9 of the Best Bass Lures for Pond Fishing in 2021

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Mister Twister Grub
“If you’re looking for a go-to lure for pond fishing, nothing is more suited for catching bass in ponds than the Mister Twister Grub. It comes in a variety of colors to match water clarity and has a lot of action with almost effortless retrieval.”

Best For Inexperienced Anglers: Yamamoto Senko Bait
“For anglers who are only starting to try out pond fishing, the Yamamoto Senko Soft Plastic Worms is the ideal bait to use. It can be rigged in multiple ways and it’s really easy to use, especially for those still trying to find their style in this type of fishing.”

Best Topwater Lure: Hula Popper Plug
“The Hula Popper Topwater Plug has one of the cleverest designs for surface use. Nothing does the job of attracting fish better than this lure. It’s effective and it comes at a reasonable price.”

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Pond fishing for bass is different from fishing for them in large lakes. The smaller the watering hole, the more skittish the bass becomes. This means that while the same kinds of lures still get bites, you’ll need to scale down their sizes and go for a quieter and more delicate approach.

Worms, crankbaits, spinners, and topwater baits all work to catch bass in ponds, but the actual type and size of them need to change a little to avoid scaring off bass with your lures.

In this article, we will review nine of the best bass lures to use when you’re fishing a pond. 

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Products tested
Product Name
Best Overall
Best For Inexperienced Anglers
Best Topwater Lure
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Mister Twister 3"" Meeny Tail, Chartreuse,Silver FLK (MTSF20-10S)
Yamamoto 9-10-021 Senko, 5-Inch, 10-Pack, Black w/Blue
Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing Lure-2 in-Bull Frog - Chartreuse/White Skirt
Our grade
Our Rating 96/100
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 93/100
Feature 1
Soft plastic bait in a variety of colors to match water clarity
Can be rigged multiple ways with wacky style being the most popular
Rubber legs that dance on the surface to entice bites
Feature 2
Curly tail produces plenty of action and vibrations
Subtle movement and action won’t scare off skittish fish
Bullfrog paint to mimic frogs bass feed on
Best Overall
Product Name
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Mister Twister 3"" Meeny Tail, Chartreuse,Silver FLK (MTSF20-10S)
Our grade
Our Rating 96/100
Feature 1
Soft plastic bait in a variety of colors to match water clarity
Feature 2
Curly tail produces plenty of action and vibrations
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Custom Button
Best For Inexperienced Anglers
Product Name
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Yamamoto 9-10-021 Senko, 5-Inch, 10-Pack, Black w/Blue
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Can be rigged multiple ways with wacky style being the most popular
Feature 2
Subtle movement and action won’t scare off skittish fish
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Topwater Lure
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing Lure-2 in-Bull Frog - Chartreuse/White Skirt
Our grade
Our Rating 93/100
Feature 1
Rubber legs that dance on the surface to entice bites
Feature 2
Bullfrog paint to mimic frogs bass feed on
Buy Now Button
Custom Button

Best Bass Lures for Pond Fishing

Here are our top picks for the best bass lures for pond fishing:

1. Mister Twister Grub

Best Overall: Tons of action on a simple retrieval

Mister Twister 3'' Meeny Tail, Chartreuse,Silver FLK (MTSF20-10S)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Curly tail produces plenty of action and vibrations
  • Used with a jig head for all water column levels
  • Soft plastic bait in a variety of colors to match water clarity

The Mister Twister lures came out in the 1970s and their curly tail design was a revelation for bass fishermen. These lures work great in ponds due to their small size with huge amounts of action and can be fished across the water column making them the best go-to lure for bass fishing in ponds.

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Lure Details

The biggest thing about this lure is its curly tail. It produces a ton of vibration in the water by simply reeling the lure in towards you. Its three-inch size is perfect for ponds and won’t trouble the skittish bass in them. 

Coming in a vast array of colors from chartreuse to black, you can easily match the lure color to your water clarity or what the bass are feeding on. 

How to Use It

The easiest way to use the lure is to cast it out and slowly bring it back to you. You’ll rely on the tail for action and vibration in the water.

You normally will fish the lure like a swimbait, but you can bump it across the bottom or on top of grass beds as well. You want to make sure you’re retrieving the lure slowly to let the lure put out the most vibrations possible and give the bass a chance to catch up to it.

