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Freshwater fishing lures run the gambit and are made from many different materials to act in many different fashions. In general, the goal of a freshwater fishing lure is simple: Entice the fish to strike. The more aggressive the strike is, the better the chance the fish will be hooked and landed. Freshwater fishing lures can be broken down into three major subtypes: top waters, suspended lures and bottom lures.
Choosing which freshwater fishing lure to use, or even which subtype to use, depends on the situation and the target species. Figuring this out may take a great deal of time and experience, mainly learned through a process of trial and error. Determining fish patterns also depends a lot on the water conditions. Being successful with fishing lures means understanding these patterns, as well as the presentation and speed of the lure itself. A number of things must come together properly for good lure fishing.
For example, those targeting largemouth bass would do well to understand they tend to feed in shallower water, near the surface, near dusk and dawn. In the summer, they tend to retreat to deeper waters during the heat of the day. This will definitely impact which fishing lures are used.
Top water fishing lures tend to include straight lures that look like fish, or fly lures used in fly fishing. These fishing lures are usually hard, but do not necessarily have to be. They also are used to catch a wide variety of species such as bass, walleye, crappie and others. They can either be retrieved slow or fast, depending on the situation.
Suspended fishing lures also include a number of different hard and soft baits, the most common of which are crank baits, spoons, and spinner baits. Each are good baits to use for schooling fish which are found suspended between the top and bottom in water of 10 feet or more. They are meant to be retrieved at a relatively fast rate.
Bottom fishing lures tend to be soft baits, such as plastic worms or other types of soft plastic baits meant to simulate life that fish may find an attractive prey species along the bottom. They are generally retrieved relatively slow. They are designed to move in such a way that triggers on instinctual response to strike. They are often very effective when used in shallower waters, but lose some of their effectiveness in water more than 20 feet deep.