Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love a good trip to Bass Pro Shops. But sometimes, you are just too far away and need your fishing gear quickly. There may not even be a bait shop near you. But chances are, you can find a Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart may not have top of the line fishing gear, but they have everything you need in a pinch. And you can get great fishing lures that work there.
So below are the top seven lures that you can find in any Wal-Mart that are guaranteed to catch fish. I have used them all with great success and would recommend them to any fisherman from professional to beginner angler.
Berkley Gulp! Jar Bait
Every fish from large to small feeds on live insects, worms, and other creatures that live in the water. If you don’t have access to live nightcrawlers or worms, then the best substitute I have found are Berkley Gulp! Baits.
They come in jars that have a natural scent contained inside. That’s what sets them apart from other competitors and what makes their plastic “fake” worms trick fish into thinking they are real. You can bait this on a bobber and hook, bottom rig, or anything that you would normally use nightcrawlers with.
Maybe the best part of Berkley Gulp! Is that it catches about any fish you can think of. Bass, perch, bluegill, catfish, I’ve even caught a turtle using them before. They trick almost every fish into thinking they are a tasty worm.
The best part of this bait is they are less messy than real worms and the jar is sealed tight which keeps the smell inside. If you want to just take a trip to the lake or river quickly and just have a jar of bait that will work – this is your bait.
Maybe the best all around fishing lure that I have found is the simple rooster tail. It is just a blade in front of a bright-colored metal body with a feathered tail at the end that hides a treble hook.
When you reel it in the water though, it comes to life! The blade will spin and shine and mimic tiny little baitfish that many larger, predatory fish feed on. I use them all the time in the river by my house to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass, large bluegill, and even a few crappie.
Maybe the best part of this bait is that it is very simple to use. You don’t need extra hooks, weights, or other terminal tackle. Just get a lightweight rod and fishing line under 8 pound test and you’re ready to go. Tie a rooster tail on the end, wind it in slowly, and wait for the fish to bite!
You’ll find many types of rooster tails (also called inline spinners) at Wal-Mart and frankly they all will work well. Just try and go for one with a white tail or some other bright color that is very noticeable.
Another favorite bait that you can find plenty of at Wal-mart are grubs. These lures may not look like much – but they can catch tons of fish.
Most have a single, curly tail but you can find multiple types. My favorite that I usually find at the local Wal-mart is the Yum 3” White Grub. It’s a great size that can entice bigger fish but isn’t too big for smaller fish to bite as well. The white color is also always a great producer for multiple different species.
For this type of bait you will need to have the correct hook and weight to pair it with. I personally like ball-head jigs which is something you can also find at Walmart. It will just be a ball weight attached to a hook. You thread the grub on so that the tail faces away from the ball head and its body is through the hook.
Simply bounce them across the bottom or reel them in towards you at a slow speed. It will mimic all kinds of fish, creatures, and different forage for predatory fish. You can catch anything from bass and crappie to a big, hungry bluegill with it.
A popper style bait is one of the most fun ways you can fish. It stays on top of the water and makes little “pops” in the water that attract all kinds of fish. And the best part is you’ll actually get to see the fish eat your lure.
But it does come with one downside, you have to work the lure very specifically for it to work right. This isn’t one you can let sit or just reel in. You have to actually pop the lure to you with your rod. This is very simple, but can take a little while to get a feel for.
Simply put, you jerk the rod towards you to make the popper jump forward in the water a few inches. You should hear a noise and see the water move in front of the bait. But the lure also shouldn’t ump in the air or move very erratically. Just a simple little jerk forward that is noticable.
Fish think it’s a smaller fish feeding or a bigger bug on top of the water. So like most things on this list, it can catch many different species but is especially great for all kinds of bass and some large bluegill.
You will find a few brands of popper at Wal-mart but I recommend the Rebel Pop-R. It has a good size that every species of fish in your lake will be able to eat and also seems to work the best out of the packaging in my experience. Color isn’t a huge deal here as the action is what really makes the fish bite.
Rapala Countdown Minnow
Crankbaits in general are a great type of lure that can catch tons of fish. But I like the Rapala Countdown Minnow specifically because it has great action, works for a ton of fish species, and you can choose the depth to fish it at.
Most crankbaits go to a certain depth no matter how you fish them. They are designed by their bill shape to dive to a depth and stay there. The countdown is unique in that it will sink if you don’t reel it. Meaning you can cast it, “count down” how far in the water you want it to go, then start reeling and it will stay around that depth.
This is really handy if you’re fishing somewhere that has a lot of depth changes and you don’t want to have a bunch of lures depending on how deep the water is at that spot. You can just reel it as soon as it hits the water if it’s really shallow, or let it fall if it’s deeper.
The Rapala Countdown Minnow is maybe my favorite trout fishing bait you can buy at Wal-Mart outside of power bait (read more here). But it will catch any predatory fish like crappie, bass, or bluegill as well.
Rebel Big Hopper
Another crankbait style lure from Wal-mart I recommend specifically for bluegill, perch, or other panfish species is the Rebel Big Hopper.
If you see the lure you probably already know what it mimics. It looks just like a brightly colored grasshopper. And grasshoppers are a favorite meal for most panfish in the spring, summer, and fall.
Because it mimics this tasty treat, some panfish can’t help but bite it. All you have to do is tie it on to the end of your line, cast it out, and reel in slowly. Or if you want to advance your technique you can reel in then let it float to the top. It will look like a grasshopper trying to swim away and getting fatigued.
The only real downsides for the Big Hopper are that it usually targets smaller species of fish and you need light line to really cast it well since it’s so light and small of a lure. But if you want to just go catch hundreds of fish from a pond, lake, or river? This is the bait I would be picking up at Wal-Mart.
Yum Dinger 4"
If you want a lure from Walmart that can catch the biggest fish at your fishery then I don’ think you have a better option than a Yum Dinger.
I know, it sounds crazy. It looks like just a log in the packaging. But when you put it on a hook (and just a hook) and let it shimmy down in the water – it drives bass absolutely crazy.
So buy a pack of Yum Dingers in any color – watermelon is a great choice – and hook it straight through the middle of its body so that either side falls limp on the sides of the hook. This gives the lure it’s best action.
Then throw it out, let it sink, and wait for the bites. I’ve caught more bass on this lure than any other at local farm ponds and is probably the best bass fishing lure that you can buy in most stores, but especially Wal-Mart.
If you want to aim for big ones – use the 5” versions. But the 4” is good to catch any size of bass (and maybe even some bluegill or catfish) that live in your fishery.
There are the top 7 lures that you can buy at Wal-Mart. Hopefully depending on the kind of fishing you want to do, what species you want to catch, and which lure catches your eye you’ll know what to pick up before going into the fishing aisle. If this article was helpful, please leave a comment and tell me which one you picked! I love interacting with fellow anglers from beginners to professionals!
Or if you want to read some more fishing articles to prepare for your day on the lake, river, or pond then consider reading these articles that other fisherman have loved!