Merwin: There Is No “Best” Lure

I sometimes see questions in our popular Answers Tool along the lines of “What’s the best lure for bass?” First, there’s no such thing as a “best” bass lure since whether or not a particular lure will work depends on so many variables. Time of year, time of day, lake type and topography, fishing pressure, and many other things dictate different lure choices. There are, however, certainly favorite lures among all the possibilities, and one of the easiest to use is a weightless worm.

No, not worms from outer space; just an unweighted plastic worm Texas-rigged on a bare hook. A 6- or 7-inch worm rigged on a size 3/0 worm hook is one of the bass-catchingest lures known to man. It’s easy to fish, is essentially weedless, costs very little, and is too often overlooked in favor of higher-tech lures and gear. When I occasionally take novices bass fishing in a small pond, I most often start them with this lure.

Such a worm is heavy enough to cast easily on spinning tackle with 12-pound mono. Toss the bait back into the aquatic weeds along a likely shoreline. Retrieve very slowly and with intermittent twitches, making the worm slither and squirm among the weed tops and allowing it time to sink slightly in an open pocket. Eventually, you’ll see the broad swirl of a taking fish or–even better–the worm will disappear in a heart-stopping crash of spray when an aggressive bass blows up on it. And at that point you will have learned the simpler is often better…