Fishing Articles

Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

This post is the list of fishing articles written by Capt Jim Klopfer. These articles will be broken down into several categories. These include Sarasota fishing articles, Florida fishing articles, freshwater fishing articles, and miscellaneous fishing articles. Simply click on the article title to read the article.

fishing articles

Saltwater fishing articles

Inshore Saltwater Fishing, a Complete Guide

11 Valuable Tampa Bay Fishing Tips

Best 6 Topwater Plugs for Saltwater Fishing

Best 7 Saltwater Fishing Spoons

Best Sheepshead Fishing Tackle and Baits

Tarpon Fishing Tackle and Gear, an Angler’s Guide

Best Redfish Fishing Tackle and lures

Best 12 Spotted Sea Trout Fishing Lures

Best Flounder and Fluke Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Best Grouper Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best False Albacore Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best Live Baits for Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Best 7 Fishing Lures for Redfish

Top 9 speckled trout fishing lures

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Jack Crevalle Fishing, a Complete Guide

Light Tackle Bottom Fishing Tips

What is the Best Saltwater Fishing Fly

How to Catch Saltwater Fish with Jigs

Spotted Sea Trout Fishing, Tips to Succeed

Spanish Mackerel and False Albacore Fishing Tips

Fishing for Redfish and Speckled Trout

Fishing for Bluefish, Tips and Techniques

Top 15 Sheepshead Fishing Tips

Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures

Fly Fishing for Jack Crevalle

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Florida fishing articles

Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

Florida Inshore Fishing Tips

Florida Offshore Fishing Tips

Florida Pompano Fishing

Florida Bluefish

Freshwater Fly Fishing in Florida

Fly Fishing in Florida, Gulf Coast Tips

Tarpon Fishing in Florida, an Anglers Guide

Light Tackle Trolling in Saltwater

Jacksonville Florida Fishing Tips

Best Snook Fishing Tackle and Lures

Florida King Mackerel Fishing, Tips and Techniques

Top 21 Florida Saltwater Game Fish

What is the Best Bait for Shark Fishing?

Fishing for Florida Panfish and Crappie

Top 25 Florida Game Fish

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Winter

Fishing for Ladyfish in Florida

Freshwater fishing articles

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment

Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

Freshwater Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Beginners Guide

Ice Fishing Tackle and Gear

Top 10 Northern Pike Fishing Lures

Top 11 Musky Fishing Lures

What is the best Northern Pike Fishing Lure

Best 13 Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures for Beginners

Best River Trout Fishing Lure

What is the best live bait for freshwater fishing?

Fly Fishing for Bluegill and Panfish

Fishing with Spinners in Rivers and Streams

Top 13 Rainbow Trout Fishing Lures

What is the best live bait for smallmouth bass?

Best 9 Fishing Lures for Streams and Small Rivers

Ice Fishing for Crappie, a Beginners Guide

Crappie Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Complete Guide

Best 9 fishing lures for bluegill and panfish

How to Catch Catfish, a Comprehensive Guide

Walleye Fishing, a Beginners Guide

Fishing for River Catfish, Tips and Techniques

Smallmouth Bass Fishing for Beginners

Best 7 River Smallmouth Fishing Lures

Fishing Franklin North Carolina

Top 27 Freshwater Game Fish Species

Minnesota Walleye and Pike Fishing

Trout Fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Manitoba and Alberta Fishing Tips

Women Bass Fishing, Tournament Tips

Fishing Texas Lakes and Rivers

River Fishing Tips and Techniques

Fishing the North Shore of Minnesota

Sarasota fishing articles

Fishing Sarasota Bay, Pro Tips!

Fishing Siesta Key

Sarasota Fishing Calendar

Sarasota Bottom Fishing

Best 11 Sarasota Fishing Reefs

Sarasota Offshore Fishing

Sarasota Redfish

Sarasota Chumming Techniques

River Snook Fishing Charters

Sarasota Bass Fishing

Sarasota Snook Fishing

Sarasota False Albacore

Sarasota Fishing Forecast

Sarasota Crappie Fishing

Sarasota Sheepshead Fishing

Sarasota Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Sarasota Speckled Trout Fishing

Longboat Key Fishing Charters

Sarasota Freshwater Fishing

Best 6 Sarasota Fishing Lures

Fly Fishing Sarasota Rivers

Best Sarasota Fishing Charter

35 Best Sarasota Fishing Spots

Sarasota Jig Fishing

Sarasota Trolling Techniques

Siesta Key Snook Fishing

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

17 Best Bradenton Fishing Spots

Fishing Charters in Sarasota

Miscellaneous Fishing Articles

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

Top 12 Texas Game Fish

Striped Bass Fishing Tips and Spots

A Guide to Kayak Fishing for Beginners

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

This article will list the top 13 freshwater fishing plugs. Plugs are hard bodied artificial fishing lures. For the most part, they imitate crayfish and bait fish. Back in the day, they were carved from wood. Most today are made from plastic. They are available in models that fish from the surface down to twenty feet or more.

top 13 frehwater fishing plugs

Capt Jim Klopfer is a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida. He has fished extensively all over the United States. There are quite a few different types of fishing plugs. In this article, he will list his personal favorite lure in each “family” of baits.

The top 13 freshwater fishing plugs are the Heddon Zara Spook, Rapala Skitter Prop, Rebel Pop R, Arbogast Hula Popper, Rapala X-Rap Slashbait, Yozuri Crystal Minnow, Strike King KVD Squarebill crankbait, Rapala Original Floating Minnow, Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap, Rapala Shad Rap, Bomber Fat Free Shad, Rebel Crawfish, and the Flatfish.

  • Heddon Zara Spook
  • Rapala Skitter Prop
  • Rebel Pop R
  • Arbogast Hula Popper
  • Rapala X-Rap Slashbait
  • Yozuri Crystal Minnow
  • Strike King KVD Squarebill
  • Rapala Original Floating Minnow
  • Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap
  • Rapala Shad Rap
  • Bomber Fat Free Shad
  • Rebel Crawfish
  • Flatfish

Plug colors, sizes, and characteristics

In order to not be repetitive, colors and sizes will be covered here. While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to color and size, there are some guidelines to follow. Wherever possible, it is advised to closely mimic the locally available forage in both size and color. This applies to shad, bluegill, perch, crayfish, and other forage species.

Generally speaking, light colors work best in clear water and on sunny days. Conversely, darker colors produce better in stained water and on overcast days. In muddy water, bright colors work well. Chrome and chartreuse are good all round finishes that are hard to beat. Color is less of a factor when using topwater plugs.

best freshwater fishing topwater plugs

Plugs are also very versatile, while topwater plugs are excluded, all other plugs can be either cast out or trolled. Trolling with diving plugs is a very efficient way to locate fish. It is also easy to do and productive. Some plugs can even be fished vertically, and that includes through the ice!

Capt Jim’s list of favorite plugs includes baits that are versatile and will catch a variety of species. Many are legendary baits with decades long reputations. There are many fine “specialty” plugs designed for a certain species or application, but those will not be on the list. Many are targeted to anglers fishing for largemouth bass.

Top 13 freshwater fishing plugs

The first 4 baits on Capt Jim’s list of top 13 freshwater fishing plugs are topwater baits. These float on the surface the entire time, drawing strikes from fish below. While they all work on the surface, there are three different types of topwater plugs. These are walk the dog baits, propeller baits, and poppers.

1)  Heddon Zara Spook

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The Heddon Zara Spook was the original “walk the dog” style bait. It is an extremely effective lure that catches fish to this day. It is available in several sizes and many different finishes. Chrome is a good all round finish.

2)  Rapala Skitter Prop

The Rapala Skitter Prop is number two on Capt Jim’s list. It puts out a lot of commotion while sitting relatively still. Gold is his favorite color. This is an excellent choice when it is breezy or there is a bit of chop on the water.

3)  Rebel Pop R

The Rebel Pop R is the next bait on the list. It is a “popper” and is a very easy bait for novice anglers to use. It comes with buck tail dressing on the tail. Capt Jim likes the silver finish with the blue back.

4)  Arbogast Hula Popper

The Arbogast Hula Popper has been around a long time. It is an excellent popper that works well in ponds and smaller waters. The rubber tail prodecues a lot of action. Frog is a good color pattern.

Jerk baits

The next three lures on Capt Jim’s list of the top 13 freshwater fishing plugs are jerk baits. These are long and slender. They float on the surface and dive down upon retrieve. The lip determines the depth that they will dive. Models are available that work a few feed below the surface down to twenty feet or more.

top 13 freshwater fishing plugs

These lures are called “jerk baits” due to the manner in which they are retrieved. The lure is cast out and then the rod tip is sharply jerked. The bait will lurch forward while flashing, then stop and hang motionless when given a little slack. This action simulates a wounded bait fish and drives fish crazy!

