Best Bait for Surf Fishing Striped Bass [2022 Review]

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Striped bass is highly coveted amongst professional and amateur anglers alike. These scavengers give anglers a run for their money and the excitement that comes with catching a 40-pound striped bass is unrivaled. And to catch these beauties, you would need the best bait for surf fishing striped bass.

Our Top Surf Fishing Striped Bass Baits Recommendations

For anglers, having the right surf fishing baits for fishing striped bass can be overwhelming yet important. Fishing experts say spoon baits are the best for general fishing, however, bucktails are king when it comes to striped bass in any water condition.

There’s a long list to choose from, and the truth is you don’t need everything. We’ve taken your burden upon our shoulders and curated our top three surf fishing baits for striped bass that will make your hunt worth your while.

Brand
Spro Bucktail Jig
Acme Kastmaster
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure
Product
Spro Bucktail Jig-Pack of 1, White, 3/4-Ounce
Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure (Silver,...
Item Weight
0.06 pound
0.06 pound
0.08 pound
Material
Other
Stainless steel
Blend
Brand
Spro Bucktail Jig
Product
Spro Bucktail Jig-Pack of 1, White, 3/4-Ounce
Item Weight
0.06 pound
Material
Other
Brand
Acme Kastmaster
Product
Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.
Item Weight
0.06 pound
Material
Stainless steel
Brand
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure
Product
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure (Silver,...
Item Weight
0.08 pound
Material
Blend

Best Overall Bait for Surf Fishing Striped Bass: Spro Bucktail Jig

Spro Bucktail Jig-Pack of 1, White, 3/4-Ounce

The Spro Bucktail Jig comes in different colors and sizes, guaranteeing versatility. The 3-ounce jig is the sweet spot for surf fishing because its heavy weight allows it to glide seamlessly in rough current. White is the best color for fishing bass in surf and you can choose from the Spro’s wide range of colors to suit the primary prey in your area. One major advantage of the Spro Bucktail Jig over the Rapala X-Rap fishing lure is it can mimic more life baits.

The Spro Bucktail Jig is a must-have for anglers in pursuit of this species. Its versatility makes it excel in all waters and depths. Its shape, buck hair streamer, and eye placement make it life-like and create movements and vibrations that striped bass can’t resist. The bigger the jig the bigger the catch. Bucktail jigs of 3-5 ounces are recommended if you’re fishing large striped bass.

One downside of the Spro Bucktail Jig is its durability. The soft material used makes it the least durable on this list compared to the Acme Kastmater fishing lure that can last a century. Also, this bait does not have a scent, so you may need to add life bait like eels and bloodworms for more action.

Pros 

  • Lifelike features that make it more attractive to this species
  • 3-5 ounce jigs can be bounced along the bottom in stronger currents making it useful in less-than-ideal conditions
  • Rare parallel jigging presentation that simulates life bait perfectly

Cons 

  • Soft material used reduces its longevity
  • Poor casting distance due to building material and design
Spro Bucktail Jig-Pack of 1, White, 3/4-Ounce
  • Natural Gliding Action
  • Stays Parallel
  • Provides Great Jigging Action

Best Spoon Bait for Surf Fishing Striped Bass: Acme Kastmaster

Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.

Spoon lures are some of the best baits for surf fishing because of their sturdy design, durability, and long casting range. The Acme Kastmaster fishing lure dominates this category thanks to its balance and aerodynamics which allows it to cast a mile even in a strong breeze where other baits on this list can’t reach. Its top-notch balance provides erratic action without twisting the line similar to the Rapala X-Rap fishing lure.

It edges the Spro Bucktail jig in durability and casting range. It is made of stainless steel which makes it perfect for saltwater surf fishing thanks to rust resistance. Its sturdy build means it won’t break or bend under heavy bites making it an excellent selection for anglers hunting for big game. Its single hook also makes it easy to handle and release fish.

The Acme Kastmaster puts out flash and vibration that simulates wounded fish which is a favorite of this fish. Its silver finish catches light well which makes it easier to spot by this species. It comes in different colors for both day and night time surf fishing. This bait is great, however, the downside is that they can’t catch small or lazy striped bass because of their size and build.

Pros

  • Sturdy stainless steel build guarantees longevity
  • Thrives in high currents and strong winds ensuring versatility
  • High action without twisting lines eliminating the stress of untangling lines

Cons 

  • The build isn’t a favorite of smaller striped bass
  • Needs the addition of live bait for scent advantage
Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.
  • Balanced spoon with Wild action
  • Plain Treble hook
  • Won't Bend, break or corrode

Best Topwater Popper Bait for Surf Fishing Striped Bass: Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure

Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure (Silver,...

Topwater popper baits are the go-to baits for anglers who seek trophy fish. No other bait on this list can catch the 40-pound striped bass anglers covet more than the Rapala X-Rap Saltwater fishing lure. If size matters to you, then the Rapala X-Rap Saltwater fishing lure is a no-brainer. Its weighted tail helps it compete in strong tides common to fishing zones.

