Top Lures for Striped Bass

lure for striped bass

Striped bass fishing is an all-American sport.

Across the centuries, the striped bass has earned its standing as the “Great American Fish.”

Some authors call it the “aquatic equivalent” of the great bald eagle.

The striped bass was well-known to the original settlers of the thirteen colonies.

It was the main food source for Europeans who were trying to survive in the New World.

Even today – the striped bass is by far the most popular saltwater sport fish in North America.

Catching striped bass is also hugely popular in the numerous freshwater rivers and lakes where it has been transplanted.

It is everyone’s fish – from presidents to working-class Americans – catching this big fish is an experience everyone craves.

Many even dream of setting new world rec­ords by landing the biggest striped bass to be ever caught by fishers.

The current record-holder is Alex Foster of West Virginia.

The big striped bass he caught was 48.03 inches (122cms) long.

His secret?


He did the same thing that all experienced fishers do to catch these distinctive black-striped fish – use the right tools.

These fishers are notorious for their reputation to put up serious fights. So, using high-quality fishing rods and reels is very important.

Here are some strong and flexible bass fishing reels you’ll love.

Even more important is using high-quality fishing lures. Like many aquatic creatures, striped bass fish are very moody.

Their two main modes are – mating mode and hungry mode.

What type of mood can you expect from these creatures the next time you go striped bass fishing?

Pro fishers determine their mood by assessing their spawning & migratory patterns.

Then, they use specific types of striped bass lures in specific scenarios.

The better the lures resemble prey fish or insects – the more stripers it will attract.

The best striper lures create different types of vibrations, movements, and reflections that attract the fish.

So, what types of striped bass fishing lures provide the best results? Let’s explore the best fishing lures that are helpful in all types of angling scenarios.

Top Water Striper Lures

Topper lures

Top water fishing lures for striped bass are the most fun to use.

If used at the right time, these lures work wonders.

Stripers typically swim in shallow waters around sunrise.

So, setting up your topwater lures at least an hour before sunrise is very important.

Targeting stripers in this way is very exciting as it encourages aggressive surface strikes. Both novice and experienced fishers can use these lures to target large stripers.

If you’re buying top water striper lures, make sure they have the following characteristics –

  • Make sure your topwater lures have multi-jointed bodies to imitate the natural movements of striper bait fish. For instance, some top water lures have spinning fins on their back that generate noise when fishers pull them through the top water. This ruckus attracts the hungry stripers. They’re all over the lures in no time. The fishers can then easily pull them out.
  • Look for fishing lures that come with colors and designs that resemble realistic patterns. For instance, lures painted with lifelike, black & blue eyes attract stripers because they resemble natural striper prey.
  • If you’re planning to catch fish in both fresh and saltwater, soft plastic lures won’t offer the durability you need. Go for metal lure or lures made of hardened plastic instead.

The SZJP Multi Jointed Swimbaits are good lures that work great for top water striped bass fishers.

These lures come in varying sizes, shapes, & colors.

They’re very easy to use because they come with multi-jointed, spinning fins on their back. These components attract the fish.

Fishers can also jerk their wrists to reel the lures back and forth on the water surface to draw bigger fish.

Why We Rate this Lure:

  • Realistic features.
  • Easy to use.
  • Made from hardened plastics which make this striper lures usable in fresh and saltwater.
  • Weighs only 0.5 ounces
  • Available in 7 different colors

Having the best striped bass lures for topwater fishing in your collection will make your summers extremely fun.

Here are some more notable mentions – the famous Hula Popper (60+ years old), Arbogast’s other legendary “Jitterbug,” and “The RAT” by Savage Gear.

Bass Lures for Saltwater Fishing 

Planning to fish during the coastal phase of the stripers’ migration process? Using wounded baitfish won’t be adequate.

You’ll need artificial lures specifically designed for saltwater use. Soft plastic lures are the best at this.

These lures come in countless different colors, sizes, and shapes.

They are also cheap. You can easily buy a soft plastic lure that seamlessly matches the locally available forage.

You can find needlefish lures, lures for crustaceans, and all types of other lures made of soft plastic.

