Freshwater Fishing Lures
FRESHWATER FISHING LURES
There are a lot of freshwater fishing lures in a lot of sizes, shapes, and colors. As you understand more about the environment the fish live in, and behave you will learn how to identify the best freshwater lures and bait for what you’re angling for during different seasons of the year.
These are the most common freshwater fishing lures you can find in your favorite fishing tackle store.
Fishing jigs are commonly-used freshwater lures equipped with weighted metal heads and a tail made of animal hair, soft plastic, feathers or rubber. Anglers sometimes add a minnow or piece of pork rind to the fishing jig’s hook. Fishing jigs can be used to catch nearly every kind of freshwater and many saltwater fish. Learn more about the best jigs for catching bass.
Poppers are small fishing lures used with spin-casting tackle. These fishing baits are very good for pan fish and other fish that feed on the surface such as trout and bass. Poppers get their action from a cupped face carved or molded into the front of the lure body.
Spoons are metal lures designed to mimic the action of a swimming baitfish or minnow. They’re one of the most popular of all freshwater fishing lures because spoons are easy to use and are versatile. Depending on where and how you’re fishing, you’ll want the right spoon – casting, weedless (or top water), jigging or trolling spoons. Different spoons have different actions. And there are a variety of colors depending on the type of water and species you’re fishing. Ask your tackle shop which ones you need.
Plugs have a plastic or wood body and are designed to be used on top of the water or at depths below the surface. Top water or floating plugs are designed to float on the surface. Diving plugs have plastic or metal lips so they will dive to a certain depth. These diving plugs are often called crankbaits because they are often used with bait casting reels that operate like a crank.
Spinners have one or more blades that spin, or revolve, around a straight wire shaft. Some spinners have tails made of soft plastic or animal hair. PLASTIC BAITS Soft-plastic worms, minnows and crayfish are available in many sizes and colors. You can use them with or without a weight. Sometimes, plastic fishing baits are used with a jig head, spinner or spinner bait. Some plastic baits have a scent built into them that is attractive to fish.
Spinner baits are lures with one or more blades that spin around a safety pin-type shaft. Most spinner baits have skirts made from animal hair, vinyl, rubber or other materials.
SURFACE FISHING LURES
Surface fishing lures are made to imitate things like mice, lizards, frogs, larger crawling insects and smaller injured fish. These fishing lures usually have a solid body made out of wood or plastic, carry one or two treble hooks and have an eyelet at the front to attach your fishing line.
- Waddlers get their action from a scooped metal dish attached to the front of the lure body.
- Fizzers get their action from the angler and from one or more blades attached to the lure body.
- Fizzers get their name from the fizzing noise they create that imitates the buzzing wings of a drowning insect or a freaked-out rodent. Catching a fish with a surface lure can be a real rush. Sizeable fish can create quite an explosion when they hit the bait.
BLADE FISHING LURES
Blade fishing lures popular freshwater trolling lures consisting of weighted, fish-shaped blades made with a swinging hook and designed for fishing in deep water.
BUZZ FISHING LURES
These (top) freshwater lures are safety-pin lures for surface fishing that have a propeller blade on one piece of wire and a weighted body, skirt and hook on the other.
A crank lure – more commonly known as a crankbait – is a fish-like hard lure or plug designed to swim under the surface, often made of plastic or wood. Some are combined with replaceable soft plastic tails.
Made of soft plastic, these tubular freshwater lures are fished with special weighted hooks inserted into the hollow body.
Oh, the wonderful world of technology. A vibrating lure contains a tiny motor that sends out a sound-producing vibration to attract fish. The lure body simulates a living creature. A programmed microprocessor is used to randomly operate the motor.
Snag hooks are heavy duty treble hooks that are weighted with lead around the center shanks of the three treble hooks. They are rarely baited with anything and are cast out into the water then rapidly retrieved back in a jerking motion, hoping to ‘snag’ a fish on the outside of its body. Snag hooks are often used during spawning periods of nuisance fish to control populations. These hooks are sometimes banned in certain states so it is important that all anglers check with their State’s rules and regulations prior to using these hooks. Want to learn more about bass lures? Find out which bass fishing lures work best in different water conditions. Get tips on how to use freshwater fishing lures designed for bass in our next page.