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Top 10 Pre-Spawn Bass Baits (That Get The Best Results!)

What lures work best to catch pre-spawn bass?

If you’re reading this and it’s late February or early March, it’s about time you learn the fundamentals of what baits catch bass during this time.  And there’s an easier way to do it than just randomly choosing a lure and hoping it catches a bass. This is why Fishing Blueprint came up with a solid list of baits you can use – along with a few helpful pointers to start catching pre-spawn bass in a hurry. To say the least we have it down to a science.

What are the best pre-spawn bass baits? In a nutshell, the best pre-spawn baits can target multiple types of structure and locations within the lake such as coves, pockets, channels, and creeks that are facing northwest. The best lures allow you to cover water quickly and ben can be made of hard or soft plastic. These are the best factors that will ensure your pre-spawn fishing success.

WARNING:  There’s a lot of information about this subject you’ll probably want to come back to. No one expects you to remember all these tips. We know your time is precious, so we really tried to over-deliver in value for you. Additionally, we frequently update reports like this, so you’ll want to stay up to date with any changes or additional tips we include for you. 

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But before we get started…

If you’re brand new to this site, this report that you’re reading right now is the second of two reports on how to be an effective bass angler during the pre-spawn/ early springtime of year.

Before you read further, first read the report that was written for you detailing  how to find pre-spawn bass in less time it would take for you to drink your coffee.  If you think you have a solid handle on finding pre-spawn bass then read on.

Read more: How To Find Pre-Spawn Bass in 2 Insanely Easy Steps

Now we got that out of the way, lets get to it…

There are only a handful of lures that catch bass during the early spring (or pre-spawn) time of year.

Almost 31% of anglers surveyed say they like to fish during pre-spawn because it gives them a chance to catch a bass at its largest size of the year. For one thing, not all baits are created equal. For another, it can be difficult to choose from the countless lures that are hung on any given bait shop. It can be a lot of work to find that right bait and to use it correctly to catch that monster bass.

Fishing during the pre-spawn can not only catch you the fish of a lifetime but also give you insight on where the fish will be located when the weather gets really hot and they retreat to their deeper haunts during the summer. So we’d thought to whittle things down to the top bass baits to catch you a big bass fast.

Best Pre-Spawn Baits Roundup

Why You Should Trust Us

We used our experiences with the products and looked over hundreds of customer reviews, watched tons of video reviews, and analyzed what the professionals and experts had to say from popular sources like BassMaster Magazine.

We scrutinized the data from the product catalog pages of nearly a dozen manufacturers, and we even tried to interview some of the company representatives to talk shop and get their take.

Tungsten Football Jig - Rock Crawler

But, why is the Rock Crawler football jig a great choice?

The go-to pre-spawn bass jig is the football jig, specifically a tungsten football jig. 

Grinding and bulldozing over the submerged structure,  shell beds, or finding the transition areas from chunk rock to pea gravel, you need that extra sensitivity that only Tungsten can give you.  That’s especially useful during pre-spawn. 

We tested both the Rock Crawler Tungsten football jig and the Eco Pro Tungsten football jigs. In the end there was one clear winner.

We really prefer the Rock Crawler Tungsten jig by Mythik Lures here’s why…

This jig made by a small American-owned company produces some of the best quality jigs we found.  

The quality of these jigs is what you would get from a custom made jig. The collars are hand-tied with wire, the jig heads are powder coated and then baked on for extra durability, and the hook is a Mustad black nickel that is sticky sharp.

Since the head of the jig is so small (because of the Tungsten) you can even use it like a ball-head jig.   During testing we even threaded on a soft plastic swimbait and made it into a makeshift swimjig! 

Another cool thing that’s different from the other companies we listed here is Mythik Lures sells their jigs in bundle packs.  So now if you break a jig off on a big bass, you’ll have a spare! No more being forced to use a subpar football jig!

The only hang up but not a deal-breaker is they sell out really fast. 

This jig can do nearly everything and is well worth the investment.


  • Excellent construction
  • Ultra sensitive
  • Great custom colors
  • Hand-tied skirt collars
  • Mustad black nickel hook

Hang up but not deal-breaker:

  • Limited available sizes
  • Sell out quickly

Tech Specs:


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Lipless Crankbait

About lipless crankbaits...

The best place to catch bass using lipless crankbaits during the prespawn season are areas where there is underwater vegetation such as hydrilla or milfoil.   If you can find spots particularly like points or channels alongside the outer edge of grass beds, that’s a match made in bass fishing heaven!

For added flash thread on a willow blade from an unused spinnerbait. 

