In regard to links throughout this Site, you may see a word that is underlined but NOT highlighted blue like a link, It IS a link and these are words that can be found in our Dictionary. In case you're unfamiliar with some of the fishing lingo.
fishing lures are designed as much to catch fishermen as they are to
In fishing lingo, artificial bait is usually called a lure.
Lures are the name given to spinners, jigs, poppers, flies, spoons, etc. When used, these are seen by fish as a natural food such as a minnow, mayfly, worm, smaller fish, etc.
While Lure fishing can be more expensive, lures can be more fun as the lure needs the angler to provide the motion.
If your new to fishing or just maybe new to the World Of Lures and have seen ALL the weird and nuttiness shapes, styles and colors of Lures on the walls of the store with fishing equipment and thought to yourself, "Which one or ones should I use? What is each one for? Why the different colors. Why do some look like fish or worms while others are simply metal devices that spin?" don't feel alone!
That's what this site is for! We'll help you figure out which ones are used for what and when and how.
Fishing lure companies make lures in many sizes, styles, colors, and patterns. As we will demonstrate throughout this site on how to use different styles of Lures, it is always best that you read the instructions on a lure package to learn how to use each lure.
Be forewarned there are numerous products that do little to attract or catch fish. They may look appealing in the store, but in realism they fall short of delivering on catching any fish.
If you are looking to keep your cost down and are not really too concerned of the quality of the merchandise, then I would suggest your local Walmart. Don't get me wrong, Walmart does have some quality products, but most of their merchandise is rather generic. Their prices are also fairly lower than what you will pay at a sporting store. If you are looking for higher quality tackle then a Dick's Sporting Goods or your local bait shop would be your best bet.
What Is A Lure
When it comes to fishing you need something for the fish to think it's food and that typically in the fishing world is called a lure.
As opposed to just a fish hook at the end of a fishing line, a fishing lure is an object attached to the end of a fishing line which is designed to resemble and move like the prey of a fish. It may resemble a worm, tadpole, crayfish, small fish, insect, etc., or may be simply a metallic object.
The purpose of the lure is to use movement, vibration, and color to catch the fish's attention so it bites the hook. Lures are equipped with one or more single, double, or treble hooks that are used to hook fish when they attack the lure.
point in Lure Fishing is to make inanimate objects resemble a
fleeing or wounded fish to any hungry fish and fool it into the idea
that it will consume an easy meal.
Lures come in many different sizes, shapes, colors and styles.
The reason there are so many different sizes, shapes, colors and styles of lures is the fact that different lures are designed for different reasons. Some are designed to primarily catch certain species of fish. Some are designed for day and some for night, as well as some are to be used on a cloudy day while others on a clear day. Some are designed for certain seasons. Some are designed for clear water or murky water. Some are designed in regards to cover and structure, temperature and depth. Some are designed for this and some are designed for that and some are simply designed to catch a fisherman's eye.
know, your saying, "this all sounds difficult!" It is a
lot to take in and there are a whole lot of choices to make, but
after you finish with this page (and we'll keep it brief) you will
have a better understanding. You will at least have the basics of
knowing which lures are best used for what situation.
would suggest you buy two or three lures at first and experiment.
You also want two or three on hand as there is no doubt in my mind
that you are going to end up losing at least one! After time you will
end up with an arsenal of lures. Their just to damn fun!
Why Use a Lure?
Like I said above, their just to damn fun!
Lures are a lot easier and quicker to use as opposed to getting your hands dirty and pooped on by worms. Trying to hook the worm on a hook. Sitting and watching a bobber out in the middle of the lake to see if it bobbles or not. You real in your line to only find a hook; no fish or no worm!
As that all sounds pretty pessimistic about live bait fishing, that's not the point I was trying to get across. Live bait fishing is a kick back Sunday morning! Time alone, peace and quite, time to think and relax and catch some fish! I love live bait fishing!
The point I was trying to make is that with lure fishing; your bait (lure) is already on your line, all the time (unless you snagged and lost it in a tree or something).
