One of the most fundamental aspects of bass fishing is having the right lure or bait. Various options can be considered, but this guide will highlight a very popular one in creature baits. We will talk you through all of the main topics relating to this type of bait, helping you understand exactly what they are, how to set them up, and so on. When you reach the end of the guide, you will know everything there is to know about the best creature baits for bass fishing.
What are Creature Baits?
For an extremely long time, anglers have used soft plastic baits and lures to try and catch fish. Initially, soft plastic worms were the only variation used. Here, the baits were constructed via old tire tubes, designed to mimic the appearance of a worm without needing to have a whole bucket of live ones. It was a much more cost-effective and efficient way of baiting out fish, and the design of these soft plastic baits has evolved over time.
Mainly, this is thanks to innovations in plastic molding and manufacturing, allowing for more complex designs to be produced. Typically, three other categories of plastic baits are out there:
Effectively, creature baits are a category on their own that refers to any soft plastic baits that do not fall under any of the other categories! In essence, the design of the bait cannot be said to be a worm, lizard, or crawdad. This is because they are designed to look very strange, with lots of appendages and other elements that flap or sway when submerged underwater.
The whole idea of creature baits is that they produce a very natural action that’s quite similar to that of a crawfish or baitfish. When a bass sees this action in the water, it is likely to come swimming by as it loves eating both of these things. You can get these baits in a variety of sizes, but most come between 4 and 6 inches. So, they’re decently sized for fishing bait, and you can find them in so many color variants as well. This allows you to choose a color that suits the water climate you’re in. As such, it makes the bait easier for any bass to notice, and they come swimming over to have a nibble.
Interestingly, some creature baits are designed to almost do the opposite of the above. Many baits that resemble lizards – or something close to a lizard – won’t attract bass with the intention of posing as food. Instead, the aim is that your bait looks like a threat to the bass, so they go out of their way to attack it. From here, you get a bite and reel them in.
Best Creature Baits Setup
Naturally, you need a good worm setup if you want to have any success fishing for bass with your creature baits. There are three key things for you to take into account here:
- What rod should you use?
- What reel should you use?
- What line should you use?
In this section, we’ll recommend some of the best in each category, helping you cultivate the best work setup out there. This will help you see more success while fishing, getting plenty of bites from the bass around you.
When it comes to the rod, you’re looking at a few different features that should catch your attention. For one, the overall weight of the setup will be extremely important. Ideally, it should be fairly lightweight, which usually sees you picking things in the 300g or less category. This is a good range to look for as the rod will be light enough for everyday use, yet still able to handle large bass. Fast action rods also work better than most with bass fishing, purely due to the average size of the fish.
Regarding the reel, you again want something that’s as light as possible, so it doesn’t add too much extra weight to your setup. However, the drag system of the reel is the key thing here. The heavier the drag, the easier it will be to reel in heavy bass. Anything above 10kg of drag is seen as more than enough to handle the heaviest bass around. We also recommend a reel with good lubrication as it makes all the gears run perfectly, so there’s no stuttering or jarring while you reel a bass in.
With the line, you have three key types that work best for bass fishing:
Fluorocarbon lines are arguably the best option as they’re nearly invisible in the water and cast really well. If you can hide a line from bass, there’s more chance they will be baited into having a nibble on your creature. Monofilament is seen as a good option for beginners because it’s so easy to cast and is the easiest line to tie. It also happens to be the least expensive option of the three. Braided fishing lines have been used for generations, and they are more sensitive to bites, so you can potentially react quicker.
How to Rig a Creature Bait
There are three main ways to rig a creature bait for bass fishing:
The Carolina rig has a weight that goes in front of your creature bait. This allows your bait to sink to the bottom where you can drag it along to mimic the movements of a crawfish or other creatures on the bottom. It’s a very effective way of rigging if you’re in deeper waters, and the right technique for this is to move your rig like you’re sweeping a broom to get the bait to crawl across the bottom naturally.
With the Texas rig, you have the ability to flip the lure while it’s sinking. This makes it a much more viable option in areas where there are obstacles – such as bushes, docks, and so on. The idea here is to flip the bait, let it sink naturally, and see if anything bites. If not, the nature of this rig means you can hop it a couple of times to trigger some action.
Lastly, the Shaky Head rig is used for a combination of finesse and power. If you have a heavy shaky jighead with your creature bait, it leads to more power fishing. Typically, you should rig your creature baits this way if you’re in pressured waters.
How to Fish a Creature Bait
We’ve just mentioned a few ways in which you can fish a creature bait. The Carolina rigged creature bait method is a very popular one whereby you let it sink to the bottom and sort of drag it along the floor. However, there are other methods to consider as well!
Creature baits work very well when flipping and pitching around wood cover. Due to the way the bait is made, it’s very easy to release it from your hands and pitch it into the water. So, it’s excellent for getting to those hard-to-reach areas of water where the bass are lingering.
Furthermore, you can combine creature baits with jigging as well. This is the practice of slowly lowering the bait into the water and making jerky motions vertically. In essence, you’re tempting the bass closer to the surface, making it easier for you to reel them in.
Creature baits can be used with a lot of diversity, which is why they are such a popular option for anglers these days!
Recommended Creature Baits
Which creature baits should you keep your eye on and consider purchasing? While many great options exist, we have narrowed it down to six different ones that are worth your attention:
- Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver – This is a bait that changed the industry forever as it was one of the first of its kind. The design is patented, mimicking baitfish and crustaceans perfectly. It’s a fantastic option for flipping!
- Strike King Rage Bug – This creature bait sits at 4 inches in size and has a very unique tail designed that flaps and flows in the water. It is designed to mimic the sounds and actions of live bait, making it hugely effective at luring in the bass.
- Missile Baits D Bomb – Another 4-inch option that comes in a plethora of vibrant colors. This is a bulky bait that’s idea for pitching and flipping as the body results in a straight fall.
- Yamamoto Cowboy – Featuring unique J-shaped legs, this creature bait works well for flipping, punching, or when attached to the back of a jig.
- Zoom Brush Hog – A new generation of creature bait that’s used in many pro tournaments. Long tails, wings, and arms allow for ample motion in the water, luring in plenty of fish.
- Reaction Innovations Man Bear Pig – Offering a twist to the classic Sweet Beaver, this option has forward-facing ribs that create pressure in the water to alert bass that something is within their striking zone.
If you want to pick up some creature baits to help improve your odds when bass fishing, these are the ones to consider. Take all of the previous advice onboard as well, and you will soon have the perfect setup for cathing plenty of fish.