You probably already know that fishing lures come in an endless array of shapes, sizes and colors. Each type of lure is designed to attract a specific range of fish species.
Here are some of the main types of lures:
These types of lure are also called crankbait and are made from hard plastic that is designed to look like bait fish and other prey. Plugs can be hollow or solid and usually have a thin sheet of metal or piece of plastic attached to the front of the lure called a lip. The lip is where you can place a product like PowerBait which is a scent attractant. Just like lures, there are many types of attractants for different types of fish. A plug will also have two or three treble hooks.
With a weighted head on one side and a hook on the other, a jig can also have a feather skirt or a plastic grub. A jig will sink easily, which makes them great for bottom feeding fish. Jigs are one of the more popular fishing lures.
These lures move horizontally through the water and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. A spinnerbait will have a skirted hook on one side and one or more metal blades on the other. These blades spin like a propeller creating vibration and color, mimicking other baitfish.
Curved, concave metal lures, spoons got their name because they look like the utensil with the handle cut off. The concave shape allows the lure to shine and wobble as it moves through the water. With a spoon, the bigger the curve, the wider the wobble. This wobbling looks like an injured baitfish and will bring game fish in for the kill.
These rubbery lures imitate a wide variety of aquatic prey. They can look like minnows, worms, frogs, lizards, crawfish and about anything in between. Choose the color of the lure based on the natural surroundings of where you will be fishing.
This fishing lure is used almost exclusively in Fly Fishing. A fly fishing lure will have just a single hook and a skirt. Feathers, furs, or thread are tied onthese lures to make them resemble insects or other prey. Some consider fly fishing an art form, and there is definitely a technique to it.
The 10 Fishing Lures That Actually Work
With so many lures out there to choose from, we have compiled our top 10 favorites that have stood the test of time and actually work.
Since it was first introduced in the late 1950s, the floating Rapala has stood the test of time. Rapala Company was founded in Finland in 1936, and the first floating minnow lure was created by Lauri Rapala. The lure was carved from a cork and covered with candy bar wrappers. Photography film negatives were then melted over the lure for a protective outer coating.
Today, Rapala is considered some of the leading lures in the world and are sold in 140 countries. In 2019, Field &Stream ranked Rapala’s Original Floating Minnow the 3rd of the best topwater lure for bass ever created. (in case you are wondering, #1 was Rebel Pop-R and #2 was Heddon Baby Torpedo)
Great for bass, the unique “L-shaped” 90 degree bill on this lure creates a hard thumping and exaggerated hunting action. Its extremely loud rattle causes fish to strike hard. These lures are best fished on a heavy line and perform best in one to five feet of water.
Check out this video that showcases Strike Kings new products, including the Hybrid Hunter: Strike King 2021 New Product Showcase
Available in several colors and sizes, trout find these lures hard to resist. This lure has great spinning qualities and sonic vibrations. These work great for bass and salmon, too.
This jig comes in various sizes and combinations and can be used any time of the year and on any species of fish. The tail on this jig “breathes” when it is at rest giving it a lifelike, realistic appearance.
Take one of these lures when you go out fishing for walleyes. Berkeley HIt Stick gives you the castability of balsa in addition to a flash disc detail on the belly of the lure that exaggerates the roll and flash. This lure will run true whether it is cast or trolled.
This classic spoon was created in the Midwest and is great for pike, bass and walleye, but will catch much more than just those. There are various sizes that will work for perch or stripers.
Watch at the 4:00 mark to see: Dardevle Spoon Fishing Pickerel
These soft plastic lures feel like live prey to the fish that bites on them. Great for many types of fish, the Mister Twister Tail can be used weightless, Texas-rigged, or almost any other style. You can add scent and taste to the lure to increase your chances of a bite.
With a natural gliding action, bucktails are one of the most versatile fishing lures. They can be jiggled, trolled or cast. You can fish with them plain or add bait to them. The smaller bucktails are effective on perch and peacock bass and the larger lures can be used on cow stripers or cobia.
Known as the Lazy Ike, the original of this “flatfish”-type lure was hand carved by Newel Daniels back in the 1930s in Iowa. There is a “X” pattern retrieve with this lure that makes it weave from side-to-side, like a baitfish that is trying to get away. This makes bass, crappie, walleye and trout very interested.
Check out the video of a Big Pike on the Lazy Ike.
It seems like some of the oldest lures are still the best. Introduced in 1940, the side wings on the Crazy Crawler imitates prey on the surface and creates a commotion whose sound carries across the water. When you cast it out, reel it in fast enough so that the lure swims over the water. Bass, especially, are attracted to this lure.
The angler in this video was satisfied with his Topwater Pike Fishing with the Heddon Crazy Crawler!
It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to filling your tackle box. The lures listed above will work on a variety of fish and in a variety of conditions.
Did You Know?
Fish can drown. Fish filter dissolved oxygen from the water and if there is no oxygen in the water, they will drown. This is the reason that if you have a home aquarium, you also need an air pump for the water.