7 Best Striped Bass Fishing Lures + Buying Guide

By

Striped bass are some of the most powerful and impressive fish species in the world. Anglers all over the globe flock to certain sections of North America each year to have a chance at fishing for these monster fish that can easily reach more than 60 pounds. Throughout the United States and other countries, striped bass are among the most popular fish species that anglers target each year. 

Catching these predatory fish requires the use of heavier rods and reels, as well as specialized lures and baits that are designed to appeal to their voracious appetite. Striped bass can be caught in both freshwater and saltwater and some of the largest varieties of stripers are usually found very close to the coastal areas of the eastern and southern shorelines of America. 

Fishing for these massive game fish species can be a bit tricky for anglers who are not regularly accustomed to going after such a massive fish whose territory can stretch for hundreds of miles along the coast and even longer distances into river systems that wind their way up into the mainland United States. 

In this article, we’ll cover some of the basics related to striped bass fishing and identify our top 7 best striped bass fishing lures that you can find right now. 

Striped Bass Fishing Overview

The common diet of striped bass is one of the most diverse of any fish species you’ll find anywhere in the world. They are certainly not known to be picky eaters and it’s been reported that they will typically devour anything they possibly can, including each other. 

Striped bass have been known to decimate certain lakes and reservoirs where they are trapped in the river system due to large hydroelectric dams that serve as a wall across rivers that the fish once used as a route back into the ocean. Now, they live their entire lives in freshwater and biologists are quite impressed with the overall survival instinct and ability to adapt that striped bass have shown. 

Due to their massive appetites, it can be somewhat difficult to hone in one one specific type of food source that striped bass tend to focus on throughout the year. There are literally hundreds of different types of fishing lures that are used for catching striped bass and new ones are always being developed to better target these fish in certain types of environments such as deep, open water or areas where there is more structure. 

How to Choose the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lures 

When it comes to selecting any specific lure for striped bass fishing, it’s best to start out by identifying whether you’ll be fishing in freshwater, saltwater, or brackish water where rivers meet the coastal areas and empty into the ocean. Striped bass can be found in abundant numbers in all three locations and catching them often requires a tailored approach using lures that very closely resemble their favorite menu items. 

You can also catch striped bass by fishing in the surf from your favorite beach, as well as trolling with an umbrella rig along the middle of a large river in the midwestern United States. The territory of the striped bass is as expansive as any in North America and their appetite sometimes shows specific preference for certain fish in each type of habitat where they can be found. 

In most cases, anglers will use live bait rigs to catch striped bass, especially in cases where they are fishing in freshwater lakes and rivers for landlocked bass that can’t make it out into the ocean. These live bait options typically include cut crappie, cut bream and even whole crappie in some cases when they are specifically targeting giant striped bass. 

The use of live bait doesn’t necessarily equate to more success when compared to fishing with artificial lures. Anglers who know how to leverage the natural bait fish species that stripers are usually targeting can often select an artificial lure that will very closely mimic the look and movements of the striped bass’ favorite prey. 

Crankbaits for Striped Bass 

When it comes to selecting a good crankbait for striped bass fishing, it’s best to consider using these types of lures during the mild spring and fall months when striped bass might be schooling in lakes or even in the ocean. When fishing in lakes with crankbaits, you can usually expect to have success by fishing around points or humps that rise up out of the depths and give these fish an opportunity to ambush unsuspecting bait fish that happen to swim by. 

Anglers have been known to use anything from deep diving crankbaits to lipless cranks in order to draw strikes from hungry striped bass at different times of the year. If you can locate striped bass that are chasing large schools of shad in lakes and rivers using electronics, you should have a good idea of the depth that you need to target these fish at. 

Using this knowledge, you should then select a crankbait that’s capable of reaching that depth and cast it in a manner so that the lure will pass by the area where the shad schools are running. 

Crankbaits

Spoon Lures for Striped Bass 

Another highly popular type of lure that anglers use to catch striped bass in both freshwater and saltwater environments are spoon lures. These can be fished at a wide variety of depths while also allowing anglers to incorporate certain movements and techniques that might work to draw a strike in any environment. 

Much like crankbaits, spoons work well if they look very similar to the shad that striped bass are chasing at the time. The silver color is always a winning choice, but anglers might often select a spoon that has other colors and tones mixed in to help the lure more closely resemble the type of prey that striped bass are looking for at the time. 

Swimbaits for Striped Bass 

One of the most popular types of artificial lures that anglers have begun using to catch stripers in recent years is plastic swimbaits. These lures are often produced in a manner that makes them look highly realistic, which makes it even easier to fool even the largest and most mature striped bass into biting. 

There are huge varieties of different soft and hard-bodied swimbaits that are known to work when it comes to striped bass fishing. It’s always important to choose a swimbait that very closely resembles the type of bait fish striped bass happen to be chasing at any given time of year. 

By fishing these lures around large schools of shad and migrating striped bass, you can give yourself a serious advantage over anyone who might be using other types of lures that are less realistic in size, shape and motion. 

