Fishing Lure Guide- All You Need to Know
Fishing Lure Guide- All You Need to Know

Fishing Lure Guide- All You Need to Know

Fishing lures, also know as artificial baits, has a variety of types, colors, sizes and patterns, and each lure is designed to attract a specific species of fish- in other words, what works for one fish may not work for another. In addition to the type of fish, the water you fish in also affects the choice of lure. Therefore, knowing which lure to use under what circumstances will make you a more effective fisherman.

When you are in the market for the right fishing lure set, you’ll see that the products are plentiful and overwhelming. Nothing is lacking for your demand. As a beginning angler with less knowledge about lures, you must feel confused and don’t know what to do. At this moment, maybe you need to read this fishing lures guide to get rid of blind purchase and carefully choose the best fishing lure that really works for you. Here we will share with you our guide to recognize all types of fishing lures to help you with your decision-making process when buying.


What is a Fishing Lure?

Questions like "what is a fishing lure" and "how a fishing lure works" often revolve around new anglers.

Different from live baits such as minnows and worms, a fishing lure is a kind of artificial lure with one or more hooks on its surface, which is designed to mimic the look, movement, colors and vibration of creatures acting as prey to draw fish’s attention. The material of lure’s body can be wood, metal, plastic or cork. We can decorate it with feathers, glitter, rubbers or furs, which can help to swim easily in the water.

Most of fishing lures can work for a certain range of fish species, so, the same lure can be used for more fish species. However, for particular fish, it will have specific lure which works more efficiently than others, such as rainbow trout lures, crappie fishing lures, perch fishing lures, walleye lures, catfish lures. Before buying, you can check the packaging listed what type of fish that lure does well work.


Where Should You I Fishing?

It does matter to the fishing lure size and lure weight which will influence their sinking movement or floating movement. You need to consider the water condition where you are fishing in. If fishing in the lake with weak current, you need to prefer to opt for the more lightweight lures, while the heavier lures work great in the strong current. It’s obvious that, in addition to lure’s weight and size, the water condition also affects your fishing trip.

Generally speaking, most anglers like to start their fishing trip in lakes or ponds with banks or docks-they usually have a larger volume of starving fish than that of the river you’ll find. Besides, the fish species in lakes and rivers are a little different: there are mostly species such as bass, rainbow trout, or panfish in lakes, while salmon, brown trout or rainbow trout, cutthroat are almost found in rivers.

Lure Fishing vs Bait Fishing, Lures vs Bait

It’s the frequently asked question among anglers: is it better to fish with artificial bait or live bait?

The answer to that question is often: it depends. Each way of fishing has its pros and cons. To use which fishing method depends on various factors, such as the water condition, the surrounding environment, the fish species you catch, the weather, your fishing skill level, and even your preference. In some situations, lure fishing works better than bait fishing and vice versa.

If you are wondering which is best for your specific circumstances, let’s check a few things of each technique:

1. Fishing with artificial lures

When is a good time to use lures?

If you’ve ever watched a fishing competition, you’ve found that the professional anglers tend to use fishing lures (generally, live baits is banned to use). With that said, if you’re a novice angler who wants to have a more relaxing fishing experience, then fishing with live bait may be a great way. If you’re an experienced angler who wants to be more actively involved, artificial lures are a better choice.

It is often that fishing lure works well for fishing aggressive predatory fish, what’s more, it will work for release and catch better than live baits. If you aren’t interested in fishing smaller and undersized fish, then artificial lures are a better option.

Lures easily find the larger fish in clear water. Besides, lures work better than baits in warmer water, because bait may fall apart in warmer water.

A good lure costs more. Sometimes, the lures get caught on water weed, tree, or rocks. In these circumstances, it’s necessary to master how to retrieve and cast, as well as troll from a moving boat.