As I stated, lure fishing is just damn fun, however, I encourage you to never give up on live bait fishing. Live bait fishing is not just a lay back day of fishing as I also stated, but live bait fishing can be more successful than lure fishing.
Material Type of Lures
When it comes to materials you will find lures that are made out of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, cork, and materials like feathers, animal hair, string, tinsel and others. They can have many moving parts or no moving parts. They can be retrieved fast or slow. Some of the lures can be used by alone, or with another lure.
Of course with heavier material you will get heavier lures. This will determine if you need to add weight or use something lighter to get where you want to be. You need to make sure your tackle box has weights, bobbers and extra line. It is almost impossible to predict the conditions you will be facing so it is a good idea to have different things ready for using in different circumstances.
lot of anglers have their favorite lures that they swear by while
others have a wide assortment and don't mind changing lures quickly
if they are getting no fish to bite. As time goes on you will
eventually learn and figure out what is going to work best and when
it will work best.
How To Choose A Lure
When selecting a fishing lure or lures you must consider the species of fish you're targeting along with the season and weather conditions you're fishing in.
The veteran fisherman is familiar with seasonal locations of fish and the proper presentation (the choice of lure and how to retrieve it.) They also know how to fish the proper lure at the proper depth to maximize their catch rate.
Depth is a major factor in lure selection. There are three categories or lure types:
the spring, when most fish move into the shallow water to spawn and
seek food; Surface lures and shallow running lures would be a good
choice. During the summer months fish move to deeper water where deep
running lures and jigs would be used. When autumn arrives, fish tend
to move back to shallower water sub-surface and surface lures will be effective.
Cover is some physical object separate from the actual lake bottom contour. It is often mistaken for structure. Structure is the actual bottom contour (breaks, drops, humps, etc.)
Cover is basically anything that can hide a fish or baitfish. Hydrilla, lilly pads, cattails, and trees are examples of types of cover. Whereas structure is basically anything that causes a change in the bottom contour. Points, humps, creek channels, bridges, and pond dams are examples of structures.
such as largemouth bass and northern pike will be lounging out in
the weeds (cover) throughout the year. When fishing thick weeds and
brush use a weedless lure with a weed guard to prevent snagging.
Level of Fish Activity
The fish level of activity determines the size and action of the lure. For instance, water temperature affects fish more than other elements, and weather conditions play a major role, such as when a cold front arrives. Cold water reduces the fish activity and it is best to downsize your lure and present your lure slowly. For muskies and northern pike use lures such as jerk baits and gliders with a pause between in your retrieve, walleyes use jigging spoons twitched and paused along with small jigs tipped with live bait crawled on the bottom will work well.
warm stable weather as the fish's metabolism is active they feed
readily. This is the best time to be on the water to fish, inline
spinners, spinner baits, spoons and crank baits with fast retrieves
will move and catch fish.
of lures is also apart of the proper presentation.
very big question that always comes up when choosing lures is how to
The following information is not a guarantee solution, however, picking the right color lure, in fact, could help you draw out that fish that otherwise wasn't going to bother with your line.
Why be concerned with color
Ultimately, the appeal of the lure to the fish is most important. Fish must strike the lure either to eat it or attack it. While fish may locate the general area of the bait by smell or sound, most make their final attack by sight. Fish scents and noisemakers can draw fish to the area of the lure, but before it can strike, the fish must also be able to see it. This is why lure visibility and color are important to successful fishing.
You want to use lures that contrast the colors that are already in the area. You want fish to see something out of the ordinary. If you aren't sure then you can use a neutral color. The key is to have many different colors in your tackle box. Not to only experiment with trail and error, but remember, while fishing you will undoubtedly lose lures and hooks as well.
are several factors, in determining color! Here are a few to consider!
delving any deeper into color, one must first and foremost have an
understanding of water clarity to be able to select the appropriate
bait. This really does depend on what sort of body of water you will
be fishing in.
are basically four kinds of water clarity:
In muddy and dingy water with a visibility of one to four feet, it's a good idea to stick to florescent-colored baits because of the high visibility and work really well under muddy conditions.
considered more critical to lure selection, water clarity or light
conditions? Both are crucial, but water clarity is the dominating
factor, although light penetration is very important to the equation.
