7 Essential Types of Lures for Your Tackle Box

angler looking for the right lure

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Finding the best fishing lure to use depends on a lot on the particular fishing situation. The time of year, the weather and the water you are fishing all have a direct impact on what lure will look tasty to the fish you are trying to attract.

There are many different types of lures you can try and some are better for different situations and types of fish than others. Here are 7 types of fishing lures that are essential for almost any tackle box if catching more fish is the goal.


From bass and trout to walleye and salmon, almost any freshwater fish, as well as many saltwater species, can be caught on a spoon. This old standby has been around for over 100 years and is still one of the most popular lures in any angler’s tackle box.

These simple metal lures look like the head of a spoon – thus the name. They make a wobbling motion which attracts fish and are great for beginners as they are affordable and easy to use.

There are a number of different spoon designs on the market, each with its own unique action and color pattern. Spoons are relatively inexpensive and extremely versatile in their uses.

They are a popular choice with anglers of all types because they can be used to catch a wide range of fish. They can be cast from shore, or a boat, trolled behind a motor, or even used for jigging.

I have used a 1 to 2-once Kastmaster spoon over the years to catch a boatload of Spanish mackerel from the surf on Florida beaches. I have also found that they catch just about everything.

No matter what your preferred fishing method, spoons are a lure that you don’t want to be without. Give them a try the next time you hit the water and see for yourself how productive they can be.


spinnerbait for fishing bass lake


Spinnerbaits come in different colors and have one or more blades that rotate when the lure is retrieved. The revolving blade gives off a reflection which imitates a bait fish’s scales and movement under water.

Though most commonly used to target big bass, spinners can be used to catch a variety of other freshwater fish, including trout, walleye, and pike. They can also be used effectively in saltwater to catch the likes of buefish, redfish and even snook.

There are several types of spinnerbaits available, so you can choose the one that is best suited for the species of fish that you are trying to catch. Some of the most popular spinnerbaits include the Colorado blade, the Willow blade, and the Indiana blade.

A key to using this lure is to alter the speed of retrieval to imitate an injured baitfish. For large species like pike or muskie, a large spinner works well, but use a smaller size such as a 1/2 once for fish such bass or trout.

In general, spinnerbaits are a great lure choice for anglers of all experience levels. They can be fished in a variety of water conditions and can be used to target a number of fish species. So, if you’re looking for a versatile and productive lure, don’t forget to add a spinnerbait to your tackle box.

Topewater/Surface Lures

Topwater lures are retrieved along the surface of the water and are some of the most exciting lures to fish as they cause the fish to literally explode out of the water to grab the lure.

They are typically made from plastic, wood, or metal, and come in a variety of shapes and colors.

Topwater lures are a popular choice for anglers targeting bass, trout, crappie, and other species that feed on bait near the surface. They can be very effective in areas with heavy cover, such as pads, lily pads, and reeds as they are less likely to get tangled.

There are many different types of topwater lures, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular ones include:

Topwater poppers – These lures produce a loud pop when they are retrieved, which mimics the sound a fish makes when feeding on the surface.

Topwater walkers – These lures feature a “walking” action when retrieved, which is designed to resemble the movement of a fish swimming across the surface.

Topwater frogs – These lures are shaped like frogs and come in different colors to match the natural prey in your lake or pond. They are a great addition to your arsenal, offering variety and an effective bait for fishing near stumps and lily pads, and over weed beds.

Topwater plugs – These lures are designed to mimic baitfish, and are often used to target larger fish such as bass and walleye.


3 crankbaits for fishing

Crankbait lures are effective because they allow you to cover a lot of water and to fish at specific depths or ranges of the water column. They are great lures to use during the warmer months when fish are more active. They can be especially effective around docks, trees, and other underwater structure.

Made of hard plastic and featuring a set of treble hooks, most are designed with a lip or bill to control the diving depth. They typically resemble a small fish, and come in all shapes and sizes.

