In this article I will discuss the best artificial lures you can use to catch Largemouth Bass. Each is good only in the specific situations I will describe.
In my opinion the spinnerbait is hands down the number one bass catching lure on the market. When selecting a spinnerbait to use you have to choose between two different varieties of blades. Spinnerbaits with willow leaf blades are designed to attract the bass primarily through sight. Spinnerbaits with a blade that is round with a cupped end are designed to create vibration and attract bass through sound.
Spinnerbaits are without a doubt the most versatile artificial lure you can effectively use. By varying your retrieve you can use them as a topwater bait or fish them effectively as much as four feet below the surface of the water. They are also somewhat weedless. This feature allows them to be used in the heaviest of cover. One of my favorite techniques with a spinnerbait is to retrieve it into small pockets of the weeds, especially lily pads. You will be amazed at how many strikes you will get while the bait is simply falling into one of these pockets.
The key concept to remember when fishing a spinnerbait is to be thorough. If you start by retrieving it near the surface make sure to try it also a few feet under the water if you are not having success. Carry a variety of colors and styles in your tackle box. It is a bait that will work, just be patient and use your full arsenal of styles.
As you fish deeper water two other artificial lures become the weapon of choice when trying to catch Largemouth Bass. The key factor in determining which to use is the activity level of the fish.
If the fish are very active and feeding heavily the crankbait becomes the lure of choice. Crankbaits also come in a variety of styles and must be matched to the fishing conditions. As always it helps to know what the bass are feeding on naturally. You can then match the body shape and color to the natural forage.
You also need to be concerned with the depth in which the bass are feeding. All crankbaits are designed to be retrieved at specific depths. This is accomplished by the size, shape and angle of the plastic lip near where you tie your line to the bait. When fishing a crankbait I like to use one that runs near the bottom, sometimes even bouncing off the bottom, much like a forage fish avoiding a predator.