A fishing lure is a type of artificial fishing bait which is designed to attract a fish’s attention. The lure uses movement, vibration, flash and color to bait fish. Many lures are equipped with one or more hooks that are used to catch fish when they strike the lure. Most lures are attached to the end of a fishing line and have various styles of hooks attached to the body and are designed to elicit a strike resulting in a hookset. Many lures are commercially made but some are hand made such as fishing flies.
Modern commercial lures usually are often used with a fishing rod and fishing reels. When a lure is used for casting, it is continually cast out and retrieved, the retrieve making the lure swim or produce a popping action. A skilled angler can explore many possible hiding places for fish through lure casting such as under logs and on flats.
Fishing lures can be made of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, cork, and materials like feathers, animal hair, string, tinsel and others. They can have many moving parts or no moving parts. They can be retrieved fast or slow. Some of the lures can be used by alone, or with another lure.
There are many types of fishing lures. In most cases they are manufactured to resemble prey for the fish, but they are sometimes engineered to appeal to a fishes’ sense of territory, curiosity or aggression. Most lures are made to look like dying, injured, or fast moving fish. They include the following types:
- Bass jigs consists of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. Are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion, as opposed to spinnerbaits which move through the water horizontally. The bass jig is very versatile and many species are attracted to the lure which has made it popular among anglers for years.
- Jigs heads are weighted hooks with a lead head opposite the sharp tip. They usually have a soft plastic bait on it to get the fish’s attention.
- Soft plastic baits are lures made of plastic or rubber designed to look like fish, crabs, squid, worms, lizards, frogs, leeches and other creatures.
- Spoons lures look like a spoon. They flash in the light while wobbling and darting due to their shape, which attracts fish.
- Spinners are named for the fact that a metal blade revolves around a central axis (a wire), which may be attached by a clevis (a c-shaped metal piece with holes that accommodates the wire) or by itself. Most spinners have metal weights rigged behind the spinning blade and beads or brass hardware that separates the two for frictionless spinning.
- Crankbaits are also known as plugs or minnows. These lures look like fish and they are run through the water where they can move in different ways because of instability due to the bib at the front under the head.
- Jerkbaits are similar in appearance to crankbaits, except the bib. The life-like movement is given by angler, using fast and short rod tip movements (“jerking”, hence the name).
- Spinnerbaits are pieces of wire that are bent at about a 60 degree angle with a bass jig or a jighead armed with a soft plastic bait at the bottom and a flashy spinner at the top.
- Swimbait is a soft plastic bait/lure that resembles an actual bait fish. Some of these have a tail that makes the lure/bait look like it is swimming when drawn through the water.
One advantage of use of artificial lures is a reduction in use of bait. This contributes to resolving one of the marine environment’s more pressing problems; the undermining of marine food webs by overharvesting “bait” species which tend to occur lower in the food chain. Another advantage of lures is that their use promotes improved survival of fish during catch and release fishing. This is because lures reduce the incidence of deep hooking which has been correlated to fish mortality in many studies.
Picking the right lure for a target fish or certain fishing locations or conditions is an art. We give some suggestion in each species page and in our tips&tricks section.