5)  Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

The Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait is Capt Jim’s favorite jerk bait. It is a very versatile and catches just about every freshwater species. It is available in a lot of sizes, running depths, and many different color patterns.

6)  Yozuri Crystal Minnow

The Yozuri Crystal Minnow is another excellent jerk bait. It is available in many sizes and has an excellent, high quality finish. Most anglers opt for a lighter color which highlights the flash of the bait.

7)  Rapala Original Floating Minnow

The Rapala Original Floating Minnow is an old-school jerk bait that still has many fans. It is a bit less expensive and still catches a ton of fish. Silver with the black back is the most popular finish.


The next five lures on Capt Jim’s list of the top 13 freshwater fishing plugs are crank baits. These are cast out and “cranked” back in, thus the name. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The plastic lip determines the depth that they run. Lipless crankbaits do not have a lip. They are simply reeled back in while putting out a bunch of flash and vibration.

8)  Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap

The Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap is the most recognized and productive lipless crankbait, and for good reason. It has been catching fish for decades. It is a very easy lure to use. It is cast out and reeled back in using a steady pace. It works when trolled as well. The ½ ounce bait in chrome with a blue back is Capt Jim’s favorite.

9)  Strike King KVD Squarebill crankbait

The Strike King KVD Square Bill line of crankbaits are veery effective lures. The 1.5 size in the Sexy Shad is an excellent choice when fish are feeding an 2” to 3” shad. The baits come in larger sizes as well. It has a very unique side to side wobble and bounces off structure well. They cover a large portion of the water column.

10)  Rapala Shad Rap

The Rapala Shad Rap is an excellent deep water crankbait. It gets down deep quickly and is easy to work back to the boat. The Shad Rap is an excellent trolling lure as well. It comes in a wide variety of colors and several; sizes.

11)  Bomber Fat Free Shad

The Bomber Fat Free Shad is an excellent deep water crankbait. It gets down quickly and can then be slowed down to work the bottom. Bark colors mimic crayfish while lighter colors mimic shad that school in deep water.

12)  Rebel Wee Craw

The Rebel Wee Craw is a terrific crankbait when used in rivers and rocky lakes. It is a legend among river smallmouth and walleye anglers. They work best when bounced off the rocks on the bottom.

13)  Flatfish

The Flatfish has been around for a very long time. Some anglers have forgotten about them, but that is a mistake! The Flatfish has a great action and works well when both trolled and cast. It produces big trout in fast moving rivers.

Best rods and reels for plug fishing

Anglers can use both spinning tackle and bait casting gear effectively when fishing with plugs in freshwater. The determining factors will really be the size of the lure and angler preference. Spinning tackle is the best option when casting smaller plugs, it is just better suited for lighter lures.

Anglers can read a comprehensive article on freshwater tackle in this link.

Bait casting gear is perfect for casting heavier plugs, and especially when using top water baits. Due to the nature and which they are retrieved, there is often times slack in the line when using a top water plug. Bait casting reels handle taking up the slack much better than do spinning reels, which are prone to getting loops in ordinary fishing. Bait casting and conventional outfits are preferred when trolling with plugs.

Anglers freshwater fishing with plugs often find that a softer action rod works better than the normal fast action rod’s preferred and other types of fishing. A more parabolic bend usually results in a better hook set. That extra cushion comes in handy when a fish is shaking its head violently. This is also safer as it eliminates the plug being thrown back at the angler.

Best lines for fishing with plugs

While braided line has become very popular, many anglers casting plugs opt for monofilament or fluorocarbon lines. The stretch and the line is preferred, very much for the same reasons as using a softer action rod. However, many anglers do fine with braided lines, especially when fishing around heavy cover such as fallen timber and docks.

In conclusion, this article on the best 13 freshwater fishing plugs will help anglers catch more fish using these extremely effective lures!


Best 11 Topwater Plugs for Freshwater Fishing

Best 11 Topwater Plugs for Freshwater Fishing

This article will list the best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing. Many anglers consider catching a fish on a topwater plug to be the most exciting aspect of the sport! The visual component certainly adds another dimension. In the past, topwater plugs were made out of wood, often times carved by hand. The vast majority of today’s top water plugs for freshwater fishing are made from plastic.

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

Topwater plugs float on the surface at rest. They are then worked in an erratic manner, which simulates a wounded bait fish struggling on the surface. This action and commotion will attract the attention of nearby game fish and hopefully induce them to strike. Some top water plugs resemble frogs and even small mammals such as mice and birds.

Sacramento River striped bass

There are basically three types of topwater plugs; poppers, propeller baits, and walk the dog baits. The first two types, poppers and propeller baits, have a fair amount of built in action. The third group, walk the dog baits, have very little action by themselves. The angler must impart the action in order to elicit a strike.

Top 11 freshwater fishing topwater plugs

The best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing are; Heddon Zara Spook, Arbogast Hula Popper, Rapala Skitter Prop, Rebel Pop R, Whopper Popper, Smithwick Devils Horse, Arbogast Jitterbug, Rapala Skitter Pop, Heddon Tiny Torpedo, Rapala Skitter walk, and the Strom Rattlin’ Chug Bug. These 11 freshwater top water plugs will produce for anglers fishing on the surface and every conceivable application.

  • Heddon Zara Spook
  • Arbogast Hula Popper
  • Rapala Skitter Prop
  • Rebel Pop R
  • Whopper Plopper
  • Smithwick Devils Horse
  • Arbogast Jitterbug
  • Rapala Skitter Pop
  • Heddon Tiny Torpedo
  • Rapala Skitter Walk
  • Storm Rattlin’ Chug Bug

Poppers are surface plugs that have a concave opening at the front. When twitched sharply, the plug digs into the water and produces a loud “popping” sound. Propeller baits have either a propeller at the rear or one on both ends. When moved, the propellers dig into the water putting out a lot of commotion. Walk the dog baits have very little built in action. The angler imparts it using a rhythmic twitching of the rod tip.

best freshwater fishing topwater plugs

Topwater poppers

Poppers are perhaps the easiest of the best topwater plugs for anglers freshwater fishing to use. These make them an excellent choice for novice anglers. The lure is cast out towards some likely looking structure and allowed to settle, waiting for the rings to completely dissipate. With the rod tip held low and the line taught, the angler gives the rod tip a sharp twitch. This causes the lure to dig into the water and make a loud “pop”.

fishing with spinners in rivers and streams

Due to their design, poppers work best when the water is calm. It is more difficult to produce that fish attracting sound when there is a ripple on the water. Also, poppers are best when fished in specific locations. They do not allow anglers to cover as much water as some of the other topwater plugs do. Once the lure has been twitched several times, the angler reels it back in and casts to another spot, repeating the process.

Fred Arbogast Hula Popper

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The Arbogast Hula Popper is a legendary fishing lure. It has been around for decades and has produced many fish for freshwater anglers. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and pike are probably the most often caught species. The frog color pattern is both popular and effective. The rubber skirted tail is unique and gives the bait a lot of its action.

Rebel Pop R

The Rebel Pop R is another proven fish catching bait. It has a large concave face with the rear treble hook dressed with bucktail. One attractive aspect of this lure is that it is available in multiple sizes, especially in smaller versions. That makes it a great choice for anglers fishing for panfish and other smaller species in ponds.

Rapala Skitter Pop

The Rapala Skitter Pop is another very effective popper. Most anglers use that the larger sizes for game fish such as pike, largemouth bass, striped bass, and more. It is also a crossover lure that is quite effective on saltwater fish as well. This bait uses a large plastic concave lip produce the famous popping sound.

Propeller style topwater plugs

Propeller baits, also known as prop baits, are just as the name implies, they come with either a rear propeller or one on both ends. When worked in the water, they put out a tremendous amount of sound and vibration. They can be worked faster than poppers, making them a better choice for anglers desiring to cover more water.

best fishing lure for northern pike

The lure is cast out towards some shoreline cover and allowed to settle. It is then worked back towards the angler using either a series of short twitches or a fairly steady retrieve. In most cases, the twitch and pause presentation works best. The fish will usually hit the lure as it sits motionless. However, there are days when the fish are quite aggressive and will hit a bait as it is retrieve steadily on the surface.

Smithwick Devils Horse

The Smithwick Devils Horse is a legendary top water plug that is used by freshwater anglers. It is long and slender, giving it a finesse type profile. The propellers fore and aft give the bait a ton of action and commotion that will draw game fish up from weeds and other cover.

Rapala Skitter Prop

The Rapala Skitter Prop is another very effective propeller style top water plug. It has a broader profile then does the Devils Horse and only has one propeller on the rear of the bait. It puts out a lot of noise while offering fish a more substantial meal. It comes in a couple different sizes, with the 07 being the best all round size for bass and other medium to large game fish.

