When you’ve planned a nice, relaxing day out on the lake to spend in the calm quiet of fishing, the last thing you want is for the day to pass without a catch. Something so simple can turn a nice trip meant to recharge you into a frustrating disappointment.
Today, we’re going to break down your options for the best plastic creature baits for bass and dive into the dos and don’ts of finding and purchasing the best bait to power your bass fishing trips.
Although you know that you need dependable, good-quality creature baits to power a successful fishing trip, it suddenly doesn’t seem so simple when you realize just how many options there are out there.
Here’s everything you need to know to make your selection process a bit more straightforward.
What is a Creature Bait?
The beginning is the very best place to start. Creature baits are baits made from soft, flexible plastic.
They come in various shapes that are meant to mimic many different creatures that bass, in particular, would be attracted to.
Creature baits usually cut a bulky feature in the water, making their appearance hard to ignore for fish and equally as appealing. The shapes include lots of appendages that increase the surface area of the bait and, with it, the biting surface.
When to Use a Plastic Creature Bait
Plastic creature baits are a great tool to have because they’re ideal to use in many different fishing scenarios. Many veteran fishermen love to use them when casting to heavily covered areas, as the bulky and unique shape of creature bait stands out among fallen wood, vegetation, and debris.
That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure you have the best bait possible prepared for your fishing trips. Bass are notoriously rough to reel in, so you’ll want a bait that holds up with you trip after trip.
Creature bait also comes in various colors; it’s great to use in open water, too. Especially during the summer, largemouth bass are attracted to the multiple colors both on the surface and when dragging along the bottom.
Creature baits are also very versatile because they can be rigged in many different ways depending on your desired outcome. Different rigs will impact how the creature bait behaves and moves through the water in response to your movements. So certain rigs will not only mimic real creature movements best but will also hold up when you have to fight to reel in your catch.
Rigs for Plastic Creature Baits
While we’re talking about rigs, let’s talk a little bit more about which ones to use with plastic creature baits. As we mentioned, this type of bait is extremely versatile, customizable to your fishing scenario and style.
Here are some of the best rigs to pair with plastic creature baits in different situations.
This one is probably a no-brainer if you’re fishing for bass! But a bass jig allows a strong hold that lets your creature bait navigate, even slowly, through all types of cover.
Essentially, a bass jig protects the hook with a weed guard and often a rubber skirt to prevent the hook from snagging on any cover you might encounter when fishing for bass.
Stand-Up Jig Head
This special type of jig also pairs well with most types of creature bait. The exaggeratedly curved hook, which looks almost like a mushroom top, enables the bait to stand up, hence the name of the jig.
In this instance, it amplifies the life-like power of a creature bait because the upright position helps it seem even more active and real. Bass are interested in this jig because it offers a unique look of the bait.
This is a great one to try if you’ve been fishing with no good luck and want to switch it up a bit.
Although a swimbait is a type of bait in and of itself, using a swimbait hook with a plastic creature bait is another tried and true way to attract bass. Swimbait hooks have the capacity for larger bass up to ten or so pounds.
So if you want to catch big ones, take a swimbait hook for a spin. These hooks paired with your creature bait will mimic realistic swimming better than nearly any other kind of jig, although this method does take a little patience.
That being said, swimbait hooks paired with creature baits are also great to use in cover or to drag along the bottom. The gliding motion it gives is a great way to provoke a reaction.
In all, nearly any type of jig is customizable and could work well with a creature bait. Because there are so many sizes and shapes out there, you’ll have to pick the jig that works best with your particular chosen bait.
Why a Creature Bait Over Other Lure Types
There are many types of baits and lures available, and each has its place in the world of fishing. When it comes to catching bass, though, creature baits are a cut above the rest.
Bass are known for being particularly aggressive fish and tend to strike at anything that is active enough to be considered alive. Conversely, they prefer calm and quiet waters, so bait and lures that make an impression will be the most successful.
Because creature baits are shaped and sized to stand out, pairing them with jigs that help enhance the realness of their movements makes the perfect combination for catching bass. The texture of creature bait and the addition of legs and appendages only add to the realism.
Additional factors to consider
The most important factor to keep in mind when choosing your creature bait is the end product that you want to achieve. We all want to have successful fishing trips that supply not only a great catch but lots of good stories.
So, when looking for your creature bait, keep in mind the size of the bass you want to catch. If you’re looking for smaller fish, then you’ll want to choose smaller bait. Larger bait will attract larger fish but will sometimes prove too much for smaller fish to keep hold of.