Most importantly, these lures are weather and water-resistant.

They perform equally well in both fresh and saltwater.

Here are the key features that buyers should watch out for when buying fishing lures for saltwater fishing:

  • Make sure your artificial lures match the colors and sizes of locally available bait fish. For instance, lures that resemble swim shads (e.g., the saltwater food fishes from the herring family) are very effective at attracting stripers.
  • The lures should have heavy-duty saltwater hooks. These hooks should put out realistic actions and vibrations. More importantly, they shouldn’t weaken or corrode after repeated exposure to salty seawater.
  • Lures that are taller than six inches in size allow for longer casts. These tall lures are used in surf fishing because fishers can cast them beyond the surf zones with ease.

Here are some saltwater fishing lures that meet these criteria –

  • Bucktail Jigs
  • Crankbaits
  • Hammered Spoons
  • Lipped Plugs
  • Artificial Shrimp

The Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow is our pick of the bunch.

This fishing lure is made for striped bass fishing.

These are effective baits that resemble bait fish with paddle tails on their rears. When you work

The Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow through the water puts realistic actions and vibrations.

Why We Rate this Lure:

  • It’s 6-inches tall which is the perfect size. It’s also lightweight and has a savvy weight transfer system that enables fishers to cast longer, way beyond the surf zones with ease.
  • Users can fast or slow retrieve with this lure. The lure’s paddle tails create erratic side-to-side actions that mimic injured baitfish.
  • The lure has a shallow-diving lip. It can be reeled just under the water surface at depths of around 2.5 to 3 feet.
  • The lure also has realistic scale patterns (e.g. 3D eyes). It’s available in many colors. Buy the ones that suit the feeding habits of the stripers you’re targeting.

Above all, the Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow is very durable.

That’s the main quality fishers need from their saltwater lures.

Popper Lures

stripped bass

Planning to catch trophy stripers this spring?

Make the most of the springtime feeding frenzies by getting the finest baits for attracting big stripers – pencil popper baits.

These lures are usually 6 to 7 inches in length. They weigh less than 2 ounces.

So, they’re ideal for casting longer and with much better accuracy.

Such baits have very distinctive concave mouths that constantly catch and throw water. They create the surface disturbance needed to attract actively feeding stripers at dawn or dusk.

You can easily find a pencil or little neck popper lures that resemble swim shads.

If you’re buying pencil popper lures, look for ones that come with the following features:

  • Make sure the lures are sized for catching big fish. These baits aren’t just used to fish large stripers. They’re also used to fish speckled trout and muskies. Look for lures that are specifically designed for such big game fish.
  • Make sure your baits have textured bodies that mimic baitfish scales. They should also have high-quality designs and ultra-realistic patterns.
  • Blue, red, black, and pearl-colored pencil popper lures are the best at attracting stripers.

Pencil poppers work best in calm surface conditions.

That’s why the lightweight Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper Lure is so popular. It’s by far the best lure in this category.

These baits are attention-grabbing.

They come with two deadly treble hooks. Converting simple strikes into confirmed catches is very easy with Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper Lures.

Why We Rate this Lure

    • It’s available in multiple colors/designs. From chrome blue to black to red – shoppers get many color options. Regardless of what colors they choose, these baits always feature ultra-realistic patterns which make them look like large baitfish.
    • They have the classic concave mouths that constantly catch and throw water, causing a ruckus on water surfaces.
    • These baits offer long casting distances; fishers can use the simple walk-the-dog action to cast these lures.

Some reviewers have claimed that Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper Lures are not durable.

But, they’re still the most effective option in this category.

All trophy-winning striped bass fishing specialists use these lures.

Soft Plastic Lures 

A soft plastic lure is a must-have tool for every fisher.


Because these slow-moving baits are ideal for striper fishing in shallow, clear waters.

These types of fish are very choosy about which baits they’re attracted to.

Fishers who own an extensive range of high-quality soft plastic lures can easily fish in these relatively calm and easy waters.

Unlike other lures, soft plastic lures are cheap and useful in many different scenarios.