Our Top Pick: Lucky Craft Fishing Lure LV-500 Crank Bait

Other good options:  Yo-Zuri 3DB Vibe, Strike King Red Eyed Shad Tungsten 2-Tap, Cotton Cordell Super Spot Lipless Crankbait.

After testing we prefer the Lucky Craft due to its tournament ready functionality right out of the package.  The sound is very high-pitched due to the types of rattles used and type of plastic the lure is made out of.

It already comes with sticky sharp treble hooks and the paint finishes are class leading.


  • Versatile
  • Comes with double rattle
  • Upgraded hooks
  • Great finish

    Hang up but not deal breaker:

    • One per pack
    • Pricey vs competition

    Tech Specs:

    Umbrella rig

    About umbrella rigs...

    The other lure is known as the umbrella rig. This multi-bait lure offers the appearance of a large meal, without discouraging the essential limit-sized fish.

    Find structure, such as a small hump, stump or boulder and cast the umbrella rig past the target.

    Then on your retrieve make sure to hit the target with the rig as you would a crankbait. Bass that are hiding over in these areas will annihilate your umbrella rig!  KA-BAM!

    Our Top Pick: Fishing Vault Fully Rigged 5 Arms 8 Bladed Alabama Umbrella Rig Bass Lure W/Swim Baits and Jig Heads Included

    This umbrella rigs comes pre-rigged with swimbaits, however what really was nice was they used high quality swivels.  The rig puts off a ton of flash with its eight built in willow blade. 

    One final thing to note we really like the arm construction. The clevis is placed in fabricated arm bend, not welded or pinched on,  This is important because it prevent any weakness that could break the arm. 


    • Phenominal flash
    • Complete kit is included
    • Easy to open clasp swivel
    • Comes with a 3/16th-ounce jig head with 5/0 hook

      Hang up but not deal breaker:

      • Very heavy lure
      • Requires heavy casting rod and heavy duty line

      Tech Specs:

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      About jerkbaits...

      Jerkbait is an absolute “must use” lure in early spring and late winter conditions. 

      When you present this bait correctly, it’s an example of one of the top realistic appearing lures in your tackle box. With its vivid color patterns, a bit of wind, along with clear water to fish in, you’ve got the ingredients for a fantastic fishing trip where you’ll get lots of strikes.

      Our Top Pick: Megabass Vision 110

      Other good options: LUCKY CRAFT Lightning Pointer 110SP, Strike King KVD 300D Series, Yo-Zuri 3DB Suspending Jerkbait,  Smithwick Lures Suspending Rattlin Rogue

      When tested we liked how the Vision 110 already comes with upgraded terminal tackle so you spend precious time changing out hooks that will dull after one bass.

      In the water you can see how balanced this bait is when in the water. The quality control that Megabass has in place is outstanding. 


      • Flat our catches fish
      • Great colors
      • Aggressive tracking/movement in the water
      • Upgraded split rings and treble hooks

        Hang up but not deal breaker:

        • The bill has been known to be fragile
        • It’s pricey

        Tech Specs:


        About spinnerbaits...

        In early spring it would be wise to expect and prepare for a few heavy rains to muddy up and flood the shallow grass flats. 

        A spinnerbait entices the chief needs of a bass; a large appetite to feed, a target that’s easy to catch, and a thump that drives them nuts! A spinnerbait does all that and then some. That’s why it truly shines (or literally flashes)!

        Our Top Pick: War Eagle Nickel Spinnerbait Double Willow

        Not the most popular of the bunch but we feel this company makes a solid spinnerbait.

        Other good options: Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait Double Willow, War Eagle Mike McClelland Finesse Spinnerbait, Booyah Double Willow Blade 1/2 oz.

        Section of the U.S. Recommended Colors
        California Clear, and pearl white with a green back
        Alabama Pearl white with silver and a natural shad back
        Florida Pearl white or clear with green and gold flake
        Texas Chartreuse and white
        New York Glimmer blue with chartreuse


        • Amazing skirt color options
        • Wire light enough for extra vibration, but strong enough to withstand bone-crushing strikes 
        • Sampo swivels for added durability
        • Needle-point Mustad hooks
        • Perfect vertical tracking on retrieve

          Hang up but not deal breaker:

          • Hard to find
          • Sells out fast. 

          Tech Specs:


          About crankbaits...

          In the early springtime, the bass move constantly, as well as always being in some kind of transitional phase. Therefore, use a type of moving bait.

          Once the water warms up, the bass are instinctively thinking of one thing: spawning. 

          Your goal is to try to intercept the bass during this transition using your crankbait.  The crankbait makes it easy to move with the bass, as well as cover a lot of water quickly. 