2. Yamamoto Senko Bait

Best For Inexperienced Anglers: Tried and true plastic worms

Yamamoto 9-10-021 Senko, 5-Inch, 10-Pack, Black w/Blue
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KEY FEATURES

  • The 4-inch length is smaller than other baits for ponds.
  • Can be rigged multiple ways with wacky style being the most popular.
  • Subtle movement and action won’t scare off skittish fish

Yamamoto Senko Baits are the perfect size finesse bait to use in ponds. The lures have a natural action as they drift through the water column. They also come in multiple colors to match the water clarity, such as chartreuse, green pumpkin, and cream white.

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Lure Details

Soft plastic worms can be rigged however you feel like. Wacky rigs, texas rigs, and weedless rigs are all popular, but the lure also works well on a jighead.

The worms don’t have much action, and you won’t get a lot of action from them by jerking them. That’s okay since they will undulate when drifting through the water column and get the right action that way. 

The four-inch worms come in a variety of colors. The cream white and chartreuse will show up better in murky water, while the green pumpkin gives a solid presentation in clearer ponds.

How to Use It

The Yamamoto Senko worm is ideal for beginners since it doesn’t require anything specific to use it. You’ll want to rig the hook near the center of the worm, and cast it to a likely bass spot, then let it sink through the water.

The undulation of the lure is the action, not anything the angler does on their end. This lends itself to inexperienced anglers since most strikes occur on this lure while it is sinking. If nothing bites you simply reel it in and cast again or move spots.

3. Hula Popper Topwater Plug

Best Topwater Lure: Floating Popper with dancing rubber legs

Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing Lure-2 in-Bull Frog - Chartreuse/White Skirt
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KEY FEATURES

  • Concave face to produce popping noise
  • Rubber legs that dance on the surface to entice bites
  • Bullfrog paint to mimic frogs bass feed on

The Hula Popper is one of the best topwater bass lures on the market. Normally mimicking frogs and making a distinct popping noise to entice fish, this is a great choice for fishermen targeting big bass in a pond that hangs around cover. 

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Lure Details

The lure floats on the surface of the water, and its face is shaped like a bowl. When you jerk the lure towards you, it digs into the water creating a popping noise that gets the bass’ attention. 

The backside of the lure has two treble hooks, hidden by strands of rubber legs that are moved around by both your motion and the motion of the water. When the lure is just floating, the legs will dance with the ripples in the water, creating a lot of motion to get the fish’s attention. 

How to Use It

You’ll want to use this lure around the edges of weed cover and other covers. It works best early and late in the day. After casting the lure out, you’ll jerk it back towards you and reel up the slackline, allowing it to sit for a moment on the surface.

Make sure to not fish the bait too quickly. When it sits motionless on the surface the rubber legs on the back are still moving and enticing the fish. Use sharp jerking motions to pull the concave face into the water and make that distinct popping action the lure is known for.

4. Z-Man Chatterbait

Most Vibration: Steady vibration from a bladed jig

Z-MAN Original ChatterBait, 3/8-Ounce, Candy Craw
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KEY FEATURES

  • Single needle-point hook for easy hooksets
  • Chatter plate creates plenty of vibration in the water
  • Combines jig and spinnerbait

The Z-Man Chatterbait gets you the most vibration for the least amount of effort or skill. The lure is another lure that is ideal for beginners and inexperienced anglers because it only needs a moderate retrieval rate to get the most out of it.

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Lure Details

The single hook is shrouded by a rubbery skirt that dances as you pull it through the water. The sharpened hook sets well regardless of if the bass swallows the bait or it catches its lip.

The blade on the jig head is what sets the lure apart. It rattles and spins on retrieval, creating a ton of vibration and noise that attract bass. Make sure to get one of the smaller sizes when you’re fishing ponds, to make sure it’s the appropriate size for the smaller or more timid fish.

How to Use It

This chatter bait is easy to use. You simply cast it out and retrieve it at a moderate rate. No need to go slowly and let it sink or stop, and no need to crank it as quickly as possible.

It works well in reeds and grass, but be aware that it will grab onto and load itself with plants in heavy vegetation. Try fishing it around weed lines and cover, as it will work best in shallow to medium water depths.

