Bait fishing? Nah!!...A closer look at fishing lures

November 10, 2006
By: Rich Gerenser
Bait fishing? Nah!!...A closer look at fishing lures
Sure, you can always throw a nightcrawler or a minnow on a hook, but isn't the reward that much sweeter when you're bassin' using fishing lures? Just knowing that you fooled that bucketmouth with a piece of wood is a pretty satisfying feeling, especially if you did your homework and selected a lure that you "just knew" would land fish.

So you've come to the internet, the "world encyclopedia", to do your homework, and you've found this article. Hopefully, you'll take away some useful information. Even if you familiarize yourself with all of the different types of lures, you're ahead of the game. This still is no easy task and will take time and a lot of trial & error. Today's bait choices are so vast and varied, that it's enough to confuse any fisherman. Consider your options: lure color, size, feel, action, sound, smell, taste; depth at which various lures may be fished; speed with which they may be fished. Some lures resemble natural prey, some don't. Some can be fished through heavy cover, others snag on a blade of grass.

Let's put all these fishing lures into categories. They can be loosely grouped into three: Soft Plastics, Hard Baits, Topwater & Crankbaits.

Soft Plastics

Worms, Tubes, Grubs, and Creature Baits

Of all the weapons to keep in your tacklebox, soft plastic lures are the most versatile, and easiest to use in a wide range of fishing conditions. Curled tail worms drop slowly and put out a very subtle vibration. Ribbon tail worms' thin tails wobble rapidly and attract base visually. Flipping worms are fairly thick and more durable to accommodate the stronger hooks needed for fishing heavy cover. Floating worms, rigged without weight, can be flipped and twitched around docks, weeds and other cover.

Tube Baits are a wonderful lure to have on hand when bass are suspended. Their slow, vertical fall looks like naturally occurring prey to bass, and almost always guarantees a strike

Grubs, paired with painted or unpainted jigheads, are a deadly combination when it comes to largemouth or smallmouth bass. The curl of the tail simulates a swimming baitfish. Grubs come in all sizes, colors and scents. Try many different ones in different situations. Remember, grubs are meant for cast-retrieve. Their movement attracts the fish

Creature baits can be rigged many different ways and are also available in a vast array of sizes and species. Some of the more popular ones are: Lizards, frogs, and crawfish. You'll need to do some recon before you fish, to see what kind of creatures live in the habitat. A good bet for crayfish is rocky bottoms, shores or banks, while lizards and frogs are better in the weeds and on the surface.

Hard Baits

Spinnerbaits, Spoons

Perhaps the easiest to use, spinner baits require little effort and can bring much success. In-Line spinners incorporate a blade, a treble hook, and some sort of skirt usually made of deer hair or fur. When retrieved slowly, these lures attract lots of fish. They can be used along submerged trees or over structure. No good for the weeds though, most are not weedless. Regular spinnerbaits use an offset style with the blade and the hook separate in a V formation. Some different types of blades are: Colorado, Willowleaf, and Indiana. These have different shapes and provide more or less flash if needed.

Spoons may be one of the most misused lures in most anglers' tackleboxes. For a long time, fishermen assumed that spoons were only good for jigging using an up and down motion. Not so. Bass, Pike and Trout can't lay off spoons. A nice, slow retrieve will simulate a fish in distress perfectly.

Topwater & Crankbaits

Topwater fishing can be difficult, but it's definitely the most fun. Explosive strikes that can sometimes make you jump out of your boots are the payoff here. Topwater poppers, frogs, mice, and plugs all do a nice job pushing water and causing disturbance, a must for bass. Usually fished in the very early morning, or at dusk, these fishing lures will definitely have a special place in your tacklebox.

Finally, crankbaits are for the angler who may like to get technical about depth and retrieve techniques. Crankbaits can be found in styles of almost any species that live in a fish habitat. From minnows to cicadas, spiders to crawfish or frogs to june bugs. Crankbaits come as deep divers shallow runners or even zig-zag returns. The longer the lip the deeper the dive.

Lots of choices, huh? It's all part of the fun. Keep those lines tight!!

About the author:

Rich Gerenser is a successful author and a regular contributor to your number one online resource for fishing rods, fly fishing equipment, tackle boxes, lures, hooks and reels

See also: Lures

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