Scott Martin Recommends 3 Lures for Beginner Bass Anglers

The Take Me Fishing Team met up with Team Evinrude Angler Scott Martin for some insight on the best lures for beginners to try when bass fishing.

Scott Martin

"There are three lures I would recommend beginners try as they develop your fishing skills. A plastic worm, a spinner bait and some type of topwater lure. The great thing about these three lure choices is that they cover all your water depths, from the very bottom, to middle level, to the surface.

Plastic worms

Plastic worms are a great way to catch bass under just about any conditions. I like to fish a 7- to 10-inch worm rigged up on a TK 130 TroKar Flippin’ Hook matched with a quarter ounce River2Sea tungsten weight. I like to match it up with anywhere from 14- to 17-pound fluorocarbon line and rig it on a 7- to 7 ½-foot medium-heavy action casting rod.

One of best tips I can give with worm fishing is that you want to fish it slow. The old adage that ‘you can never fish a worm too slow but you can fish it too fast,’ is very true. A worm needs to imitate some type of leech or worm crawling along the bottom, so I like to slow drag with a pause. Plastic worms work in any depth, anywhere from the shoreline out to 30 feet of water.

Spinner Baits

Spinner baits are a great lure especially under windy conditions or cloudy conditions, and spinner baits can be used under any type of temperature. From summer, to winter, to spring, to fall, it’s a pretty consistent lure throughout. A simple approach with a spinner bait is a long cast with a steady retrieve back, keeping your spinner bait anywhere from the surface, down to the bottom. You can work the water levels and water depths according to where the fish are biting at the time.

I like to pick my colors according to the bait fish in the area. If there’s a lot of shad, I like to fish white spinner baits or shad-colored spinner baits. I like to rig them up on a 6 ½- to 7-foot medium-heavy rod with 14- to 17-pound line. A slow, steady retrieve to a medium-fast retrieve, depending on the activity of the fish, is my retrieve of choice. Every once in a while, I’ll give the rod a slight little twitch, or pause in the reel to make those blades change their flash and change the cadence that they’re coming in on, which sometimes makes those fish react and bite.

Topwater Lures

Topwater lures work great under calm, cloudy conditions, typically with water temperatures in the 70 degree range or higher. I like walking-style baits as well as popper-style baits. A River2Sea Rover 128 is a great walking bait that I’ve caught a lot of fish on over the years. I like rigging it up on a 7 ½-foot medium to medium-heavy rod with 14- to 17-pound monofilament because monofilament floats — doesn’t sink like fluorocarbon, or braided line. I like a steady retrieve, give the bait some action, give it a little character and again, if you see fish schooling out in open water, a walking bait is good. If you see fish spawning along the shorelines or chasing bait on the shorelines, a lot of times a popping-style bait around docks would work as well. Topwater lures are great."

Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.