There is no doubt that one of the best times of the day to head to the water and chase some bass is early in the morning. This low light period when the sun is rising gives anglers some key advantages and provides some great fishing opportunities.
Taking advantage of these early morning windows is key, but finding the right baits and lures to use will help you capitalize on the early morning bite and will increase your odds of success.
In this article you are going to learn what the best morning bass fishing lures are, where to find bass in the morning and some tips & tricks that will help you catch more fish as the sun comes up.
Let’s get started.
Where Are Bass in the Morning?
First things first. Where are bass going to be in the morning and how do you find them? The best place to target bass in the early morning is up shallow. Bass tend to feed up shallow during the first hour or two of daylight.
As a result, they are more aggressive and will roam around more looking for feeding opportunity’s. This feeding window combined with low light conditions give anglers some key advantages and make for some great fishing opportunities.
Being at the right spot at the right time is one thing, but throwing the right baits and lure to capitalize in the morning is another thing.
To help you make sure you maximize the first few hours in the morning, I’ve put together this list of the best bass fishing lures for early morning success. These baits are proven winners and will help you cover water and put fish into the boat.
Best Morning Bass Fishing Lures
It’s no secret that one of the most effective and addicting bass fishing techniques are topwater lures. There is nothing like seeing a big bass come up to the surface and destroy your lure.
One of my go to topwater lures to throw in the early morning is the Whopper Plopper by River2Sea. This bait flat out catches fish. The Whopper Plopper is easy to throw, allows you to cover water quickly and has incredible drawing power.
When I’m fishing for smallmouth bass I like to throw the 90 size. The smaller profile makes it easier for the smallmouth to grab. When targeting largemouth or bigger fish I like throwing the 130. It’s a bigger profile that moves more water and gets bigger bites.
Early in the morning its best to use colors that will help your bait stand and that allow the bass to find it easier. Colors like bone, I know it and loon are great options first thing in the morning.
Bass love to feed up shallow on the bank and on flats early in the morning. One of the best ways to target and trigger these bass into striking is with a square bill crankbait.
From a cost and performance standpoint there is no better squarebill on the market than the Strike King KVD 1.5. I’ve caught a ton of largemouth and smallmouth bass all over the country on this lure.
To truly capitalize on the early morning bite, reaction baits like the squarebill are a must. What makes this category so special is its ability to deflect off cover and trigger any nearby bass into striking. This is a bait I always make sure I have ready in the morning.
If you are interested in throwing a squarebill check out this article: The 5 Best Squarebill Crankbaits.
There is nothing more exciting than to witness the explosion of a bass on a topwater bait and one of the best ways to make that happen is with a Zara Spook.
The Spook is a plug that is shaped like a fat pencil that has a line tie just under the nose of the bait. They come in a variety of different sizes, colors and both a silent and rattling version.
It’s hard to find a lure with the drawing power of this bait. There is something about the side-to-side action and rattle that cause bass to rise and strike from distance.
If you are bass fishing at a pond or your lake has mats, lily pads or heavy vegetation throwing a frog is an absolute must. There is no better way to target fish in these areas than with a topwater frog.
The frog can also be a great option to throw in open water and around other types of cover as well. This isn’t as common but may professional anglers have had a lot of success doing this.
The best all-around topwater frog in my opinion is the Live Target Hollow Body Frog. It’s a super realistic and versatile frog than you can fish pretty much anywhere.
I definitely recommend adding a frog to your early morning bass fishing arsenal. They are super fun to fish and sometimes they only way you can trigger bass into biting in thick vegetation.
If big fish are on your mind, there is no better way to catch them in the morning than with a swimbait. One of my all-time favorite swimbaits is the S-Waver.
The S-Waver by River2Sea is a glide bait that features a natural S-Action motion that will wake on the surface and call big bass in.
If haven’t thrown a glide bait before, then I’d recommend starting off with the 168 size. You don’t need to have a dedicated swimbait rod to fish it effectively. If your targeting bigger fish jump up to the 200 size and get a dedicated setup.
