Best Spring Bass Lures – Get Ahead of the Game

Best Spring Bass Lures - Get Ahead of the Game

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Larry Stark

Professional fisherman, who loves to review new fishing gadgets.

If the devil’s in the details, then choosing the best spring bass fishing lures proves this right. If you are out bass fishing, you must follow their finicky early and late spring “lifestyles” and use the right baits to lure them into feeding, whether in cold or warm waters or when spawning.

We have never been more convinced in “good tools, half the work done” than when choosing spring bass lures. So, when the bass is cold and lethargic, use slow and quiet lures, and when they are in a feeding frenzy, choose the fast-performance, loud action, and inciting ones.

It is hard to stand in cold spring weather along muddy waters, trying your luck with the wrong bait. That’s why we compiled a list of the best spring bass fishing lures to help you get ahead of the game.

Comparison Table - Best Spring Bass Lures

Editor's Choice

Rapala Shadow Rap

Rapala Shadow Rap

Best Rated

Strike King Rage Tail Craw

Strike King Rage Tail Craw

Best Value

Lure Minnow Body Crankbaits

wLure Minnow

Table of Contents

Our Analysis of the Best Bass Lures for Spring Bass Fishing: A Review

#1 Rapala Shadow Rap - Editor's Choice​

Rapala Shadow Rap

WHY WE LIKE IT: Rapala Shadow Rap’s stellar construction and realistic features make this jerk bait suitable for shallow water and night fishing. Its long-casting system, integrated rattle, and flash feather teaser tail produce suspending, rolling, and coming-to-rest movements that easily trigger the bite.

  • Weight: 0.027 pounds
  • Body length: 4.375 inches
  • Comes in 8 colors including, Multi, Perch, Rainbow Trout, and Hot Steel
  • Running depth – 2 ft. to 4 ft.



BUYING ADVICE: If you want to fish bass every season, especially in early spring when they don’t move much, then this noisy, fast-moving, action lure is your answer. Also, we can confirm that this good sinking lure with a lifelike-scaled translucent body is good for night fishing. 

FEATURES: This realistic performance of a small fish beating sideways at 180 degrees, sinking, and coming back to life, combined with the translucent body covered with life-like scales, is the reason why seasoned anglers call Rapala Shadow Rap a revolutionary jerk bait.

#2 Strike King Rage Tail Craw - Best Rated​

Strike King Rage Tail Craw

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you want some visibly dramatic action in the water when crawfish emerge in early spring, throw one Rage Tail Craw soft bait and wait. The drama it produces by the splash, speed, and noise will lure even the laziest bass from deep waters. This noisy, plastic crawfish is the right one, especially for pre-spawn bass fishing.

  • Weight: 0.004 pounds
  • Two realistic pincers
  • Long, slender body
  • 24 colors including Green Pumpkin, Hard Candy, June Bug, and Delta Red
  • High-grade plastics



BUYING ADVICE: If you consider the price for a pack of seven baits and the dramatic action that wakes up lazy bass, Rage Tail is worth every cent. The sophisticated, unique, and realistic design of the claws and the wobbling body beat any soft bait Texas-rigged we have used so far.

FEATURES: This high-quality soft plastic “creature” is popular for its revolutionary and carefully designed moving claws and wobbly body that create enticing vibrations and commotion to invite any bass “to a meal.” Depending on the season and the size of the bass, you have a choice of several sizes.

#3 wLure Minnow body crankbaits - Best Value​

Lure Minnow Body Crankbaits

WHY WE LIKE IT: This crankbait, which comes in splendid natural colors, can dive very deep, assisted by its lip. Because of its genuine appearance as multi-colored small fish, wLure Minnow Body crankbait gets easily attacked by bass even when just floating on the surface.

  • Length: 3.25 inches
  • Weight: 0.043 pounds
  • Over 30 colors – anything you want! See the product link for color codes
  • 3D Holographic eyes



BUYING ADVICE: Although you can use wLure Minnow Crankbait in different waters, it is particularly good for deep water and big-mouthed bass fishing. Made of high-quality ani-corrosive material, the lure is equally adapted to saltwater and freshwater fishing. 

Moreover, the product comes with a free tackle box and six 3 ¼ inch multi-color lures at an affordable price.