Heddon Tiny Torpedo

The Heddon Tiny Torpedo is a terrific all round propeller bait for freshwater fishing. It has a huge following among anglers fishing for smallmouth bass and rivers. It is also an extremely effective pond fishing lure. It smaller size and single propeller result in a more subtle presentations than some of the other larger baits. Frog is an excellent all round color pattern.

Walk the Dog style freshwater topwater plugs

Walk the dog style baits are the most difficult for anglers to learn to use. The lure has no real built in action. Instead, the angler must work the bait in a way that induces the strike. These baits are long and slender, tapering down in the front and the rear. Many consider these to be “big fish” baits that tend to attract larger game fish.

Oklahoma bass fishing women

The walk the dog technique is accomplished in the following manner. The lore is cast out and allowed to settle. Then, with the rod tip low near the surface, the angler twitches the rod tip sharply while giving the handle of the real about a half a turn. When done properly, this will cause the lure to dance from side-to-side. It is a bit more difficult, however once mastered will produce some very nice fish.

Heddon Zara Spook

The Heddon Zara Spook is by far the most popular lure in this family. Heddon basically invented the whole family of baits with this lure. It comes in several sizes and a variety of colors and finishes. Striped bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, and musky will all fall prey to this legendary lure. There are even saltwater models manufactured with heavy duty hardware to catch large saltwater game fish.

Rapala Skitter Walk

The Rapala Skitter Walk is another walk the dog bait, very similar to the Zara Spook. It is offered in several sizes and many color patterns and is available in slightly smaller sizes as well.

More topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

There are a couple of other very productive top water plugs used by freshwater anglers that do not fit into any of the three categories. These are the Arbogast Jitterbug and the Whopper Plopper. The first has been around for a very long time while the second is a relative newcomer to the sport. Both of these lures belong in every freshwater anglers tackle box.

Fred Arbogast Jitterbug

The Jitterbug is a top water plug that has a wide metal lip at the front. While it does put out a bit of a popping sound, the bill or live causes the bait to waggle from side-to-side upon retrieve. This lure has been around for decades and has produced countless fish for anglers over the years. Many anglers associate using a black Jitterbug at night for bass.

Whopper Plopper

The Whopper Plopper is another unique top water lure. It is not been around very long, but has already earned a great reputation among seasoned bass anglers. It is a larger lore with a plastic tail that puts out a lot of splash when retrieved. It is almost, but not quite, a propeller bait. Whatever name you give it, it certainly produces fish!

Color choice for topwater plugs

topwater plugs freshwater fishing

Of all of the types of lures available to anglers, color probably matters less when it comes to top water plugs than all of the others. The reason for this is simple, fish can only see the underside of it. In most cases, it is really just a silhouette of the profile against the sky that the fish see. Frog is a very popular and productive all round color for freshwater fishing. Many anglers believe that black is the best color when fishing at night. Bone, chrome, and other light colors work well on sunny days.

Tackle options for casting topwater plugs

Anglers casting topwater plugs for freshwater fish can use both spinning in conventional tackle. Anglers casting lighter lures for smaller fish will do best using spinning tackle and most situations. Conversely, conventional or bait casting gear is often preferred by anglers casting heavier lures for larger fish. The really is no right or wrong, the choice should be based on the size of the lure being used, size of the fish being targeted, and angler preference.

Anglers can click on the link to read an article on the best freshwater fishing tackle.

Best technique for setting the hook

One thing that anglers who are new to fishing with top water plugs need to learn to do is to delay the hook set. It can be quite unnerving, and exciting, to see if fish blast a topwater plug. Often times the angler’s first instinct is to instantly set the hook. However, this will usually result in the fish being missed and sometimes even have the plug flying back into the boat. This can be quite dangerous! Instead, anglers should wait until the weight of the fishes fell and then set the hook using a sideways sweep of the rod.

In conclusion, this article on the best 11 top water plugs for freshwater fishing will help anglers catch more fish using this exciting and productive technique!

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

This article will list the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons. Spoons are a very simple, yet effective fishing lure. They have been around for a very long time. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. The bait can be of a metallic finish such as silver, gold, or bronze. Spoons are available painted as well. Some are even a combination of the two. Spoons usually have a single treble hook, though some spoons, especially weedless versions, have a single hook.


Spoons have several advantages as a fishing lure. They are fairly dense and heavy and cast a long way. This allows anglers to both cover a lot of water as well as reach spots that are a good distance away. Spoons are also very versatile, they are quite effective as both casting lures and trolling lures. They can also be used throughout the entire water column.

For the most part, spoons imitate live bait fish. They put out plenty of flash, vibration, and action. The shape of the spoon will determine its action. Wider spoons put out more of a wobble and are usually worked a bit slower. Spoons that are more slender can be worked faster and put out a more subtle vibration. As with all fishing, it is best to match the spoon to the forage species that the fish are feeding on.

Best tackle for fishing with spoons

The tackle that anglers will use when fishing with spoons will vary due to several factors. The primary factor is the size of the spoon that the angler is using. Spoons come in a wide variety of sizes and weights, from very tiny up to several ounces. Obviously, light spinning tackle is the best choice when casting tiny spoons for panfish and trout. Conversely, heavier spinning tackle or bait casting tackle works well when casting heavier spoons.

Top 11 freshwater fishing spoons

There are many different spoons available to anglers out there on the market. When properly presented, all of them will catch fish. However, there are some spoons that have proven themselves over time to be a cut above the rest. Here is the list of the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons.

  • Eppinger Daredevil
  • Johnson silver minnow
  • Acme cast master
  • Johnson Sprite
  • Acme Phoebe
  • Swedish pimple
  • Mepps Syclops
  • Acme Little Cleo
  • Hopkins jigging spoon
  • Luhr Jensen Krocodile
  • Williams whitefish

Eppinger Daredevil spoon

The Eppinger Daredevil spoon is a classic fishing lure. It has been around for decades and still catches fish to this day. More northern pike have been caught on the half ounce red and white Daredevil than any other fishing lure. That is the most popular bait in this line. The five of diamonds pattern is popular as well, especially for anglers trolling for lake trout. This lure is available in a wide variety of colors and several sizes.

Johnson Silver Minnow spoon

The Johnson Silver Minnow is a weedless spoon. It rides with the spoon side down and the hook up and also has a weed guard. This design result in a very weedless bait they can be worked through weeds as well is on top of them. While called the “Silver Minnow”, the most popular bait is a gold spoon and they 1/2 ounce size. It is also available and multiple color patterns and sizes. Anglers sometimes add a trailer such as a soft plastic or pork chop to enhance the action.

Acme Kastmaster spoon

The Acme Kastmaster is a unique looking spoon. It is shaped a bit differently from other baits. It is denser than most spoons and is quite heavy for its size. This results in a lore that works very well in a variety of applications. Anglers can cast a long way, covering a lot of water. It can also be trolled. Finally, it is an excellent spoon to use in a vertical presentation, whether fishing in open water or through the ice. Silver with blue neon and gold are the two most popular finishes. The spoon comes in a wide variety of sizes.

Johnson Sprite spoon

The Johnson Sprite spoon is a classic casting spoon. It has the traditional spoon shape of being narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. It casts and performs best when used with a slow steady retrieve. It can be trolled, however anglers will need to use some type of weight or device to get it down in the water column. Silver and gold are the two most popular finishes and one quarter ounce and 1/2 ounce the most popular sizes.

Acme Phoebe spoon

The Acme Phoebe spoon is most often used by anglers targeting trout and panfish. It is a bit of a niche lure in that regard. The vast majority of anglers using the spoons choose the gold finish. It is an extremely effective River trout fishing lure. It is very light, which allows anglers to fish shallow streams without hanging up. It is also a very popular ineffective ice fishing lure. Sizes from 1/64 ounce to 1/8 ounce are most popular.

Sweedish Pimple spoon

The Sweedish Pimple is a long slender spoon. It is an excellent choice in northern lakes when game fish are feeding on long skinny silver baitfish such as smelt and emerald shiners. A can be cast out and retrieved, trolled, and vertically jigged. It is an extremely popular ice fishing lure that catches a wide variety of species.

Mepps Syclops spoon

The Mepps Syclops is another long slender spoon. It comes in five sizes and a variety of colors. It is similar to the bait listed above. It is effective when cast, trolled, and vertically fished. It does have a bend near the eye that gives it a unique action.

Acme Little Cleo spoon

The Acme Little Cleo is another classic casting spoon. It has that traditional teardrop shape. They are available and nine different sizes and many different color patterns. Like most casting spoons, they produce best for anglers using a slow steady retrieve. The heavier versions are excellent when trolled. They are also a popular ice fishing lure as well.