Benefits of Artificial Lures

Here are some notable benefits of fishing with lures:

  • Unlimited uses.It saves you some money because the artificial lure can be repeatedly used.
  • It’s cleaner. Do not deal with any blood, guts, or other goo of live baits.
  • It’s more convenient. All you need to do is grab your tackle box fishing, and cast some lines.
  • Lures can be cast further than using live bait.
  • Lure is easier for catch and release, because the fish less gulps the entire hook.
  • It is quickly and easily change the lures when catching different fish.

Disadvantages of Artificial Lures

  • It’s difficult. You need more time and patience to figure out how to successfully fish with lures.
  • Physically taxing. In order to be effective,you need to keep operating a fishing lure. This isn’t the fishing method you do when you want to relax and kick back.
  • Find the fish. Since artificial lure actively appeals to the predatory fish’s attention, you need to know where their hiding before attracting them.

2. Fishing with live baits

When is a good time to use bait?

Using bait at night is best, when instructing beginning angler to fish, or when water is muddy. Moreover, it’s best to use bait in a very cold condition. The baits are also best for catching vegetarian or omnivorous fish.

Fishermen prefers to opt for the bait with half blood knots to fish, only by creating a strong connection so that the fish can catch the line.

For certain species of fish, bait can effectively fool and catch. All you need to do is wait for the fish to come to you, after casting out the line and setting the rod down. The leftover bait can be frozen in the freezer for next use.

The benefits of live bait fishing

So, why should you fish with live baits? The following are several pros:

  • The scent draws fish. Some species of fish are sensitive to the smell of bait, which don’t respond to artificial lures. The targets can smell the live baits from miles away.
  • It’s easy. Fish – like most species – are opportunists. Fishing skills are not required. You just sit there begging for them to bite it. Fish take that opportunity, then you nab a catch.

The disadvantages of live bait fishing

The downsides of fishing with live baits include:

  • It’s messy. You need to stick live beings with sharp hooks, and deal with the blood, guts and gook, which is a little gross and nauseous.
  • Every time the live baits are running out, you need to buy.
  • It is a bit complicated and troublesome to keep the live baits alive or fresh.

What Attracts Fish to Lures and Why?

Seasoned anglers take various fishing lure types for each type of fishing zone so as to fish a big catch when they go fishing. There are three fishing zones: surface, bottom, and subsurface. The specific lures are targeted at particular fishing zone, and attract the fish you want.

Artificial baits are designed to mimic the characteristic of prey of fish, such as the movement, color, shape, or flash, to attract them.

There seem to be fun to collect and use lures for anglers. And it is extremely satisfying and exciting to catch fish with lures. The reason why lures draw fish is that they look like the tastiest organisms with realistic designs, movements, and reflections which make them alive, just like the real thing.

Anglers tend to use lures to catch larger fish in normal, and in order to catch and release fishing more easily, you can catch fish in the jaws, lips, and mouth.

However, some types of fish are interested in the scent of prey, rather than being fooled by the reflective properties.


Different Types of Fishing Lures

As a fishing enthusiast, you’ll be able to frequently get on the water and have experimented with a wide collection of artificial lures available to you. But when they are divided into specific categories, it is difficult to identify and select. What kind of lure you choose can make or break your fishing trip. The following are roundups on different types of lures to fish with, as well as how they work and what fish you’re trying to catch, including soft plastic bait vs hard baits.

1. Hard Baits

Compared with soft plastic swimbaits, hard lures are rigid to touch, and longer lasting for not easily tearing by big predator fish. It is much complicated to use hard baits as they need special techniques rather than waiting. They can get more attention by making noise or imitating the fish’s prey. There are a few hard baits for common use stated below:

  • Crankbait Lure

There are many hard lures to choose from, but the most popular and effective one is the crankbait lure. What is a crankbait? Crankbait is by definition “cranked” through the water to make the desired action. It looks very similar to small fish and work great with different lips in certain dept of water. The lip decides how deep it goes.

A shallow diving crankbait with the smallest lip is mainly used in the shallow water. A medium diving crankbait with larger lip can swim up to 6-12 feet of water. A deep diver has the largest lip can dive to 30 feet of water.

