A simple jighead and live bait works very well for smallmouth bass. A jig & minnow, jig & nightcrawler and a jig & leech will all do well when fishing for smallmouth bass. A variety of soft plastics will also work very well on a jighead. Grubs, worms, crayfish, swimbaits and many other types of soft plastics will all work well with a jighead. You can hop your baits along the bottom, vertical jig with them or swim them at various depths throughout the water column.

Weedless jigs are a great way to target smallmouth bass with live baits and soft plastics around weeds and wood.  On many lakes, the rocks are going to hold the majority of the smallmouth bass and you won’t need to use weedless jigs. On some bodies of water though, there are good numbers of smallmouth bass that will be holding around wood and weeds and a weedless jig will be key to catching more bass.

Learn more about using weedless jigs for smallmouth bass.

Rattling jigheads work great for smallmouth bass.  Many anglers decide to pass on these jigheads because jigs are so easy to lose in the rocks when fishing for smallmouth bass and it can get add up in a hurry when you’re losing jigs that cost a good amount more than the regular jigs.  However, the rattles are great for attracting smallmouth bass to your bait.  Rig your favorite soft plastic baits on these jigheads and you’ll love the additional fish that you catch because of the rattles.

Learn more about rattling jigheads for smallmouth bass.

Best Live Baits on a Jighead for Smallmouth Bass




Soft Plastics

Finesse Worms

Curly Tail Grubs

Twin Tailed Grubs

Creature Baits


Soft Plastic Minnows



Crayfish Baits