Hopkins spoon

The Hopkins spoon is unique in that it is used almost exclusively as a jigging spoon in a vertical presentation. The half ounce spoon in the silver color with a hammered finish and white dressed hook is a classic fishing lure. It works extremely well for bass, trout, and other species when they are schooled up on deep structure. This lore realistically imitates a shad or other type of wounded bait fish. They are heavy and sink quickly and have an excellent erratic action.

Luhr Jensen Krocodile spoon

The Luhr Jensen Krocodile is a bit of a hybrid spoon, with a shape that is in between the classic wider casting spoons and the narrow jigging type spoons. The result is a very versatile lure that comes in 11 different sizes and a variety of color pattern. The spoon is very popular throughout the country and is productive on a wide variety of species. There is no one color pattern or size that is more effective than the other.

Williams Whitefish spoon

The Williams Whitefish spoon is a specialized bait. It only comes in three sizes, all of them fairly large. This spoon imitates larger praise such as ciscoes and is primarily used in larger open lakes for predators such as lake trout in the largest walleye. It is a heavy bait that sinks quickly and is most often used when vertically jigging or trolling, it is a bit heavy to cast for any real length of time.

Top 11 freshwater fishing spoons

These top 11 freshwater fishing spoons will cover every situation an angler will find himself or herself in. As mentioned above, the primary consideration is to match the lure size was importantly and colors secondarily to the available forage locally prayed on by game fish. Also, the size of the fish being pursued is a factor.

spinnerbait fishing techniques

Is important to use a swivel went fishing with spoons. Many anglers already incorporate a snap swivel on the end of the line to facilitate changing lures. By the nature of their design, spoons will roll and spin in the water. This action is what makes them effective. However, anglers who do not use a swivel will quickly find that the spoon will twist the line up into knots. The swivel can be right at the spoon, in the form of a snap swivel, or used between the running line any longer leader.

Spoon fishing techniques

One of the great aspects of fishing with spoons is the ease in which they are used. Unlike some freshwater fishing lures, spoons have a ton of built in action. That means that the angler can simply reel the bait in and catch fish. Of course, he or she can manipulate the rod tip to give the spoon even more erratic action. This ease of which they are used makes it a great choice for novice anglers. Spoons are also heavy and cast a long way, again making them a great choice for beginners.

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Anglers casting spoons simply make a cast, allow the lure to sink, then retrieve it back in at the desired pace. The entire water column can be covered by adjusting the time that the spoon is allowed to sink. Anglers do not want to Dragon on the bottom, or it will hang up.

Fishing with spoons in rivers

Spoons are extremely effective River fishing lures. The lighter versions work best in small, shallow streams as the bait can be worked at a fairly slow pace without it hanging up on the bottom. Conversely, larger heavier spoons are better choice in big fast-moving rivers. Silver and light colors work well on bright sunny days when the water is clear. Conversely, gold and darker colors are better choices under low light conditions and when the water has a bit of color to it.

fishing with spinners in rivers and streams

The best approach is to usually cast straight across the stream or river, then worked the spoon back in on a tight line is the current takes it downstream. Often times the bite will occur as the spoon starts to swing sharply in the current on the tight line. Many salmon and rainbow trout have been caught in this manner. The heads and tails of pools as well as the deeper runs between riffles are prime spots in rivers to fish with spoons.

Trolling with spoons

Spoons are fantastic trolling lures. They realistically imitate the forage that is found in most lakes and deeper rivers. The speed at which the angler can troll is determined by the shape of the spoon. Wider spoons must be trolled at a slower pace than long slender spoons.

trout lures

Heavier spoons in shallow lakes and rivers can be trolled by themselves. The angler simply attaches it to his or her line and using a swivel somewhere drags the bait behind the boat at a steady speed. However, in most cases anglers we have to use some other tackle or device to get the spoon down into the water column.

The easiest method is to use a trolling sinker. This is a cylindrical piece of lead with swivels at both ends. One end is tied to the running line and a section of leader is added to the other. The spoon finishes off the rig. The angler will have to adjust the trolling weight to the speed being trolled as well is the depth and current of the water being fished. In most cases, anglers will want to get the spoon fairly deep in the water column.

In conclusion, this article on the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons will help anglers select the proper spoon for the application being fished and result in more fish being caught!

Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment, a Beginners Guide

Largemouth Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment

In this article, largemouth bass fishing tackle will be thoroughly covered. Largemouth bass are the most popular game fish in North America. There are several reasons for this. Largemouth bass are apex predators, with a huge mouth and a powerful tail. When hooked, they often leap high and put up a great tussle. Bass can be very aggressive and will take a wide variety of artificial lures. While most anglers use lures, largemouth bass can be certainly caught on live bait as well.

women bass fishing

Another factor in the popularity of largemouth bass is their availability. Largemouth bass are very adaptable, tolerating a wide range of temperatures. They flourish in warm places such as Florida and other southern states. Several lakes in Mexico offer fantastic largemouth bass fishing as well. Florida strain largemouth have adapted to the deep clear lakes of California. Alaska even has a population of fish as well.

This popularity has spawned an entire industry. There is so much largemouth bass fishing equipment available to anglers that it can be overwhelming. Rows and rows of fishing rods, reels, soft plastic baits, hard baits and more fill the aisles at retail outlets. The purpose of this article is to simplify it a bit for anglers just getting into the sport.

largemouth bass

Bass fishing rods and reels

Anglers watching a fishing show with tournament bass anglers often see a dozen or more rods lying on the deck. Many of these are specialty rods that are designed for one particular type of bass fishing. However, that does not mean that every angler needs a dozen rods and reels!

There are three types of reels that anglers can choose from. The first and most basic are spin cast reels. Some anglers know them as push button reels. These are suitable for fishing for panfish and other smaller species, but not really adequate for serious bass fishing. Bait casting reels, also known as conventional reels, are very popular among bass anglers. However, they are a bit more complicated to learn to cast and use. Once mastered, every bass anglers should own a bait casting outfit or two.

best largemouth bass fishing lures for beginners

The majority of anglers choosing largemouth bass fishing equipment who are just starting out will do best with spinning tackle. These are also known as open faced reels. Anglers put their finger under the line and then open the bail, letting the line slide off their finger at the cast. The bail is then closed and the line retrieved. Spinning tackle is versatile, reasonably priced, and easy to learn to use. It has become much more popular among professional bass anglers of late as finesse fishing has grown.

Bass fishing rods

The fishing rods are matched to the fishing reels. Spinning rods and bait casting rods are slightly different. Spinning rods have larger guides while bait casting rods have smaller ones. The handles and grips on the butt section are often different as well.

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The two most important aspects of a fishing rod are the length and the action. The length is self-explanatory. Most anglers prefer a rod that is 6 1/2 feet to 7 1/2 feet long. A rod this long allows for anglers to make long casts as well as fight a good fish without it being clunky or awkward. Other than storage or fishing in very tight quarters, there really is no advantage to a shorter rod.

Fishing rods come in many different actions. This is the internal design of the rod that determines where it is stronger and stiffer and where it is more limber and how these two things transition. Different actions are actually desired for different types of fishing. This is one reason that you see so many fishing rods on tournament bass anglers boats.

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Rod and reel outfits

Beginning anglers choosing largemouth bass fishing equipment can really cover most fishing situations with two outfits. The first outfit would be a medium or medium light spinning outfit that has a 7 foot rod and a 3000 series spinning reel. The rod should have a fast action. This means that it is fairly stout at the butt section but quite limber at the tip. This is a very versatile outfit.

A spinning outfit like this is light enough for anglers to use light soft plastic baits and other finesse style baits effectively. However, it will still be suitable for casting heavier hard bodied plugs such as jerk baits and top water plugs. Anglers can spool the reel up with 12 pound monofilament or fluorocarbon line or 20 pound braided line. If an angler can only afford to purchase one rod and reel, this would be a very good choice.

The second outfit would be a bit stouter. It would be a medium heavy outfit. A bait casting outfit would be best, but anglers can certainly use a spinning reel as well. Bait casting reels have more power and often a fast retrieve ratio. This heavier outfit is better suited for pitching and flipping soft plastic baits into heavy cover as well as casting heavier spinner baits and plugs around cover. In these environments, an angler often needs muscle to get the fish out. Braid is the best line choice in this situation, and anglers can go fairly heavy, between 40 pound and 60 pound test.

Bass fishing lures

There have been countless books written about largemouth bass fishing lures. There is no way to completely cover that subject in a blog post. However, the subject can be simplified to keep it from being overwhelming for a novice angler.

