Lure Fishing For Bass

Lure fishing for bass can quickly turn any self-respecting shore angler into a bass enthusiast. Why? The thrill of the smash-and-grab is second to none, as the bass rush out from their cover to attack a lure without warning.

Bass are such incredible creatures that deserve the ultimate respect. Their hunting prowess and fighting capabilities are just mind blowing, with many anglers reporting the bass rod almost being yanked out their hands.

Spinning For Bass
Regarding location, bass inhabit localised pockets early in the season. This all points towards the notion that if you can find where they are holding up, or feeding on a tide, then you have an excellent chance of experiencing that unmistakable smack on the rod.

Tide is the key to the best bass fishing, with the early tide generally the top time to avoid large expanses of beach and the headlands in the early season as the bass will be thin on the ground. Alternatively, look to target specific features such as large underwater rock pools, scours in the seabed carved into flat(ish) reef systems, patches of sand among rocks and gullies between large rocky outcrops. It is these areas where crustaceans and other prey items feel safest from predators, but where bass love to hunt.

Bass Love Boulders, Holes And Gullies
Weather and sea conditions permitting, start your session over the first two hours of the flood within a quiet, sheltered bay, before moving to fish the mid-tide period from the rocky extremity, adjacent to a beach, or even an estuary. You’ll have an increased chance of locating bass that are moving with the tide and using the rougher ground to navigate the coastline.

Soft Plastic Lures Work Well for Bass Too
Lure Fishing For Bass
'Plugging' is a method that is very popular as it allows you to 'grab and go' and suits the roaming angler. It permits bass to show their fighting capabilities, and it can be heart stopping to feel the take as a fish slams into your bass plug. Working surface poppers over the top of some rough ground popping just behind the incoming breakers can get superb results - it is super fun to see bass thrashing the water as they attack the plug.

Soft Plastic Lures for Bass
Savage Gear Saltwater Sandeel
Kiddy Sidewinder Holographic Sandeels

Sidewinder Crusader Shads 4in 23g
Fiish Black Minnow 90 Combo
Use a leader when using surface lures. This helps prevent overzealous actions, which regularly cause the front treble to tangle, damaging your braid or mainline. Simply tie around 12 inches of leader material to the braid, then tie a fast link to the leader to facilitate quick and easy lure changes.

Bass will also take sub-surface lures such as sandeel patterns, pencil lures, and dexter wedges. If using deeper diving or suspending lures you can also go through various different depth levels. The easiest way to do this is to count down until you hit the bottom and work back up from there. For instance, a 10-second countdown and work the lure back, then perhaps an 8-seconds fall and retrieve and so forth. Do not be shy of fishing shallow water, and also casting back along the shoreline among gullies and reef structure.

Top Water Lures
HTO Canine Surface Lure

Savage Gear Panic Prey V2
Rapala Skitter Pop Top Water Lure
One of the most popular techniques to use when using bass lures is 'Walking the Dog' where you change retrieve speeds. A very slow retrieve interspersed with lots of motionlessness and ‘dying’ twitches is very effective. You are mimicking a wounded fish, and if the bass are lazy, then they are more likely to hit a slow, erratic lure.

Diving Lures

Yo-Zuri Duel Hardcore Minnow
Savage Gear MAG Sandeel Jerk Minnow

HTO Abyss 15.6g
Bass tend to have defined times when they appear over certain marks and like ghosts, often disappearing almost as soon as they arrive. Some areas may experience as short as a 10-minute window of frantic bass activity before the fish have moved on. For this reason, it is essential to be mobile and try and keep an alert eye for a ‘sign’ that indicates moving bass. It could be boulders some 50 metres to the left have drawn the fish, or some other feature or naturally occurring giveaway. Ultimately though, when lure fishing for bass, time-served local knowledge and experience play a big part in any good bass angler’s ability to track their quarry across a particular mark or beat.

This article was brought to you in association with Sea Angler Magazine.