Also, don’t forget about the weather. If you’re fishing on cloudier days, you’ll want to choose darker bait that will stand out best against the lower light. On sunnier days, lighter bait can help reflect that light to attract more attention.
When buying creature bait for bass fishing, keep in mind the aggression and striking power that these fish can display. The material of your creature bait is likely to be a soft and flexible plastic. But as we mentioned, if you’re going for a bigger catch, then look for sturdier bait that is more likely to hold up for the long haul.
Best Plastic Creature Baits for Bass
Hopefully, now you feel a little more empowered to make informed choices when shopping for plastic creature baits. But there are still so many options available that the sheer number of them can be overwhelming. To help, let’s get you started with our best recommendations for plastic creature baits.
This highly-textured little creature bait has it all: ridges to mimic worms, claws to mimic crawdads, and tails to mimic all kinds of other yummy fish treats.
- It comes in ten highly effective colors and two different sizes
- Glides smoothly in the water to entice bass
- Good for pitching or dragging along the bottom
- Good value at a low price
- It can be considered to be small; from around three to four inches
- Two tails come attached and must be split manually
In general, these wooly baits are a great value. They come in either the 3.25” size or the 4.25” size. Since they’re not very large or very heavy, you might go with a different choice for heavier fish. But for small bass, these cover all your bases.
The eight creature baits are shaped to mimic crawfish, with the added bonus of being salt-impregnated for extra palatability.
- Multiple baits to a pack
- Twelve colors to choose from: anywhere from white to black and in between with translucent coloring and reflective bits
- Claws are not rigid but very floppy, allowing for enhanced movement in the water
- Salt infusion gives the bait a yummy taste and gives fish a reason to hold on
- Because of the thinner construct, the tails and claws are subject to tearing or ripping.
- Not a lot of variety in shape, as the bait is completely crawdad shaped
For the fisherman who knows what they want, this creature bait pack is a great value. If you’ve had good luck with crawdads or similarly-shaped baits before, then this pack is a great way to stock up on what works for you.
At seven inches, this creature bait was made to play with the big boys. It’s got plenty of ribbing and appendages to stir up action on your bass fishing trips.
- Very large bait perfect for landing larger bass
- Works well with a variety of jigs
- Comes in packs of six; choose from ten different color combinations
- Features unique beaver adaptation
- Great price value
- Appendages are not the most realistic, looking a bit cheap
- Some parts are subject to easy tearing or ripping
Although these aren’t the most realistic-looking creature baits you’ll find, their shape and design will do the trick for large bass. Even if you have to replace them after tearing, you’re likely to still appreciate the great results on your fishing trips.
The name says it all: you probably won’t find any other creature bait shaped like this one. The unique design and texture make highly realistic splash noises and make the bass go crazy.
- Unique, scalloped shape with long “legs” and lots of extra bumps for texture
- Comes in a pack of six; choose from nine different realistic and reflective colors
- Back slit makes it easy to use with multiple types of jigs
- Quality plastic material holds up well
- More of a sleek bait; doesn’t have many hanging appendages
- At four inches, it’s good for flipping but might not be very heavy duty
The Space Monkey is certainly unique in shape and will stand the test of time with its thick, sturdy design. While it’ll do best for small to mid-range sized fish, you won’t lose anything by trying them out with larger ones, either.
These stout, textured creature baits have plenty of claws and an infused scent that attract bass and keep them hooked, literally.
- Comes in packs of seven; choose from ten different colors
- Highly realistic pincers and claws that will fool bass
- Features “slaunch sauce” flavoring that bass love
- Price is slightly high for the value and quality
- Lures break easily and must be replaced often, sometimes even in between catches
The Bandito Bug is a greatly beloved, mid-size lure, around four inches. While they aren’t the sturdiest ones on the market, the bass really do love these, and the realistic appendages and water movement might make the price worth it.
Whether you’re looking to land a few legendary-sized bass or you just want a relaxing day reeling in whatever bites, choosing a good plastic creature bait is essential for the success of your bass fishing trip.
When choosing your bait, remember to keep in mind all the conditions of your fishing location and what you want the outcome of the day to be. Plastic creature baits are readily available in so many different designs and sizes and can be even further customized for your purposes with several various jigs.
Test out one of our recommendations or blaze your own path. After all, your fishing trip is all about relaxation and fun, so whatever bait you choose, make sure that it adds quality to your fishing trip. And who knows, it may just give you a few great stories to go along with it.