How to Choose Fishing Lures

How to Choose Fishing LuresUnless you have experience as an angler, it is often difficult to choose the right fishing lure, since there are so many out on the market designed to attract fish. The majority of freshwater fishermen are looking to catch species such as smallmouth and largemouth, all kinds of trout, panfish and the various members of the pike family. Choosing the lure that best fits the conditions she will be fishing is the difference between coming home with a fish or coming home with a fish story.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Go with plastic baits if you are going to be fishing in and around heavy aquatic vegetation. These baits are made to look exactly like the prey that fish such as bass and northern pike chase, catch and consume. Rubber worms, frogs, minnows, mice and other creatures can all be rigged as "weedless," meaning that the bait can have the hook put through it and then into its side or underbelly to keep the hook from snagging on weeds and branches as it is fished through the water. Buy plastic baits in assorted colors and sizes and learn by trial and error which ones work under the different conditions you fish in. Use them in the weeds where fish like to wait to ambush their victims.
Step 2
Entice a fish to strike a buzzbait. These baits have noise-producing "propellers" that go round and round as the bait is retrieved, followed by a "skirt" of plastic that surrounds a hook. Choose a buzzbait in either calm or breezy weather where the water is shallow and there are weeds. Cast them a long distance but start to reel them in the absolute second they hit the top of the water to make the propellers go. This churns up the surface and will gain the interest of fish such as bass, pickerel and pike that may be in the area.
Step 3
Utilize a spoon or a spinning lure in open water or in a deep river. These lures are made to look like fish swimming. Spoons come in a huge assortment of colors, and spinning lures do as well. Avoid using these types of lures if there are weeds in the water, and when fishing from shore or casting to shore, watch out for overhanging branches that these kinds of lures can get caught up on.
Step 4
Try a jerkbait early in the fishing season. This kind of lure mimics a small baitfish and is a good one to choose when the water temperatures are still cold. Jerkbaits can be cast out where they will sink and then can be retrieved with a "jerking" motion, with the retrieve helter-skelter style to fool a bass or pike into perceiving the lure is a small fish in trouble or injured. Jerkbaits may not catch large numbers of fish, but those that do bite tend to be good sized.
Step 5
Fish through the ice in the winter using jigs. Ice anglers will fish with a jigging rod, which is a small fishing pole and reel that can be used to lower down a lure. Panfish, trout and even bass will hit a jig, which is a small hook with a tiny colored "body" on the other end where the line attaches to it. Ice fishermen will drop the jig down the hole and move it up and down to attract fish, sometimes putting a mealworm or a piece of a dead shiner on the hook end to make it even more appetizing.

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