Best lures for marsh bass

Jeff Bruhl uses a variety of lures to target Pearl River marsh bass this time of year.

When he’s fishing the ponds, Bruhl adjusts his lure selection based on how much water is over the grass. If there’s not much water between the top of the grass and the surface, he likes throwing a Sebile Pivot Frog.

That frog is unique because it utilizes a single, weighted swimbait hook, unlike most frogs which feature two hooks and no weight.

“If the grass is really thick and you can’t get a Ribbit frog to make vibration, then I just throw a walking or popping frog,” he said.

For low-water situations, Bruhl also fishes a soft plastic jerkbait. He prefers the Berkley Gulp Jerk Shad rigged on a weightless hook.

“That’s good this time of year because it has a slow, subtle fall,” he said.

Another lure Bruhl is a fan of is a weedless Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw.

“You want to swim it over the top and edges of the grass,” he said. “That imitates a crab, and you’ll catch bass and reds on it.”

If he’s targeting the edge of grass lines either in bayous, ponds or Geohagan’s Canal, Bruhl often reaches for either a Zara Super Spook Junior or a Pop-R. When he’s fishing the former, he likes the bleeding-mullet color.

“It’s got a little bit of gold and blue on it,” he said. “It looks like a mullet.”

No matter what topwater hardbait he throws, Bruhl implements a slow retrieve.

“You want something that kind of walks and stays in one spot and splashes a bit,” he said. “They’ll come a foot or two to hit something, but they’re not going to chase a lot.”

Lastly, Bruhl never leaves the dock without a lightly-weighted Texas rig. It yields a lot of his fish in the springtime, especially when he’s fishing slightly deeper bayous.

Bruhl uses a ⅛- to ¼-ounce weight, as there’s not much need for anything heavier. He Texas rigs a Berkley Bottom Hopper, which is a 6-inch straight-tail worm.

Gear for this lure is extremely critical. Use your $15 Academy rod, and it’ll be a lot like fishing with a 3M scrubbing sponge.

Stiff rods are vital for horsing the bass out of the submerged vegetation, so Bruhl uses a 7-foot, medium-heavy-power, fast-action rod to get the fish to the boat. He attaches an Abu Garcia STX 7.1.1 gear-ratio baitcaster to the rod’s reel seat.

“I can take up line a little faster (with the high gear ratio),” he said.

The Covington resident spools his reels with either 20-pound Trilene Berkley Big Game monofilament or Berkley 100-percent fluorocarbon.

In clearer water, he’ll throw the fluorocarbon because it’s practically invisible.

About Joel Masson 167 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at