I like plastic lizards in water mellon color and zoom trick worms in junebug color. An old fisherman told me years ago when i first started out that you can not fish plastics wrong as long as you fish it sloooow. I don't like rattle baits at all.
If it were one bait only year round that would be a jig, it can be used anytime. But I like to throw crankbaits as much as anyone and the shad raps are hard to beat but there are so many others to choose from that have there time and place. Yes don't leave out the plastics either, very good for working those finiky fish. Spinnerbaits and topwaters, we could go on and on as anyone knows. Each bait has it's ''best'' time period to be used and ''color'' has it's part to play as well. Golden rule, use whatever matches the forage the bass are feeding on for that particular time of year.
Without a doubt, power bait worm texas rigged in pumpkinseed or purple color. Will catch fish in all conditions. Love the feel of the bite. I also like bandit crankbaits in baby bass color or shad color.