5. Live Target Hollow Body Frog

Most Exciting: Fishing a frog on top of vegetation

LIVE TARGET Koppers Floating Frog Hollow Body Lure, 2.25-Inch, 5/8-Ounce, Flour Green/Yellow (FGH55T512)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Weedless design for working lily pads and grass
  • Mimics a frog swimming across the surface
  • Bass breaks the surface on strike creating exciting visuals

Some ponds have thick algae blooms or lily pads in them. The Live Target Frog is perfect for anglers who want to glide a lure across this kind of vegetation and target big bass. 

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Lure Details

The lure body is anatomically accurate for a frog and has legs made of many rubber strings that will dance on the surface of the water. The hooks are set up against the body to keep them from snagging vegetation.

The lure is light and will float across the surface. The hollow body specifically is made to get over or around obstacles like logs, rocks, or vegetation.

How to Use It

You’ll want to cast this lure out over vegetation and alternate a quick retrieval with small pauses. The bass will probably miss the lure on strikes, but it still bursts through the surface and splashes when it does so. The lure creates some of the most exciting strikes you can find.

6. Berkley Johnson Silver Minnow

Best Minnow Mimic: Lure that looks like natural prey fish

Berkley Johnson Silver Minnow Gold 2in - 1/4 oz
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KEY FEATURES

  • The 2-inch size is great for mimicking minnows in a pond
  • Flashes during retrieval to attract fish and mimic minnows
  • Weed guard to protect hook when pulling through vegetation

Spoons have been around a long time and do a great job of mimicking small baitfish with their flash and vibration. Look around the pond before fishing. If there are a lot of minnows that bass are likely feeding on, this lure might be the best choice for you.

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Lure Details

The two-inch gold lure reflects well in all water clarities. Short darting motions reflect light the same way darting minnows do.

It has a weed guard that helps protect the hook from loading up on vegetation, but the mucus-like plants will still get stuck in it. When a fish strikes the lure, the guard is pushed down to reveal the hook.

How to Use It

Spoons are an easy cast and retrieve the lure. You can mix it up by pulling short and sharp jerks to help mimic a darting minnow. The lure will reflect light and vibrate to help catch bass.

You can also use the spoon in thick weeds thanks to the weed guard and weedless design. You can add a small wiggler worm soft plastic to make it look bigger and add on some more action.

7. Strike King KVD Square Bill CrankBait

Best for Large Ponds: Mimic shad and panfish bass feed on

KVD Square Bill Silent Crankbaits, 1.5-Ounce (HCKVDS1.5-650)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Bill and wide-body give a unique diving action to the floating lure
  • Dual treble hooks snag fish on the strike
  • No internal rattle helps with skittish pond fish

Crankbaits mimic other prey fish for bass well. They have widebodies and a bill that causes them to dive when pulled and wobble uniquely. The Strike King CrankBait works best for anglers fishing large ponds that have panfish in them since it can help mimic those fish.

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Lure Details

The KVD line of these crankbaits stands out by leaving out the internal rattle crankbaits normally come with. This allows you to retrieve the lure towards a bass with a silent approach, which is helpful when dealing with a bass that is warier of its surroundings.

They have a wide-rounded body that wobbles through the water and a bill on the front that causes the lure to dive into the water even though it floats. It lets you work open water with the lure going up and down, diving between three and six feet. 

The dual treble hooks snag bass when they strike, and having two hooks helps get firmer hooksets. 

How to Use It

If you’re fishing larger ponds that have shad and panfish in them, this lure is a great choice for you. You’ll want to use it in fairly open water and around sunken trees. 

Use a medium retrieval rate, bump the lure through the water to force its dive, and give a few pauses to let it float back up. You can pull the bait across tree limbs and allow it to float up to help entice strikes.

8. Heddon Tiny Torpedo

Loudest Topwater Plug: Small plug with a propeller makes a lot of splashes

Heddon Tiny Torpedo (Baby Bass, 1 7/8-Inch)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Propeller splashes and churns water at the surface to attract bass
  • Smaller than most surface plugs, lending to pond fishing
  • Needs quick twitches to get the most out of it, easy to learn but not simple retrieval

Topwater plugs get exciting bites from bass when they explode onto the lure. The Heddon Tiny Torpedo is a lot smaller than most topwaters, making it ideal for fishing ponds. This lure is best used by more experienced fishermen since it requires a little more skill in the retrieval motions to get the most out of it.

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Lure Details

This topwater is set apart because of its small size and rear propeller. It’s made smaller than most topwater plugs and features a rear propeller that splashes and churns water during your retrieval.