Its mouth is built to trap and spew water sporadically causing enough disturbance that calls out hungry stripers. Its long casting range and accuracy outclasses the Spro Bucktail Jig which makes it a better search casting bait. This is perfect for amateur surf fishers that are learning to work the strong tides and wind. Its vast size and weight range offer you more options to match the wind and tide strength in all weathers.

Its double hook design also tells you when it’s caught a striper which reduces fake bites, so you don’t have to worry about losing fish. However, the downside is that the same double hooks that reduce losses make handling and releasing fish difficult compared to the Acme Kastmaster bait with one hook and easier handling.

Pros

  • Weighted tail increases balanced in strong tides
  • Perfect for big game hunting
  • Weighted tail and design provides long casting range and accuracy

Cons

  • Double hook design makes handling and releasing challenging
  • Can be damaged by bluefish
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure (Silver,...
  • Rapala's adrenaline-pumping Saltwater X-Rap Lures have had a huge impact on the way anglers target...
  • Hand tuned and tank tested
  • Holographic inserts.

Key Features to Consider in the Best Baits for Surf Fishing Bass

The top features to consider when choosing the right bait for surf fishing striped bass are the type of bait, movement, color, size, weight, and durability. Size and weight are especially vital because of the play in navigating rough currents and tides.

Spro Bucktail JigAcme KastmasterRapala X-Rap
Type of BaitBucktail Spoon Topwater popper
MovementLife-like minimal movementErratic actionErratic movement
Colour 12x color variations10x mixed color variations15x color variations
Size and Weight¾ – 3 ounces5.5 inches, 1.5 ounces1-3 ounces
DurabilityNot durableHigh durabilityMedium durability

Type of Bait

There are different types of baits specifically designed for different waters. If you’re fishing in saltwater, you should consider baits that can withstand rust like the Acme Kastmaster. Some baits are made for both freshwater and saltwater while some can only be used in freshwater. Using freshwater bait in saltwater will only end in disaster, so choose appropriately.

Movement

Striped bass hunt prey based on scent and movement because of their poor eyesight. Artificial baits lack the scent life baits are known for, so they rely more on movement and vibrations to attract this species. The more disturbance the bait can cause the higher your chances of making bites. An ideal choice is the Rapala X-Rap.

Color

It’s advisable to start with the basics such as white, chartreuse, yellow and black. Colors like pink, red, crystal green, and blue are mostly used to attract trophy-striped bass in deep waters. White and other basics are the best colors for fishing this species because they look more like prey found in water with high currents.

The time of fishing also determines the color to use. White and chartreuse will do well in the daytime, not at night. Baits with shiny color patterns like crystal green do well at night. Most surf fishers prefer nighttime to fish for this fish because chances are higher at that time, so having a few night colors will come in handy.

This makes the Acme Kastmaster a good call thanks to its variety of colors.

Bait for fishing

Size and Weight

Surf fishing is harder than fishing in deep water because of inconsistent tides and wind. Heavier and bigger baits can beat rough water current and sink faster than lighter ones. When it comes to surf fishing, study the water current to know the right size and weight to choose for better chances of making a catch. Avoid baits weighing less than an ounce. The sweet spot is 3-ounce baits like the Spro Bucktail Jig.

Durability

Striped bass areheavy biters. Baits made with wood, hard plastic, and metal are preferable, especially metal. This is why surf fishers prefer spoon baits because of their weight and lifespan. Although bucktails are still the best baits for surf fishing this species, they don’t last as long as spoons or topwater poppers such as the Rapala X-Rap or the Acme Kastmaster.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Target Large Stripers?

You can target large stripers by adding live eel or bunker to your hook. Eels and bunkers are known to be favorites of large striped bass, experts can confirm this fact. Using baits that resemble their prey is important, however, that’s not enough.

What is the Best Time to go Surf Fishing for Striped Bass?

Early in the morning during dawn and late in the evenings is the best time to go surf fishing for bass because this is their most active hunting period. Although they hunt throughout the day, they prefer dim light and cool temperatures. They also rely on reduced light to hunt.

An image of fishing bait

However, it is advisable to surf fish striped bass at night during late spring, summer, and early fall. During winter, surf fish at the hottest time of the day. This is your best shot at landing big stripers. Another good time to surf-fish this species is before a cold front or storm. Feeding activity is always high during this time because stripers become very active.

What is Striped Bass’ Favorite Color?

Smaller striped bass favor neutral colors like white, black, and chartreuse. If you are competing for trophy stripers, those heavy biters prefer brighter and shiny colors like red, blue, green, silver, or gold. Striped bass has poor eyesight and are drawn to almost anything depending on size.

Before purchasing an artificial bait, make sure you’ve studied the natural bait in the water you intend to fish to know the color of prey striped bass prefers there.

Conclusion

It’s advisable to have at least four different types of baits: minnows, spoons, bucktail jigs, and poppers. Generally, the characteristics of the surf you would be fishing in and life bait there will determine the right artificial bait for you.