The Things to Use as Bait for Bass

The Things to Use as Bait for Bass
Anglers targeting largemouth and smallmouth bass have several options when it comes to what to use for bait. Both live bait and a bevy of artificial baits and lures work well in attracting these members of the sunfish family. In many instances, the locations where you intend to fish for bass can dictate the things that you can use for bait.

Night Crawlers

The large earthworms known as night crawlers are excellent bait for bass, especially in a river setting. Many anglers will attach a juicy night crawler to a hook and then weigh the presentation down with a couple of split shots and cast it into the river. Night crawlers work well in slow moving sections of rivers and large streams when fished in this manner and when fished below fishing floats. Night crawlers are easy to obtain; you can catch these large worms yourself on a damp night or you can buy them.



Crayfish, both live and artificial, will get the attention of most hungry bass, especially the smallmouth bass. This is a natural food of bass, found under the rocks and in the crevices present along the bottoms of streams and rivers. Artificial plastic crayfish are easier to store with no worries about keeping them alive. Many anglers will Texas rig such bait, pushing the hook through the top and then out before turning the body of the crawfish and burying the hook's point into it. This allows you to fish this presentation for bass without worrying about it snagging on logs, sticks and rocks. This is another effective bait in moving waterways.


Jigs are a weighted hook made to resemble aquatic creatures that bass crave. The design of bass jigs centers around the weighted head of the hook and a skirt of hair or fibers to mask the barb. Frequently bass jigs come with a weed guard---a small stretch of wire that protects the hook from snagging. Bass jigs have lighter weights for smallmouth and heavier for largemouth bass. Jigs are useable in lakes, reservoirs and ponds.


The topwater lure is a favorite of anglers fishing for largemouth bass under low-light conditions at dawn, dusk or on cloudy days. These lures resemble frogs, mice, fish and other things that bass will devour when they discover them near the surface of their habitat. The topwater lures make enough noise through the motion supplied by the angler to garner the attention of bass. Some, such as buzzbaits, have small blades that work as tiny propellers, making the water churn as they pass through it. Others, such as surface chuggers, have indentations in front to catch the water as the angler pulls it towards her with jerking movements, displacing the water and making a commotion.


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