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Largemouth bass fishing lures can be broken down into these categories; soft plastic baits, bladed baits, jigs, and plugs. With each lure type, specific examples of productive baits including size and color will be given to help anglers get started.

Soft plastic lures for bass fishing

The largemouth bass fishing world was revolutionized in the late 60s when plastic worms first came about. The initial versions were very stiff and not at all lifelike. They have certainly come a long way! Bass anglers today have an incredible assortment of soft plastic baits at their disposal. These can imitate worms, crayfish, salamanders, and creatures that do not exist. It is more the lifelike presentation in the water that catches bass as opposed to it realistically imitating some natural forage.

Yamamoto Senko

One of the most versatile and effective soft plastic baits is the Yamamoto Senko. This is termed a finesse bait. It can be rigged several ways including Texas rigged, wacky rigged, and used on a drop shot. Is a very versatile little bait. The 5 inch version and green pumpkin is an excellent all round lure that will catch largemouth bass anywhere.

Zoom Trick worm

The Zoom Trick worm is an excellent full-sized plastic worm. It has a bit more action than the Senko and is a good choice when fish are bit more active. This is a versatile bait that can be slowly crawled along the bottom or swim through vegetation. The design of the lure and the shape of the tail give it tremendous action. A 7 inch size in darker colors such work well.

Mister Twister grub

Mister Twister grubs are a simple yet very effective soft plastic lure. These baits hit the fishing scene in the late 70s and anglers have been having tremendous success with them ever since. The curly tail design puts out fantastic action and vibration in the water. These are terrific baits in clear water and in the cooler months when largemouth bass feed on smaller prey. They can be crawled on the bottom to imitate crustaceans and worked through the water column to mimic shad and other bait fish.

Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw

The Chigger Craw would fall into the creature bait category. These are soft plastic baits that sort of resemble a crayfish or other crustaceans or prey. For the most part, it is the bulk and action of the bait that makes it effective. These baits are bulkier and are more noticeable when moved through weeds and over and around other structure. The Chigger Craw in green pumpkin is a good all round bait. Anglers can shop the line of Berkley creature baits from this link.

Bass Assassin Die Dapper swimbait

Swim baits are another soft plastic lower that every bass angler should have in his or her tackle box. Bass Assassin manufactures an excellent line of soft plastic swim baits. The Die Dapper is an excellent size for largemouth bass. These baits are very easy to use as the angler just cast it out and slowly reels it back in. In most instances, the less action the angler imparts, the better. They are used on both swim bait hooks and on jig heads.

Hooks and sinkers for fishing soft plastic baits

Anglers fishing soft plastic baits have several different ways with which they can hook and present these lures. Anglers can rig the baits weedless using the Texas rig. With this rig a specially designed hook is used allows the worm to hang straight and still be able to bury the hook in the worm. Creature baits and crayfish baits can be used as well. 3/0 and 5/0 are good sizes.

The gap in the hook needs to be large to get through the plastic and into the fishes mouth. Anglers can fish this rig with no weight. However, most of the time a small sinker is used. Specially designed worm sinkers are conical shaped which allow them to move through weeds and over cover without hanging up. The line slides through the the sinker, allowing a fish to pick up the worm and move off with it. In heavy cover, anglers pegs the sinker right to the eye of the hook to reduce hangups.

Swim bait hooks can also be used with just about every soft plastic bait. However, they were primarily designed to be used with larger soft plastic swim baits. The hooks have some type of keeper near the eye to attach the front of the swim bait and then the hook is placed in the rear of the bait. Most often, it is rigged weedless. A weight is molded into the bend of the hook which results in the lure having a horizontal presentation. Again, 3/0 and 5/0 are good sizes.

Finally, anglers can rig any of these soft plastic baits on a simple jig head. A jig head is a hook with a weight molded near the eye. This provides both weight for casting as well as giving the lure it’s action. This is a very simple and effective way to fish a soft plastic bait.

Bass fishing jigs

There is evidence to support the statement that the jig was the first artificial lure used by humans to catch fish. The design is fairly simple, it is basically a hook with a weight molded near the eye. This offset weight gives the bait it’s action and the water. Jig head designs and eye placements will also affect the action and where the bait can be used.

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Jigs are also available already dressed. These are extremely effective largemouth bass fishing lures that are used in several applications. They come in various weights, sizes, and colors. Anglers use heavy jigs to punch through matted vegetation when flipping. They can also be fished slowly along the bottom. Finally, swim jigs can be worked anywhere in the water column.

There are many choices when it comes to bass fishing jigs. In most cases, darker colors work best such as black, purple, and dark green. Most have a weed guard which keeps them from hanging up when used in heavy cover. Some anglers add a soft plastic trailer to give the lure even more bulk and action. The Booyah is an excellent all round bass fishing jig.

Bladed baits

There are several varieties of bladed baits. These include spinner baits, buzz baits, and bladed jigs. Inline spinners are also considered bladed baits, though there are seldom used for largemouth bass fishing these days. Every bass angler should have a decent selection of bladed baits. They are easy to use and have great built in action. In most cases the angler simply cast them out and reels and back in with a steady retrieve. Most of these lures are weedless as well. They are terrific bass fishing lures for beginners.

Strike King Finess KVD spinnerbait

The Strike King Finesse KVD spinner bait is an excellent all round lure. Spinner baits are a great bait for novice bass anglers as a are quite easy to use. They are relatively weedless and are normally fished around shoreline cover. Spinner baits come in many different configurations. The KVD spinner bait is a tandem blade bait that is a bit smaller than some other baits on the market.

Terminator spinnerbait

Terminator spinnerbaits are legendary for their toughness and durability. The have a titanium frame which bends more than other types of spinner baits and springs back into place. These cost a little bit more, but the quality hardware and components make it worth. The heavier models work best when cast with a bait casting outfit.

Booyah buzzbait

Buzzbaits are like spinner baits, except that they spend the entire time on the surface. When retrieved at the proper speed, they put out a very rhythmic commotion on the surface. Strikes are usually explosive! Buzz baits are most often used along shoreline cover and over the top of submerged weed beds. White and chartreuse are two of the most popular colors. The Booyah buzzbait is a good all-around largemouth bass fishing lure.


Bladed jigs are a relatively new bass fishing lure. It is a combination between a spinner bait and a jig. It has a weighted head with a hook and a rubber skirt. In front of the jig head is a blade which gives the lure action, flash, and vibration. These are very effective and also very easy to use. In most cases, a steady retrieve through or over vegetation works best. The Z-man Chatter bait is the original lure in this family.

Best bass fishing plugs

Plugs have been catching largemouth bass for many decades now. Back in the day they were made of balsa wood, but nearly all of them now are made of plastic. They are very effective and come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. They can imitate either bait fish, crayfish, and even frogs. Most are designed to run at a determine depth or on the surface. The downside to plugs is that they are fairly expensive.

Rapala Skitter Prop

The Rapala Skitter prop is a top water plug. It floats on top of the water and when twitched sharply the propeller on the rear puts out a lot a commotion. Top water plugs are most often fished near shoreline cover. Low light conditions such as early and late in the day and on cloudy days are usually best.

Rebel Pop R

The Rebel Pop R is a top water plug as well. It is in the family known as poppers. It has a concave face and when twitched sharply the nose digs into the water and produces a loud popping sound. Thus the name. This bait is a bit smaller then the Skitter Prop and is an excellent choice in ponds as well as small lakes.

Rapala X-Rap

The Rapala X-Rap is what is known is a jerk bait. It floats on the surface and then dives down to a determine depth upon retrieve. This bait comes in a couple different models to fish various depths. The plastic bill on the front of the lure is what determines how deep it will dive. This bait is worked fairly aggressively, using hard jerks (thus the name) with a pause in between. Most bites occur as the plug hangs there motionless.

Strike King Deep Diving plug

The KVD Sexy Shad is a very popular crank bait. It has a much wider profile then the X-Rap. It is designed to work in much deeper water such as points and channel edges. In darker colors it can be bounced along the bottom to mimic crayfish. It also is very effective in lighter colors that work shallower in very realistically mimic a shad, which is a top forage of largemouth bass in many lakes. These lures are easy to fish and allow anglers to cover a lot of water in search of fish.

Strike King 1.5 Squarebill crankbait

The Strike King Square Bill crank bait is an excellent lure for fishing shallow water cover. The 1.5 ounce model will dive down a couple of feet or so. Lighter bait fish colors normally work best. Sexy shad is a great all-round color pattern. This is an excellent lure when fish are active or scattered out. It has an exaggerated side to side wobble.


The Rattletrap is a lipless crank bait. Unlike the others, it does not float when it hits the water but instead will slowly sink. Another difference in this plug is that it does not have a bill. The lure is cast out, allowed to sink to the desired depth, then reeled back in with a fairly brisk and steady retrieve. It puts out a loud rattle and vibration that the angler can feel through the line. This is a great bait to use in fairly open water when searching for fish. The half ounce size in chrome with a blue back is a great all round bait.

