure.
This minnow-shaped lure has flat sides, which makes it ideal for finesse techniques. Compared to traditional lures, this lure feels almost like an extension of your rod, and you can really get a feel for the action you’re imparting on the lure.
The surface of the lure is ribbed, which delivers strong vibrations through the surface, which helps make this lure irresistible to pre-spawn bass who are feeding on instinct. Inside the lure, a reflective surface produces flashes of light as you work the lure, which is a signature of a wounded baitfish.
The 3DB jerkbaits are available in more than twenty colors, and they’re painted internally, so you don’t have to worry about your lure getting beat up over time. This 3 ½” lure weigh in at ⅜-ounce and are outfitted with VMC round bend black nickel hooks and split rings, so it’s ready to fish right out of the package.
- Good value for the money
- Premium components
- No more chipped paint
- Only available in one size
Any spinnerbait is an excellent choice for fishing the shallows during the pre-spawn season, but the Double Colorado Impact Thump from Lunkerhunt seems like a cheat code. In the Spring, bass are acting off instinct, and lures that create a big fuss are irresistible to large pre-spawn females who are poised to snap at just about anything.
This spinner has an especially deep cup on the top spoon, which creates tons of vibration underwater. With a slow retrieve, the spoon makes a thumping action that triggers monster strikes. This action is especially effective when fishing in low light conditions or in stained or dirty water.
Lunkerhunt handles the fit and finish of all the components, and each one is high quality. The jig head and skirt are color-matched, and the spun wire arm is outfitted with quality hardware to connect the two spoons, which come in either chrome or gold, depending on which of the seven colors you choose.
- Premium components
- Deep spoons create a larger disturbance underwater
- Long-lasting finish
- Only available in one size
- Requires tuning out of the package