Artificial Lures for Freshwater Fishing

Outdoor USA Site Index

To be effective artificial lures have to be moved in the water to give them the appearance of a living thing. Most of the time this is done by the angler twitching the rod tip and or reeling in the line. Sometime wind or the current will do the job for you.

Aspects of attraction for Fish

Common Types of Artificial Lures

Inline spinners
Image of Mepps and Roostertail inline spinners
A weighted lure with a steel wire running through it on which a shiny metal blade is attached by a clevis. Most often with a treble hook. The blade is designed to spin as the lure is drawn through the water to mimic the flash of a baitfish's scales. Silver and gold colored blades are the most popular. Gold works well in turbid or colored water, silver in clear water. Inline spinners generally cast well and are very useful for covering a lot of water. One major drawback is that they snag easily on submerged trees and other debris which can get pretty expensive particularly if you are using Mepps spinners.
Jigs
One of the least expensive and most effective artificial lures available, jigs are in essence Weighted hooks which may be dressed with Buckhair, feather and soft plastic. Jigs should be fished slowly. The most common technique used is the stop and go retrieve where the jig repeatedly pulled up a foot or two and allowed to sink again. Paired with a jig spinner, a jig can be fished in much the same way as a spinner bait.
Spoons
Fishing spoons are generally made of stamped sheet metal pressed into a concave shape. Drawn through the water slowly, a well designed spoon will wiggle, simulating a wounded bait fish. They may have a single or treble hook. As an added enticement some fishermen like to dress the hook with a piece of pork rind or a piece of a rubber worm.
Crankbaits or plugs
Three different types of crankbaits for fishing at different depths
Are also known as "hard baits". Crankbaits are lures made of wood or hard plastic with one or more treble hooks which are designed to wiggle or shimmy as the lure is drawn through the water. Most often they are made to resemble baitfish and some designs are available in multiple patterns and or color schemes.

Spinner baits and buzz baits
Use a spinning metal blade attached to a L shape piece of spring steel with a large weighted hook at the other end.
Soft Plastic Lures
Soft plastics lures are molded into a variety of shapes and colors to imitate native food sources in a body of water. Common designs for soft plastic lures are worms, slugs, grubs, crayfish and salamanders. The most popular type by far for fishing for large and smallmouth bass is the "rubber worm" in lengths of 4 to 8 inches. They are generally used with special "worm" hooks or jigs. Soft plastics are generally inexpensive and fish tend not to spit them out as quickly as harder lures making them a good choice for fishing in weedy areas. In general they are fished slowly at or near the bottom.
Notes on rigging soft plastic lures
Dry flies
Dry flies are lightweight lures made of feathers and other lightweight materials that are designed to float on the surface tension of the water. Generally they are made to be resemble insects that have fallen on the water. For the most part flies are used with fly casting equipment, although it is possible to use them with spinning gear by using a clear plastic float known as a "Bubble Float" .


Home Site Index