Live Target frog

Frogs have become very popular in the last few years. These are surface lures that anglers fish either near structure or over matted vegetation. Like any top water bait, the strikes can be explosive! Most are weedless for obvious reasons. These are easy baits to use and are a lot a fun to fish. The Live Target Hollow Body Frog is an excellent frog bait.

In conclusion, this article on largemouth bass fishing tackle and equipment for beginners should help anglers get started enjoying this terrific sport!

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

In this article we will cover largemouth bass fishing in creeks. These smaller waters are often overlooked by anglers. In most cases, the fish will be smaller. However, the simplicity and relaxing nature of Creek fishing is appealing. Also, fish and smaller creeks are much easier to locate and therefore catch.

largemouth bass

Largemouth bass fishing in creeks does require a slight change in tactics and tackle. For the most part, this means that almost everything is scale down a bit. The tackle used is generally a little bit lighter. The lures are smaller and the presentations are a bit less aggressive. However, the same basic principles of bass fishing and lakes applies to streams and creeks as well.

The first thing anglers must do is identify creeks that have decent largemouth bass populations. Often times, these are tributaries to lakes and river systems. Largemouth bass do not like strong current. The best creeks will have a slow to moderate current. Other attributes would be areas of deeper water as well as sufficient cover such as weeds and fallen trees.

Best tackle for creek fishing

In most cases, the best choice for anglers largemouth bass fishing in creeks when it comes to a rod and reel is spinning tackle. A medium light spinning rod that is 6 1/2 feet to 7 feet long and matched with a 20 series reel and 10 pound braided line or monofilament line is a good all-around outfit. As mentioned above, the lures being cast are downsized a bit. This letter tackle will allow anglers to make the proper presentation while still being heavy enough to land a decent fish.

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Those who prefer it can use a light bait casting rig as well. A 6 foot to 6 1/2 foot light bait casting outfit with 10 pound monofilament or 15 pound braided line will be fine. It will be difficult to cast lures that do not weigh very much with this outfit.

Bass creek fishing spots

One of the primary advantages of fishing for largemouth bass or any other species in creeks is that the fish are simply much easier to locate. The the holding and feeding spots are just more obvious and easier to identify. In most cases, largemouth bass will stage in slightly deeper water were cover is present. Unlike trout and smallmouth bass, largemouth bass will usually not be found in the runs and riffles a fast-moving current. Occasionally, they will be caught behind boulders in the middle of the creek.

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Outside bends in the creek are prime spots for largemouth bass and other species. These spots are naturally deeper as the current gouges out a hole in the bank. Often times, there is an undercut bank as well. This is a guaranteed hotspot! Another factor in the spots is that the current tends to deposit debris in these locations. The combination of deep water, undercut banks, slowing current, and cover result in an ideal habitat.

Other prime spots to target largemouth bass in creeks are the heads and tails of riffles. These areas will generally have a slightly deeper depression were fish can hide in feed while staying out of the current. Eddie’s and slack water areas behind current break such as boulders and trees will also hold largemouth bass. Man-made cover such as bridges and docks will attract fish as well.

Understanding changing conditions when creek fishing for bass

One challenging aspect of fishing in creeks, streams, and rivers is the constantly changing conditions. Creeks are changing constantly. A heavy rain miles away can result in a Creek turning from low and clear to high and muddy in a very short time. Identifying how these conditions affect fishing is crucial to success.

The two main factors are water clarity and height. In most creeks, the best fishing will occur during periods when the water level, clarity, and flow are at normal levels. Bass will be used to these conditions and will be more comfortable and feed more often. Also, anglers who fish a particular Creek enough to know it well will be in tune to the changes in conditions during these times.

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Fishing creeks during high, fast, muddy water is not only difficult, it can be dangerous. In most cases, small creeks do not really present a danger. However, it is always best to put safety first and not take a chance. Also, fishing can be extremely difficult under these conditions. Fish will not be able to see to feed in most cases will just find a spot out of the heavy current to hunker down. In all honesty, it is best to not even try to fish during these conditions.

Low-water can be challenging as well, though for different reasons. This often occurs in late summer. With little water, largemouth bass will congregate in the deepest water available. They will also become quite finicky and spooky. Anglers will need to scale down their lures and line size as well as taking care when approaching and waiting in the creek.

Fishing for largemouth bass in creeks with live bait

While most anglers choose to fish with artificial lures when largemouth bass fishing in creeks, live bait works very well. The three top live baits are nightcrawlers, minnows, and crayfish. Nightcrawlers are readily available at most retail outlets that sell fishing tackle. Minnows can be available in some cases at bait shops. Crayfish are less available for anglers to purchase, in most cases they will have to catch their own.

All of these live baits can be free lined on a hook or fished under a float. Where possible, free lining the bait results in a more natural presentation. However, if snags become a problem, adding a float above the hook will solve the problem. The best spots to fish live baits are deeper holes and slow-moving runs.

Nightcrawlers are best hooked through the front so that they can wriggle seductively in the water. Minnows should be hooked through the lips. This is especially true in creeks where current is present. Crawfish are usually hooked in the tail from the bottom up. The angler can then work the bait along the bottom, moving backward, which is how they flee when frightened.

Creek fishing for bass with lures

Anglers largemouth bass fishing in creeks can get the job done with just a handful of lures. In most cases, anglers are doing a fair amount of walking and lugging around a great big tackle box is neither fun nor efficient. A small backpack or even a penny pack will hold the few lures that an angler will need to be successful.

Small spinnerbaits

Small spinner baits are excellent creek fishing lures. While they resemble nothing that lives in the water, they put out flash and vibration as well as action to attract bass. In most cases, a 1/4 ounce spinner bait is the best size. While many anglers are familiar with the rubber skirt and spinner baits that bass anglers use and lakes, there are a few baits that are more effective when fishing in creeks.

Anglers can choose from a spinner bait that has a grub body, such as the BeetleSpin. A spinner bait with a curly tail grub is effective as well. These smaller spinner baits with the grub style bodies are not quite as obtrusive and are more productive when fishing for bass in creeks, especially smaller ones.

Rooster Tail spinner

The Wordens Rooster Tail is a famous Creek fishing lure. Most anglers associate it with trout fishing. However, it is an outstanding lore for anglers fishing for largemouth bass in creeks. The great thing about this bait is its simplicity. An angler simply casts it across the current, let it sink a few seconds, then retrieve it in a slow steady manner. In most cases, the slower the better as long as the blade a spinning.

The one quarter ounce size in a variety of colors will produce fish. Generally speaking, a light colored spinner with a silver blade is the best choice when the water is clear and the sun is shining brightly. Conversely, darker and brighter colors with a gold blade produce better under low light conditions and when the water has some color to it.

Heddon Tiny Torpedo

The Heddon Tiny Torpedo is the perfect top water plug for fishing creeks. It is small enough to where it can be presented properly yet still puts out enough commotion to attract a largemouth bass. It is a compact bait with a conical nose and a propeller on the tail. Short jerks of the rod tip will result in the propeller digging into the water, imitating a wounded bait fish.

Sticking to the theme of “less is more” when fishing in creeks, anglers fishing this top water bait should not overdo the action. Gentle, subtle twitches are all that it takes. The best spots to fish this lore are around any type of fallen timber or other cover. It is important when fishing a top water plug to wait until the weight of the fish is felt when a strike occurs. Setting the hook on the visual strike will usually result in a fish missed.

Yamamoto Senko

Of course, no list of largemouth bass fishing baits would be complete without some type of soft plastic worm. The Yamamoto Senko is a terrific and versatile bait. It is available in a 4 inch or a 5 inch length. Darker colors such as green pumpkin usually work best. In most cases, the best approach is to fish this bait on a 1/8 ounce jig head or with no weight on a plastic worm hook.

As with other lures, it is best not to give this bait too much action. Just a gentle raising of the rod tip or a slight twitch will give it enough action, especially if current is present. The Senko can be crawled across the bottom in over cover as well as drifted in the current. Often times, just that drifting the bait with no action at all will be the most productive presentation.

Rebel Crawfish

The Rebel Wee Craw is a legendary lure for fishing in creeks and rivers. It imitates one of the top forage species in all creeks and rivers; the crayfish. While many anglers associate it with smallmouth bass fishing, it works extremely well in creeks that house largemouth bass, too. It is available in several sizes and colors, with a natural Olive and crayfish colors being best.

