There are some lures that I have particularily grown to like over the years of fishing. Five seem to always come to mind when I get asked about what lures I like to use to catch bass, and without a doubt these are for sure my top five hard bait lures for bass that I never leave home without.
Strike King KVD Square Bill Crankbait
This could be one of the deadliest bass baits of all time, but no matter where it stands in rankings it certainly is a great bait to cast into the water for some big bass. In fact, this is the very lure that I caught the unofficial record Largemouth Bass for the Brazos River on. With the capability of being able to skim over rocks, brush, and structure, this lure can go where a lot of other lures can't. Heavy duty hardware, beefy hooks, and a nice profile all make out for one great bass lure. Try this lure with 30 lb. braid on a medium heavy rod, maybe even a heavy rod, as it almost feels like you are reeling in a bass just from the amount of drag this lure produces. It sure does catch bass like crazy though.
There are a lot of spinnerbaits out on the market, but I have always liked Booyah Baits. They are extremely durable and always seem to have a great amount of quality to them. I like to get 1/4 oz. typically, and sometimes a little heavier if I plan on casting it through some lily pads and grass. The spinnerbait in general is a great lure due to its awesome capability of being able to travel through structure without getting stuck...usually. I have caught a lot of big ones on the spinnerbait, and just a lot of quality bass in general.
Strike King Topwater Frog
A topwater frog is an absolute must for any bass fisherman in my opinion. You can cast them into nearly any type of cover, and there is always an anxious moment of waiting for the explosion of water from a big bass biting. Heavy tackle is pretty crucial with a topwater frog, and in general, the thicker and messier the structure you are casting into, the heavier your tackle needs to be. I suggest a medium heavy rod with a baitcasting reel matched with 50 lb. braid. If you haven't tried a topwater frog yet, be sure to give it a shot. Chances are you will have a blast.
Heddon Zara Spook
The classic of all bass lures, the Heddon Zara Spook. An age old, tried and trued lure that seems to just keep on catching fish. If I could only have one lure to fish with the rest of my life, this could very well be it. The amount of bass I have caught using a Zara Spook is unreal. I like to cast around structure and work the Zara Spook out of it. The walk the dog action is really what you are looking for, and this is achieved by having the right amount of slack in your line. It takes a little time to figure this action out, but once you got it - you probably got a fish on your line.
Sometimes fishing can get a little confusing, and at times like this the lipless crankbait can really provide some boost. The lipless crankbait seems to be the lure that works when everything else should be. It really is a weird phenomenon. As you can see by the picture of one of my personal lipless crankbaits, it has seen quite a bit of abuse. Yet it still works great and always is a great lure for those times when you can't quite figure it out.