There is a lipless version that is weighted to allow it to sink. It is versatile, allowing for faster retrieves and depth control via the retrieve speed instead of a lip.

Some crankbaits have additional features such as rattles or diving bills that help them to move more realistically through the water and attract fish. They can be used in a variety of different situations, depending on the type of fishing you are doing.

Deep water crankbaits are ideal for fishing in areas where the fish are lurking near the bottom. These lures can be used to catch fish such as bass, pike, walleye, and even muskie. Shallow water crankbaits are ideal for fishing in areas where the fish are closer to the surface, such as in ponds and lakes.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, crankbaits are a great way to catch fish. These lures are easy to use and can be used to catch a variety of different types of fish.


Jerkbaits are another tacklebox must-have because they are versatile and effective with a wide range of species. Personally, I like to keep a Bomber Long A in my tacklebox in the spring.

They share a lot of same characteristics applications with crankbaits, and both are made with hard plastic bodies and can come with lips for diving or be lipless.

However, generally what visibly separates them are their more slender, elongated bodies, their three treble hooks as opposed to the crankbait’s two, and their shorter bills (they also come in lipless configurations).

These lures work well during the colder months when fish are still generally lethargic to target some of the same gamefish, i.e. bass (smallmouth and largemouth), trout, salmon, walleyes, etc.

These lures, like most, don’t have any movement themselves but rather depend on the angler to bring them to life. When you jerk or shake the rod, the lure jerks or shakes in turn. These are used to mimic a wounded fish that other fish might find irresistible.

Softbaits/Soft Plastics

Softbaits are artificial baits that are soft and pliable. They are often made of rubber, plastic, or silicone, and are used by anglers to catch fish. Softbaits come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be used in a variety of ways. Typically you will use these on a weighted jig head.

The popularity of soft plastic lures has grown considerably in recent years, as anglers have discovered their versatility and effectiveness. They are often used as a “go-to” lure for a wide range of fishing applications, and can be fished in both salt and freshwater.

Many of today’s most popular are soft plastic swimbaits. Plastics can be fished in a wide range of ways, including casting, trolling, and jigging.

Some of the most widely used and popular plastic soft baits include:

  • worms
  • grubs
  • shad minnows
  • crawfish/crawdads
  • creature baits

While there are many ways to use soft baits, there are three main ways to fish with them: as a stand-alone lure, as a  jig trailer, and on a rig (Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, etc.). Jig trailers are a great way to use soft baits because they are easy to use and can be effective in a variety of fishing situations.

Soft baits can be used to target a variety of fish species, from panfish to bass to walleye. They can also be fished in a variety of ways, making them a great choice for all levels of anglers.


There’s no question that jigs are one of the most important tools in any fisherman’s tackle box for good reason. They are incredibly versatile, fun and easy to use – yet so effective.

They can be used in both saltwater and freshwater environments from boats, piers, docks and banks to catch popular gamefish – bass, crappie, trout, bluegill, bluefish, flounder, striped bass, and so on.

In its simplest form a jig is a weighted hook. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be used to catch all sorts of fish.

More elaborate jigs are designed to mimic a baitfish, while others are designed to mimic a crayfish. Some jigs have a curly tail, while others have a straight tail. The type of jig you use often depends on the species of fish you’re targeting.

There are all sorts of different ways to fish with a jig. You can jig for bass in the morning and jig for catfish at night. You can jig for walleyes in the spring and jig for crappies in the fall. Jigs are versatile tools that can be used in a variety of situations.

There’s no doubt that jigs are one of the most important tools in any fisherman’s arsenal. If you want to catch fish, you need to use a jig.

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About Dorado

John Pardal, aka Dorado, is the editor as well as an author for Reel Adventure Fishing. He has fished extensively up and down the U.S. Atlantic coast, throughout much of Florida and a bit of the Caribbean. John loves writing about all aspects of sportfishing and is passionate about conservation and promoting sustainable fishing.