The Best Creature Baits for Bass: Top 10 and How to Fish Them

Find out why creature baits can be DEADLY on big bass and which ones to choose in various bass fishing situations: craws, lizards, grubs & worms.

When it comes to bass fishing, creature baits have long been a staple in many tackle boxes.

These interesting baits are designed to imitate the appearance and movement of crawfish, lizards, snakes, and insects, making them an enticing target for bass of all sizes. 

With so many different types of creature baits on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. In this article, we will be exploring the top 10 creature baits for largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing and how to fish with them effectively.

Best Creature Baits for Bass Fishing: Our 10 Favorites

Zoom Super Fluke
Zoom Super Fluke
Zoom Super Fluke
Our Score

This soft plastic creature bait mimics a baitfish and can be rigged in a variety of ways, but works best with Texas or Carolina style. It has a lifelike action in the water and is highly versatile. It includes salt infusion so you don’t have to worry about a picky fish instantly spitting it out.

  • Available in a huge range of colors
  • Can be fished on a variety of rigs
Berkley PowerBait MaxScent “The General”
Berkley PowerBait MaxScent “The General”
Berkley PowerBait MaxScent “The General”
Our Score

This stick bait emits a strong scent to attract even picky bass and has a realistic texture. It can be rigged wacky or Texas-style and works well in both shallow and deep water. This bait is extremely durable, making it a great option when fishing in areas where bass slams the bait aggressively.

  • Heavily infused with MaxScent attractant
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
Strike King Rage Tail Craw
Strike King Rage Tail Craw
Strike King Rage Tail Craw
Our Score

This crawfish imitator has a unique design with flanges that move in the water, creating a realistic action bass that can’t resist. It is highly effective in both clear and murky water and can be used for flipping or pitching. It can lure out some monster bass when fished in heavy-cover areas but also works well in open water.

  • Great for fishing around heavy cover
  • Has a very realistic movement in the water
Gary Yamamoto Senko
Gary Yamamoto Senko
Gary Yamamoto Senko
Our Score

This soft plastic stick bait is highly versatile and can be fished in a variety of ways. It has a natural action and is effective in both shallow and deep water. It includes salt impregnation to help keep a fish on the bait long enough for you to set the hook.

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Works great when rigged wacky or Texas style
NetBait Paca Craw
NetBait Paca Craw
NetBait Paca Craw
Our Score

This crawfish imitator has flapping claws that create a realistic action in the water. It can be used for flipping or pitching and is effective in both clear and murky water.

  • Infused with pork fat scent
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
Z-Man TRD CrawZ
Z-Man TRD CrawZ
Z-Man TRD CrawZ
Our Score

This small crawfish imitator is highly effective when used on a finesse rig. It has a natural swimming action in the water and is infused with a scent to attract stubborn bass.

  • Can also work great on a jig head or drop shot
  • Available in multiple colors including green pumpkin
YUM Dinger
YUM Dinger
YUM Dinger
Our Score

This soft plastic stick bait has a unique tapered shape that creates a natural wiggling action in the water. It is highly effective when rigged wacky style and can be used in both shallow and deep water.

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Salt impregnated
Strike King KVD Rodent
Strike King KVD Rodent
Strike King KVD Rodent
Our Score

This creature bait mimics a rodent or other small mammal and is effective for flipping and pitching. It has a realistic texture and is highly durable when fishing around aggressive strikers.

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Infused with coffee scent
Gambler Lures Ace
Gambler Lures Ace
Gambler Lures Ace
Our Score

This soft plastic stick bait has a unique design with a tapered tail that creates a natural movement in the water. It can be rigged wacky or Texas-style and is effective in both shallow and deep water.

  • Infused with Gambler BITE scent
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
Zoom Brush Hog
Zoom Brush Hog
Zoom Brush Hog
Our Score

This creature bait has a unique design with flapping appendages that create a realistic action in the water. The Zoom Brush Hog can be used for flipping or pitching and is highly effective in both clear and dirty water.

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Good for fishing around cover

What Are Creature Baits?

Creature baits
Creature baits are soft plastic lures designed to imitate various aquatic creatures used to attract and catch bass.

Creature baits are made to mimic the look and movement of various creatures that bass commonly feed on, such as crawdad, insects, and small mammals. These baits are typically designed with a unique shape, texture, and appendages that create a unique action in the water, making them highly effective at attracting even the most stubborn bass.

