Fishing Lures: A Fisherman's Guide
Fishing lures were designed to look like prey in most cases. While most are made to look like they are dying or injured prey, some are manufactured to resemble a fast moving fish. Fishing lures may also be made to add interest to the fishes' sense of aggression, territory, or curiosity.
Fishing lures can be used all alone, or some can be used together. They can be made of wood, plastic, cork, metal, or rubber, and can have moving parts. Advantages to using fishing lures are that they are less messy then actual bait, they are very easy to change, they “gut hook” fewer fish, and species of fish can easily be targeted with different types of lures used. A fisherman may even be able to fish more water using a lure then using bait. A disadvantage of using lures is they are more expensive then bait.
The many different types of fishing lures include:
Jigs This hook is weighted with a lead head with a single hook. It has a sharp tip at the opposing end. Fish are often able to spot these as they have a plastic worm, minnow or crawfish on them. Jigs are a very popular way to fish, utilizing productive results. They work best in water that is either slightly murky or clear, and in water that is below 60 degrees. There are a variety of jig weights on the market today, as well as a variety of colors. Clear water tends to have the best results with the lighter colored jigs, such as green or white, while brown, black, or darker colors produce the best results in murky waters. Jigs are very inexpensive and are easy to use.
LED Lures- LED lures attract fish with the built in battery and LED light. They often use a combination of colors and may flash or pulse to attract fish. These lures tend to be more expensive then other lures. LED lures are effective in dark waters, early mornings or late evenings.
Swimbait- Swimbait lures are made from soft rubber. They may have a tail that appears to make the bait swim through the water. They may also be referred to as paddle tail lures.
Spoon Lures- Hench their name, these lures look much like a spoon. They have a wide rounded end with a narrow pointed end. They attract fish by wobbling in the water. They are typically made of metal and contain a single or treble hook on the end. Some spoon lures can be cast, while others are made to be trolled. Spoon lures that contain a mirror finish on them are very effective at catching fish when the sun is reflecting brightly. This will resemble a white bellied fish. Gold or silver plated finishes can help give the lure a vibrant appearance to assist with catching fish.
Surface lures- Surface lures are often referred to as stickbaits, poppers, or top water lures. They resemble prey that floats on the top of water, such as frogs, mice, lizards, small fish that have been injured, and moths. Often times fisherman will have a hard time learning to use these lures efficiently and effectively. These lures will often make bubbling, popping, or buzzing sounds when in use. The solid body is typically made out of plastic or wood with either one or two treble hooks.
Soft Plastic Baits- These plastic or rubber lures come in a variety of colors, shapes, and designs. They are very economical with a very realistic texture. Some soft plastic baits even contain scents. They do contain chemicals that will soften any plastic they touch, so it is recommended they are not in contact with plastic containers or tackle boxes for very long. They typically come in the shape of worms, fish, crabs, squid, leeches, and frogs. Since the bodies of this bait are soft, it encourages fish to hang onto the bait for longer so the fisherman can hook the fish.
Artificial Flies- This kind of lure is used for fly fishing. They are often referred to as a fly lure. Many times a fisherman will design his own fly lure, tying small pieces of animal fur, feathers, and various other materials attractive to a fish. These will be added to a hook. This type of fishing lure is the most complicated type of lure.
Plugs- Also referred to as minnows, wobbler, deep diver, or crankbait, this type of lure is very popular. The hard bodied lure is made out of a light material, such as plastic or balsa. It uses two or three treble hooks, and has a plastic lip attached to the front of the body. This may be adjustable to assist with the movements of the lure. Plugs range from one inch to 8 inches, with the most common size 2 to 3 inches. Most generally, large plugs are required for large fish, while smaller plugs can be used for smaller fish. Plugs can be used at most depths.
Spinner Bait- Spinner bait, also referred to as buzzbait, is a kind of fishing lure that has one or metal blades that spin much like a propeller. This lure is used to catch fish such as pike, perch, or bass. Spinner baits activate the sense organ in a fish called the lateral line system. This allows the fish to touch and feel the object from a distance, which for the fish, will represent prey is near.