Best Sand Bass Lures: Ratings, Reviews, and Top Picks

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Are you trying to find the best sand bass lure to help you score your personal best bass? There are many lures to choose from, depending on your preferred approach. In this article, we’ve pulled together what’s worked for fishermen down the coast of California to help you determine what you need to add to your tackle box.

barred sand bass how to catch

Sand bass usually swims in the open water of Santa Cruz in central California to Magdalena Bay in Baja, southern California. These fish species go as far north as Morro Bay and are common from Santa Barbara southwards.

Sand fishing in southern California, the best places to fish for sand bass are in an area where they usually gather when the spawning time comes. You can get more catch and entertainment fishing in San Onofre, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica Bay, and San Diego.

Additionally, fishing for sand bass when it is time for the sun to set is one way to get a great fishing experience.

How To Catch Sand Bass

kayak fishing
A kayak is a great way to enter the sand bass strike zone.

Catching a barred sand bass is relatively easy. Whether at a party or private boat, offering a delectable meal is an excellent way to encourage them to bite your bait.

A light freshwater-class bait-casting tackle is ideal for maximizing the sand bass fishing sport. This tackle can make catching sand bass entertaining and suitable for young and adult anglers.

7 Best Lures for Sand Bass Fishing

1. Yo-yo Spoons

Vertically spooning for grumps is applicable when bass fishing in a party boat or smaller private craft. The Sougayilang Sinking Metal Spoons Micro Jigging Bait is suitable for bass fishing.

The zinc-alloy material of this product offers durability and high quality. It is one of Southern California’s fishers’ best tools, as they have smooth and rapid diving action.

The design and shape draw the fish’s attention effectively as you yo-yo the spoon straight up and down. This produces an erratic flash and vibration that they cannot ignore, leading to more catch and fun.

2. Forktail Plastics

Soft forktail plastic is one of the favorite lures of most southern California fishers. They are versatile lures that work in open fresh or saltwater. POUFU with 3D Eyes and Fork Tail has materials that allow the bait to improve its ability to induce.

If you want to enhance your forktail lure for a larger sand bass fish, consider keeping a tray of frozen squid within your reach to use as trailers. This can spice up your bass fishing experience.

You can even throw the larger models in these baits to increase your chances of larger grumpers. If you think sandies prefer ultra-slow-moving lure, lace on a vinyl skirt above the plastic tail’s front, as this will flair out on the sink. This will allow the bait to glide slowly to the bottom, creating more resistance.

3. Single Tails

Single-tailed lures are often overlooked, but it is a double or fork-tail lure variation. They are slow-moving pulsating lures perfect for colder water conditions. The Yamamoto Single Tail Grubs imitate the baitfish very well. The size perfectly attracts bigger sand bass fish.

It emits a strong vibration with a slow retrieve from its finely cut tail, which is strike-provoking. Like the forktails, you can use this lure with a small frozen squid to get the bass’s attention. Another trick is to tie your main line to a three-way swivel and attach a 24-30 inch leader with a single large tail to the other end.

This usually entices bigger female sand bass to attack. With this combination, you can use a cast-and-retrieve method or let it slowly drift along the bottom if you like.

4. Classic Straight Tail Grubs

In some fishing situations, sand bass will usually prefer a plastic lure with no tail motions. Roboworm’s Straight Tail Worm, a finesse bait, is super sensitive that you will get a ton of action with the slightest movement.

It has a salt release system that adds to its weight. It lets you know when to fill the salt and change the worms. Grubs usually excel in low-light fishing conditions. You want to fish for bass in time for early dawn, on super-slow drifts, and in colder water to get more chances on the fish.

Spice up your fishing experience by using one squid as a trailer and a few drops of fish attractant as flavor. You can even add a colorful vinyl skirt for a well-appealing look.

5. Knob-tails

Knob tails from soft plastic became popular among bass anglers as this plastic lure works well when boat fishing for sand bass in colder water. The Mister Twister Sassy Shad is one knob tail lure for sand bass fishing.

It has a supple body and natural action that this game fish cannot resist. It replicates the “brown baits,” and the darker color scheme is applicable when fishing for sand bass.

Slow retrieving is one way to keep the fish’s bite when fishing with these plastics. Fish the knob tail plastics on light mono to maximize the tight swimming action.

6. Tube Baits

Soft hollow-bodied plastic tube baits are useful when fishing for pelagic species. The Berkley PowerBait Fishing Soft Bait has a larger surface area for a more irresistible flavor and scent. This causes the fish to hold on up to 18 times longer.

It gives you more time to set more hooks and catch more sand bass, especially with its eye-catching color. Its design and rigging are not complicated. They are effective drift baits all year round, or you can use the slow cast-and-retrieve method. 

Just pump it gently back to the boat like a live squid. Use a liquid fish scent for extra effect and squirt it up into the hollow body to attract more bass.

7. Deep-troll Plugs

Sometimes, fishers may find it hard to keep hungry grumpers around the boat with limited chum powder. Slow-trolling a plug maximizes your chances of staying with the schools of sand bass cruising as it replicates an anchovy.

You can use the Bandit Walleye Minnow Jerkbait Fishing Lure with this strategy. The design of this ultimate troll is in collaboration with fishing experts. The universal patterns of color have efficacy in many types of fishing situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top 5 sand bass lures?

Rigging soft plastics as lures for sand bass is effective, considering the fishing conditions they can be maximized in. If you’re fishing for grumpers, you can use Yo-yo spoons, fork-tail, single-tail, Straight-tail, and knob-tail grubs.

What lures attract barred sand bass?

If you want a live lure, squid works best. If it is unavailable, you can use “brown baits” or the lures mentioned above to catch and cook your grumper.

When is the best time to fish for sand bass?

The best time to fish for grumpers is during the “in-between” periods, such as May to October and November to April. The water temperatures are usually in the 60–70-degree range.

Where do I find sand bass?

Sand bass can be found in bays, harbors, and inlets. They prefer areas with plenty of structure, such as reefs, kelp beds, and shipwrecks.

How big do sand bass get?

Sand bass can grow to be quite large, with some specimens reaching over 26 inches in length. The average size, however, is between 12 and 15 inches.

Final Thoughts

Whether a beginner or a seasoned angler, fishing for sand bass can be a fun and rewarding experience, you can maximize your chances of success with the right tackle and bait.

Now that you know the best lures for sand bass fishing, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test! Get out there and see what you can catch.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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