Creature baits are highly versatile and can be used in a variety of bass fishing conditions, such as clear or stained water, and can be fished at different depths depending on the rigging technique used. Many creature baits are infused with scents that can attract timid bass by mimicking the smell of their natural prey.

What Color Creature Baits Work Best?

Generally, darker colors such as black and brown work well in stained water, while brighter colors such as chartreuse and white work well in clear water or during overcast days (see here for more details on selecting soft bait colors for bass).

When fishing in weeded areas, using a green pumpkin creature bait that blends in with the surroundings can be effective in enticing strikes from bass. In areas with little to no vegetation, using a brighter color can help attract the attention of bass from a distance.

Best Techniques for Fishing Creature Baits for Bass

Creature baits lizard
Choosing the right approach, including the color and size of the creature bait, is crucial for effective bass fishing.

When it comes to fishing creature baits for big bass, there are several techniques that anglers can use to increase their chances of success. Two popular techniques for fishing creature baits are flipping and pitching, and jigging.

Flipping and Pitching

Flipping and pitching is best suited for fishing in tight spaces such as under docks or in thick vegetation. This technique involves using a shorter spinning rod and casting the bait into tight spaces with an underhand motion. The creature bait is then allowed to sink to the bottom, where it can then be slowly retrieved while jerking intermittently to create a lifelike movement.

Jigging

This technique is one that involves attaching the creature bait to a quality jig head and casting it into the water, then letting it sink to the bottom to get bites. Once the bait has reached the bottom, you can then lift the rod tip up and down in little jigs, causing the bait to move up and down in a hopping motion.

How to Rig Creature Baits

Carolina Rig

To rig a creature bait on a Carolina rig (see for our u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/how-to-build-a-carolina-rig-for-bass/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00227972u0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ecomplete guide to Carolina riggingu003c/au003e), begin by attaching a bullet weight to the mainline, followed by a bead and swivel. Tie a leader to the other end of the swivel, and then attach the creature bait to the end of the leader. This rig effectively allows the creature bait to move freely and naturally through the water.

Texas Rig

To get Texas rigged creature baits, begin by inserting a bullet weight into the creature bait and then attaching a hook to the end of the line using a knot or a hook keeper (see here for u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/how-to-texas-rig-a-worm/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00227957u0022u003eour full guide to the Texas Rigu003c/au003e). This rig is effective because the soft plastic lure is weedless, allowing it to move through heavy cover without getting snagged.

Dropshot Rig

To rig a creature bait on a dropshot rig, begin by tying a hook to the end of the line. Tie a dropper loop about 8-12 inches above the hook, and then attach a weight to the end of the line. Add the creature bait onto the hook, and adjust the length to keep the bait off the bottom (see here for u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/how-to-tie-the-drop-shot-rig-for-bass/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00227976u0022u003eour full guide to drop shot rigs for bassu003c/au003e). This rig allows the creature bait to be presented at various depths to get into the strike zone.

Creature Bait Fishing FAQs

Creature baits craw

What Do Creature Baits Imitate?

Creature baits are designed to u003cstrongu003eimitate the appearance and movement of various underwater creaturesu003c/strongu003e such as crawdad, lizards, snakes, and insects. These baits often feature appendages and legs that create lifelike movements and vibrations in the water, making them an enticing target for u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/spotted-bass-vs-largemouth/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00221012704u0022u003elargemouth bassu003c/au003e.

Why Do Creature Baits Work So Well?

One reason is that they closely mimic the appearance and movement of natural prey items for bass. Another reason is they u003cstrongu003ecan be fished in a variety of waysu003c/strongu003e, from slow and steady retrieves to more erratic movements, allowing anglers to adapt to different fishing conditions easily.

Should You Use Scent With Creature Baits

Some anglers believe that u003cstrongu003eadding scent can help attract fish and increase the chances of a strikeu003c/strongu003e, while others feel that the realistic appearance and movement of the lure is sufficient to entice fish. However, it’s important to note that not all u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/best-bass-attractant/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00222678u0022u003escentsu003c/au003e are equally effective, and some may even repel fish.

When Should You Use a Creature Bait Over a Worm or Grub?

In general, creature baits are a good choice when u003cstrongu003efishing in cover or heavy vegetationu003c/strongu003e, as their bulkier profile can help get through and entice fish hiding in those areas. u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/best-worms-for-bass/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00223122u0022u003eWormsu003c/au003e and grubs, on the other hand, are better suited for finesse fishing techniques, such as drop-shotting or Carolina rigging, where a more subtle presentation may be necessary.

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AUTHOR
Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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