Going out fishing from the shore is how most anglers get their start and how I still fish much of the time to this day.
Some of my best memories growing up were fishing the bank with my dad and grandfather.
If you hope to hook a trophy bass, you’ll need the best bass lures for shore fishing and there are a lot of options available.
Here’s my 13 favorite choices when fishing for shore bass.
Anglers.com community coordinator Wes Littlefield walks us through some of his favorite bass lures for shore fishing in this YouTube video!
The 13 Best Bass Lures for Shore Fishing
I always prefer to keep it simple and light while bank fishing. Quite simply you don’t want to move around a body of water all day with a heavy backpack.
So, keep your tackle box light and pick the best lures for shore fishing from this list based on the water conditions.
1. Texas Rigged Soft Plastic
The simplicity and the weedless nature of the Texas rig make it one of my favorite choices for bass fishing in general.
A worm or a creature-style bait along with a Texas rig is one of the best presentations from the bank.
Besides, it’s a super versatile presentation that works in most conditions, even in the thickest of covers.
There are numerous variations of the rubber worm. I have found the Zoom Fluke bait and the Z-MAN Hula Stickz two great options for finicky bass.
They are most effective in shallow water between two to ten feet. Made from a salt-impregnated material, they work great for largemouth, as well as smallmouth.
Use a light-colored bait during the morning hours and shift to darker shades as the day progresses and light levels come down.
2. Stick Baits
To be honest, bass fishing with stick baits may not be the best option for newbies. The reason is, they don’t have a built-in swimming action.
But once you learn to balance them, they generate a subtle action that’s highly effective for bass.
No wonder, many veterans consider stick baits as the best lure for bass fishing from shore.
Stickbaits can be surface dancers with a slim profile that imitate the fleeing baitfish. Other varieties include the sub-surface slashers that have a zig-zag movement.
There are also the more expensive bad boys that have a dive and roll swimming pattern. However, they are harder to control.
The Heddon Super Spook is my top choice for striped bass. If you’re fishing canals, this could be a great option. It is one of the most durable stick baits on the market.
If you’re used to stick baits and looking for something more exciting, check out the Heddon Rattlin’ Spook. It makes a rattling sound while moving through the water to lure the bass.
3. Creature Baits
Initially, I wasn’t an admirer of plastic creature baits. But with time I found them a deadly combination for large shore bass when combined with a Texas rig.
These are quite effective for attracting big bass that wouldn’t hit a jig. These are most effective during the spawn and post-spawn season when the bass is looking for a bigger meal.
Basically, these lures are designed to imitate crayfish and bugs. But many unique variations with flapping appendages and different swim actions are also available.
The Zoom Bait Brush Hog is a good choice with its unique shape and great action. Its unique shape and action combine the features of worms, lizards, and crawfish.
The Berkley PowerBait is another effective choice that comes with a scent field to attract bass. However, some of these baits don’t last very long.
These soft plastic baits are shaped like a frog and come with a hollow body and two legs. While they don’t look so attractive, they are a killer topwater choice when looking for bass in vegetation.
You can use them a few feet from the shore over the weeds or grass.
Recently, I used frog lures in a pond with standing grass and algae mats1 with great success. Beyond that, I have also used them effectively in clear water.
While there are various colors available, the black, white, and green pumpkin colors delivered the best results.
The BooyahPoppin’ Pad frog works well over vegetation with its super realistic design and weedless structure. It comes in multiple color options to attract big bass.
If you want something with a more vibrant presentation, check out the Keitech Noisy Flapper. Its patented leg design creates a flutter even when you retrieve it slowly.
5. Senko Worm
Even though the Senko worm is a soft plastic bait, it deserves a special mention. Designed by the legendary Gary Yamamoto, it is considered one of the best lures for bank fishing on open water.
The simple design and the perfect size make it a natural-looking bait that offers terrific versatility.
The Senko has a subtle action and lands softly in the water. This makes them extremely effective during spring when the bass tends to be more skittish.
I have found that using it with a weightless Texas rig or chicken rig is the best option..
However, the traditional Senko worms are expensive. So a long weekend by the lakeside with them can be a costly affair.
There are a few less pricey alternatives but not all of them deliver the same action. Among these, the YUM Dinger Classic Worm is one good substitute you can try out.
6. Whopper Plopper
The Whopper Plopper is one topwater bait I am confident about using in calm waters, especially lakes. It comes with a hard plastic body and a propeller or tail in the rear.
When pulled, the bait causes a splashing sound and generates bubbles.
Generally, the plopper comes in five sizes and each one is best suited for different conditions. Frankly, I am still figuring out the right technique for all these sizes.
But the longer sizes work well even in slightly choppy waters. Experiment with different natural colors, sizes, and retrieves to find out what works best.
I have found the River2Sea Whopper Plopper as one of the best lures for bass fishing from shore. Last year, I caught a 9- pound largemouth by using a stop-and-go technique with it.
For targeting smallmouth, the 75 Whopper Plopper is a good choice. It has a shorter length but the beefy body creates a lot of surface action to attract the bass.
Spinnerbaits are the favorite choice of many pro bass anglers. The main reason for that is the superb versatility of these baits. In short, they are one of the best lures for trophy bass fishing from shore.
