For the best saltwater fishing experience, choose lures based on how and where you'll use them. Artificial bait is designed to operate on the surface, below the surface, on the bottom or in all these areas. The artificial bait falls into five classes which are trolling, hard baits, spoons, bucktails and soft plastics. Saltwater lures can be narrowed down even further to match your geographical area and the fish you target.
Sea Striker Gotcha Plugs
These heavy plugs are a must-have for saltwater anglers. Their zig-zag movement and tubular shape ring the dinner bell for mackerel and bluefish. The Gotcha Plug's lasting popularity comes from its ability to attract fish when other lures fall short. A slanted head lets them move like a minnow and two treble hooks keep your catch on the line. Though they're favored for pier fishing, they work equally well from a boat or the beach.
Many saltwater trollers wouldn't leave home without these spoons. They're usually gold or silver with an attached swivel, red bead head and stainless-steel hook. When the smallest sizes are tied to a 20- to 30-pound leader, the results can be so productive that they probably catch more bluefish, mackerel and bonito than any other lure. Clark Spoons attract most saltwater fish and they cast like a bullet when you use them with Clark casting rigs.
These lead-headed jigs with synthetic skirts are one of the most versatile and effective saltwater lures on the market. Striped bass and bluefish love them but they work on almost everything, including flounder, trout and pompano. You can add some cut bait to increase their appeal and fish them alone or in tandem rigs. Bucktail Jigs are efficient for beginners as they work with most any technique, even basic retrieves.
Berkley "Gulp!" Shrimp
The "Gulp!" line of soft plastic lures disperse a strong scent, which smell, and probably taste, like the real thing. "Gulp!" lures range from bloodworms and minnows to crabs and squib, but the soft plastic shrimp seems to catch the most fish. It's also appealing to most saltwater fish, including flounder, speckled trout, striped bass and catfish. When nothing else is working, a "Gulp!" Shrimp is the next best thing to live bait.
Article Written By Dan Eash
Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.