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No matter where you are in the country or what species you’re fishing for, spring is a great time of year to be on the water. In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the best fishing lures for the spring months. There are millions of fishing baits and lures out there, so it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the right bait for the right species at the right time. Since we’re lovers of all species here, we’ll showcase some of the more popularly targeted gamefish and detail some of the best spring fishing lures for each one.
- The Blade Bait - Blade baits are an excellent option for many species, but walleyes go especially crazy for them in the coldwater months of the spring. Vib-E’s, Silver Buddys, Heddon Sonars, and Steelshads are all excellent options. Blades excel when the water temp is sub 55°F, but they still catch fish at just about any temperature.
A gold 1/2oz Steelshad is an excellent offering for springtime walleyes
2. Stickbaits- A proven walleye slayer for decades now, the stickbait is one of the best fishing lures you can choose for spring walleyes. This bait can be retrieved in a twitch pause manner like a jerkbait or steadily wound in to give the signature wobble of that particular lure. There are many varieties of stickbaits out there, but among the most popular are the Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue (pictured below), the Rapala Husky Jerk, the Storm Thunderstick and many more.
A variety of Perfect 10 Rogue Colors. Check out what’s available at the link below
2. Smallmouth Bass
- The Jerkbait- The erratic twitch-pause action of a jerkbait is undoubtedly irresistible to springtime smallmouth bass. Jerkbaits excel when the water temperature is between 40-60 degrees and bait fish die offs are typically at their peak. Jerkbaits work best when fished with thin diameter line to achieve maximum diving depth and optimum action. The Megabass Vision 110, Rapala Shadow Rap, Berkley Stunna, and Lucky Craft Pointer are all excellent options.
When they have all three treble hooks in their mouth, you’re likely throwing the right bait
2. Swimbaits- With a multitude of sizes, colors, actions, and rigging options there aren’t many places you can’t throw a swimbait. As for springtime smallies, smaller sizes (2.5”-4”) rigged on a ballhead or other style of jighead are usually the most effective. This presentation allows you to easily cover a lot of water and can be fished shallow or deep depending on the size of the jighead used. Keitech Fat Swing Impacts, Strike King Rage Swimmers, and Megabass Spark Shads are all sure to catch a big smallie’s attention.
A 3.8” Keitech Fat Swing Impact in Gold Flash Minnow did the trick for this quality smallmouth
3. Largemouth Bass
- The Bladed Jig- The bladed jig or “chatterbait” as coined by Z-man, is an excellent option for springtime largemouth bass. Chatterbaits are very effectively weedless, so they can be fished around lilipad stems and other aquatic vegetation that largemouths love to be around in the spring. The complete line of Z-man chatterbaits and the Strike King Thunder Cricket are both great options. It’s also recommended that you add a swimbait or some type of craw creature bait to your bladed jig as a trailer.
2. Lipless Crankbaits- The noisy rattling, vibration, and tight wobble of a lipless crankbait makes it a deadly option for spring largemouth. Liplesses are able to be fished through aquatic vegetation much easier than some other diving crankbaits can be and there’s something about that action that largemouth can’t handle when they’re in their prespawn stage. Some great lipless crankbait options include the Rapala Rippin’ Rap, Strike King Red Eye Shad, and Spro Aruku Shad.
This cold water largemouth definitely approved the look of this Spro Aruku Shad
- Hair Jigs- Fished under a float or casted and retrieved, the hair jig is an absolute crappie killer. Marabou and bucktail are some commonly used materials for hair jigs. When the bite is tough, these spring fishing lures can be tipped with a live shiner or grubs for added scent and attraction. The Hawken Marabou Series Aerojig is never a bad choice for springtime crappies.
A Pink Hawken Marabou Series Jig is a proven crappie magnet
2. Microplastics- When you’re talking about panfish fishing lures for spring, sometimes downsizing is a huge key. A microplastic fished on a micro jighead can be the ticket when crappies start to get active. The Bobby Garland Itty Bitty Swimm’R is a tough choice to beat!
Size not to scale! The Itty Bitty Swimm’R is tiny, but a true crappie slayer in the spring
We hope that this article helps you get an edge over the fish this spring!