There are mixed ideas on what colors to use on clear days and clear waters and vice versa.
general, you'll want to use lighter, brighter colors in clearer
water and sunny conditions, and darker lures for darker days and
Blue, reds, orange, and purple seem to be neutral colors.
A notable exception to this rule is the use of 2-toned plastic worms that feature a darker head color and a fluorescent pink or yellow tail color. Many anglers use plastic worms colored like this when fishing in cloudy water conditions.
As the fishing day wears on, the light generally becomes brighter and the color patterns may vary depending on the light filtration penetrating the water at the depth you are fishing. The reason is because the deeper a colored bait drops through the water the less of its color can be seen by the fish. The deeper your lure goes down into the water, the color spectrum starts to diminish. For example; if you had a multi-colored plastic worm and you cast it out letting it drop to a 25-foot depth, the colors of that multi-colored plastic worm would be shades of grays and blacks.
The first color to fade out of the color spectrum under high visibility will be the reds.
Red light is almost completely absorbed within the first 15-20 feet. Orange penetrates to 30-40 feet, and yellow to 60-70 feet, while green and blue remain visible for as deep as the light penetrates.
Then again, while red may be visible down to 15 feet in the clear water of The Plitvice Lakes, it may disappear within six inches of the surface in the Alamo River.
Total light intensity is also important. On a cloudy day, colors will not penetrate as deep as they will on a sunny day. At dusk, as light intensity falls, reds are the first color to go, followed by orange, yellow, green, and blue. As total light intensity decreases, the fish's eye switches to vision with rods, and the fish is no longer able to distinguish colors.
Wind will also affect the light penetration and throws in another variable into the equation. More wind creates less light penetration.
If you are still confused as to what color to pick, you can always use a multicolored plug or lure.
If something isn't working, always change your tactics. As a matter
of fact, if you make a change, make a drastic change. For example, if
you are fishing a red bait with little success, switching to purple
will probably do little to change your luck. So, always go to the
opposite end of the spectrum if a color change is in order.
What Kind of Fishing Rod To Use For Lures
are not that practical with the use of a cane pole, they are
typically used with a fishing rod and reel. We suggest not using a
fishing rod that is too heavy and too long, since you will be casting
and retrieving for a long time. An ideal Lure Rod would be 8-9 feet
in length. This increases casting accuracy and is not that heavy.
Kind of Fishing Reel To Use For Lures
far as fishing reels are concerned, you can use any type, as long as
it is not that heavy. An ideal reel for Lure Fishing would be a
relatively small fixed
spool fishing reel.
Kind of Fishing Line To Use For Lures
is important to have a quality fishing line as your line will take a
big beating in the course of lure fishing. Though they are expensive,
Braided Fishing Lines are great because they are tough and
long-lasting. However, read the package instructions and follow the
advice of manufacturers who may be recommending specific types of
All The Types of Lures
There are hundreds of different types of artificial lures.
are three categories of lure types:
types of lures:
is no doubt you'll be dazzled by the variety!
restraint or soon you'll need a tackle box bigger than the trunk of
your car or bed of your truck!
They generally look like a large hook with a weight surrounding it.
A jig is a type of fishing lure consisting of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. They are often decorated with feathers, artificial eyes, rubber legs, and tinsel, sometimes minnows or plastic worms.
Jigs are used primarily to catch bottom feeding fish.
Jigs are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion, as opposed to spinnerbaits which move through the water horizontally. The jig is very versatile and can be used in both salt water as well as fresh water. Many species are attracted to the lure which has made it popular amongst anglers for years.
You can use Jigs alone or with different fishing baits to make them more attractive to fish. You can use minnows, worms, leeches, pork rinds or other live baits to the jigs hook for increased fishing results.
How To Use a Jig
Jig fishing takes a lot of concentration, unlike spinners, all the "action" (how a lure moves in the water) comes from you. If you don't do anything the jig just sinks. The classic way to fish a jig is to cast it out, wait until it hits the bottom (you will know it has hit bottom when your line goes slack), then retrieve it in a series of hops. You make it hop by lifting the rod tip, lowering it, and retrieving your line. Try different speeds, big lifts, little hops, twitching until you find what works. Pay attention, though. Detecting the strike is the hardest thing about jigging.
