While a fishing lure may not be used among every fisherman, those who do use them know their benefits as great fishing bait. There are thousands of lures available on the market that come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, depending on the type of fish an angler is trying to attract – that’s right, there’s a definite science behind an artificial lure, which is why it’s so effective.
What may work for one fish may not work on another, making narrowing down your choice of lures a bit of a challenge. We’ll take you through the most common types of fishing lures so you can make an informed decision on what’s most beneficial for you to keep in your tacklebox.
Why Use Lures Over Live Bait?
There are several pros to using lures over live bait. First of all, lures are specifically designed in order to catch prey in the most effective way possible. That means that extensive research has been done to determine the right size, weight, color, and additional features to hone in as many fish as possible. A lure can let you cast a bit further than live bait would, allowing you to expand your reach even more. Lures are also cleaner to use than live bait, are easily interchangeable, and allow you to target a particular species more accurately. They are also ideal if you are planning on catching and releasing, as fish are less likely to swallow the entire hook.
Why Should I Not Use a Lure?
Of course, with any pros come some cons, which will be told by any fisherman who prefers using live bait. While lures are reusable for the most part, they won’t last you forever, making live lures still more cost efficient in the long run. Using lures also requires a certain amount of skill, which beginner fishermen may not have. In frigid water, a lure is less effective compared to typical live bait. On top of that, lures are more likely to get snagged on underwater structure.
The 6 Most Common Types of Fishing Lures
Having said this, lures can be irreplaceable if you use them correctly, and will truly become your best friend. Especially if you are looking to target a particular species, fishing lures are the most ideal. Of course, there are a multitude of different types of fishing lures, all designed for a slightly different purpose. Here are some of the most commonly used fishing lures:
Jigs such as the Major Craft Jigpara Vertical Slow Pitch Jig and the Point Jude Lures Hammer’n Groove Vertical Jig are one of the most popular types of fishing lures on the market. Typically, they feature either a feather skirt or a plastic grub, and have a weighted head on one side and a hook on the other. Jigs sink easily due to their weight, giving them the appearance of a dead or wounded fish. This makes them great for bottom feeders. Jigs are often quite flashy in appearance, making them highly visible underwater.
Crankbaits (otherwise known as plugs) such as the Rapala Shad Rap Crankbaits and the Strike King KVD Squarebill Crankbaits are hard, plastic fishing lures that have been specifically designed to resemble bait fish. You’ll recognize them as either a solid or hollow piece of plastic that has a metal or plastic lip attached to the front. Crankbaits generally have stainless steel balls inside to add weight and control the barycenter, two to three treble hooks, lifelike 3D eyes, and realistic fish scales.
Spoons such as the Thundermist SS Viper Spoon Lures and the Hopkins Shorty Plain Lures are curved and concave, quite literally resembling a spoon with the handle cut off. The benefit of a spoon is the fact that their shape makes them shine and creates a seductive, wiggling action in the water. This resembles a confused and/or injured baitfish to your prey, which is something that they quite literally cannot resist.
Spinnerbait such as the MegaStrikeStrikeBackSpinnerBaits and the BOOYAH Pond Magic Small-Water Spinner-Bait may just be the flashiest of them all. They are often brightly colored and come with an elaborate skirted hook on one side. These lures move horizontally through the water, possessing a unique spinning action due their blades. The blades create vibration and color reflection, mimicking minnows and other bait fish. These lures are most ideal for catching bass, perch, and pike.
5. Soft Plastics
Soft plastic fishing lures such as the Berkley Gulp! Swimming Mullet Fishing Soft Bait and the TRUSCEND Soft Fishing Lures are flexible, rubbery lures that most closely resemble the feel and taste of an actual live bait. Most commonly used for bass fishing, soft plastic lures are often filled with scent to further attract your prey, which is a standout feature of the Berkley products. While soft plastics tend to not be very durable, they are still highly effective.
Ever heard of a fishing fly? Take a look at the wifreo Small Fly Fishing Popper Lures and the Umpqua Lefty Deceiver. A fly fishing lure is generally only used for fly fishing, with an angling method that uses a light-weight lure – such as the fly fishing lure – to catch fish. They are also sometimes used in spin fishing. Fly fishing lures don’t necessarily look like flies, but their fur, feather, or thread tends to resemble certain insects and crustaceans. Fly fishing lures have a simple design, including just a single hook and a skirt. Due to their extremely light weight, fly fishing lures are only suitable for surface fishing.
What Type of Fishing Lure is Right for Me?
The type of fishing lure for you will largely come down to the type of fish you’d like to catch, which is why it’s advisable to collect multiple different kinds in your tackle box (if you want to focus on catching more than one type of fish, that is). Of course, not every lure will work on every fish, every time, especially if you’ve not yet experienced the intricacies of successfully using a lure. However, with a little patience and persistence, learning how to use a lure instead of live fish bait could be the best move that you make for your fishing game.