True wake baits are starting to make a return in the world of fishing. If you’re looking to try out a wake bait setup for bass fishing or want to learn more about the techniques used, then we’ve prepared the ultimate guide to help you out.
What are wake baits?
First, let’s explain what a wake bait actually is. Wake baits are lures that have design features that allow them to “swim” on the surface of the water. When reeling them back in, they create a wake that catches the attention of bass in the water, effectively luring them out of hiding. If you find that bass are swimming around rocks and hiding in tall grass, then a wake bait is a good option to help you draw them out of hiding.
There are a few different types of wake baits. Some of them are designed to sit on top of the water, while others are just below the surface so they can lure the bass in. Different styles of wake bait leave different kinds of wakes, but it’s essentially where the name comes from. They’re not exactly a new invention, but modern designs and developments have drastically changed the design of a regular wake bait that was used in the past.
A good-quality wake bait today can create a lot of commotion on the water. It’s a visual cue for bass in the water, grabbing their attention and encouraging them to swim up and bite at their prey. Wake baits all come in very unique designs and constructions, making them an interesting and fun type of bait to use for bass fishing.
What’s the best wake bait setup for bass fishing?
As with most setups for bass fishing, a lot of the decisions you make will be down to personal preference and the water conditions that you fish in. We suggest trying out different wake baits with different rods and lines to see what works best for you, but there are a couple of pointers that can help you put together the best wake bait setup for bass fishing.
Professionals in the bass fishing world tend to recommend a small-diameter braided fishing line on a spinning rod and reel. The purpose of this setup is to get as much coverage as possible with a lighter wake bait. This allows you to maneuver the wake bait with a bit more control which is perfect for getting bass out from grass and between rocks. This is usually the go-to setup if waters are relatively clear and you’re able to see the bass between the rocks.
However, some people prefer a bait caster together with a heavier and more rigid line. This gives you a bit more control over the larger and heavier wake baits. The advantage here is that you have a bit more control when casting into crowded waters, or if you know the bass you’ll be catching are fairly large and back a lot of strength. In these kinds of waters, you’ll want a strong setup to catch a large bass fish.
Again, a lot of your decisions around wake bait setups will depend on personal preference and the waters you fish in. It’s always a good idea to put together a variety of different setups for your favorite fishing spots. Whether it’s on top of seawalls or over clear lakes, different wake bait setups will yield different results. Always try something new and get a feel for a few different setups so you know exactly what to use depending on certain weather and water conditions.
How to use wake baits for bass fishing
Despite what many people believe, wake baits aren’t exactly the most difficult things to fish with. In fact, they’re fairly simple to use–you cast it out, you slowly reel it in, and you wait for a strike. You don’t need professional skills or much experience to retrieve and catch bass. Rod position and other factors that you might think about with other lures don’t really factor in when using a wake bait. You can simply cast it out and reel it back. Where the experience comes in is how you reel it back, and this can make a fairly big difference depending on where you’re fishing.
Most people would agree that going slow and steady is the key to bass fishing with a wake bait. The slower you can reel it in, the more natural the wake becomes. If the movement of your wake bait is slower, then it encourages bass to strike at it. The ultimate goal is creating that perfect V-shape wake in the water, and this is made much easier if you move slowly and steadily.
One of the great things about wake baits is that they’re relatively light and can be paired with lighter setups. This means that you can cast them very far and very precisely. This is perfect for getting your wake bait into brushes or around the edges of lily pad fields. A light drop into the water means it won’t spook the fish, and your boat will be out of range which makes it much easier to encourage the bass to strike.
So to summarize, here are our top tips for using wake baits for bass fishing:
- Aim to cast around the edges of areas where you know bass are hiding.
- The further you cast, the better. This will prevent the bass from being spooked by your boat.
- A lightweight setup will help you cast further, but you need to balance it if you know you’ll get a vicious strike.
- Reel in slowly and steadily; aim for that perfect V shape and don’t rush it.
- Use a few different wake baits to see what works best for your style of fishing and the waters you’re fishing in.
When should you use wake baits for bass fishing?
So when exactly should you use wake baits for fishing?
Wake baits are generally just fun baits to use. They’re easy to get started with and can be a lot of fun if you’re used to other styles of fishing. They’re great for most seasons and conditions, so we’d suggest giving them a try whenever you get a chance to.
But here are some other optimal conditions to use wake baits.
First, consider using wake baits when it’s overcast skies and the waters are relatively calm. In these types of conditions, creating that perfect V-shaped wake will stir up the bass and encourage a lot of action. It’s fine if there’s a little wind to disrupt the surface of the water as your wake baits will still stand out and lure out bass from hiding.
Another great opportunity for wake baits is when there are lots of obstacles in the way, such as vegetation, rocks, or even wood such as submerged logs and docks. This is because wake baits do a great job of luring bass out from hiding. They’re also easy to maneuver around obstacles and will definitely get the bass to show themselves.
Best wake baits for bass fishing
6th Sense Movement Wakebait
6th Sense makes a fantastic lineup of realistic wake baits that are incredibly popular among fishing crowds. They’re inexpensive, they’re well-made, and they imitate many popular baitfish. You can stock up on several of these in different sizes and colors to expand your setups.
Berkley Topwater Fishing Hard Baits
These Berkley wake baits are perfect for their durability, unique styles, and also their double use as a popper in open waters. Their shape makes them perfect for creating that all-important V wake that lures out bass from their cover, and they’re extremely affordable options that can be expanded on with a few simple modifications.
LiveTarget Pumpkinseed Wakebait
This fairly large wake bait creates a beautiful wake when reeled in slowly and it’s extremely lightweight, making it perfect for lighter setups if you value long and precise casts. It’s a subsurface bait that is perfect for deeper waters, and it manages to capture the attention of bass with ease. While it’s a bit more expensive than the other options on this list, it’s still a great option to consider.
FishLab Bio Shad Wake Bait
If you’re after something a little heftier then this FishLab wake bait is the perfect option. As a slightly larger wake bait, it’s a good idea to pair it with a slightly heavier setup and use it in shallower waters. It produces a big wake which will encourage big strikes from large bass, so be prepared when casting this in busy waters!
CastMate Strike King KVD 2.5 Wake Bait
Looking for a value-oriented wake bait pack? You can’t go wrong with this set of 3 from CastMate. It has a unique angled bill that creates a big surface wake to lure in large bass and even makes a clacking sound with its internal rattle chamber that creates even more disruption on the water.