Some jigs feature stiff brush or wire guards to keep them weedless, while most feature only a bare hook. Nonetheless, the best places to fish jigs are usually those places where they can get hung up, near weeds, brush, or rocks. (Jigs are the cheapest type of artificial lure, however, so the loss of a few jigs is usually not as consequential as the loss of a crankbait.)
Note: There are now alternatives to jigs. These alternatives are usually made of steel, ceramic or cement. If you loose your sinker, these alternatives are safer for water birds.
are widely known by a number of other names depending on the country
and region. Such names include crankbait, wobbler, minnow, jerkbaits,
poppers, surface plugs, floating/diving plugs, shallow-diver and deep-diver.
Plugs attract smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Plugs are designed to basically try and mimic a smaller fish, frogs or particular prey that you know the larger fish are feeding on at the moment. Most plugs have some sort of plastic lip that allows them to dive when you pull them through the water and they usually have one, two or three treble hooks attached to them.
Some plugs are made to float and some are made to dive down into the water, in either case emulating the movement of baitfish on the water. Depending on the design, a plug will shimmy, shake, gurgle, splash and even rattle in various ways to imitate something a hungry fish would like to eat. These hard bodied lures can be fished at almost any depth, as some are made to float or dive or both.
Plugs come in all sorts of different shapes and size depending upon what you are fishing for. They are very common for saltwater fishing, but popular in freshwater as well. Some plugs are completely solid of one piece while others are broken into two pieces held together by a hinge. The two piece or "broken back" models generally are more vibrant in the water as they fluctuate more in the water when reeled quickly. Some plugs also have rattles built into them such that they make a sound when pulled through the water. They are referred to as "Rattlers".
There are 3 types of plugs:
Actions of A Plug
Classic plugs float on the surface or suspend in the water, but will dive under the surface of the water and swim with a side-to-side wobbling movement (hence the alternative name wobbler) upon retrieval. Plastic plugs can dive to either a very shallow depth, due to a small lip, or to a moderately deep depth (3' - 6'), due to a large lip. As for wood plugs, the size of the lip is not what makes your depths increase or decrease, but rather, it is the way you bend the lip or eye. Sometimes, plugs are named after their diving ability, e.g. "deep-diver" or "shallow-diver". Plugs can also be designed to hover (neutral buoyancy), sink slowly, or sink rapidly. Some have a small metal ball inside to "rattle" when retrieved.
lures are sometimes generically called plugs or wobblers. They come
in all different shapes and sizes. These plugs are usually made by
small companies and cost around twenty dollars. Each plug has its own
action or has none unless you give it one. Wood plugs usually range
from between 3/4 oz. and 4 oz. The different plugs come in a few
basic categories. There are surface swimmers, subsurface swimmers,
needlefish, poppers, pencil poppers, and darters. They all have their
own specific place and time to be fished.
Sizes of Plugs
range in size from around 1 inch to around 8 inches. Plugs in the
2-3 inch size range are most commonly used however. As a general rule
large plugs are used for large fish, and small plugs for small fish.
Fishermen casting for very small fish such as crappie will use very
small plugs, and anglers fishing for large fish such muskellunge or
Murray cod will use extremely large plugs. But trophy-sized fish are
occasionally caught on very small plugs, and fingerling perch will
sometimes strike - and hook themselves - on a plug as big as they are
themselves. Plug fishing is more common in freshwater fishing than
How To Use A Plug
First and as always, follow the directions on any fishing items you purchase.
