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Freshwater Fishing Lures

Fishing Jigs

A hook with a lead weight molded near the eye is adorned with a skirt made of silicone, living rubber, marabou or feathers. Small jigs ranging in size from 1/100- to 1/8-ounce work best for trout, crappie and other panfish; larger jigs from 1/4- to 2 ounces are used for bass, walleye and stripers.

Poppers

A buoyant plug with a concave face that splashes water forward with each twitch of the rod. Poppers usually feature two sets of treble hooks and are available in a wide range of sizes and colors. When “popped” across the surface, the lure’s commotion draws strikes from bass and pike.

Spoons

Used for casting, jigging or trolling, these metal lures come with a free-swinging treble hook or a single fastened hook on one end and a line tie on the other end. Spoons range from fly rod size (1 inch) to trolling sizes up to 5 or more inches.

Plugs

These lures are made of plastic or wood and are equipped with single, double or treble hooks. Many plugs are made with plastic or metal lips to produce action. A few plug types include surface models for topwater fishing; divers that float at rest but dive while retrieved; and sinking lures for running deep.

In-line spinnerbait

Lures with blades on single shaft with a hook behind the blade. The hook is often adorned with feathers, squirrel tail hair, dear or synthetic hair. Some spinner hooks have soft plastic baits. The blade whirls while the spinner is retrieved creating flash and vibration that simulates fleeing bait fish.. Spinners can also be fished alone or in front pork rinds or natural baits.

Soft plastic baits

Made from “rubbery” plastic, these baits are frequently injected with scents or salts to entice fish to keep the lures in their mouths longer. Plastic baits are molded into a variety of shapes to imitate baitfish, crayfish, salamanders, worms, frogs, mice and an array of insects.

Safety pin or overhead spinnerbaits

With a wire frame shaped like an open safety pin, they are equipped with one or more metal blades on the upper arm and weighted bait or lure on the lower arm. The blade spins like a propeller during the retrieve to produce flash and vibration to mimic small forage fish

Surface Fishing Lures

A buoyant plug made of plastic or wood, these lures cause commotion to attract a fish’s attention when worked across the water’s surface. Popular topwater plugs include poppers and chuggers that spit water; walkers for zigzagging on the surface; and propellers for gurgling water.

Blade Fishing Lures

A flat metal bait designed in a “football” shape that generates a wiggling, vibrating action when retrieved. They are usually equipped with two treble hooks. The lure can be cast and retrieved at various speeds and depths or vertically jigged in deeper water. It is a popular choice for schooling white bass, walleye and spotted bass.

Buzzbaits

A topwater lure with cupped blades that keep the lure on the surface and create a gurgling buzz when retrieved across the surface. Sometimes called buzzers, they can have an in-line blade attached to the main metal body of the lure. Some buzzbaits have an “open safety pin” design with the cupped blade mounted over the weighted lure.

Crankbaits

A wooden or hard plastic lure with a lip or bill at the front that digs into the water, planning it downward while generating a wobbling or wiggling action on retrieve. The length and angle of the lip determines the depth at which the bait will swim in the water column. Longer blades cause the lure to run deeper.

Tube Lures

A hollow-bodied soft plastic lure used frequently for catching inactive fish in clear water. Tubes usually range in size from 1 inch (for panfish) to 4 to 6 inches for bass. A tube can be rigged with a bullet-shaped weight and hook or a lightweight jig head. Either hook and weight system is contained inside the lure, insuring the fish feels few hard parts to alarm it.

Vibrating Lures

A sinking lure made of hard plastic or metal shaped roughly like a football. It generates an intense vibration when trolled or retrieved. Plastic vibrating lures feature a chamber filled with rattling shot to mimic the sound of baitfish. Metal vibrating baits sometimes feature a small spinner on the back to create vibration.