Topwater Lures for Striped Bass 

There’s one type of lure that’s by far our favorite when it comes to striped bass fishing. There’s nothing quite as exciting as fishing with a topwater lure when striped bass are feeding on the water’s surface or in areas around where shad are schooling in lakes and other waterways. The heart-pounding action is as intense as ever watching the lure gurgle its way across the water’s surface as you wait for a massive striped bass to erupt out of the water and devour the lure, which begins an intense fight to land the fish. 

There are a number of topwater lures that will work when it comes to striped bass fishing and one might work more efficiently than another depending on what the striped bass are in the mood to bite on any given day. Anglers are known to use anything from poppers to buzzbaits and even whopper ploppers to elicit bites from hungry striped bass that have their eyes tuned toward the surface. 

Striped Bass Fishing in Lakes 

Anglers all over the United States are known to have lakes of all sizes throughout most of the states that hold large numbers of striped bass. Depending on whether these bass are trapped in the lake and river system that feeds into it due to large dams across the rivers, they might sometimes come and go throughout the year. 

Striped bass are an anadromous fish species. This means that, in a natural setting, striped bass are known to live the majority of their lives in the ocean while migrating up into rivers and areas of brackish water to spawn once a year. In some cases, striped bass are limited to living their entire lives inside these large reservoirs and stretches of rivers that empty into or out of these lakes. 

The striped bass that are restricted to living their entire lives in freshwater have shown no signs of experiencing health defects or other problems related to being limited to a freshwater-only life. They show much of the same behavior that striped bass which live in the ocean do in terms of their diet and spawning habits. 

When it comes to fishing for these striped bass, you’ll need to focus in on the types of smaller bait fish and other species that they tend to gravitate toward at certain times of the year. During the months when you’ll find large schools of shad swimming together in these lakes, you can guarantee that there will be monster striped bass nearby, often hunting and chasing these schools to pick off any and every fish they possibly can. 

Striped bass

Striped Bass Fishing in the Ocean 

The best striped bass fishing is often that which takes place in coastal waters near the shoreline of the mainland United States. Throughout much of the year, anglers will fish in certain areas where striped bass are known to prowl the shoreline in search of schools of fish and other types of meals. 

Striped bass can be found mostly along sections of the Atlantic Ocean and can be caught throughout the entire year using different techniques and methods. You can usually expect to find striped bass in the deeper waters of the ocean off the coast of the eastern half of the United States. 

These fish migrate during the cooler months of spring and fall once the water temperature drops. They will also use the oceans to migrate back toward the warmer southern waters during the cold winter months and the first states that begin to see this migration are those in the upper reaches of New England. 

When is the Best Time to Catch Striped Bass?

There truly is not a time during the year when striped bass fishing is considered to be less productive than any other. While it’s obvious that anglers who manage to time the annual migratory patterns right and catch numerous large stripers off the coast of the eastern United States, you can still have great success during the summer and winter months as well. 

By using certain tactics and techniques in each season throughout the year, you can catch monster striped bass at virtually any time. 

In the following section, we’ll cover our 7 favorite lures that are often used to catch striped bass and explain when and where you might want to utilize them for the best possible results. 

Best Striped Bass Fishing Lures 

1. Storm WildEye Swim Shad

There are few lures that work as beautifully when it comes to striped bass fishing as the Storm WildEye Swim Shad. While there are a number of more expensive lures that we could have placed in our No. 1 spot, the Storm WildEye Swim Shad is a bait that can be used virtually anywhere at any time of the year to catch monster stripers. 

Most striped bass are on the hunt throughout the mild spring and fall months searching for schools of shad to harass in hopes of picking off a few of them for an easy meal. A Storm WildEye Swim Shad that’s fished at the same depth and location as these schools of shad is one of the best possible lures as it almost always results in strikes. 

Another reason we chose to place this single lure atop our list is because it’s affordable enough that any angler can purchase it and it’s one of the easiest striped bass fishing lures to use and understand. 

Bestseller No. 1
Storm WildEye Swim Shad 04 (Shiner Chart. Silver, Size- 4)
  • These ultra-realistic swim shad baits feature super-soft hand-poured bodies that are so lifelike,...
  • Sporting strong soft bodies with internal lead heads and bio-salt impregnated tails
  • .4375 Oz

2. Blue Water Candy Umbrella Rig

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to fish from a boat and pinpoint certain locations where striped bass are on their annual migratory trajectory, the Blue Water Candy Umbrella Rig is an outstanding lure option to use. This one is obviously more expensive than most others you’ll find when it comes to looking for the best striped bass lures, but it certainly works in a variety of environments including freshwater lakes, rivers, as well as the ocean. 

If you opt for this lure, be sure to use it with at least a 60 pound braided line in case it becomes snagged on any type of underwater structure. It’s much better to straighten out one of the hooks than to lose an expensive lure like the Blue Water Candy Umbrella Rig. 

