Jigs and Pigs
One of the most effective lures for catching bass--big bass, in particular--is a jig and pig, which consists of a jig, silicone skirt, weed guard and plastic or pork trailer. The latter is known as the "pig." Jigs weighing 3/8 to 1/2 of an ounce are most popular among jig and pig anglers. Jigs and pigs are versatile lures that can be fished on the bottom to imitate a crayfish, or retrieved as if they were a fish. They can be used in shallow water, where anglers flip and pitch them into heavy cover, and deep water, where anglers crawl them along weed edges and dropoffs.
Perhaps the most versatile of the bass lures is the spinnerbait, which is shaped like a safety pin and includes a silicone skirt and one or two blades. The most basic way to fish spinnerbaits is to cast and retrieve them, though anglers who fish them often vary their retrieves to add some erratic action, making the bass believe spinnerbaits are a wounded fish. Spinnerbaits are especially effective when fished around cover, and anglers should make it a point to bump their spinnerbaits into any that is available. Anglers should use translucent spinnerbaits with a large willow leaf and small Colorado blade in clear water. In stained water, solid colors and large Colorado blades work best.
When searching for active bass, a lipless crankbait is one of the best lures they can use. Lipless cranks generally weigh 1/2 of an ounce and feature flat sides. As a result, they can be cast long distances, even in stiff wind. Target areas like weed edges, dropoffs and vegetated flats with lipless crankbaits, and retrieve them at a steady clip. One of the best ways to fish them is around vegetation. Allow the lure to contact the vegetation, then give it a jerk so it comes free. The erratic action can cause a bass to strike.
The plastic worm remains the most popular bass bait. They can be made to be weedless (Texas rigs), to cover a large amount of water in search of bass (Carolina rig), or to fall slowly and tantalizingly through the water for suspended bass (wacky rig). In heavy cover, Texas-rigged worms are the best option. Carolina rigs perform well when the bottom is mostly free of vegetation and other snags, and wacky rigs are best when bass are suspended or when a quiet approach is necessary in shallow water.
Topwater baits are among the most exciting baits for catching bass. These baits travel along the surface, and when bass bite them, the fish often come out of the water to strike. Poppers and buzzbaits are two of the most effective types of topwater lures. Good areas to fish topwaters are in shallow water, or over weed beds. While bass might hit a topwater at any time during the day or night, the best times for fishing them are around dawn and dusk. Topwaters are especially effective on overcast days.