FEATURES: wLure Minnow Body crankbaits is a life-like replica of multi-colored small fish that perfectly imitates the wobbles and the floating movements of struggling fish that the bass, being opportunistic feeders, attack right away. 

#4 Googan Squad Scout - Best Suspending Jerkbait

Googan Squad Scout

WHY WE LIKE IT: Built like a very realistic baitfish, this three-hook jerk bait dances in the water, fleeting, floating, and slashing like real small fish. Its excellent swimming action enables this jerkbait to stay shortly suspended in the water column of the fish, teasing it to attack – making it one of our favorite spring bass fishing lures.

  • Length: 4.33 inches
  • Weight: 0.031 pounds
  • Color: Nickel



BUYING ADVICE: We’ve tested the Googan Squad Scout bass lure in different weather and water conditions, so we definitely recommend it for its versatile performance for a middle-of-the-road price.

FEATURES: Its perfect water action emulating small fish sinking and suspending makes this bait very catchy in basses’ and our eyes. 

With the product’s two sizes, you can fish deep and shallow waters all spring long: Googan Squad Scout, 4-6 feet, and Googan Squad Scout Jr., 3-5 feet diving depth.

#5 Strike King Red Eyed Shad - Best lipless Crankbait

Strike King Red Eyed Shad

WHY WE LIKE IT: The ability to sink deep effortlessly makes this red-eyed shad replica the perfect searching bait that can be retrieved in many ways. The true appearance of small fish – the bass’ main diet in hungry pre- and after-spawning cycles, makes Strike King Red Eyed Shad an indispensable lure in spring.

  • Weight: 0.031 – 0.046 pounds
  • Length: 2.5 – 3 inches
  • Large 3D red eyes
  • 22 natural colors, including Natural Bream, Gold Sexy Shad, Olive Shad, and Orange Belly Craw



BUYING ADVICE: When bass fishing on windy and rainy days with low visibility, you want a lure that produces a loud fish-calling sound. Then, the reinforced 2-tap sound of Red Eye Shad’s free-floating rattle is your best choice. 

We have had a very good experience river bass fishing with this crankbait. For more lipless crankbait suggestions, check out our other article.

FEATURES: Red Eyed Shad is an easily retrievable crankbait due to its specific free-fall, sinking motion. It is what makes this shad dummy a good searching bait that easily hits bottom and lends near vegetation, rocks, and underwater stumps, the hiding places of bass.

Coupled with its unique, tungsten-reinforced, 2-tap loud fish-calling sound, Strike King Red-Eyed Shed is a true menace to bass. 

#6 Z Man Cbjh 38 - Best Chatterbait

Z Man Cbjh 38

WHY WE LIKE IT: Z Man CbjH 38 Chatterbait has a unique, carefully developed design, bearing the signatures of a well-known bladed jig fishing pro. Its patented, stainless steel hex-shaped blade adds to its sophisticated design and reliability, producing erratic and skipping movements of a real baitfish.

  • Weight: 0.023 pounds
  • Color: Multi, Green Pumpkin, and Black/Blue
  • Swim jig design
  • Hex-shaped blade
  • 3D eyes
  • Double wire trailer keeper
  • Silicone skirting



BUYING ADVICE: Z Man Cbjh 38 chatter bait attracts bass in a snap with its chattering-like sound and great vibrations produced by its sturdy, thin, stainless steel blade. We have had the best experience fishing near overhanging trees, weeds, rocks, and underwater stums, and the upright-positioned hook didn’t get tangled. Pair it with a great chatterbait rod, and you’ll be unstoppable when bass fishing.

FEATURES: Although chatter baits have become very popular and taken the market by storm, Z Man Cbjh 38 leads with its reliable, patented, high-quality hexagonal blade that is crucial for the inviting vibration and sonic sound that bass can hear. The best brand hook and the double wire snap to attach different trailers easily make this skirted lure good value for money.

#7 Pelican Mate - Best Crankbait for Freshwater

Pelican Mate

WHY WE LIKE IT: This smallmouth bass lure is your best mate in spring bass fishing in freshwater. A fast-rotating tail and a constantly moving feathered hook support Penn Mate like a late-night “meal on wheels.” 

  • Weight: 0.0125 pounds
  • Length: 1.5 inch
  • Color: green, blue, yellow, and black
  • Material: ABS



BUYING ADVICE: If you want to catch bass at night, this is your best fluorescent, eye-glowing bait. Besides, you can fish with it in cold and warm waters since its body is made of ABS, high-temperature resistant plastic material.

