What is the Best Lure for Saltwater Fishing?


best lure for saltwater fishing

Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures
Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures

What is the Best Lure for Saltwater Fishing?

This article will discuss the best saltwater fishing lure. Anglers saltwater fishing have a wide variety of artificial lures to choose from. When used correctly, just about all of them will be effective. However, there is one saltwater fishing lure that is better than all the others.

The best saltwater fishing lure is the Bass Assassin 4” Sea Shad on a jig head. The jig and grub combination is without a doubt the most popular saltwater fishing lure along the entire coast from Maine to Texas. Obviously, it will catch fish all over the world.

jig fishing for bluefish

My name is Capt. Jim Klopfer and I’m a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida. While live bait can be productive, I prefer the fun and challenge of casting artificial lures. As a fishing guide, I need a lure that is easy to use and catches a lot of fish. The Bass Assassin Sea Shad soft plastic bait fulfills all those requirements.

Best lure for saltwater fishing

The 4” Bass Assassin Sea Shad is my favorite saltwater fishing lure for several reasons. Most importantly, it catches fish. At 4 inches long, it is the perfect size, being large enough to attract bigger game fish while small enough to produce action and variety. This bait comes in an unbelievable amount of fish catching colors. The shad style tail has fantastic action and puts out a lot of vibration.

best lure for saltwater fishing

The Bass Assassin Sea Shad will catch every saltwater species that will take and artificial lure. In my neck of the woods, this includes snook, redfish, jacks, speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, false albacore, tarpon, ladyfish, and other species. Northern anglers can add striped bass, bonito, fluke, and other species to the list.

Click to shop for Bass Assassin 4″ Sea Shad baits!

My clients run the gamut from novice anglers to those who are very experienced. Therefore, I need a saltwater fishing lure that all of these anglers can use. The Bass Assassin Sea Shad is my answer to this. The key is the design of the bait and the built in action of the swimming tail. All anglers really need to do to catch fish is cast it out and reel it in.

fishing for speckled trout

As mentioned earlier, the Bass Assassin Sea Shad is available in a staggering array of color choices. I tend to adhere to the old theory of using lighter colors in clear water, darker colors in stained water, and bright colors and muddy water. My personal favorite colors are glow/chartreuse, red/gold shiner, chartreuse, and new penny. By no means does this imply that the other colors are not effective, it is just hard to fish them all!

Fishing the Bass Assassin Sea Shad on a jig head

I almost always fish the Bass Assassin Sea Shad on a jig head, usually one quarter ounce. A lot of my fishing is done on the deeper grass flats between 4 feet deep and 10 feet deep as well as in the passes. A 1/4 ounce jig head is the perfect size for covering these fishing situations. I am not convinced that the jig head color matters all that much, but red, white, chartreuse, and unpainted jig heads are mostly used on my boat.

Siesta Key fishing charters

I will drop the jig head down to 1/8 ounce when fishing shallow water for redfish, snook, and jack crevelle. Obviously, in this shallower water a lighter jig head is preferred. Also, due to the chance to catch a larger fish, I use a jig head with a stout hook such as the Bass Assassin Pro Elite jig head.

best saltwater fishing lure

Tackle requirements for fishing the Bass Assassin Sea Shad (or any other jig and grub combo) is pretty basic. I prefer a 7 foot medium rod with a fast action. This means that the butt section is stiff while the tip is limber which aids in casting as well as imparting action to the lure. I pair the rod with a 2500 series reel spooled up with 20 pound braided line or 10 pound monofilament line.

best saltwater fishing reel under $100

Techniques for fishing the Bass Assassin Sea Shad

The technique that I most often employ when fishing the Bass Assassin Sea Shad is to cast it out ahead of the boat while drifting over submerged grass. Here in Florida we call them grass flats, while many freshwater anglers refer to them as weed beds. It is all the same thing, these are just large expanses of submerged aquatic vegetation. This vegetation attracts the forage that game fish feed on such as shrimp, crabs, and bait fish.

pompano fishing tips

The Bass Assassin Sea Shad is threaded on a 1/4 ounce jig head and then cast out ahead of the drifting boat. It is important to cast ahead of the boat and not behind. As the boat drifts over the fish, it will spook them. Casting ahead of the boat eliminates this problem.