          Our Top Pick: Spro Mike McClelland RkCrawler 55 Crankbait

          We like the Spro RkCrawler crankbait for it’s craw shaped body and amazing colors. If you ever used an Original Storm Wiggle Wart it has a similar action.  The head has a wide wobble however, in contrast the narrow tail seems likes it’s moving faster.

          The lure is also ready to use out of the box and armed with #5 Gamakatsu treble hooks. 

          Other good options: Rapala DT series crankbaits, Bomber Lures Fat Free Shad Crankbait, Strike King Pro-Model 5XD Series Crankbait

          Click Here to read the REAL reviews from all the Amazon customers! 


          • Wide head to give wide wobbling/hunting action

          • Great color options

          • Unique knocking sound

          • Gamakatsu treble hooks

          • Casts great

          • Reaches its running depth fast

            Hang up but not deal breaker:

            • Durability in the early release of these baits, however it seems that Spro changed the manufacturing process and quality control. 

            Tech Specs:

            Best Bladed Jig – Z-Man Jack Hammer Chatterbait

            About the Jack Hammer Chatterbait jigs...

            When it comes to bladed jigs, you can’t go wrong with a bait that’s designed by top professional anglers Brett Hite and Morizo Shimizu.  Together, they worked with legendary lure makers Z-Man and Evergreen International to come up with one of the best bladed jig on the market.

            The Z-Man Chatterbait Jack Hammer vibrates back and forth quickly to replicate a frantic baitfish as soon as you start your retrieve.

            Its signature blade and head design deflects easily off of cover making it possible to be skipped into tight places like under docks and tree limbs.

            This chatterbait also features premium paint and 3D eyes for the most realistic presentation.

            As the blade makes it’s flashy presentation, it also knocks against the specially designed grooved jig head making a knock-knock noise off of Z-Man’s patented “Chatterblade” setup.


            • Low gravity head shape allows for skipping

            • Large range of colors and weights

            • Gamakatsu 5/0 hook

            • Dual wire trailer keeper

            • High-end paint scheme and 3D eyes

            Hang up but not deal breaker:

            • Expensive

            • Skirt slides down too easily

            Tech Specs:

            Yamamoto Senko

            About Yamamoto Senko baits...

            One of the best baits for pre-spawn bass fishing is a Senko-type stick bait.

            The fish become straight suckers in this bait, particularly when they are extremely inactive after a cold front weather system has moved through.

            The high salt content and the unmatched action of the Yamamoto Senko is what makes it a killer pre-spawn bass fishing bait!

            Every serious bass angler should have at least a bag or two of soft stick baits. These cigar-shaped worms come in numerous versions and have been effective in all areas of North America for at least fifteen years.  

            These baits can be rigged several different ways and be effective in both shallow and deep water fishing.

            Our Top Pick: 5-inch Yamamoto Senko

            The Yamamoto Senko was the overwhelming winner. This bait completely changed that way bass fisherman catch bass and has become one of the most well-known brands all over the world.

            The Senko is the perfect combination of salt and soft plastic. Making it a relatively heavy bait when compared to other soft plastic worms.

            This works to its advantage because it can be cast a country mile, especially when fished on a drop shot!

            Hands down the most effective feature about this lure is the seductive shimmy it produces when it falls on slack line. Bass cannot get enough on that fall. 

            Best Rigging Option:  Wacky style. (rigging tool and o-rings)


            • Innovative colors for any situation

            • Class-leading action on the fall

            • Versatile – can be fished multiple ways

            • One of the easiest baits to fish

            • Usually in stock

              Hang up but not deal breaker:

              • Limited durability

              • Pricier than standard stickbait competitors

              Recommended Colors: Watermelon Red, Junebug, Black Blue Flake

              Tech Specs:

              Soft plastic fluke

              About soft plastic fluke baits...

              Bass simply cannot just sit back and leisurely watch the slow sinking action of a fluke, especially during pre-spawn. 

              When properly worked, its tail will jerk and force the bait to move back and forth with a unique seductive fall action. As it sinks down, it mimics a dying shad or a shad attempting to escape from predators, which makes it nearly irresistible to bass.

              In some cases, the fish located on these shelves are going to rest a little bit higher on the water column. 

              The soft plastic fluke bait that just destroys pre-spawn bass is the Zoom Super Fluke and Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shad.

              You can rig this bait weightless on an EWG hook and work it near the surface on the water, you can drop shot a fluke, work is shallow via a split shot or a Mojo Rig, you can rig it weighted via Texas or Carolina style, or finally, you can use it as a trailer behind a spinnerbait or chatterbait.

