10 Effective Spotted Bass Fishing Lures

spotted bass fishing lures

10 Essential Spotted Bass Fishing Lures

This is Capt. Jim’s list of the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures. Spotted bass are a fairly aggressive freshwater species. They are similar in appearance to largemouth bass, yet they share more characteristics with smallmouth bass. Spotted bass prefer cool clear water and they usually relate to rocks and offshore structure as opposed to vegetation. While they will certainly take live bait, most anglers choose to pursue them using artificial lures.

10 essential spotted bass fishing lures

The 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures are:

  • Berkley tube baits
  • Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait
  • Strike King KVD Finesse spinnerbait
  • Rebel Pop-R topwater plug
  • Krocodile spoon
  • Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap
  • Bass Assassin Die Dapper
  • Strike King Bitsy Bug jig
  • Mister Twister curly tail grub and jig
  • Yamamoto Senko worm

Artificial lures have several advantages over live bait when it comes to fishing for spotted bass and other species. Lures allow anglers to cover much more water than they can using live bait, since the lures are always in motion. The most extreme example of this would be trolling, where anglers put out multiple lines and cover a lotto water in a relatively short amount of time.

check out my post on the best freshwater fishing tackle and lures

Lures will also elicit strikes from spotted bass that are not hungry. Many novice anglers make the mistake in thinking that bass only strike because they are feeding, but this is not the case. Spotted bass will strike out of reflex, excitement, fear, aggravation, and for other reasons.

spotted bass

Wounded prey, especially bait fish, put out flash and vibration. A minnow that is healthy swims in a relatively quiet and unobtrusive manner. A wounded minnow does not. This is the reason that most lures have some type of combination of wobble, flash, and vibration. These elements mimic a wounded bait fish or fleeing crayfish, which hopefully triggers a bite from a spotted bass.

Spotted bass fishing video

Best tackle for fishing lures for spotted bass

Anglers can use both spinning tackle and baitcasting tackle when casting lures for spotted bass. One is no better than the other, though each has advantages in certain circumstances. It really just is a matter of angler choice.

best bass lure

A 6 1/2 foot to 7 foot medium light spinning rod with a 2000 series reel spooled up with 8 lb line is an excellent all around combination for spotted bass fishing. Spinning tackle is better suited for casting very light lures such as soft plastic baits and small spinners and spoons. This rig is also heavy enough to cast larger plugs as well as handling a big spotted bass once it is hooked.

Light bait casting gear certainly has its place when spotted bass fishing as well. Again, a 7 foot medium action rod with matching reel and 12 lb line works well. Baitcasting outfits are better for casting plugs and other heavier lures, as it gives anglers excellent distance control while handling the slack that inherently comes with fishing a plug. It does become a bit more difficult when casting lures that weigh 1/8 ounce or less. These two combinations will cover every situation a spotted bass angler will encounter.

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10 essential spotted bass fishing lures

There are many different  spotted bass fishing lures that are effective and will catch fish. Most are basically scaled down versions of largemouth bass fishing lures. The list is practically endless. The purpose of this post is to narrow that list down to a handful of lures that will simplify the spotted bass anglers tackle box yet still cover every situation he or she may encounter. Therefore, here is Capt. Jim’s list of the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures.

Berkley tube lures

tube lure

The Berkeley line of tube baits is the first of the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures. If many spotted bass anglers had to fish with one bait for the rest of their lives, chances are they would choose a tube bait. These are very versatile lures that can be used to mimic every type of forage that a spotted bass feeds on.

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Tube baits are most often fished right off of the bottom. They almost certainly mimic a fleeing crayfish with its many undulating tentacles. Darker and natural colors are mostly used in this application. The bait can be used on a jig head while some anglers fish it on a drop shot rig as well.

