5 Best Smallmouth Bass Lures

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Shoes, clothes, hats, and lures… one size does not fit all. Although smallmouth bass look incredibly similar to their largemouth cousins, there are several key differences to note to maximize angling for them. 

The first of these is their preference in environment. Largemouth bass tends to enjoy weeds and grassy bottoms, while smallmouth bass can be found in clear water with sandy or rocky bottoms. 

The second is that smallmouth bass are also sight feeders and can be drawn in by colors that stand out from the stereotypical surroundings and commonplace food. 

Both are very temperamental to the environment, meaning the temperature and pressure level can affect the bite enormously. The following is a list of best smallmouth bass lures to maximize your chances of pulling in a Smallie.

best smallmouth bass lures
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5 Best Smallmouth Bass Lures

  • Hard-bait
  • Plastics
  • Spinnerbaits
  • Crankbait
  • Topwater

1. Hard-bait

The Hedon Sonar is a tackle box staple when fishing for smallmouth bass. As a lure, this adjustable action blade bait is versatile in multiple facets. With a variety of colors including the stylish Purple blue shad, and double treble hooks lure, it’s a strong contender

But it’s the vibration action triggers and three different line tie holes that truly set it apart. The rear hall allows for a wider, slower action while the front hall provides rapid for your more aggressive fish. 

Priced at $5.49, the Hedon Sonar ranges in size from 1 7/8” to 2 3/8”. Weighing in at 1.6 ounces and deadly as it is sexy and sleek, it is hard to go wrong with the sonar.

2. Plastics

When it comes to plastics, there are very few things as reliable as the Strike King Coffee Tube. Ranging in size from 2.75 inches to 4 1/2, it imitates the spectrum. It could be mistaken for crawfish, baitfish, Hellgrammite, or even a goby.

To a hungry smallmouth, the difference won’t matter. Available colors include green pumpkin purple, Goby lishish, and watermelon gold, coffee-scented. 

Depending on the rig you are using, it can work well with a jig head inside, relatively weedless, or run a Texas-style rig and work brush and cover pin search or lurking smallies. Packs of nine start at $5.49 and can be found in most major fishing retailers.

3. Spinnerbaits

If flash and flare were a lure, then the Booyah blade would be its incarnation. Spinnerbaits are already commonplace in the tackle box, but the Booyah tandem blade spinner bait has to be one of the most well-rounded lures on the market.

Built to endure the hardest of bites, and easy to use, this combination of silicon skirt, gold or silver spoon, and jig-head is to spinnerbaits as Mcallen is to Scotch. 

To put the icing on the cake, it also includes a willow blade on its pin and an auxiliary Colorado blade that is secured to the upright giving it that extra something all anglers look for in a spinner. 

Pricing at $5.99, the Booyah Tandem Blade Spinner Bait comes in three weights. From quarter ounce to 3/16, there is every color under the sun from White chartreuse to Gold shiner. This lure is a smooth and easy retrieval for even the most junior anglers.

4. Crankbait

If taking a deep dive into the best crankbaits for bass interests you, then look no further than the Bomber Fat Free Shad. With ten different colors, a Bass Master classic victory, and over one million dollars in prize money to its name, this lure will not “crank” your chain. 

Its dual treble hooks and stark finishes accentuate the tight action of the lure while its larger-than-normal plug allows it to dive deep toward the sandy and rock bottoms where Smallmouth Bass lurk. 

The unique plug allows it to reach depths of up to 18 feet while its 3 inches, the .75-ounce frame is aerodynamic yet large enough to catch that big one’s eye. 

Pricing in at about $5.99, its radiant color schemes make it an easy target for any smallies searching the crystal clear water they prefer for an easy meal. 

5. Topwater

If the waters are warm, the breeze is light, and the sun is right, it’s probably time to break out of the topwater. There is very little as satisfying as working a topwater minnow out from some structure and it is enveloped in a leviathan-like whirlpool. 

To achieve this with a small mouth, the right lure is essential. The X-Rap Pop by Rapala is an excellent choice for topwater lure when it comes to fishing for Smallmouth Bass. 

Its two and three-quarter-inch body has two treble hooks and two inset 3D eyes with a feather tail for an incredibly realistic look. Its six different color patterns all come in with a unique reflective finish, as its translucent body has internal holographic foil for catching and reflecting light. 

Its depot-set curb lip makes it easy to pop and splash your way down a bank or across the pond in an attempt to draw out the trophy green hidden in the depths. Fair warning, this lure for all its glory is not cheap. 

Running at around $15 per lure, this is not a snag, cut, and forget lure, so employ it tactfully. It is, however, a golden standard for topwater lures in attracting Smallmouth Bass in clear waters.


In conclusion, there is a multitude of lures that can tie or snap onto their line in an effort to catch a Smallmouth Bass. However, not all lures are created equal, and anglers should choose accordingly. 

Smallmouth Bass can be voracious predators but also very finicky eaters. If the water temperature doesn’t suit the fish’s fancy or the pressure system doesn’t fit its liking, the probability of a full stringer is low. 

Those are factors you can’t control, the lure you utilize, however, is. Whether it’s deep-diving a crank-bait over a sandy bottom or popping a topwater minnow across a pond; jigging a plastic over some rocks, or retrieving a hard or spinnerbait, what you throw is just as important as where and when you throw. 

It’s not a one-size-fits-all, but it only takes one to fit like a glove.

Jacob Pelle
Fishing Expert
Jake Pelle is a third-generation outdoorsman and Eagle Scout. He grew up fishing ponds and rivers in South Louisiana and Mississippi and graduated to fishing brackish/marsh and coastal waters for redfish, drum, and speckled trout. When not on a flat range, he can be found with rod and reel in hand searching for the next greatest fishing hole in South Louisiana.
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