Most plugs have their "action" built into them by design, but you can always alter a plug's action in many ways, such as varying the speed of the retrieve, occasionally "twitching" the rod tip during retrieve, or even letting the plug stop completely in the water, then resuming retrieve at a very high speed. Plugs are often cast so they land next to places where fish may be hiding, such as a snag pile or an overhanging tree and worked back enticingly. A skilled fisherman can methodically explore many possible hiding places for fish by continually casting and retrieving a plug.
any plug design will catch fish - fish will, out of anger, hunger,
territorial protection or simple curiosity, occasionally strike at
any small object moving or falling through the water. But some plugs
have become famous for their high degree of effectiveness in the
hands of a good fisherman, while others come and go from the market
quickly when found to have limited success.
the name implies, a topwater plug, also called popper, always floats
at rest and when you retrieve it. The way a topwater plug floats
resembles the action of frogs or injured baitfish at the water
surface. Also, it has a concave part at the front, which creates a
fuss if you are retrieving it. These plugs are the excellent Fishing
Lures when you are after largemouth bass. Topwater plugs are also
most appropriate when fishing in still waters. Fishing will
definitely be a fun activity with topwater plugs, that is, if you
have the patience and determination to wait for the fish to hit the
Plug. The fun part comes in when a fish starts to attack the topwater
plug, partly rising out of the water, bangs it in the air, and swim
after it once more.
are Plugs designed to dive at great depths. Some do not have lips,
but those which have lips can dive for up to 20 feet. They create a
vibrating movement, like that of a baitfish, upon retrieval.
Crankbaits are usually used for Fishing bass species, trout, catfish,
pickerel, northern pike, and walleyes.
There is a type of Plug which does not have built-in movement. This is called a stickbait or jerkbait. Majority of these plugs are large, floating, and are intended for Fishing northern pike, muskellunge, and other large species.
They are made of soft or hard plastic resembling a bait fish that is typically fished in a series of quick jerks or is "ripped" to resemble a darting baitfish.
How to Use a Jerkbait
Choose a jerkbait made with a soft plastic lure. Jerkbait plastic lures tend to be more tubular and resemble worms or flukes. There are some hard jerkbaits that will cast farther, but they probably are not quite as effective because game fish have too much time to observe, feel or hear the vibrations.
Understand the advantages of a jerkbait lure and use the proper action to maximize them. The idea is to reel in the lure about two feet so that it returns toward the surface and toward you. Then stop and the jerkbait will flutter as it sinks back down. Repeat the process.
Decide what depth range you are going to cover. Most jerkbaits have close to neutral buoyancy, so if you want to continually fish close to the bottom you should consider putting a small split shot on your line about two to three feet up from the bait. It will sink faster and when the split shot rests on the bottom, the jerkbait will slowly flutter the rest of the way.
Remember the general rule is that the deeper you use a jerkbait, the more important it is to have the hook within the lure to decrease the chance of getting hung up. An offset hook through the front end is the best way to rig a jerkbait. However, if the lure is long and thin enough you can hook the middle with a snell hook so that both ends will flutter as it floats down.
Poppers imitate bugs floating on the surface of the water. When twitched along, they make a sort of "glub" sound that attracts certain kinds of fish.
Poppers, along with Flies, are small, very light, almost weightless lures used primarily for fly fishing. A spincast or spinning rod and reel outfitted with a "bubble" (clear bobber) placed four to five feet above the lure works well if you don't have a fly rod.
How to Use Poppers
Surface fishing is about making noise, and that is exactly what fishing with a popper will do. Poppers mimic prey chugging across the top of the water. If fished right, this can lure fish from far away and trigger explosive strikes. Fishing with poppers takes patience, but it can be exciting when something goes after your bait.
Use a heavy monofilament line. This will give more buoyancy to the lure.
Cast the bait and wait a few seconds after it hits the water. Watch the rings on the surface of the water as they spread away from your lure. Let them extend 5 or 6 feet before starting your retrieve.
Pop the bait with a quick jerk, pulling it a few feet closer to you. The pop is what attracts the fish . The commotion on the surface of the water lets the fish know that food is nearby and that it may be injured.
Pause again as the rings spread and watch for a strike on your lure. If you see it twitch, something is interested in your popper.
Repeat the above steps and watch the bait during the pause. As with other lures, fish will strike your popper during the pause. Always be ready to set the hook, or your fish might spit out your lure before you get a chance to snag it. Reel in a slack line between twitches so that you're ready to catch the fish when it strikes.
