Crayfish Baits

Fishing Tackle | Soft Baits

Crayfish baits are one of the best baits for targeting quality largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.  These baits come in many different shapes and sizes.  Some of the smaller baits may work better on a trailer for largemouth bass, but they may be perfect by themselves for smallmouth bass.  Some of the larger crayfish baits tend to work much better for quality largemouth bass.

Tackle Recommendations

Rod, Reel & Line

For largemouth bass, they are usually fished with a baitcaster with heavier line and a heavier rod.  17 to 30 pound test line is the norm, which allows anglers to fish around all types of cover.  For smallmouth bass though, many anglers fish with lighter line and lighter rods due to all the clear water lakes that smallmouth bass thrive in.  6 to 8 pound test line is the norm with light action rods when fishing in clear water for smallmouth bass.  You can catch other fish with crayfish baits, but largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are the primary targets for most anglers.

Best Rigs

Shaky Head Jig

Shaky head jigs help keep the crayfish up off the bottom.  This helps draw more strikes from bass than just using a regular jighead where the bait would be crawling along the bottom.


A regular jighead is an effective way to fish crayfish baits.  Crawl them and hop them along the bottom and you will get plenty of bites.

Drop Shot Rig

The drop shot rig isn’t as popular as some of the other rigs, but it can definitely be effective.

Swimbait Hook

A swimbait hook gives the bait more of a gliding action as it goes down to the bottom.  Once on the bottom, it helps the bait stay just slightly off the bottom.  It’s a great way to rig these baits.

Texas Rig / Florida Rig

Many anglers prefer the Texas rig for just about every type of soft plastic bait.  It works with crayfish baits too.

Best Fishing Techniques

Hopping Along the Bottom

Working a crayfish bait with a hopping action is very effective.  Just hop it along the bottom with some occasional pauses and you will get a lot of bites.

Flipping and Pitching Around Cover

Many anglers prefer to flip and pitch a variety of crayfish baits around all types of cover.  It’s very effective.  Just make sure you use heavy enough line to get the job done.

Dragging Along Bottom

You can also just drag the crayfish bait slowly along the bottom.  Mix in an occasional pause and you will get plenty of bites.

What Eats Them

Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Spotted Bass

Kevin’s Favorites