Avid fishermen have an innate ability that tells them which lures to use for different types of fish. Let me tell you, this isn’t a skill a run-of-the-mill recreational fisherman has. I’m not a great fisherman, but I’ve always been of the mind that the pink sparkly, slightly slimy, wormy-type lures are the only ones fish like.
This is not the case. I’ve learned a lot.
Standing in a tackle shop gave me sensory overload. But here’s what I learned:
Each one is specifically designed to catch a different type of fish.
If you’re fishing for “the big one…”
Jigs are the most versatile type of fishing lure because they can catch every type of game fish and are inexpensive. Jigs have a weighted, lead head and come in every size and color. They can also be “dressed” — you can add feathers, hair, a soft plastic grub or with bait of your choice.
Spoons are curved metal lures that started out as spoons with the handles broken off. Today, there is a spoon for every fishing situation; they move through the water with a side-to-side wobble that makes game fish think the lure is an injured baitfish, and they love that.
Plugs are made from hollow plastic or wood and resemble baitfish, frogs or other prey. They usually have two or three hooks attached to them, and depending on the design, wobble, rattle or gurgle. Plugs can be fished at any depth, and some are made to float, dive or both.
If you’re a beginner…
Spinners are great for beginner fishermen and are easy to use. They’re pretty simple too, with a metal shaft and spinning blade with a bare or dressed hook. Spinners work well in murky water because the spinning blade creates a sound or vibration that attracts fish.
If you’re into bass fishing…
Soft plastic baits are mainly for bass fishing and look like a worm. The soft plastic bodies of these lures make fish hold on to them longer before spitting them out, which gives the fisherman a better chance to hook a fish.
Bass fishermen also like to use spinnerbaits, which are awkward looking lures and are great for attracting the attention of bass fish. There is a safety pin-like wire attached to a lead head body that is usually dressed with a rubber skirt and has an arm with multiple metallic blades on them; the “spinners.”
If you want to try your hand at fly fishing…
Flies are traditionally used for fly fishing, but if you add a clear bubble float, spinning fishing gear can cast them too. Flies are light and look like insects, baitfish, leeches, hoppers, mice or frogs. They’re usually made from fur and feathers, but some companies are now trying out foam and rubber.