Lures and Baits

If you fish or ever thought about taking up the sport, you have probably been overwhelmed by the number of lures available. True, there are many lures that are alike and work in the same manner, but personal preference and confidence plays a big part in which lure works best for you. Work through the maze of sizes, colors, and styles, and experiment to see what works for you. If it works, stay with it. Below are some of the more popular lures and baits. Examine the description of each lure or bait to see how you can make them work for you.

Plastic Wormplworm


Though not a natural part of a fish's diet, more fish are probably caught on plastic worms than any other bait. Available in a variety of colors, lengths, and styles, plastic worms are rigged Texas or Carolina style. The plastic worm is fished slowly by hopping or dragging. Plastic Lizardplliz Another variation of the plastic worm, the lizard is rigged in the same manner, either Texas or Carolina style. Hopping, dragging, or swimming is the method used for fishing the plastic lizard. Spring and early Summer are good times for this bait.
SaltcrawSaltcraw The salt craw is the crawdads variation of the plastic worm. Rigged in the same manner as a plastic worm, the salt craw is fished by hopping or dragging in an attempt to imitate the movements of a crawdad. Color selection is almost unlimited. GitzitGitzit Tube worms are like other plastic baits except that they're hollow. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, a lead head is placed inside the worm for weight. The size and weight used depends on the size of the worm, type of gear used, and depth of fishing desired. Tube worms can be retrieved much like a jig or worm by dragging, hopping or swimming.
CrankbaitCrank Designed to imitate a bait fish or crawdad, crankbaits are usually just cast and reeled in. Crankbaits come in a variety of shapes with different size lips. The shape of the body determines the wiggle, where as the size of the lip determines the depth the crankbait will run. Crankbaits come in almost every color or design pattern imaginable. The best method of selection is to start with natural colors, then use what works for you. Bladebaitsblade Similar to crankbaits, blade baits are usually made of thin metal that is weighted. The weight of the blade lure gets it down deep fast, while the shape adds action when retrieved. Use the blade bait to catch fish that are holding deep. Ripping is a good retrieving technique for blade baits. After casting and letting the lure sink to the bottom, use the rod to quickly pull up the lure a couple of feet, then let the lure flutter back to the bottom on slack line. Then reel in the slack and rip it again. The strike usually comes with the lure is falling.
Spinnerbaitspbait One of the most versatile lures, spinnerbaits can be fished fast or slow, and almost any time of the year. The spinnerbaits weedless design allows it to be fished in thick brush or vegetation. Experiment with colors, blade sizes, and retrieves. BuzzbaitBzbait A buzzbait, similar to the spinnerbait in design, is a surface lure that makes and splashing noise used to attract fish from cover, or fish suspending below the surface. Ideal targets are weeds, stumps, trees, or cover submerged below the surface. A cast and retrieve technique is used, and a trailer hook can be used to cut down on short strikes.
Jig-n-Pigjigpig A lead head, rubber or hair skirt, and a plastic or pork trailer, the jig-n-pig probably imitates the looks and movement of a crawdad better than any other bait. The weight allows for better control and movement, and the exposed hook allows for a better hook set. The colors available for both the jig and pork are almost endless. Jigging Spoonspoon Nothing more than a slab of metal, the spoon is used in deep water or during the winter months. Jigged up and down, the spoon looks like an injured minnow. When fish are deep any time of the year, the spoon may be the only method left to keep from being skunked.
Topwatertopwater Topwater baits, also known as stickbaits are used for catching fish that are feeding near or just below the surface. The motion of the topwater bait usually consists of pull and pause or zigzag motions. Experiment with sizes and colors to see what works best. Grubsgrub With a lead head and plastic body, the grub comes in many colors and shapes. The most popular bodies have a curly tail, some may also have spinner below the head. Fish the grub by hopping, dragging, or swimming.
Spinnerspinner A wire shaft with a spinner and treble hook, spinners are cast and retrieved. The action of the spinner imitates a bait fish. Spinners are available in a variety of sizes, and may have some bucktail or a curly tail grub attached. Jigsliljig Similar in appearance to the jig-n-pig, the jig is usually smaller and fished without a trailer. With many colors and sizes available, the skirts may be made of hair or rubber. Fish the jig by casting and reeling, altering the retrieve for the depth desired, and pump the rod slightly to add some action.
Plugsplug Plugs, which are surface lures, come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and are fished with a fly rod or spinning outfit. Cast the plug to you favorite spot and give it some light twitches. Early mornings and evenings are great for plugs, especially when the water is calm. Mini Jigsminijig Tiny jigs work well on both Trout and panfish. A fly rod or spinning outfit is needed to cast these 1/60 ounce or smaller jigs. The jigs can be fished by letting them sink, or suspended form a float. On windy days, a suspended jig will dance as the waves make the float move up and down.
Mini Grubsminigrub Tiny grubs are miniature versions of the larger grubs, but used with ultra light fishing outfits. The small grubs can be fished by casting and retrieving, fishing straight down, or suspended from a float. Movement from the waves will add action to a suspended grub, and the natural movement of your hand will do the same thing when fishing straight down. Fliesfly Flies, used mainly for Trout, but can be used to catch other fish as well, are small lures used to imitate an insect. Made from a small hook, hair, feathers, and thread, a fly rod is needed to cast small lures. The best method for selection is to 'Match the Hatch', in other words, look at what the fish are hitting at or below the surface, and match the fly to that insect. If the fish aren't picky, try different fly patterns. Cast the fly to the desired location, wait a few seconds, then cast again giving the appearance of insects landing on the water.
Wormsworm Probably the most popular live bait, almost anyone who fishes was brought up using worms. The most popular worms are wigglers and night crawlers. For those who do not know how to fish worms, just thread them on a hook and away you go. To help your worms last longer in the container, keep them cool while fishing. In between trips put them in the refrigerator, just don't mistake them for leftovers. mmmmm. Minnowsminnow Known as shad, chubs, and shiners, minnows are a great live bait for almost any type of fishing. Hook the minnow through the upper back or lips, being careful not to kill them. Once in the water, the minnow will swim around attracting nearby fish. If you're fishing for a certain type of fish, you'll probably catch them, but you'll also catch other fish as well. Be sure to use the proper rigging for the type of fishing you're doing. Also, keep replacing the water in the bucket with fresh water, and keep the bucket out of the sun to help keep the minnows alive longer.
Cricketscricket Crickets, those noisy little insects. Available almost all year around, just hook them through the mid-section, and go after the Bluegill. Keep the crickets cool and out of the sun, and place a piece of potato or apple with them for moisture. If the fish aren't biting, just sit back and listen to the crickets sing. Leechesleech Similar to a live worm, leaches are sometimes used for catching fish when they're holding in deep water. Hook the leach just once, then cast. Leaches are hardier than worms, and will last a bit longer.
Stinkbaitstink Yes, it holds true to its name, and does it stink. I don't know what stinkbait is made of, but it does attract catfish. There are many brands of stinkbait, and also the secret home recipes. Just put some stinkbait on the hook, and cast into your favorite catfish hole, then hang on. Eggseggs Salmon or power eggs, are very popular when fishing for Trout. The eggs can be fished in any type of water, but seem to work best in moving water or trolled behind a boat. The eggs can be used one at a time or clustered on a treble hook. If fished in moving water or trolled, a drift rig seems to work best, keeping the egg just off the bottom and above vegetation and debris.

Top of Page Main Menu