It features dual treble hooks to snag bass on their strike and has a rattle for extra attracting noise. You’ll be able to produce surface-busting strikes that are incredibly exciting since the lure floats and is pulled across the surface. 

How to Use It

The lure provides most of the action, not the angler. You’ll cast the lure out and let it settle before beginning the retrieval, usually near a weedline or structure like a downed tree.

You’ll want quick, sharp twitches to pull the lure towards you and get the most out of it. It will make plenty of noise and splashes during these twitches, and you’ll just reel up the slackline. Normally you’ll twitch the lure a few times near the structure you’re fishing and then reel it up to cast again, instead of working the lure back to you.

9. Johnson Beetle Spin with black grub

Best Small Spinnerbait: Pond-sized spinner gets plenty of action

Johnson Beetle Spin Nickel Blade
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KEY FEATURES

  • Single blade provides action and vibration
  • Smaller than most spinnerbaits are great for pond fishing
  • Simple retrieve works in most water depths

Smaller spin baits are better when it comes to pond fishing. They give off plenty of vibration and flash but are small enough to not scare away the bass in the pond. Johnson Beetle Spin doesn’t need any kind of special retrieval, so it is easy for novices to use, and effective enough to produce for seasoned pros.

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Lure Details

The BeetleSpin features a nickel blade that spins and vibrates as the lure is pulled through the water. This is what gives the lure its action and attractiveness. The black grub body gives it the bulk it needs to have a good profile in the water. 

Since the lure is smaller than most other spin baits, it’s great for pond fishing and dealing with skittish bass. It has a single hook through the grub that will tend to hook bass in the mouth.

How to Use It

Simple retrieval is all that’s necessary with this lure. You’ll cast it out, allow it to sink to the desired depth, and then steadily reel the lure in. All the work is done by the lure for you, you just have to get it in front of a bass.


How to Find the Best Fishing Ponds

The easiest way to find ponds is to explore areas that are off the beaten path. Use Google Maps or topographical maps to locate small ponds that are away from roads or are hard to reach since those will be fished less often than others.

Once you locate a few ponds, you’ll need to go give them a try to see if they produce fish. Walk around them looking in and see if you can spot any bass, and run a few lures through the pond to see if anything takes them. Try fishing a worm on a bobber as well, if there are panfish in a pond, it’s likely the pond is healthy enough to support bass as well.

Remember to split your time between ponds once you’ve found a few, so you don’t overpressure the small body of water. 

How to Get to the Pond Fish

The best ponds are going to take some walking to get to. You can find ponds that are within driving distance of your home, park, and walk over to them. 

Once you’re at the pond the best way to get to the fish is to walk. You want to fish in the pond with as little disturbance as possible because they’re small, so walking around them is the best option. Boats and floats can simply scare skittish bass and keep you from catching them. 

Either cast across the pond to reach other areas or walk softly around it to locate fish. If the pond is big enough and the bottom is hard enough you can wade around to help find fish as well.

Three Levels of Ponds

It’s easy to divide ponds into three water depths and choose where to fish based on the season and time of day. Generally, you’ll think of pond areas as shallow, medium, and deep spots.

Shallow

The shallow areas of ponds range from a few inches deep up to three or four feet. They’re usually found on the upper end of the pond, along the shorelines, and at any feeder branches of the pond.

In the summer you’ll want to fish this area right after dawn, making it your first stop. In the winter you’ll want to fish this area later in the day instead, as the water will warm up throughout the day.

Small spinnerbaits, worms, and grubs work best in shallower water. 

Medium

Medium depths tend to be around the middle of the pond and are more open water than the shallows. This is the second area you want to work, after eight or nine a.m. 

You can use topwater baits and crankbaits here, as bass may be holding on the bottom around structures. 

Deep

The deepest sections of the pond are going to be right next to the damn and around the lower end. These can range from ten or more feet deep.

You’ll want to work in this area from lunch until late afternoon. In Winter, reverse this strategy and fish it first thing in the morning. The deeper water stays warmer overnight, and bass will hold in that area until the shallow water warms up in the afternoon.

Noisy topwaters can bring bass up from the bottom, but most lures will work well in the deep areas. Float worms towards the bottom and give them small twitches to entice bites or flutter a spoon down towards the bottom. Crankbaits with long bills will dive deep next to dams.