Bass rely on different senses to hunt for food. In clear water, where the visibility is high, they use sight to locate their prey at a distance. In dark, cloudy or muddy water they rely on the vibrations of their prey. Because brightly-colored lures aren't as effective when visibility is low, it's better to fish for bass with dark-colored plastic baits and lures that create some motion.
Black, dark brown or purple plastic worms are ideal for water where the visibility is poor. Bulky plastic worms with twist tails, multiple tails or other appendages that wriggle and move attract hungry bass. In the weeds, use a Texas rig and thread the hook through the tip of the plastic worm. Turn the point of the hook backward and press it a short way through the head of the plastic worm. This allows the point of the hook to stick out far enough to hook a fish while minimizing the chances of the hook snagging weeds. In areas without weeds, attach a plastic worm to a swivel and a leader line. The swivel prevents the line from twisting as the lure spins. A leader line between the swivel and the lure allows the lure to look and move more naturally as it is reeled in.
A spinner can cover large areas in a short time. Reel the spinner in with a fair amount of speed to generate enough spinning action. The motion will attract feeding bass. Two popular spinners are the Shyster, made by Luhr Jensen, and the Rooster Tail, by Worden Lures. Another spinner, which is often overlooked but can be very successful, is a lead-headed plug with a spinner under the head--like a Stump Jumper.
Top-water lures perform better than other lures in rough water or windy conditions, and are good for bass fishing in shallow water. Cast a top-water lure as far as you can and let it sit for a few seconds. Then reel in the lure with a stop-and-go technique or a twitching motion. Arbogast manufactures some of the most popular top-water lures. Arbogast's Jitterbug and Hula Popper are popular with many professional fishermen.
- antique fishing lure image by Jeffrey Sinnock from Fotolia.com