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Fishing is a hobby and sport that requires various types of equipment to accomplish successfully. From fishing boats to fishing rods, there are many tools that can enhance an angler’s experience. But the best fishing lures are designed to catch the attention of fish that swim by, thus making them an essential tool for any angler.
A fishing lure can make the difference between catching nothing and catching really big fish. When in the market for new fishing lures, there are many things that you have to consider as what works for beginners may not work for pros and what works for topwater fishing may not work for bass fishing.
Our Top Fishing Lures
Here's a list of our top choices for bass, pike, top water, shallows and game fishing.
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Any type of fishing
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Types of fishing lures
Fishing lures come in a variety of types, with some designed for specific uses. The main types include jigs, flies, spinnerbaits, plugs, soft plastic baits, crankbaits and topwater lures.
Compared to other types of fishing lures, jigs are the most versatile. They are inexpensive to boot and can be used to catch just about any fish out there. They characterized by a weighted lead head that can be dressed (think of it like a skirt or tail) in a soft plastic grub, feathers or a fish bait of your choice. Fishing with jigs requires plenty of concentration and all the action (how the lure moves in water) comes from you. Without doing anything, the jig simply sinks. Once the jig hits the bottom after casting it, lifting the rod tip, lowering it and retrieving the line will be enough activity to attract fish. Try different speeds, little hops, big hops and twitching until you find something that works.
Jigs are often used for short range pitching and flipping techniques, rather than long distance casts. Due to the soft entry and level of accuracy that jigs require, they may not be the best fish lures for beginners. Jigs come in a variety of heads, colors, skirts and jig trailer combinations. The arkie head is the most common jig head and is often referred to as the standard head.
Our Pick: The BICO Jig is a custom jig by BICO Performance Jigs and which is popular among bass fishermen. It features an original stand up design. The wide gap deep throat Owner Hook guarantees a penetrating hook-set and prevents the trailer from sliding down the shank. Compared to other jigs, this one comes with a slightly longer and stiffer. This allows it to get to get to areas that other jigs can’t.
These are designed for use with fly fishing equipment. However, with the addition of a clear bubble throat, spinning gear can also be used to cast flies as well. These are fishing lures that resemble flies at various stages of the lifecycle or natural prey such as frogs, mice, hoppers, leeches and baitfish. They are usually made with feathers and furs, although some manufacturers make of rubber and foam to make these lures. Wet flies such as streamers and nymphs are used below the water surface while dry flies float on the water surface.
Our Pick: Piscifun Fly Fishing Flies which are great for salmon and trout is a package that comes with a total of 12 fly lures with wings to resemble live flies. The flies are of different colors and feature Adopt Exquisite Feathers that are hand-tied by professionals with a barbed hook made of strong material. These flies ride high and are great for topwater fishing.
These fishing lures are awkward looking and are made up of a safety pin like wire that is attached to a lead head body. The arm of spinnerbaits is usually dressed in one or two metallic blades while the body is dressed in rubber skirt. They have a unique ability to cover a lot of water and attract fish, making them popular among beginners. Most spinnerbaits usually weigh ¼ ounces to ¾ ounces. They come with various blade designs, with the most common ones being Willow Blade, Indiana Blade and Colorado Blade. The blades keep spinnerbaits weed-less, which is another reason for their popularity among fishermen.
The straight retrieve is the most popular technique for fishing spinner-bait and it involves breaking up the repetitiveness of the action with an occasional jerk to trigger strikes. Chunk-N-Wind is another popular technique where the lure is kept at a depth of 0-5 meters and retrieve is done at a moderate speed.
Our Pick: Terminator Titanium Twin Spin features a versatile design that noteworthy for several reasons. It comes with Oklahoma blades with unique flash patterns as well as dual SnapBack titanium arms dutifully stand up when mauled by pike, bass or other predators. It is available in ½ and ¾ ounces and in several patterns. Other notable features include QuickSkirt exchangeable silicon skirting and a sharp VMC Needle Point hook.
These are usually constructed from hollow wood or plastic and often resemble frog, snakes. Crayfish, baitfish and other prey. They usually have two or three hooks and can be used for topwater fishing or to bait fish at deep depths. A plug gurgle, rattle or wobble depending on their design. They come in various types including poppers, floating/diving plugs, surface plugs, jerkbaits and crankbaits. Plugs often attract fish by their action and flash, which produces sound that attracts the attention of predators. For this reason, many plugs come with internal chambers that are filled with shot that produces a rattling sound to attract the attention of game fish.
Our Pick: Rapala Rattlin' 05 Fishing Lures is the most popular plug among anglers, and has an average Amazon rating of 5/5. It is available in eight colors and offers great action at slow to very fast retrieve rates. It’s a great plug lure for long casting. It also has a special tuned chamber that’s filled with rattling BBs to attract predators.