The primary components of the lure are the blades and the wire. This makes the strands of the skirt flash and vibrate, making the lure look like a school of baitfish.
Most importantly, in clear waters bass are primarily sight feeders.
So, the flashy appearance of spinnerbaits grabs their attention quickly.
The trick is to select the right water depth so that they remain within the visibility range of the fish.
My favorite pick is the Booyah Colorado spinnerbait which comes with a silicone skirt and offers excellent durability. Other than that, the Goture spinnerbait 5-pack kit is also an affordable option.
8. Bladed Jigs
A bladed jig looks like a hybrid between a spinnerbait and a jig.
However, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most effective lures in shallow shore water.
The big advantage is, this lure doesn’t imitate a single food source.
So, you can use it year-round for shore fishing. In spots where the bass have seen hundreds of worms or crankbaits, the bladed jig can be a killer bait.
Besides, it’s easy to use, even in water where the visibility is low.
Overall, if you’re looking for a new lure to catch trophy bass, bladed jigs can be a great option.
The Z-Man Chatterbait is a popular choice because of its unique action.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, check out the Strike King Rage. It has some great color choices that the bass will love.
9. Lipless Crankbaits
What makes lipless crankbaits stand out is the fact that they can be used in any depth. Since they lack buoyancy, these baits can be easily used to lure shallow bass and the ones lurking in deep water.
There are plenty of variations of this lure in the market. Some also come with rattles to create more noise and attract attention.
I would suggest that you experiment with different sizes and find the best options for various depths.
Keep in mind, the faster you retrieve, the more sound this lure will generate. That means you will have to adjust the speed to mimic the action of crayfish and shad.
The Lucky Craft LV-500 is a great choice for fishing smallmouth at deeper waters. If you want a more buoyant option, check out the Cotton Cordell Super Spot.
It is easy to cast and punches well above its price tag in terms of performance.
Whenever you find a school of baitfish in a lake or pond, it’s time to use a swimbait. These lures can be made of hard materials or soft plastic and have a realistic swimming pattern.
They come in various lengths with different actions that make them one of the most versatile bass fishing lures.
To be honest, I haven’t found much success with large swimbaits. In my experience, the small ones were more potent.
But there are plenty of bass hunters who have used the large ones successfully in shallow waters. In general, the bass is not intimidated by longer baits.
Swimbaits can be used on the surface and up to depths of around 50 feet. Fishing with swimbaits does need a lot of patience, but it’s one of the best options to get that trophy bass.
The Bassdash SwimShad is one of the best hard swimbaits that you can pick. It has a unique S-wave action and is durable enough for big bass.
The Truscend Paddle Tail Swimbait is a soft lure that comes with a life-like action and a fluorescence effect.
11. Jerk Baits
As the name indicates, the jerk baits attract bass through their motion. And the speed of the motion is completely in your control. Their long and slender shapes make them the perfect minnow imitator.
Note, you should use jerkbaits slightly above the level where the big fish are lurking. There are floating and suspending varieties that you can choose from.
Remember, the jerk bait is a visual bait. So it’s best to use it in clear waters.
One of the best jerk bait lures for shore fishing is the Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait. It comes with a hand-tuned design that also has a rattle.
For shallow waters, the Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow is a good choice for largemouth bass. Its injured baitfish action helps in attracting aggressive strikes from the bass.
12. Topwater Poppers
If you want to feel the excitement of a bass exploding to the surface to strike the lure, the popper is a great choice.
As per veterans, topwater poppers are most effective when they are placed right where the bass resides.
Since poppers are most effective with active bass, they are best used in warm waters. That makes summer and fall the best seasons for using them.
Once cast, let the bait sit for some time. Then add some slow twitching with intermittent pauses.
Poppers are available in various shapes and sizes. So, make sure you pick the ones that are designed specifically for bass.
The Rebel Lures Pop-R is one of the most popular topwater lures that many professional anglers use. With a loud noise and vibration, it perfectly imitates an injured baitfish.
The Arbogast Jitterbug is another great choice that strikes the surface with a surface-busting sound. The design makes it suitable for night fishing too.
13. Finesse Jigs
Many times traditional shore fishing techniques don’t work in heavily fished areas. Then it’s time to take out the finesse jig from the tackle box.
These jigs also deliver great results when fishing around vegetation and other forms of covers.
While they are most effective for catching smaller fish, many anglers have also caught larger bass with them. These jigs have a small head and drop slowly through the water.
So, it’s best to retrieve slowly and give the bass enough time to react.
The main attraction for bass is the skirt of the jig that comes with multiple rubber or nylon bristles. These imitate a swimming motion when you move the jig.
One of the top options is the War Eagle Heavy finesse jig. It’s made from top-grade materials and comes with a weedguard design.
Another great option is the Z-man Shroomz finesse jig. It has a mushroom shape and the silicone skirts create a realistic action.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of lures that you can use to catch bass from the shore. Hopefully, the lures listed in this article will help you to set up the best rigs for shore fishing.
The idea is to take note of the conditions and use a lure that works best. It will take some trial and error to get going, but lures are the secret to successful bank fishing.
My suggestion is- study the water, look out for clues, and plan your attack accordingly.
What do you think is the best bass lure for shore fishing? Let us know in the comments!