The action of this glide bait will call big bass from distances and is a must have early morning bass fishing bait. You’ll catch some monsters on this lure.
A spinnerbait is one of my favorite lures to throw early in the morning. It’s an extremely versatile bait that will allow you to cover water and fish in and around vegetation and structure. It puts off a lot of flash and vibration in the water and is great for triggering that reaction strike from any nearby bass.
There are a ton of different spinnerbait sizes, styles and blade options to choose from. If I could only use one, I’d easily use throw the River2Sea Bling Spinnerbait ½ ounce in the lemonade twist or I know it pattern.
When throwing a spinnerbait in the morning you want to use bold colors like a white and chartreuse or dark colors like a black and red. As far as the blade goes gold blades tend to work best early in the morning and silver works better when the sun is high.
These color and blade combinations will help your bait stand out in low light conditions and will help you get more bites as you pick apart key areas in the morning.
For more information on how to fish a spinnerbait check out this article: What is a Spinnerbait and How to Fish one Like a Pro.
When the water temperatures reach 60°F in the spring, and until they drop below 50°F in fall is when the buzz bait really shines. This can be a great way to catch aggressive bass in the early morning and throughout the day.
The buzzbait is one of the easiest and efficient topwater lures you can throw. You can fish it over cover, through grass, or in open water. Regardless of where it’s fished, it can produce some big bites.
In clear water situations I prefer to remove the buzzbait skirt and just fish it with one of these trailers. On the other hand, in muddy or stained water I’ll use both a trailer and skirt to give it a bigger profile and more action.
If the topwater bite is in play and you are fishing first thing in the morning a buzzbait is hard to beat. You’ll get some of your biggest bites of the day fishing this technique.
Another great option that you can use to capitalize on that early morning bite is with an underspin. The underspin is a killer technique that often goes overlooked by many anglers.
I like to think of the underspin as a finesse spinnerbait. You can get some of the same flash and vibration as a spinnerbait, but it’s in a smaller more finesse profile.
I love throwing this setup early in the morning around rock piles, points, flats, grass and other types structure. This is another must have bait.
Early Morning Bass Fishing Tips
To give yourself the best odds at catching fish in the morning fish fast and cover water. Bass will be roaming around and feeding up shallow early in the morning. This is going to be the best time to throw reaction style lures.
Top water lures, crankbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and other reaction style lures will allow you to cover water quickly, locate the fish and ultimately have more success. This is the time of day when you can throw big lures and catch big bass. Don’t waste your time by finesse fishing in areas where you don’t know there is fish.
As the sun rises finding shadows and shaded areas becomes more and more important. Bass are ambush predators, so they prefer to stay in the shadows to hide from prey and to avoid the sun.
Shadows and shaded areas going to be key spots to find bass all throughout the morning and even during the middle of the day. This is especially true during the summer months.
Target High Percentage Areas
One of the best early morning bass fishing tips that will help you catch more fish is to target high percentage areas.
What I mean by that is that you should look for areas of the lake, pond, or river you are fishing at and identify the best areas.
In most cases bass can be found where there is food, structure and a variety of water depths. If you can find these areas, you’ll catch a lot more fish.
Here are some proven areas that are known for holding bass:
High Percentage Fishing Areas
- Secondary Points
- Hard Cover
- Bluff Walls
- Windy Banks
- Grass Lines & Flats
- Rock Piles
- Inlets/Creek Channels
Other Bass Fishing Resources
- Best Night Bass Fishing Baits (Tips & Tricks)
- 15 Essential Spring Bass Fishing Tips
- Not Catching Bass? 12 Reasons Why Bass Aren’t Biting
- The 10 Best Bass Lures for Shore Fishing
One of the best times to fish for bass is in the morning. During this part of the day the bass are active, aggressive and tend to roam around more compared to other parts of the day.
This behavior presents bass fishing anglers with some unique and fun fishing opportunities. So make sure to get up early, choose your baits and locations wisely and go have a good time.
I’d highly recommend throwing one of the baits mentioned in this article as they will set you up for bass fishing success as you fish early in the morning.