As the name suggests, these fishing lures are soft, lifelike rubber worms. No other lure is as attractive or versatile as the plastic worm. It is very lifelike and even when engulfed by bass; it feels like real live food. Plastic worms are available in various sizes and designs, allowing anglers to choose the best dimensions, colors and styles that suit their fishing needs. Unlike other lures, use of plastic lures requires slow retrieval rates. It also requires proper hook setting. It’s all about the feeling when fishing with plastic worms.
Proper rigging of rubber worms depends a lot on the bass you use. The Drop Shot rig, Carolina rig, Wacky rig and Texas rig are the most common types of rigs. The Texas rig is the most common due to the fact that it’s completely weed-less making it ideal for thick cover where getting hung up is a risk.
Our Pick: Zoom Bait Finesse Worm Bait Pack of 20 is available in more than 15 colors and is a very versatile lure that can be used for different uses. It features an ese style bait that works great, especially when bass aren’t biting. It is also salt impregnated to make fish hold on, thus allowing you additional time for more hook ups.
These lures are also known for their ability to cover a wide area of water and attract predators. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of environments. Crankbaits are available in many sizes, designs, colors, running depths and weights. The right choice of a crankbait depends a lot on depth of your fishing location. Crankbait fishing mainly involves casting and reeling in a straight retrieve, making selection of the right lure crucial to the success of your expedition. Jerking the tip of the rod randomly can also help give the lure some action, resulting in a good catch. As such, you don’t have to rely entirely on a straight retrieve.
Our Pick: Square Bill Crankbait is an exceptional lure by Strike King that proves effective time and time again. It is a great crankbait for serious fishermen and covers most waters, especially those with shallow depths (3-6 meters). It comes in a variety of colors and in 3 sizes.
When it comes to fishing, there isn’t much that can be compared to the joy an angler gets when they see fish leap out of the water in an attempt to catch bait. Topwater lures are fun to use. They are designed to ripple the surface of the water, causing splashing and popping sounds as they are retrieved. This creates the illusion of distressed prey, which makes for an easy meal. The main disadvantage of these lures is that bass often miss them when charging up from below. As such, if you want to catch bass, you have to refrain from retrieving the lure too fast. There are many hard baits that are fitted with treble hooks while others are weed-less. Topwater lures are most effective when cast around the cover of shorelines, stumps and grass. They also work best in low light conditions and on a calm day when there is little to no wind.
Our Pick: Rebel Pop R is your best bet if you are in the market for a good popper. It is one of the longest running poppers available on Amazon and can be used in slow to fast waters. It’s easy to use and can be cast a mile thanks to their shape. They are a great choice for late summers when all you need is exciting topwater action.
Factors to consider when purchasing fishing lures
The right fishing lure is a relative term whose meaning differs from one angler to another. The reason for this is the varying needs of anglers as well as the fact that fishing is to some extent a mental sport that requires confidence. Regardless, the large number of options available makes shopping for fishing lures an intimidating task; especially for beginners.
It’s not unheard for anglers to purchase a random lure only to be forced to make another purchase when they discover that what they bought isn’t what they need. Having the right lure can improve the chances of catching fish significantly while the wrong lure will waste your time and ultimately discourage you from fishing.
What’s the depth of the fishing ground?
Different fish tend to go to different spots depending on the time of the year. These spots are located at varying depths, and as such, suitable fishing lures will be required if you intend to have successful expeditions. Consider deep running lures if you are fishing in the summer as many fish tend to go deeper. In the fall and spring, fish tend to spawn and look for food in shallow waters. In this case, surface lures and shallow running lures will suffice.
Consider the type of game fish you are after and its size. If you are fishing crappies, perch and bluegills, small fishing lures that are 1-2 inches are a great option. Lures that are 1-3 inches are a great option if you are after river trout and white bass. A lure ranging from 2 to 5 inches is ideal for smallmouth bass while lures measuring 2-6 inches are suitable for largemouth bass. You can choose 3-6 inch lures for walleyes and 3-6 inch lures for salmon and lake trout. Try a lure that’s 4-12 inches for muskies and northern pike.
A small lure at slow presentation is a good option for cold water where fish activity is reduced. Fish are more active in warm waters and tend to look for food more often. In this case, try spinnerbaits, crankbaits and inline spinners with fast retrieves.
There is a good chance you will be fishing in an area with lots of weed throughout the year if you are looking for largemouth bass or northern pike. Consider purchasing a lure with a weed guard to prevent snagging.
Fishing is a widely enjoyed sport that provides hours of entertainment and relaxation for many anglers including beginners and professionals. A fishing lure is an essential tool that improves this experience by attracting fish through sound and movement. Refer to this guide when shopping for the best fishing lures to ensure that you make the right choice depending on what you need.