Read more about Finesse Fishing in this article by Capt Jim

Tube baits can be used to imitate bait fish as well. The angler simply does not let it fall as far through the water column. The tube bait can be fished on a jig head in open water or on a weedless swim bait hook when fishing around vegetation. White is a terrific color in this situation.

Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait jerkbait

Rapala x rap


Jerkbaits are second on the list of 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures. Jerkbaits are hard body plugs that are long and slender. When jerked sharply, they twitch and flash erratically, imitating a wounded bait fish. That is how the lure got its name. Capt. Jim’s favorite jerkbait is the Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait. It comes in several different sizes and many different color patterns to suit any fishing situation.

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The X-Rap comes in shallow diving and deep diving models to cover the entire water column. They work very well around any type of shallow water cover as well as deeper structure including channel edges and sloping points. It is best used in fairly open water as the treble hooks will hang up on grass and other vegetation.

It is important when fishing this bait that after jerking it, the angler put some slack in the line and allow the lure to hang there in the water column motionless. This is when most strikes occur. One technique used by experienced anglers is to jerk the rod tip sharply then point the rod tip right at the bait. This will ensure that there is slack in the line, giving the lure its proper action. These are extremely productive lures for trolling as well.

Strike KIng KVD Finesse spinnerbait

kvd spinnerbait


Spinnerbaits are very productive spotted bass fishing lures. Capt. Jim’s favorite spinner bait for  spotted bass fishing in third on the list of 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures is the Strike King KVD finesse spinnerbait. Like most spotted bass lures, it is a scaled-down version of larger baits used for other species. This bait is made from quality components and comes in a variety of blade and skirt combinations.

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Spinnerbaits are excellent lures for novice anglers as they have so much built in action. In most cases, the best retrieve is a simple slow and steady one. The design of the lure makes it fairly weedless, it will bump over rocks and fallen timber and run through vegetation, as long as it is not too dense or mossy. Spinnerbaits do not look like anything natural in the water, however they put out a lot a flash and vibration.

Spinnerbaits are also very versatile. They can be used to fish the entire water column from just below the surface down to the bottom. “Slow rolling” a spinner bait (which means retrieving it at a slow speed on or just off the bottom) is an extremely effective technique. The large single hook also makes releasing the fish safely fairly easy.

Rebel Pop R

rebel pop-r

Spotted bass love poppers! The Rebel Pop-R is fourth on the list of 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures. Spotted bass will at times be seen feeding on the surface as they have trapped of school of bait fish on top. When this occurs, a popper is an excellent lure choice. The Rebel Pop-R cast fairly well and has a large concave face which puts out a large popping sound and disturbance when twitched sharply.

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Poppers can also be used effectively when fish are not seen feeding on the surface. They work best during periods of low light such as early and late in the day along with cloudy conditions. When the water is clear, spotted bass will rise up quite a distance off the bottom to take a top water bait

 Krocodile spoon

Krocodile spoon

Spoons have been around a long time. They have fallen off a bit of late and popularity, though that is a mistake. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in. They are dense and cast a long way, put out flash and vibration, and are very versatile. Capt. Jim’s favorite spoon for spotted bass fishing is the venerable Krocodile spoon. It has been around for decades and still catches fish to this day.

Click to shop Amazon for Krocodile spoons

Spoons can be fished in a variety of manners. Most common method is to cast it out and retrieve it back in. Anglers should vary the retrieve between a steady one in an erratic retrieve with twitches and pauses. Spoons are available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes. Anglers should match the size and finish of the spoon to the locally available forage. A 1/2 ounce silver spoon is an excellent all round bait.

Spoons can also be used in a vertical presentation, and this includes ice fishing. The spoon is simply lowered down to the desired depth, either all the way to the bottom or in the middle of the water column, and then jigged using subtle motions with the rod tip. In most cases, less is more; too aggressive a motion will spook the fish. Finally, spoons work very well when trolled and will catch plenty of trout in waters that share them with spotted bass.

Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap


The Bill Lewis Rat-LTrap is a lipless crankbait. Most crankbaits have a plastic lip which determines how deep the Lord dives any action that it has. Lipless baits do not have this feature. Therefore, they can be worked anywhere in the water column simply by changing the time with which it is allowed to sink. These baits work very well for fish that school in open water such as spotted bass.

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These are excellent lures to use for novice anglers as I have a ton of built in action. Basically, all the angler has to do is cast it out, allow it to sink to the desired depth, then reel it back in steadily. The lure puts out a ton of vibration and flash as well as its signature rattle. This bait can actually be presented vertically as well, jig just as an angler would with a spoon over submerged structure and cover. Chrome with a blue back is the top finish.

Bass assassin swim bait

die dapper

Seventh on the list of the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures is the Bass Assassin line of swim baits. A swim bait is basically a soft plastic version of a plug which has a paddle tail that gives it its action and vibration. Bass Assassin offers anglers the choice of the Sea Shad or Die Dapper, both are similar in shape and size. These are versatile lures which can be fish in a variety of manners.

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In most cases, anglers fishing for spotted bass and other species with swim baits will either use a jig head or a swim bait hook. Jig heads work well when fishing in open water and swim bait hooks are a better choice when fished around cover as it can be rigged weedless. Color choices are endless and angler should choose a lure that matches the locally available forage.

Strike King Bitsy Bug jig

Booyah jig

Jigs are very effective spotted bass fishing lures, especially around flooded timber. They can be bounced off the bottom to imitate crayfish or swim through the water column to mimic a bait fish. As with most of the lures on this list, the smaller or more finesse presentations work best. The Strike King Bitsy Bug Jig is next on the list of 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures.

Click to shop Amazon for Bitsy Bug jigs

Bass jigs are a bit different in design from jigs meant for other species in a couple of ways. They generally have a uniquely designed head, a thick rubber skirt, and a stout weed guard. Many anglers add some type of soft plastic trailer to add both bulk and vibration. The Bitsy Bug Jig is simply a smaller version of this that works very well on spotted bass. Dark, natural colors are usually best.

Mister Twister curly tail grub and jig

mister twister

Mister Twister revolutionized fishing in the late 70s when it came out with its line of curly tail grubs. The action that these simple little baits put out is amazing. These are versatile soft plastic lures that are available in a myriad of different colors and several different sizes. The 3 inch model is an excellent all round size, though anglers can go up or down in size to match the conditions.

Click to shop Amazon for Mister Twister grubs

This lure is almost always fished on a jig head. The water depth and current along with the size of the grub being use will determine the size of the jig head required. A 1/8 ounce black a jig head will cover a wide variety of fishing situations. Darker colors such as motor oil and green pumpkin work well for imitating crayfish. Chartreuse and white are excellent colors to imitate bait fish when worked in the middle parts of the water column.

Yamamoto Senko finesse worm


Last, but certainly not least, on the list of the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures is the Yamamoto Senko. This is a very simple bait that does not look like much, but it is an extremely effective fishing lure for just about every freshwater species, including smallmouth bass. The 4 inch model works best in most situations, though anglers can go up to the 5 inch version when needed.

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Many anglers consider this a finesse bait. That means that it works best very subtle, and even little or no action. The slight undulations of the lure will be enough to attract a fish. Natural colors seem to work best, with green pumpkin being the most popular color by far. Surprisingly, black can be very effective as well, especially in clear water.

The Senko can be rigged in a variety of manners. It can be rigged Texas style and worked on the bottom. It can be hooked through the middle and fished it wacky style. Perhaps the most effective spotted bass presentation is on a drop shot rig. This is especially true when spotted bass are schooled up in deeper water over structure such as points, channel edges, and submerged islands. The Seiko can be fished on a Carolina rig as well.

In conclusion, this article on the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures will help anglers simplify their tackle selection while still having everything needed to cover any fishing situation!

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