There are a of myriad fishing lures on the market today, in a vast selection of shapes, sizes, colors and specializations. This guide will attempt to help you narrow down your fishing lure choices to decide which types to use, when to use them and how to use them most effectively. If you happen to be knowledgeable about different types of bait, then lures will be that much easier for you to learn, but if not, don’t worry. Learning about lures may just help you with that as well.
The first question to answer is whether you will be fishing in salt water or fresh water. The very next question is what type of fish you are hoping to catch. And if you plan to fish at night, there are also lures for that. If the water will be murky, use brighter lures and vice versa.
In general, salt water lures are much larger than fresh water lures because the fish are larger, though some lures, such as these or these, can be used in both, if the local fish size is large enough. The primary salt water lures are swim baits – a fish replica that appears to swim smoothly through the water, jerk baits – a fish replica with disjointed action that gives it the appearance of an injured fish, and topwater baits – just as it sounds, a lure that rests on top of the water. Swim baits often provide their own movement, while the jerk and topwater require the fisher to move the line in some way. Skill with these movements is key to the success of the lure. Swim baits are generally better for catching bigger fish and require less work on your part. Jerk baits require some skill to work properly, but have a high catch rate when the right technique is employed. Topwater baits are the best for bass fishing, and require less finesse when manipulating the fishing line.
With fresh water lures, you have again the swim, jerk and topwater baits, in addition to a lure called the crank bait. This is one of the most common lures used in fresh water bass fishing. Just as the name suggests, it is used by casting it far away from your boat and cranking it back in to try and attract the attention of nearby fish. It requires less skill than the jerk bait, but it will take practice, as it requires going against the natural instinct of keeping your hook away from rocks and other potential snares. Hitting crank bait against rocks and other obstacles is actually what makes it seem more realistic to a fish.
Since a lure has one or more hooks protruding from the bottom, it actually replaces both bait and hook. So once you have chosen the proper lure, and made sure you have the right line (some lures require a lighter or heavier line so that they do or don’t sink), what you are going to do is install the lure of choice in the same manner as you would normally install a hook on your line. Once the lure is secured on your line, cast it out and experiment with different movements to achieve the desired action from your lure. Try to find a motion that is both effective and comes naturally to you. If you haven’t gotten a nibble after a dozen casts, try something different, and keep varying your movements until the fish start to bite.