by Scott Moeller
Sometimes there are just too many choices in life, and nowhere is this truer than the fishing lure aisle at the sporting goods store. The dizzying array of rainbow-hued “spinners,” “poppers,” “chuggers” and “buzzers” can easily leave you confused and frustrated.
So, for those indecisive-types who have ever been overwhelmed by the diversity of lures and reduced to gentle sobbing in a fetal position behind the bargain bin, here are some tips for keeping it simple in the lure aisle.
When it comes to deciding on the right lure, there are really only a handful of basic lure types.
Basic Lure Types:
|Jigs||Sometimes called a “jighead,” a jig is simply a weight with a hook molded into it. The round weight usually has eyespots, and a tail of feathers, plastic or hair to make the jig resemble an insect or small fish|
|Plastic worms||A plastic or rubber version of the real thing, often infused with a chemical that gives the lure an attractive smell or taste (to the fish). Slide it onto a hook or jig, and you are ready to go.|
|Spinners||Standard spinners, weight-forward spinners and spinnerbaits are all different versions of a similar idea. All spinners consist of one or two shiny metal blades that spin around a shaft as the lure is pulled through the water. The spinning blades produce flashes and vibrations that the fish can see, feel and hear.|
|Spoons||A spoon is a single, curved metal blade that wobbles as it is pulled through the water. Usually shiny on one side and colorful on the other, a spoon imitates the shape, movement and colorful flashing of a small fish.|
|Plugs||"Plug" is a very generic term for any lure that looks like a small baitfish with hooks attached. There are many different kinds. Diving plugs (called "crankbaits") usually have a plastic lip that causes them to dive and wiggle as they are pulled along beneath the water. Surface plugs float on the water's surface. "Poppers" and "chuggers" are surface plugs with a concave front that makes a sound and splash when the lure is twitched across the water.|
Plastic worms, jigs, spinners and surface plugs are all good for a variety of species, provided you get an appropriate size. Spoons and diving plugs are good for catching larger predatory fish like northern pike, muskie, walleye and bass.
As you make your selection(s), remember to keep it simple. Instead of getting lured in and buying an arm load of lures and filling your tackle box, consider the fish you’ll be going after and get only the lures that are appropriate. Lesson 5:4 - Tackling Your Tackle Box provides an engaging hands-on activity to help you learn about appropriate tackle for different species of fish.
Remember that Henry David Thoreau said: “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” (Although it seems like it would have been simpler to have just said it once.) Happy fishing!