              Best hook for rigging: 3/0 EWG hook


              • Great baitfish design

              • Awesome color choices
              • Belly hook slot

              • Real to life movement

              • Excellent value – 10 per pack

                Hang up but not deal breaker:

                • Lacks durability

                Tech Specs:

                Drop shot

                About drop shot...

                One of the top pre-spawn fish catching methods has to be using the drop shot. It’s not easy to master and it requires total commitment to use it. But once you learn the secrets to drop shot fishing there’s no turning back. You’ll be nearly guaranteed to catch fish every time you hit the water. 

                In your kayak or boat, position yourself over swings in the creek channel, then scan using your fish finder for bass lurking in the twenty to forty foot range. The bass are typically in or right next to a channel. 

                Our Top Pick: Roboworm Straight Tail Worm

                When someone talks about drop shot fishing baits, the Roboworm Fat Straight Tail Worm is always discussed as one of the premier options.

                The best thing I like about this bait is that it has a slightly larger head than most finesse style worms, yet it still remains incredibly soft.

                The belly is embedded with salt. It is said, this is done because salt mimics the salty taste of blood. In turn, the bass hang on longer, giving you a better catch ratio.

                Even in cold wintertime conditions, this lure maintains its flexibility.

                Best Rigging Option: Nose hooked or Texas rigged style.

                Other good options: KVD Dream Shot, Zoom Finesse Worm, Berkley Powerbait 4″ Power Worms.


                • Natural appearance

                • Great color options

                • Salt impregnated

                • Small profile, but multiple size options

                • Easy to fish

                • Moderately priced

                  Hang up but not deal breaker:

                  • Bait durability

                  Tech Specs:

                  Texas or Carolina rigged worms

                  About Texas or Carolina rigged worms...

                  Fishing with good old-fashioned curly tail worms around pre-spawning bass in grassy lakes and marshes can be a total homerun if the bass are nearby grass patches. 

                  Grass will hold extra heat and bass will use it to warm up. 

                  Normally worms that are six to seven inches long are the best to use in the prespawn season.

                  Our Top Pick: Zoom U Tail Worm

                  When legendary Zoom fishing company released its U-Tail Worm it exploded on the scene with tremendous popularity.

                  I really like how these worm tails will move even with really slow retrieves which makes them ultra efficient.

                  Last but not least, this worm is packed with Zoom’s secret bait scent that I feel gives the bass even more reason to hang on longer.

                  Best Rigging Option: Texas rigged style

                  Recommended bullet weights/ sinker: Hilitchi Bullet Weight Kit


                  • Great action – attracts attention

                  • Ton’s of color options

                  • Zoom scent

                  • Small profile

                  • Easy to fish

                  • Great value, 20 per pack!
                    Hang up but not deal breaker:
                    • Durability

                    Recommended Colors: Green Pumpkin, Motor Oil, Black, Junebug

                    Tech Specs:

                    Neko rigged worms

                    photo @missle_baits

                    About Neko rigged worms...

                    The Neko rig is a lethal finesse approach for fishing bass all year, however it’s overlooked a lot of time in early spring and prespawn. 

                    Try this method and you’ll have a real possibility of some great success, and are likely to add this to your regular methods during this timeframe.

                    Successful Neko rig fishing depends on how deep the water is and how windy it is.

                    Our Top Pick: Missile Baits Quiver Worm

                    Best Rigging Option:  Wacky style. (rigging tool and o-rings)

                    Recommended weedless hooks: Gamaktasu Weedless Drop Shot/Split Shot Hook

                    Recommended neko weights/ sinker: VMC Neko Weights


                    • Great color options

                    • Incredibly versatile

                    • Ribbed body structure displaces a ton of water

                    • Large spade tail gets attention of local bass fast

                    Hang up but not deal breaker:
                    • Only comes in 2 sizes

                    • Incredibly popular, hard to keep in stock

                    Tech Specs:

                    Paddletail Swimbaits

                    KVD Explains How to Target Prespawn Bass With Swimbaits

                    About paddletail swimbaits...

                    Early springtime is sometimes a hard time for consistently patterning big bass. When the smaller sized males start to gather in the shallow areas, it can seem as if the bigger ones have disappeared altogether. 

                    This category comprises a variety of sizes beginning with small bait in the range of three inches to the large baits that get to eight inches or bigger. 

                    Tossing bigger baits is a fantastic method of identifying where the bigger fish are hiding. Many times they’ll be hovering in schools quite close to littler fish. 

                    However, you’ll likely catch more bass throwing a smaller swimbait up shallow targeting the aggressive males. 