This bait does the best when it is constantly bumping and bouncing off of the bottom. This action realistically imitates a fleeing crayfish and will often draw a strike from a nearby largemouth bass. If smallmouth bass inhabit the same creek, anglers will surely catch a few of them as well. In most cases, they are a quite welcome interloper!

In conclusion, this article on largemouth bass fishing in creeks should help anglers fishing these smaller waters catch more fish.

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

This article will cover spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques. Spinnerbaits are very effective fishing lures. While they really don’t resemble any type of natural forage, they put out flash, vibration, and action. Spinnerbaits consist of a wire arm that is shaped a bit like a safety pin. On the upper arm is a spinner blade or blades. On the lower arm is a hook, usually adorned with a rubber skirt or soft plastic bait. The line is tied in the center.

spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques

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Spinnerbaits are popular with anglers for several reasons. Due to their design, spinnerbaits are quite weedless. The wire frame allows them to walk over structure and through weeds and grass. Spinnerbaits have a lot of built in action and are very easy to use. This is important for novice and inexperienced anglers. They also allow anglers to cover a lot of water in a short period of time in search of fish.

Spinnerbaits are mostly used by freshwater anglers. They come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, styles, and colors. The tiniest versions will catch bluegill and panfish. The largest spinner baits will fool a trophy pike or musky. Saltwater anglers do use spinnerbaits occasionally as well, mostly for fishing for redfish in shallow water.

spinnerbait fishing tips

Capt Jim Klopfer is a fishing charter captain in Sarasota, Florida. While he mostly runs saltwater charters, he grew up in Maryland fishing rivers and tributaries on Chesapeake Bay. He also does quite a bit of freshwater fishing in Florida. He shares some tips and his favorite spinnerbaits in this article

Rods and reels for fishing with spinnerbaits

Anglers fishing with spinnerbaits use both spinning and bait casting tackle. The primary consideration is the size of the spinnerbait being used. Anglers casting small baits in search of panfish, small bass, and other species usually rely on spinning tackle. This is simply because it is not practical trying to cast a very light lure with bait casting equipment.

spinnerbait fishing for pike

Anglers should match the rod and reel to the size of the spinnerbait being cast as well as the fish being targeted. An ultralight outfit with 4 pound or 6 pound line is excellent for panfish, crappie, bluegill, and small bass. 10 to 12 pounds spinning tackle works well for medium-size fish such as Bass, walleye, small pike, and other species. Anglers casting the largest of spinner baits for big bass, pike, and musky can either use bait casting equipment or heavy spinning outfits. Shakespear Ugly Sticks are available in many sizes at a reasonable price.

Spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques

One of the primary advantages of spinnerbaits is that they are so easy to use. The action is basically built in, anglers really only need to vary the retrieve speed. They can be used in a variety of depths. However, in most instances they are most effective when fished in reasonably shallow water. Also, in many types of fishing, especially using soft plastic baits, bites can be difficult to detect. This is not the case with spinnerbaits!

spinnerbait fishing techniques

Spinnerbaits really shine when fished around cover. The design of the bait makes them relatively weedless. Spinner baits tend to walk over fallen trees as well as rocks and other submerged cover. They will also worked our way through weeds. However, just like most baits, spinner baits will load up on heavy moss.

Spinnerbaits are best when fished near cover

The most effective way to fish a spinnerbait is generally to work shoreline cover. The boat is placed at an angle, 45° or less, to the shoreline. This results in the spinner baits staying in the strike zone longer. The angler then casts the lure out past likely looking structure and then works the spinner bait back to it. If the bait can be bounced off a tree limb or rock, so much the better. This is often when a strike occurs.

best 13 bass lures for pond fishing

As with all fishing, anglers should vary the cover, location, depth, and speed to determine what the fish want that day. In most cases, a fairly brisk and steady retrieve works best. However this is not always the case. Sometimes burning it just under the surface will produce. Other days slow rolling close to the bottom works best. Anglers can even combine the two and reel fast for a bit and then let the spinnerbait flutter to the bottom. Spinnerbaits are very effective when worked just over the top of submerged weed beds.

Spinnerbaits can also be used to work deeper structure such as points and rock piles in water between 10 and 15 feet deep. However, this is a bit more technical. It is a technique that produces when the water is on the cold side and fish have schooled up in these traditional winter locations.

Spinnerbait color and size considerations

As in all fishing, anglers who match the spinner bait to the locally available forage as well as the current conditions will almost always be more successful. Spinnerbaits come in a wide variety of sizes and just about every color pattern imaginable. The species of fish being targeted is also another factor to take into account. Obviously, anglers pursuing pan fish will use tiny spinner baits while those chasing pike will use the largest versions.

spinnerbait fishing

While color combinations are endless, there are a few patterns that have proven themselves to be productive over time. White is an outstanding color in many fishing situations. Lakes with clear water and those with a lot of shad are natural spots to cast a white spinnerbait. In fact, many forage species tend to be light colored or silvery. This makes white with a silver blade or blades an excellent choice for a variety of species.

Conversely, darker colors along with gold blades work very well in stained water conditions and in low light conditions such as morning, evening, and on cloudy days. Tannin stained water and gold just go together very well. Chartreuse spinnerbaits with either silver or gold blades will catch fish in just about any situation.

Spinnerbait blade options

The blades that are used on a spinner bait definitely have an effect on the action of the lure. The three types of spinnerbait blades that are commonly used are willow leaf, Indiana, and Colorado. Willow leaf blades are long and slender. They are an excellent choice in very clear water or and conditions when fish want more of a finesse presentation. Often times they are used in combination with a Colorado or Indiana blade.

fishing with spinnerbaits

Colorado blades are large and round and put out a ton of vibration. They are the best choice in dirty or stained water when used with a slow steady retrieve. The vibration and flash will draw fish into the bait. They are effective in clear water as well. Indiana blades are similar to Colorado blades, but they are just a little bit smaller.

Trailers and trailer hooks

Anglers can tweak their spinnerbaits a bit more if they desire. Most spinner baits come with a skirt with rubber legs. These undulate seductively in the water and look very realistic. However, many anglers enhance this action while adding some bulk to the lure with the addition of a soft plastic trailer.

Basically any paddle or curly tail grub can be added to the hook of a spinnerbait. This adds both bulk in action to the lure. Even larger soft plastic baits such as frogs can be used. Back in the day, anglers used a chunk of pork with undulating legs on. Soft plastic baits have pretty much replaced that now.

Some spinnerbaits come with a trailer or stinger hook. Anglers can add them to the lure as well. This is another hook that slides over the point and then down to the bend of the spinner bait hook. There are many times when bass and other species will short strike a spinner bait. On these days, the stinger hook can make all the difference in the world.

spinnerbait fishing

Top spinnerbaits

There are many different spinnerbaits on the market for anglers to choose from. There really is no right or wrong lure and all of them will produce fish when used correctly in locations were fish are present. Here are some of the best spinnerbaits that Capt. Jim has found to be productive. The list will be given from the smallest spinnerbaits for panfish up to the largest for pike and musky.

Johnson Beetlespin

The Johnson Beetlespin is an unassuming looking little bait. However, it is an extremely effective spinnerbait for bluegill and panfish. The 1/16 ounce size works very well in most situations for panfish. Anglers chasing larger bluegill as well as crappie can bump it up to the 1/8 ounce size. Finally, the one quarter ounce size is extremely effective for bass and ponds and streams.

Sarasota crappie fishing

Beetlespins come in a wide variety of color patterns. Capt. Jim’s favorite is the simple silver blade with a black grub body with either a white or yellow stripe. Green would be his second favorite, followed by white. These lures look very simple in the package, but they really are incredibly effective fishing lures.

Mister Twister spinnerbait

The Mister Twister spinnerbait and they 1/8 ounce size is a terrific lure for panfish and small bass. The flash of the blade and the incredible action of the curly tail are irresistible to many fish. Like most spinner baits, especially when chasing panfish, the slower the retrieve the better. As long as the blades are rotating in flashing, it will produce fish. Chartreuse is by far Capt. Jim’s favorite color.

fishing for panfish with spinnerbaits

Strike King Mini spinnerbait

The Strike King Mini spinnerbait is an excellent “transition” lure. It is an excellent choice when fishing smaller bodies of water such as ponds, streams, and smaller rivers. In situations where larger spinner baits land too loudly or are too large and flashy, these mid sized spinner baits work extremely well. The one quarter ounce size in black with a silver blade is Capt. Jim’s favorite. White can be extremely effective right after a shad spawn when game fish are feeding on fry bait.

Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait

The Booyah Pond Magic is another spinnerbait designed to fish smaller bodies of water. It is a tandem bladed bait and is a bit larger than the lure listed above. These baits come in some very enticing and unique color combinations that were specifically designed for fishing in small ponds and rivers.

