The Ultimate Fishing Lure Guide
Feeling overwhelmed by all the fishing lure choices out there?
If you're just getting started with fishing, it can be hard to know what lure to pick. There are so many different types of lures for different fish. Should you choose natural bait or artificial lures? And if you go artificial, which shiny, spinny, or wiggly thing will best attract the fish you want?
In this fishing lure guide, we'll go over everything you need to know so you can choose the right lure for the task. Keep reading before you plan your next fishing trip!
Bait or Lures: Which to Choose?
The number of fish you catch depends on what you choose to catch them with. However, there are hundreds of possible lure and bait options to choose from. You get to benefit from years of experimentation by the fishers who came before you to find out what would work best.
That said, there is no magic lure choice that guarantees you'll make a catch. You might find that different lures work better depending on the location, weather, or water conditions. In this guide, we'll go over some of the top fishing lure choices so you'll know how to get started. But first, let's look at whether you should use lures or live bait.
People used live bait to catch fish for many centuries before modern lures were invented. Today, many people still use hooked worms to catch freshwater fish. Certain types of fish respond well to worms, such as panfish. However, worms can also attract other fish that you don't want. Some people fish with minnows, grubs, or crickets instead.
You can experiment with different kinds of bait to discover what works best. However, using live bait can be messy, and you'll need to buy new bait each time. It also doesn't work well for some types of fish. That's why many fishers opt to use lures instead.
Some people also fish with "soft bait," which walks the line between bait and lures. Soft bait is synthetic, but it's designed to look like natural bait, like nightcrawlers and worms. The flexible, rubbery material looks like the real thing to fish but you can use it over and over again.
Next, we'll take a look at what you need to know to choose the best types of lures for the job.
Fishing Lure Types
Like synthetic soft bait, lures can be used to catch fish multiple times. How do lures attract fish? There are two main ways:
- Appear to be small fish, insects, or other prey the fish hunts
- Use reflection, movement, and color to attract fish
Not all lures are created equal: most of them have a design that's meant to attract a specific kind of fish, or a group of related species. The manufacturer of a lure will generally tell you what kind of fish it's meant to target.
However, you also need to consider your water conditions when you're choosing a lure. Heavy lures work best if you'll be fishing with strong currents and high winds. A light lure can work better when it's calm.
You also need to consider the lure color you're choosing. If you'll be fishing in muddy, murky water, you'll need a bright lure to get the attention of the fish. But if the water is completely clear, fish might be scared off by a super-bright lure color.
Here are some of the most common types of fishing lures you may want to use.
These fishing lures have at least one spinning blade and are usually made of very thin metal. When you pull the lure in the water, the blade starts to spin, like a propeller.
These blades typically are painted with a reflective coating so they'll catch light, which can make them very attractive to hunting fish. The design makes them look like small fish swimming through the water, such as shiners and minnows. This makes them perfect for catching predator fish like pike or bass.
However, there are a number of different types of spinnerbait out there. You can choose from different colors, sizes, and styles. A lot of fishers keep a few different choices on hand so they can switch depending on the situation.
Crankbait is another one of the top ways to use bait that imitates other fish.
You'll find crankbait in all sorts of different colors and sizes, but it almost always has the same design. There are two hooks attached to a piece that looks like a small fish. Bass and other hunting fish love these kinds of lures.
However, you do have to choose the right kind of crankbait for the depth you're fishing.
Spoon lures are an old, classic type of lure, but they have stood up well to the test of time.
Most spoon lures are made of an oval metal piece that has a hook at one end and a loop at the other end. They might have colors or patterns on one side, and reflective metal on the other, or both sides can be reflective.
These lures wobble when they're pulled through water, which can attract the bites of predator fish.
Jigs are designed for a certain type of fishing called "jigging." Fishing with jigs is an excellent way to catch bass and other types of freshwater fish.
These weighted lures create a vertical motion when they're in the water that certain types of fish find very interesting. However, you'll also need to learn the proper jigging technique to use these lures.
These lures churn up the water as they pass through it, and make the water vibrate around them. This is ideal for attracting fish when the visual conditions are poor. Add the right visual elements in case the fish can see them, and you have a highly effective lure design.
Ready to Use This Fishing Lure Guide?
There are many more types of fishing lures out there, but our fishing lure guide has covered some important basics that will let you get started. It's time to plan your fishing trip and put this knowledge to use!
Wondering where to get the lures and other supplies you need? Check out our product line here.