Bestseller No. 1
Blue Water Candy Umbrella Rig, 9-Inch, Chaser White
  • Umbrella Rig, 9-Inch
  • Comes in chaser white
  • Quality craftsmanship and materials make this product a must have for any fisherman

3. Bomber Saltwater Grade Magnum Long A

When it comes to saltwater fishing for trophy-sized striped bass Bomber Saltwater Grade Magnum Long A is a legendary lure that is well-known for its ability to attract bites from the largest stripers. This lure is specially designed to present a very tight wobbling motion as it runs roughly 2 to 3 feet under the water’s surface. It can be cast over areas where striped bass are schooling or around the shoreline where these fish are known to roam back and forth. 

Bomber has been making these lures for decades now and there are many of the brand’s competitors that have tried to replicate the overall look and motion that the Bomber Saltwater Grade Magnum Long A gives off. You can purchase this lure in a wide range of colors to get a tailor-made version that will work better in certain areas. 

ON SALE $0.50 OFFBestseller No. 1
Bomber Salt Water Long Shot Menhaden 7 in Long Shot
  • internal weight transfer system allows the rattle to roll to the tail end of the bait on the cast,...
  • aerodynamic shape that cuts through the air, makes for super-long-distance casts
  • wide swimming action mimics a damaged baitfish

4. Yo-Zuri Mag Darter

One of our absolute favorite striped bass lures is the Yo-Zuri Mag Darter. This one is a must-have for anyone who wants to be a successful striped bass angler as it is capable of delivering strikes in virtually any environment at any time of year. It’s know to work especially well for saltwater striped bass, but can also catch landlocked stripers when the right color combinations are used. 

Rather than the tight wobble that the Bomber lure gives off, this one has more of a gliding motion that mimics the movements of small fish that swim just under the water’s surface in search of food. There are numerous types of lures that are virtual copies of this one, but the original is without a doubt the Yo-Zuri Mag Darter. 

Bestseller No. 1
Yo-Zuri Mag Darter (F) 165mm 6-1/2-Inchghost Black Floating Diver Lure, Ghost Black
  • Internationally Patented Magnetic Weight Transfer System
  • Flies Straight During The Cast For Maximum Distance
  • Strong Polycarbonate Body

5. Tsunami Swim Shad Striped Bass Jig

Another highly effective lure that’s similar to the Storm WildEye Swim Shad is the Tsunami Swim Shad Striped Bass Jig. This one is a bit more expensive than the Storm version and slightly larger as well, which means it’s more likely to catch the attention of bigger striped bass in any case. Like the Storm lure, this one can be fished in literally any method that includes a jerkbait style retrieve, steady retrieve, yo-yo motion, or even trolling and other tactics. 

The fact that you can purchase this lure in a variety of sizes that include a larger 9-inch version makes it one of our favorites for going after monster stripers. You can also purchase this lure in a wide variety of different color combinations based on whether or not you’re fishing in saltwater or freshwater. 

Bestseller No. 1
Storm WildEye Swim Shad 05 (Pearl, Size- 5)
66 Reviews
Storm WildEye Swim Shad 05 (Pearl, Size- 5)
  • These ultra-realistic swim shad baits feature super-soft hand-poured bodies that are so lifelike,...
  • Sporting strong soft bodies with internal lead heads and bio-salt impregnated tails
  • an excellent holographic swimmin’ foil finish and crazy 3-D WildEye stare

6. Super Strike Little Neck Popper

Another must-have lure when it comes to striped bass fishing is the Super Strike Little Neck Popper. Like most of the other lures we’ve mentioned, there have been many attempts to copy this one, but none have quite succeeded in replicating the explosive nature that it’s capable of producing strikes with. 

The Super Strike Little Neck Popper is designed to give off a large splashing motion as you twitch and jerk it through the water. You can also let it sink for a few seconds and work it back up to the surface to draw strikes from wary stripers. This lure can be fished using a wide variety of speeds and intensities when striped bass are feeding on shad or other bait fish near the water’s surface. 

Bestseller No. 1

7. Acme Kastmaster

There are numerous versions of spoon lures that can successfully be used to catch striped bass at various times of the year. The Acme Kastmaster is our clear-cut favorite when it comes to these types of lures as it delivers a very distinct flashing that works to draw strikes from hungry stripers in a variety of depths. 

The Acme Kastmaster works exceptionally well from the beach, as well as out in deeper water along the coastline of the eastern United States. It’s also known to be highly effective when fished in freshwater lakes and rivers. Unlike most other types of spoon lures, this one is very easy to cast and can also be trolled and fished using a yo-yo method of retrieval. 

Bestseller No. 1
Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.
  • Balanced spoon with Wild action
  • Plain Treble hook
  • Won't Bend, break or corrode

Last update on 2021-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Photo of author

Donny Karr

Donny Karr is an avid outdoorsman and writer whose work has been featured in magazines and websites for nearly a decade. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the southeastern United States, as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. He enjoys keeping up with the latest news and gear items in the fishing industry and is always looking forward to his next outdoor adventure. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, The Outdoor Trip, Man Can Outdoors, Global Fishing Reports, and Bassmaster.