If you’re buying soft plastic lures, make sure they have the following qualities –

  • Patterns and designs that resemble pearls and shads. Baits painted with glittery colors look extra-shiny and extra-appealing to stripers that are hungry.
  • Buy a large collection of plastic lures. Choose slender baits of all types of colors – from neutral shades to bright colors. Unlike metal lures, these baits are cheap.
  • Buy lures designed to attract specific species of stripers. For instance, soft plastic lures colored with bright colors look like blue runner bait fish. Your plastic lures should look and feel lifelike. Or else, stripers won’t hold onto them once you start reeling them in.

The Storm Wild-Eye Swim Shad is by far the most popular option in this category. This slow-moving soft plastic lure comes in 14 different colors.

It has a precision-balanced profile. These slender baits work when other lures fail.

Why We Rate this Lure

  • They create erratic darting actions that closely imitate the invertebrates that hungry stripers like to feast on.
  • Baits like “fire tiger” or the “blue steel shad” are available with the Storm Wild-Eye Swim Shad pack. They look very lifelike.
  • The great erratic darting actions cause chaos in the waters, attracting stripers.
  • Available in various colors and designs – all of them have realistic features.

The Storm Wild-Eye Swim Shad isn’t durable enough to be exposed to seawater every few days. So, use these lures periodically, preferably in freshwater.

Thankfully Storm Wild-Eye Swim Shad packs are pretty cheap. Fishers can easily buy a collection of these lures and use them over several years.

Swimbait Lures

Swimbait lures ought to be versatile.

You should be able to cast or troll these lures in both fresh and saltwater.

Typically, swimbait fishing lures have jointed bodies. These bodies give the lures maximum forward buoyancy.

Swimbait lures with such mechanisms can imitate lifelike swimming actions and create enough turbulence to attract big stripers.

The Gibbs Danny Surface Swimmer is the standout lure in this category.

Famously known as “the Danny” these lures meant for striped bass perfectly simulate larger baitfish. The Gibbs Danny Surface Swimmer has a strong fulcrum point.

It derives its swimming actions from this point creating noises that sound like small sand eels.

Why We Rate this Lure

  • You can use “the Danny” to fish in both shallow and deeper glasses of water.
  • It’s one of the finest lures for fishers who are new to the art of catching striped bass. Water currents do most of the work. Fishers only need to occasionally jerk their rod tips to create small slashes and attract the stripers.
  • This lure is also very durable. Fishers can leave these baits in the water for as long as they want.
  • The surface swimmer has belly treble hooks and dressed trailing J-Hooks that entice fish to strike. The hooks make these lures look like sand eels.

Many anglers also call “the Danny” the best trolling lure out there. That’s the versatility of this swimbait lure.

The Best Bucktail Jig

If you’re in the market for bucktail jigs, there’s one product that all fishers recommend – the SPRO Bucktail Jig.

These famous lures for striped bass have unique head shapes and 3D eyelet placements.

These qualities make the SPRO Bucktail Jig more natural-looking than other bucktail jigs like a diamond jig.

Here’s why we rate the SPRO Bucktail Jig so highly –

  • The jig head is very eye-catching for big striped bass fish. It has bulging eyes, bright colors, and a holographic finish. These qualities add to the lure’s incredibly lifelike appearance.
  • Whether you cast and retrieve fish or troll for reservoir stripers – the SPRO Bucktail Jig is useful in many scenarios.
  • The SPRO Bucktail Jig is available in various sizes and colors. They all come with super-sharp Gama katsu treble hooks that simplify the fishing process.

Overall, the SPRO Bucktail Jig is one of the finest lures in terms of versatility and realistic features.

The casting weight (0.25 to 8 ounces) is perfect.

These baits create natural gliding actions that make them look like sand eels when jigged.


Fishing for fresh or saltwater stripers will never be easy.

But, baits that can withstand repeated attacks from these fish make the process easier.

Use this guide to build the best collection of striped bass fishing lures.

Very soon, Congress will pass the Striped Bass American Heritage Act, which will make it America’s official “national fish.”

Before that happens, get your hands on the best striper lures and start fishing!