  • Minnow Lure

Minnows are a effective baitfish for species, such as minnow lure for bass, minnows for trout, minnow for crappie fishing, minnow lures for walleye, etc. They imitate extremely small fish and have many variables to consider. To attract the target fish to eat, the minnows act as real prey by floating, shaking, splashing, gurgling, shimming.

  • Spoon Lure

Spoon lure, as the name suggests, looks like a spoon, which is made of a long-shaped piece of metal. It has a loop at the narrower pointed end, and a hook at the wide rounded end. They shine with shiny reflective metallic surface while swimming and act like injured prey in the water that easily causes predator to chase and catch. Spoon lure is one of the oldest fishing lures and still works today.

  • Spinner Lures

Spinner lure has one or more small blades made of metal to propel and spin. The shiny reflective blade spinning in the water easily attract the fish.

Spinner is a good choice to target the bass and pike in the freshwater, while the larger saltwater spinner works great for small tuna, jacks and mackerel.

  • Jigs

Jig lure consists of a heavy weighted head molded to the hook’s eye and a decorative tail like feathers, rubber legs, or tinsel. It can dive to the 200 meters of water because of heavy weight. Jigs can be used in freshwater and saltwater. Here are six jig lure types commonly used as follow:

-Arkie jigs

-Football jigs

-Punch jigs

-Finesse jigs

-Swim jigs

-Bico original jig

-Pencil Lure Fishing

Here comes to the pencil bait with over a hundred history, also known as stick bait or walking bait. This is a best topwater lure that can fall into two categories by floating posture- horizontal or vertical. As the one with horizontal floating posture moves widely size to size in the water, its movement is called “ walking the dog” or “skating action”. The other one with vertical floating posture creates reaction strikes which slides into the underwater with stable rod stroke.

  • Fly Fishing Lure

A fly fishing lure or artificial fly is a kind of light-weight lure imitating insects, ideal for catching trout and bass. Flies lure is so light ,only a few grams, that needs different technique to assist fishing when you cast.

2. Soft Baits

As the name suggests, soft plastic baits are softer and more flexible than the hard baits because of their soft, flexible rubber texture. Due to the vivid textures and their versatility, they are designed to act as the aquatic food sources and have become popular articles of modern fishing tackles. Soft fishing baits are plentiful and come in different colors, sizes and shapes. The earthworm bait is the most common soft bait loved by predatory fish in the freshwater. But there are a lot of other baits that work in the market, including crickets, bees, snails, small frogs, crayfish, ants, and grasshoppers. However, experienced anglers will recognize what kind of soft bait that works for the target fish.

Most of soft baits are welcomed by freshwater species and only work in the freshwater. Especially in muddy areas or subsurface, lots of soft fishing baits are not as effective as live ones. Here lists you some soft baits for common use.

  • Plastic fishing worms

Plastic worm accounts for the largest category of bass lures, which works for all freshwater fishing. With a host of colors and lengths from 10 to 25 cm, artificial worms have developed plenty of soft plastic baits. Here are several types of plastic fishing worms for common use: nightcrawlers, mealworms, red wigglers, leeches, waxworms, bloodworms, butterworms.

They are maneuvered by threading the hook through the worm so that its body covers the hook point and makes a self-weedless rig.

While topwater frog lure ranks one of the best topwater lures for fishing in the weeds, it is also another option for pros use in the open water, as well as around other cover.

There are few different frog lure types, such as hollow frog lure that has a small body with long legs that hang down. With realistic appearance, they look like a walking frog on water, and work great for fishing bass in the water with heavy brush and cover.

Toadrunner is one of lifelike frogs, which can make a plopping sound that appeals to fish, particular bass. The angler can cast it out from a distance.

  • Shad lure

Shad, a small silvery fish, is a catfish's favorite prey.

Shad attracts fish to strike by their alluring motion of its quivering, undulating tails, as well as sending out vibrations from its tail. Besides, they are effective throughout the year, whether it's cold weather or hot summer. No wonder soft shad lures become one of the most effective baits you can use.

