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Types of Fishing Lure - Fishing for Beginners

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You pass by a river, a rivulet or a water stream and marvel at some of the anglers, fishing across the banks or in the stream itself. Motivated enough, you too decide to be an angler. After thorough research, you are ready to leave the tackle shop with a reputed brand fishing rod, reel, and line. Well, what about lures? You have missed one of the most important and critical parts that will complete your fishing gear – different types of fishing lure.

A lure resembles a live bait. Made of plastic or metal, colorful and shiny, they are used to attract fishes. When the lure is tossed into the water and retrieved using a fishing line, it creates erratic movements similar to that created by aquatic creatures on which the fishes feed.

Fishing lures are as old as the art of fishing itself. The Chinese and Egyptians used them as early as 2000 B.C. In primitive ages, lures were handmade of bone and bronze by craftsmen and were thin but strong. In the 1900s, fishing lures were commercialized in the USA and thanks to the obsession of anglers with fishing lures, today there are different types of fishing lure available in the market.

While shopping for lures you must take into consideration few points – the fishing area, the water conditions, the target depth of the water body, the target species and the time of the day when you are planning to fish. We will guide you through the basics of a lure, types of fishing lure, and their applications, so that the next time you go out to buy, you will know exactly what to look for.

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Properties of Fishing Lures, That You Should Know!

Properties of fishing lures

Lure Action

Different lures have different actions for attracting fish. Some fishes like fast baits while others prefer slower presentations. So, select the lure depending upon the species you are fishing.

Lip and Lip-less Lures

Lures with lips usually float and make the baits dive only to a specific depth depending on their size and design when retrieved. They have a very wide range of action. Lip less lures can sink and you can control their depth with the way you retrieve the lure. These have a very tight and fast vibration and make a lot of noise. Lures with lips generally displace more water than a lip less one. However, both these varieties have times when one will outshine the other under certain conditions. So, choose the one that suits your requirement the best.

Lure Material

Soft Plastic baits snag less than hard baits; they are inexpensive and are easy to maneuver and have a very enticing wriggly action which is hard to resist for any predator. Hard baits last longer, look more like live bait, and their noise and action attract more attention.

Size, Shape, and Color

The lure size, shape, and color should be identical to that of the real bait fish. The closer the lure is to the real thing, the higher the chances of a successful hookup.

Color variations

For different water conditions, use different colored lures for better visibility. In dark water conditions, use bright colored lures and in clear water conditions opt for natural-colored lures.


Lures that make noise are a must in your tackle box. They work in heavy covers like thick vegetation or muddy water, where visibility is least and the fish has to rely on their hearing.


Fat or round-bodied lures will have more pronounced wide wobbles while flat or narrow lures will have tighter wobbles. Thin lures are good for cold water whereas fat lures are better in clear water.

Types of Fishing Lure

A lot of fishing lures in various sizes, shapes, and colors are available. Depending on the environment the fish live in and how they behave, you will have to decide which fishing lure is the best for a specific fish during a particular season of the year. Please note that what is covered below are only a few types of fishing lure which beginners can start with and not the entire range across all types of fishing.


Spinners are a metal shaft with a spinning blade. Their ease of use makes them suitable for beginners. When these spinners are reeled in, the blade starts spinning and creates sound and vibration. You can use them to catch all types of game fish. The combination of vibration and flash of the blade is effective in catching game species.

fishing with spinners


Worms are slow-moving baits and are the best fishing lures available, even better than a live bait. A variety of soft plastic worms can be found in the market. An angler has to develop a “feel” for working baits which comes through practice and experience. They are the least expensive lures and work in all types of water and seasons.

fishing with pastic worms


These lures are used on the water surface. As these frogs provide great visuals, the target species come out of the water to attack the lure. Frog lures are mostly used in thick weeds where other lures cannot reach. During seasons when the fishes are most active, that is summers. During peak feeding times, they are the best choice.

fishing with artifical frogs


Spoons are curved metal lures. They are popular among anglers because they are versatile and easy to use. The fluttering motion they create while being trolled or reeled through the water attracts fishes.

fishing with spoons

Crank baits

Crank baits are one of the most commonly used fishing lures and come in all shape, size, and colors. They have a lip in the front and usually two big hooks at the bottom. These hard baits are moving baits and their quicker movements trigger a reaction. They can dive to varying depths depending on the shape of the lip.

fishing with crank baits

The lip less crank baits are fished in high speeds and create vibration and rattle to attract the fish. The biggest advantage of the crank bait is that it can attract the target species in a short span of time if they are around.

Jerk baits

They are considered the perfect bait as they resemble the real bait very closely. Long and slender, jerk baits are ideal for a lurking fish looking for a quick meal.

fishing with jerk baits

This injured looking bait fish has no real action of its own. The angler has to jerk the rod to attract the game fish. Although they are effective year-round but are ideal for early spring and fall.

Spinner baits

They are the classic fishing baits, which are user-friendly as they attract the fish on their own. These safety pin lookalike lures move horizontally through the water.

fishing with spinner baits

The blade spins, vibrates and flashes to attract the fish and the jighead with the skirt acts like a chasing predator. They can be used throughout the year, in all water conditions, and are the most suitable for inshore fishing. You will find spinner baits in most of the anglers’ tackle box.


Freshwater Jigs have weighted metal heads and their tail is made of animal hair, plastic, rubber or feathers. They are often fitted with a soft designed plastic piece known as a trailer.

fishing with Bucktail jig lure

Jigs come in a variety of forms but their function varies. The swim jigs and bladed jigs are fast-moving baits while jigs with football head are slow baits. Fishing with jigs is one of the most advanced and versatile techniques. Its application is mostly for bottom fishing where the weight of the jig takes it to the bottom of the water body and there it is hopped to mimic a bottom dwelling bait fish.

Quick Tips for Picking the Best Lure

Lures are like your ammunition for fishing. You will keep losing them and wearing them out, and will need to keep restocking them. What will work today, might not work tomorrow. There are so many factors which need to come together for catching the fish that you cannot have a small number of lures to depend upon. Keep trying new shapes, colors, sizes and soon you will build a collection of your favorite types of fishing lure. Here are some quick tips:

  • Choose the color of the lure as per water’s color. Clear water requires natural colors, muddy water requires bright and contrast colors.
  • Choose noisy lures when fishing in the muddy or discolored water.
  • Try not to use rattling lures in clear water.
  • Use a lure which has its own unique action similar to the bait of your area.
  • Select a lure with good color contrast for water with algae
  • Use heavy lures for windy conditions.
  • General thumb rule – large lures catch large fish and small lures catch small fish.
  • When in doubt, go for versatile lures, which are a mix of popular types.
  • Choose the lure which suits the dominant prey species profile.

With racks full of different types of fishing lure in the tackle store, it can be confusing to choose the perfect lure. Selecting the best bait or lure involves understanding the environment the fish live in and studying their behavioral aspects. Only then it is possible for you to come up with a right bait that can lure the fish.

Fishing lures have to be tied to lines, read fishing line basics for beginners to understand all about them

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