                    Generally, you will have great results if you use something in the middle that’s between four and a half and five inches.

                    If you are not mixing swimbaits into your plan to catch bass, you are seriously limiting your chances.

                    Our Top Pick: Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait 3.8-inch

                    The Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait 3.8″ swimbait is great for early spring and pre-spawn fishing because the tail will start to kick even with the slightest of movement.

                    This little bait can be used around grass, vegetation, submerged brush, and timber. Just make sure it’s Texas rigged.

                    Best Rigged: Standard swim jig head or Texas rigged style


                    • Comes in multiple colors and sizes

                    • Amazing action
                    • You can feel the tail thump when it kicks
                    • you can use this on A-rigs, jigs, spinnerbaits, Texas-rigs, and Carolina Rigs.
                    Hang up but not deal breaker:
                    • A little on the pricey side

                    Recommended Colors: Electric Shad, AYU, Sexy Shad, Goby (*great “bluegill” color)

                    Tech Specs:


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                    DIY - BUILD YOUR OWN JIG

                    If you don’t want to buy a premium jig, but rather think it’s the best idea to build your own jigs, then check out this YouTube video.

                    How to Build Or Replace Jig Skirts

                    So before you even think of making your own jig you have to understand how they are made up and what qualities they should carry. You have to ensure you are getting the best quality components to get you the best result, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.

                    Here is what you need to get started:

                    Bulk Weedless Football Jig Heads – click here to learn more

                    Bulk Weedless Swim Jig Heads – click here to learn more

                    Jig Head Replacement Skirts – click here to learn more

                    Accessories You'll Need

                    RodThe popularity of bass fishing is growing and people are becoming much more conscious of  different rods that can help them.

                    Fisherman want best technique specific rod for the money.

                    Luckily, I wrote several reports article that provides you with detailed information in order for you to make buy the rod for the money, and more importantly which rods to avoid at all costs.

                    Reel – Having the correct reel to match with your rod is just as important.  A good reel should be light and have a buttery smooth drag. There are several great reels on the market, but I recommend the Daiwa Tatula SV/TW baitbasting reel. It’s a great reel packed with great features. So much so it could easily be priced in the mid $200 range. 

                    Fishing Line – Having a good line is just as important as having a good rod. I recommend fishing with a good fluorocarbon line. Furthermore, it’s super sensitive because it has little to no stretch, and underwater it’s invisible to the bass!  If pride or money is on the line I would use Sunline Sniper FC.    

                    Tackle Bag – You can’t carry all your gear in your pockets, so you need a reliable tackle bag to transport it. I wrote a complete review guide, Best Tackle Bag for Fishing, check it out by clicking here.   But if you don’t have the time to read the full guide then let me tell you I recommend the Lunker Bag by KastKing

                    Fishing Pliers – Nothing will ruin a day quicker than getting a hook embedded in your hand, or worse your eye.  That’s why I always recommend having good set-up pliers that won’t rust and won’t slip out of your hand.  I recommend that KastKing Cutthroat 7” Fishing Pliers.  

                    Landing Net – As you are reeling in that monster fish, you don’t want to injure yourself or knock the fish off the hook by trying to grab it. That’s why I recommend a dependable telescopic landing net

                    Fishing Weight Scale – Whether if you’re going to keep your catch or just take a photo of it and brag to your friends it’s important to have an accurate scale. I recommend a scale that has a large LED display like this one fishing scale here

                    Wide Brim Fishing Hat – Nowadays, you have to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a wide brim hat not only gives you UV protection, but it also keeps you cool.  I recommend the Columbia Unisex Bora Bora Booney hat. It fits any size head and it feels really comfortable. 

                    Fishing Sun Shirt – Don’t you stop at only getting head protection, you also need to protect your chest, back, arms, and torso. According to the researchers finding skin cancers on the shoulders and forearms rank within the top-5 locations to get skin cancer*. Avoid any unnecessary UV exposure and stay cool by wearing a UV protective PFG Fishing Shirt by Columbia.

                    Fishing Gloves – Fishing gloves allow your hands to stay covered from the sun’s harmful rays and stay dry by using a special material. These gloves by Fishaholic offer UPF50+ 

                    Cold Weather ClothingFishing outside in the bitter cold or in the snow is probably one of the most exhilarating times to fish. But we all know fishing in the winter can be a little dangerous, and so it’s vital to stay warm, dry, and safe. You never want your mind stray because your hands or feet are freezing.

                    Read more: The Ultimate Guide To The Best Clothing For Winter Fishing

                    *Source [1],  **Source [2]