Lure Fishing is a fantastic way to catch fish! Its only really something I have taken up recently but it is fast becoming one of, if not my favourite method of fishing. Tom seems to enjoy it too as it keeps him occupied for longer periods of time, he caught a nice Pike fishing at Beeston Weir last summer.
There are many different fishing lures on the market by 100’s of different manufacturers, all of which vary in quality. Some of the higher quality and top of the range lures are manufactured by Fox Rage (very expensive though).
Artificial fishing lures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but are generally grouped into one of the following 9 categories:
- Jerk Baits
- Soft plastics
Spinners are possibly the first type of lure I used, years ago as a lad I used to fish the Erewash Canal regularly, never caught a fish using a spinner back then. Key characteristics of spinner baits are the spinning “blade” which rotates around a metal shaft like a propeller, one end of the shaft is an eye, the other a treble hook.
Spinners come in various sizes, and colours. Most common are the brass spinners with either a copper blade or steel blade. They can be used to catch all types of predator fish in UK waters, Perch, Pike and Zander primarily. However I have heard reports of Chub being caught on spinners too. Fishing with spinners is really easy, simply cast and reel / retrieve. Varying the retrieval rate from fast to slow is about all you can do with spinners. I occasionally stop the retrieve in order to let the spinner sink to the bottom before continuing to reel it back in.
The movement of the spinner in the water creates varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish or other prey.
Spoons are very similar looking to spinners, they take their name from their shape, which is very similar to that of a table spoon (or tea spoon for the smaller type). They aren’t all this shape by the way, some are simply a strip of metal with a eye on one end and a treble hook the other. Spoons have a unique action in the water, they tend to “wobble” which imitates an injured fish. They are usually highly reflective too which produces flashes of colour in the water which in turn attracts the predators.
I have had more success with spoons compared to spinners.
Jigs are probably my favourite fishing lure type. Jigging offers a greater degree of flexibility and versatility.They give the angler more choices on how to actually fish them, they can be used in pretty much the same way as a spinner, by simply casting out and retrieving. They were designed and intended to be “bounced” along the bottom or “jigged” up and down in the water, this up and down movement produces a lot of movement and vibration.
Jigs are usually made from a soft rubber and the hook is moulded into a weight which helps the lure sink. Jig heads come in a range of different shapes, weights and hook sizes, some of them are even painted in bright colours to add visual attraction to the lure.
These are the simplest of lures in my opinion, and in their most basic form are simply a fish shaped piece of hardwood with a hook attached. They can also be made out of hard plastics. They are similar to plugs but are usually weighted to make them sink, and don’t have a fin at the front to help them dive.
They get their name from the action the angler needs to put into the rod to “jerk” the baits through the water, randomly jerking the lure giving it an erratic and random movement.
Plugs are probably the most iconic fishing lure, they are made from hard plastics and wood and usually have two treble hooks attached. According to the Wikipedia entry for fishing plugs they have been in use for centuries, back to prehistoric times in fact.
Plugs come in all different shapes and sizes and usually have a “fin” attached to the front of the lure which enables the lure to dive down in the water, the size and angle of this fin determines the depth in which the lure will dive down to. There are exceptions to this in the form of “poppers” which are surface plugs which skip across the surface of the water.
There are slight variations in plugs depending on manufacturer, some have a hollowed out body with a rattle (ball baring usually) inside to add vibrations to the water, others have bodies which are in two or three sections, and jointed in the middle, to aid with the swimming action of the plug in the water.
These have to be the strangest looking fishing lures, buzzbaits are very different from other lures. They are primarily surface fishing lures, causing a huge amount of disturbance to the water surface which helps to attract the attention of the predators.
I have never fishing a buzzbait, and don’t know many anglers who have. They seem to be more common for Bass anglers in the USA.
These are designed to replicate all sorts of aquatic life, from fish to worms, even frogs and insects. They are made from soft rubbery plastics such as silicone. They come in s huge range of different shapes sizes and even textures. They are very versatile and can be used in many different rigs. I tend to use them whilst jigging or drop shotting mainly.
There are many hybrid lures available too, spinners with long soft plastic tails, or hard body plugs with long soft plastic tails.
These soft plastics have various different “tails”, each will behave differently in the water.
These are very similar to soft plastics and are made from the same material. Crucially these are designed to closely imitate bait fish. They replicate species like roach, perch, bream etc… The are also a kind of hybrid lure, they look like plugs combines with jigs, they usually have a weighted jig head type hook combines with a treble hook underneath the body, acting like a “stinger hook”.
I haven’t used many replicants as they seem to be very very expensive, the higher quality larger lures can cost upwards of £10.00.
Not always thought of as a type of lure, flies are most commonly thought of in the world of Trout and Salmon fishing, but you can also use flies for Pike and predator fishing too.
Flies which are used for trout and salmon are designed to imitate insects, commonly the mayfly. The best flies are hand tied, and it is seen as something of an art form for the purist. These flies are usually fairly small, just like the real insect. They come in all different colours and sizes.
Pike flies on the other hand are designed to imitate bait fish, they are usually bigger and their colouring is similar to that of the fish they are trying to imitate.
To Sum Up…
I love lure fishing, there are many different options with the types of lure you choose, depending on the situations and the conditions you find yourself in on the day. If you have never tried lure fishing and are simply researching it to try and discover more I would highly recommend you give it a try.
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