Make the popper mimic a baitfish fleeing a predator. Use a steady retrieve to pull the popper across the surface of the water, creating a wake behind it. This technique may work if your "pop and pause" technique doesn't.
You can also try this technique. After throwing out your popper, refrain from moving it for one full minute. Many times, if you'll give the fish a chance to find the popper, they'll come for a close-up inspection and stop just under it. Once they're in position, inspecting it, that first pop or twitch can cause an instinctive reaction.
Another method would be as soon as the popper hits the water, give it a big pop. This is especially good in murky/stained water and can help the fish home in on the original signal that food just hit the surface.
Try different colors. Fish can see contrasts against the sky and water. If you're not getting bites, the fish might not be able to see your popper.
Spoons look something like the eating end of a teaspoon. They are heavier than water, and imitate a speedy minnow flashing and darting under the surface as they are reeled in.
Spoons are mostly used for northern pike and muskies.
Of the hundreds of lures on the market, the most popular are spinners (such as Mepps or Rooster Tails), crankbaits (such as Rapalas), and jigs with feathers or rubber bodies (such as Mister Twisters).
Spinners have small blades or propellers that rotate around a center shaft. When you drag a spinner through the water, the blade spins and flashes, attracting fish by the motion it makes and the vibrations it sends into the water.
They are easy to use and will catch a wide variety of fish.
spinnerbaits with the lightest, brightest and shiniest blades on
Crankbaits- More expensive than other lures, crankbaits are excellent for walleyes, pike, muskie, and bass.
These are lures that look like a small fish. They are cast into the water and retrieved by reeling (aka cranking) the line back in. There are 3 types: those that work the surface, medium divers (1-10 feet) and deep divers (10-20 feet)
Typically the face is pushed in to form a cup. The cup creates a popping noise when the line is pulled instead of cranked in.
Some have a propeller instead of a "cup" face. The propeller moves the water around the lure to get the fish's attention.
Minnow baits. They may rattle, but don't have any movement built into them unless it's done by the fisherman pulling the line in various ways. There is no lip attached.
Appear to look like the deep divers. Generally, I look at the lip size and the specs on the box to determine how deep it'll go
These are going down no more than 20 feet.
Color is important, because fish may be biting on red lures one day and yellows the next. This is why you need so many lures.
In order to be most effective, almost all of the artificial lures should be used on certain kinds of store-bought fishing rods with reels attached. There are bait-casting rods for bait and plugs, fly rods for artificial flies and poppers, and spinning rods for spoons, jigs, and spinners. Different types of reels are made for each of these rods, but all of them hold a spool of line and allow the lure to be cast out into the water and reeled back in.
Shop for Lures
We have an extensive collection of various kinds of Fishing Lures. Shop and buy here.
Choose the right fishing lures to catch nearly every kind of freshwater and saltwater fish. Whether you're a skilled angler or a beginner, finding the best fishing lure to use depends on many different situations - the time of year, weather, water, and the type of fish you want to attract. No matter what your situation is, these topwater lures, crankbaits and saltwater lures help you explore every possible hiding place with productive results. Our fishing lures are made using the latest technology to give you the ultimate fishing experience and the best chance of reeling in a fish. From topwater lures and surface plugs to crankbaits and saltwater lures, get the right bait for the job from the most popular and historically recognized brands in the industry. Whatever your game, we'll hook you up with the right equipment to help you catch the big one!
any hints, suggestions, techniques or anything that you would like to share
have me put onto this web page,
Jon's Images, Inc.
This website is the composition of many hours of research. Information contained within this site has come from numerous sources such as websites, newspapers, books, and magazines.
No animals were harmed in the making of this site.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. If you do not agree to the full terms, do not use the information. We are only publishers of this material, not authors. Information may have errors or be outdated. Some information is from historical sources or represents opinions of the author. It is for research purposes only. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages. We are not liable for any consequential, incidental, indirect, or special damages. You indemnify us for claims caused by you.
Please be advised that the content of this site is a source of information only. The FUNdamentals of Fishing Website cannot take responsibility for animal welfare or actions taken as a result of information provided, and if in doubt you should seek the advice of a qualified physician or veterinarian.