Essential Lures for Every Tackle Box

By: Bob Williams

Fishing is not just something you do, it is the ultimate rite of passage. When you feel the spray of saltwater on the boat, hear the rustling leaves around the lake, or feel the cool water rush past your boots while you stand in the stream, you truly become one with nature and your surroundings. No complications, no stress, no tedious day to day hang-ups - just fishing.

However, your fishing experience is elevated when you actually catch some fish. Although it is fun to fish and bond with other fishing enthusiasts, fishing really improves with every catch (especially when you catch the most). Several factors go into the success of a fishing trip, but one factor in particular is completely controllable and very easy and affordable to change. You cannot control the weather conditions, but you can easily change out your lures.

Every lure is made to move a certain way in the water (often similarly to the creature after which it's modeled). Available in a plethora of colors, shapes, functions, sizes, and much more, choosing the right fishing lures can be a daunting task. Invest in a few quality "go-to" lures that will help you be successful. Here is a list of the essential lures every tackle box should have.

Jig Lure: This term encompasses a huge variety of lures, but most are used for saltwater and game fishing. The jig has a single hook and a weighted head that requires movement from the fisherman's, such as quickly pulling up on the jig and then allowing it to slowly drop. The weight allows the jig to reach deeper waters and catch bigger game.

Ideal for: halibut, flounder, grouper, striped bass, bluefish, redfish, speckled trout, tuna, snapper, and mackerel.

Surface Lure: A surface lure is designed to skim across the top of the water to imitate surface prey like lizards, moths, and small fish. The line usually attaches to the front of the lure to perform the dragging motion which attracts the fish to the top of the water. Surface fishers enjoy watching the fish strike its prey at the top of the water and the spectacular show it creates. These lures are ideal for still, calm water where the fish can easily detect the disturbance, and work best in low light.

Ideal for: any variety of fish, depending on the lure you purchase, its size, and whether it's meant for salt or fresh water.

Spoon Lure: Shaped like a spoon, this lure is flashy and makes quick and random movements that resemble a small minnow or bait fish. Versatile and easy to use, spoon lures are some of the most popular lures used in fishing. They are a staple of every tackle box because the lures function well in a variety of environments.

Ideal for: fish that hide in areas with a lot of vegetation cover like pike and bass, as well as Salmon, Musky, and Trout.

Spinnerbait: This is another lure popular for its versatility. A spinner usually consists of a lure on a wire that is bent at an angle and contains a spinning mechanism on the end that shoots into motion as you pull the lure through the water. The quick and flashy spinning portion of the lure works in a variety of settings and appeals to many fish.

Ideal for: almost every species of bass.

This is a very general overview of the necessary lures to have in every tackle box, but your preferred method of fishing and the conditions under which you normally fish dictate a more specific list of lures. Live bait is almost always the best way to catch fish, but when you put live bait on the appropriate lure, you are almost unstoppable.

Learn the different methods for using lures, which lures appeal to which fish, and which live bait is the best for the fish you want to catch. Soon, your friends will be cooking pine cones and sticks for dinner while you're having the fish feast of a lifetime.

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Bob Williams has been a sport fisherman since 1978. He is constantly on the hunt for new and improved fishing rods, fishing reels and fishing tackle to improve the success of his outings.

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