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The lure is allowed to sink a few feet and is then retrieved back into the boat. While a steady retrieve can be used, a more erratic retrieve using the rod tip to pop the jig up and allow it to fall is often more productive. As the Bass Assassin Sea Shad falls through the water column, the tail vibrates. This very realistically simulates a dying or wounded bait fish and will often trigger a strike. In fact, in most all jig fishing, the strikes do occur on the fall.

Fishing for ladyfish in Florida

The Bass Assassin Sea Shad will also catch fish when retrieved steadily. This is often the case for more aggressive species such as bluefish, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel. These species tend to respond to a flashier, fast-moving bait. I’ll often go to the steady retrieve as well with novice anglers who might have trouble feeling the bite on the fall with the slack line. It is easy to detect a strike when steadily reeling the lure.

The Bass Assassin Sea Shad is effective in shallow water

I will also use the Bass Assassin Sea Shad when targeting more challenging game fish such as snook, tarpon, redfish, and jacks. As mentioned above, I will often go lighter on the jig head down to 1/8 ounce or even 1/16 ounce if needed while also using the stouter hook. This is a very effective combination allows anglers to cover a lot of water in search of fish.

best lure for saltwater fishing

The best technique in this application is to cast the lure out to some type of structure. This can be an oyster bar, point, drop off, pothole in the shallow flat, bridge, dock, or seawall. The lure is then brought back in using 1 foot to 18 inch sharp hops using the rod tip. The idea is to have the baits swimming and hopping just above the bottom, without dragging over it.

The Bass Assassin Sea Shad saltwater fishing lure is also very effective when breaking fish are located. By this I mean fish that are seen actively feeding on the surface. This is one of the most exciting fishing situations a saltwater angler will encounter! In this scenario, the game fish have herded the bait fish up high and trap them against the surface. The water will often appear to be boiling. Diving birds are often an indication that this is happening or about to happen.

search bait fishing lures

A Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits can be cast a decent distance using appropriate light spinning tackle. Therefore, when breaking fish are encountered it is simply a matter of casting the lure out and reeling it back in as fast as possible, giving it the occasional hard twitch. It usually won’t go very far before being attacked. The economical nature of the bait also comes into play when anglers encounter toothy species such as bluefish and Spanish mackerel which will quickly tear up a bait. I use this lure often when chasing Spanish mackerel and false albacore out on the beach in the spring and fall.

This lure is even effective for anglers surf fishing. A couple years back I was visiting the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I really enjoy surf fishing, I find standing on the beach and casting out into the ocean a relaxing way to fish. On the day of my arrival I noticed anglers spread out every 15 or 20 feet, all of them catching fish.

surf fishing for trout

As I approach them to get a better look, I noticed that they were catching speckled trout and bluefish using Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits! This seemed a bit ironic in that the exact same lures and techniques that I use in Florida on the flats are producing here in the surf and North Carolina. However, that was the case. It was impossible not to notice when visiting the local tackle shops that the Bass Assassin Sea Shad was by far the most popular soft plastic lure!

Other Bass assassin saltwater baits

There are other baits offered by Bass Assassin as well. The Sea Shad is available in 5″ and 6″ models. Other swimbaits include the Die Dapper, Lit’l Boss, and Elite Shiner. The 4″ Curly Shad is excellent, but I have issues with lizardfish and other species nipping off the tail. The slender Split Tail Shad works very well for speckled trout.

In conclusion, I hope anglers will find this article on the best saltwater fishing lure to be helpful!

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