  • Crab lure

Available in all kinds of crab, crab lure are used by different ways, in certain waters, to attract the predators.

For example, around inshore areas, anglers prefer to use blue crab. However, pass crab works great for catching fish like tarpon when you are fishing off the shore.

Fishing Tips and Tricks:

There are some inevitable things that may happen in your fishing trip, such as the terrible water condition, bad weather. In the face of these terrible situations, the following are some fishing tips and tricks summarized by fishing lure manufacturer, that may help you.

The Secrets to Catching More Fish with Your Lures

There are some inevitable things that may happen in your fishing trip, such as the terrible water condition, bad weather. In the face of these terrible situations, there are some ways that may help you.

  • When in Doubt, Add Flash

Many anglers have collected a range of stick baits or small swimbaits, as well as various plastic fishing lures.

Fish see these lures frequently, which will reduce their curiosity and enhance alertness. How to stand out and get attacks among those lures? Maybe you can consider to add a blade to your lure. A lock blade will move right into the end of a plastic fishing lure. Although most blades use willow leaf, there are still many options to add flash to the line. It is also useful to add a small blade to the underside of any bait before casting it out. With this simple technique, you are surprised how many lures you get.

  • Do Fish Hear What I Hear? Yes!

The predator perceives prey through vision, smell, vibration, taste and sound which is a great addition to the lures. You can unlock another sense by adding noise to increase more chances that fish attack the lures. Also you can combine more senses to achieve better fishing effect. If your fishing area covers many vegetation, noise is the key to break a bad fishing trip.

  • Topwater Trebles

In the topwater, you may think about adding a treble to your lures. It looks not eye-catching, but it has good effect for fishing. In order to draw fish’s attention, you can add a treble feathered lure to a spoon lure or popper lure, which increase opportunity for fishing.

  • Use Different Hooks for Casting and Pitching

It is not going to work by using the same setup for casting and pitching, as per experienced angler.

When you cast with a worm, you’ve better use a straight hook, because it works better in the water. When pitching to flip a worm to cover, anglers say you should avoid to use a heavy duty flipping hook. Smaller hooks are always better options when you fish with worms.

Fishing Lures’ Working Techniques:

  • Walking the Dog

One of the effective techniques for a fishing lure is walking the dog. Tilt the fishing rod at an angle of 45 degrees in water. Jerk on the line in the downward of the water. You need move the rod slowly at first, and then begin to speed up your movements to act like a swimming fish’s prey.

  • Dead Stick, Dive and Trolling

As an interesting movement of fishing lure, a dead stick is often used by the anglers. Cast the fishing lure, then wait 10 seconds. Move the rod gently by imitating the behavior of injured prey.

As to the diving, the crankbait is good for it. There is nothing you need to do until the line begins to sink, and you can relax and enjoy the scene during that spare time. After a few seconds, you can shorten the reel and let it sink again. This technique works well in the deep track where the larger fish lies.

Trolling is a lazy fishing process for the lazy person who don’t like to work hard for this. You can choose spinning lure or spoon lure. And just troll the lures as the boat moves. It imitates the behavior of baitfish roaming around.

  • Match the Lures’ Color with Water’s Condition

When selecting a lure, we should match the lure’s color with the water’s condition. For instance, you are able to use a fishing lure in bright color or LED lure when you are fishing at night. In fuzzy or dusty water, fishing lure in white or red color may be more effective. And in clear water, muted color is a good option.



Fishing is fun. Selecting the right fishing lure is a very important component to your success. There are plentiful types of fishing lures out there, but our fishing lure guide has obtained the important basic knowledge that will reduce trial and error at first, and let you get started more easily. It’s time to plan your fishing trip! Have a nice fishing day!!!

Hunan Fishing Outdoors is known as one of good fishing tackle wholesale suppliers and fishing lure manufacturers in China, which is the cheapest place to buy fishing tackle. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!



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