The offer comes in blue, green, yellow, orange, and black colors at an affordable price, which made us add this bait to your tackle box. For more freshwater lures, check out our other article.

FEATURES: Although a very small baitfish replica, Pelican Mate has shown good performance in cold and warm waters, thus targeting a wide range of fish species.

Well-equipped to create an illusion of constant movement and big action with its feathered hook and rotating tail, Pelican Mate is the best early spring crankbait when bass attack defenseless forage fish entering their spawning cycle.

Selecting the Optimal Lures for Spring Bass Fishing

Pick a Color

To avoid the overwhelming chaos in bass lures color selection, the simple rule works best. Since bass sees the same colors we do, when visibility is low in the early morning hours, at dusk, and in dirty waters, the colors should be bright. At night, we need dark and solid colors to increase profile visibility and translucent lures to improve lure visibility.

In early spring, when bass feeds mostly on crawfish, the lures should emulate this dark, brown, and red-colored forage. In mid and late spring, they feed mostly on bluegill and sunfish, the lure colors should be bright (blue, green, yellow, white, and silver).

Weather conditions

Light rain and wind are some of the best weather conditions for spring bass fishing. The bass is signaled by nature that bad weather is coming and, to protect itself, starts feeding in shallow waters. Also, it gets more aggressive and biting when water starts to ripple. The bass cannot see anglers when the sky is overcast, and the light is dimmed.

Stormy weather and heavy rains will chase the bass in deep waters. However, they enjoy refreshed waters after the rain, become more active, and feed.  This is why you need to keep the weather conditions in mind as well when choosing the right early spring bass lure.

Water Temperature & Color

In early spring, when waters begin to warm up and reach about 48-55 degrees, bass becomes active and starts to feed on a high-protein diet of shellfish and crawfish.

In the mid and late-spring months, when the waters are warmer, they behave like any other fish  – feed very actively. When the visibility is poor in muddy waters, the bass tends to seek cover in shallow depths near grass, docks, rocks, and stumps.

Spawning behavior

The bass feeds voraciously during the pre-spawn period to store energy for the fasting period of about two weeks when they don’t feed at all, either looking for a nest, mating, or hatching the eggs. They are in warmer waters since their eggs need the sun and warm waters to hatch.

After the spawning period, especially female bass is exhausted and very hungry. They start to feed more actively on small fish in the warm waters abundant with food.

Lure selection

The most suitable lures for spring bass fishing are definitely crankbaits – mimicking the shad, minnow, and other forage fish the bass feed on when transitioning to shallow, warmer waters brimming with food.   

Early spring bass fishing might call for lures emulating crawfish like Z Man Cbjh 38 and Strike King Rage Tail Craw because it is their main diet in the pre-spawning.

Be aware of the laws and regulations

Every US state has its own laws and regulations on opening and closing bass fishing seasons and bag and length limits. The responsible state agencies usually provide separate regulations for different fish species, recreational and professional fishing, and fishing tournaments.

Also, they issue and provide information on how to obtain different fishing perms and other related documents.  

Frequently asked questions​

According to research, bass can see best green and red colors while can’t differentiate between white and chartreuse and blue and black.

However, the best color for spring bass lures depends on water clarity and sunlight. Transparent/see-through colors are best for sunny days and clear waters, as they come close to the natural color of baitfish. Flashy colors are also best for sunny days, as they reflect the light and are visible to bass. White and yellow are best for cloudy days and stained waters.

Still, red and orange are the most natural colors for bass lures in spring, as they are the colors of crayfish and baitfish. Black and blue or black and red patterns are the best for very cloudy days and muddy waters.

Bass stay in deep waters in early spring, but when it gets much warmer by mid-spring, they come up in shallow waters looking for sheltered places to nest. After spawning, they remain mostly in shallow waters by the end of spring. Very hot weather in summer drives them back to deep cooler waters.   

The best season to find big bass is mid-spring (April), when they are getting ready to spawn. They frequent sheltered spots in shallow warm waters, looking for the right place to nest.

During this period, they are heaviest because there is plenty of food in the warm spring waters. Their metabolism becomes more active, and they get into a feeding frenzy urged by the forthcoming exhausting reproductive period.