Full sized spinnerbaits

Oklahoma bass fishing women

There are many companies that manufacture quality spinnerbaits. It would be impossible to list them all and no slight is meant for those that are omitted. Most of these larger spinner baits are tandem bladed baits. They are offered and combinations of willow leaf, Colorado, and Indiana blades. The following is a list of larger spinnerbaits that are available in multiple sizes and colors for anglers to use.

Strike King Spinnerbaits

Strike King is a leader in the industry when it comes to spinnerbaits. We have already listed the many spinnerbait above. There are several strike King spinner baits that anglers should consider. The premier plus spinner bait by strike King is an outstanding lure. It is a tandem blades spinner bait, sporting a Colorado and a willow leaf blade.


The Strike King Finesse KVD Spinnerbait is a bit smaller in size and profile. It is an excellent choice in very clear water, especially in the cooler months when bait tends to be smaller. It is a tandem blades spinnerbait that has a smaller profile skirt. Like all Strike King spinner baits, it is a stout lure made with quality components.

Terminator spinnerbaits

The Terminator line of spinnerbaits is well-known throughout the industry to be an incredibly tough and durable fishing lure. It is made from quality components and has a frame that bounces back into shape. It uses quality ball bearings swivels on the blades. The head of the jig was specifically designed to be especially weedless. Terminator spinner baits come in a variety of color combinations.

Booyah spinnerbaits

Booyah spinnerbaits have taken the market by storm in a relatively short amount of time. They offer several different spinnerbait models that are both durable and effective. These super shad spinner bait is unique in that it comes with four willow leaf blades. This results in the lure mimicking a small school of fish, similar to the Alabama rigs, but much easier to cast.

Booyah offers a complete line of spinnerbait options for anglers. The choice is endless, single and tandem bladed baits with combinations of Colorado, Indiana, and willow leaf blades are available in a variety of sizes. The Booyah Pikee spinner bait is the best lure on the market for anglers who want to cast a spinner bait for pike or musky.

Z-Man spinnerbaits

Z-Man is another company that offers quality spinnerbaits to anglers. They are all tandem bladed baits that are available in a combination of blades along with skirt color options. These baits are constructed with quality components and are both durable and effective.

Molix spinnerbaits

Molix spinnerbaits are premium lures that use high quality components. They are Kayla’s personal favorite baits. Discerning anglers who want to use the best may choose to use these lures. Like most manufacturers, Molix offers anglers a variety of color combinations in both skirts and blades.

Redfish Magic Spinnerbait

The Redfish Magic is the first spinnerbait designed for saltwater anglers. It is an excellent search bait that can cover a lot of water when fishing expansive flats. While primarily designed for redfish in the shallows, it will catch spotted sea trout, snook, jacks, and other species as well. It comes with a large, single gold blade with a paddle tail grub body.

In conclusion, this article on spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques should encourage anglers to take advantage of these very effective lures which are easy to use!

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

This article will cover the best striped bass fishing tackle and lures. Striped bass are arguably the most popular inshore saltwater species in the northeast part of the United States. They grow very large, with the world record being a tad over 80 pounds. They are a terrific game fish that hits artificial lures and flies as well as live and cut bait. As an added bonus, most anglers consider striped bass very good eating.

best striped bass fishing tackle and lures

Striped bass are a unique species. They thrive in both absolute salt water and absolute freshwater. In the spring, striped bass migrate up into tributary rivers to spawn. For the most part, these include the Hudson River and larger tributaries of Chesapeake Bay. There is a healthy striped bass population on the West Coast in California as well. The Sacramento River sees a good striped bass spawning run

The transplanting of striped bass into freshwater lakes has been a monumental fish management success! With the addition of herring and shad as forage, striped bass have thrived throughout the country. This is particularly true in the southern half of the country in the TVA lakes as well as many reservoirs out west.

striped bass fishing tips

In most of these lakes, striped bass are not able to spawn. The reason for this is that dams often block their route up the river. However, there are a few free-flowing rivers that do see a striped bass spawning migration. In addition, many lakes offer anglers the chance to catch a hybrid striped bass. This is a striped bass and white bass mix. While smaller than striped bass, their habits are very similar and they put up an excellent fight on light tackle. The same lures, and smaller sizes will work well for them.

best striped bass lures

Similarities when striped bass fishing in freshwater and saltwater

For the most part, the tackle, lures, baits, and tactics used to catch striped bass are very similar in both freshwater and saltwater. The one exception would be surf fishing, which really does not exist in lakes. Obviously, the live bait fish that are used will be different as well. For the most part, the same artificial lures that produce and saltwater will produce in freshwater as well.

striped bass fishing tips and spots

The main consideration for anglers choosing striped bass fishing tackle really is the size of the fish being sought. This is true in both freshwater and saltwater. There are times when anglers will be chasing smaller schooling fish on the surface. This is great fun and will require medium light spinning tackle. Conversely, anglers trolling in deep water or free lining large live baits or chunks will certainly require heavier tackle. Angler surf fishing have their own specialized rods and reels.

Striped bass fishing rods and reels

top freshwater fish species

As mentioned above, the tackle that an angler requires when striped bass fishing depends greatly on the environment that he or she is fishing as well as the size of the fish being pursued. Serious striped bass anglers will have a medium light spinning outfit, heavier spinning outfit, as well as light and medium conventional outfits. Surf fisherman, for the most part choose heavy spinning surf fishing outfits.

Light spinning outfit for striped bass

A medium light spinning outfit is a very versatile combination that every striped bass fishing angler should own. A 7 foot medium rod with a fast action works best. Fast action means that the rod is fairly stout at the butt section but limber at the tip. This allows for casting a fairly light lures while having the ability to handle a larger fish. In reality, many anglers already own and outfit similar to this which will work fine.

Oklahome striped bass

These are very versatile outfits that can cover a lot of fishing situations. Anglers can catch striped bass casting lures and bait from jetties, docks, piers, beaches, and boats. When fishing open water, anglers can land a large fish on fairly light spinning tackle.

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Chesapeake Bay Bridge striped bass

Heavy spinning outfit for striped bass

A heavy spinning outfit is used in several applications when fishing for striped bass. Anglers can use these to drift chunks of cut bait or large live baits back into the current. They can also be used for vertically jigging with heavy spoons and jigs over submerged structure. For the most part, these rigs are too heavy to effectively cast all but the largest artificial lures. However, there are times when schools of very large fish will be encountered and anglers will be glad to have this heavier tackle.

fishing inlets

Light conventional striped bass outfit

A light conventional, or bait casting, and outfit is a very versatile rig. Most experienced saltwater anglers and even many freshwater anglers already own such an outfit. A 6 foot to 6 1/2 foot rod with a medium action and a matching real is a great all round combination. Anglers can use these for trolling, live and cut bait fishing, bottom fishing, and vertically fishing lures.

striped bass fishing tackle

Heavy conventional outfits

A heavy conventional outfit is really only required by serious striped bass anglers doing heavy duty trolling or fishing with very large live baits. For the most part, they are mostly used and saltwater fishing. However, some trophy hunters and larger lakes we use them as well.

Surf fishing combo

Anglers surf fishing for striped bass use special rods that are quite long. They range in length from 8 to 14 feet. Longer, heavier rods are usually used to cast heavy sinkers and but bait a long way. Anglers casting lures use a shorter rod, with ten feet beoing a good length.

Fishing line

Anglers have two choices when it comes to fishing line, monofilament and braided line. Most anglers opt for braid. It is thinner, stronger, more sensitive, and has no stretch. It is a bit more expensive. Some anglers still prefer to use monofilament line, and it works fine. It really is just a personal choice.

Leaders for striped bass fishing

Leaders are usually used when fishing for striped bass in both freshwater and saltwater. Just about all anglers these days use fluorocarbon leader. 50 pound test is a good all-around size. However, anglers may need to go lighter in clear water and bump it up heavier when fishing for larger fish around structure.

Susquehanna River striped bass

Best striped bass fishing lures

Many anglers fish for striped bass using artificial lures. Most are made to imitate bait fish, which is the primary forage of striped bass. However, others do mimic crabs and crustaceans. The top striped bass fishing lures fall into four basic categories; top water plugs, diving plugs, jigs, and spoons. These four families of lures will cover most fishing situations.

Sacramento River striped bass

The size of the lure being used by anglers will vary greatly depending on several conditions. The primary factor when choosing a plug is to hopefully match the locally available forage. This includes shad, herring, pogies, sand eels, and other bait fish. Generally speaking, anglers fishing in freshwater will use slightly smaller size baits than those fishing in saltwater. But, this is not always the case.

There are endless color patterns to choose from. However, generally speaking, lighter colors such as white and silver are generally the best bet, especially when the water is clear. Chartreuse is a popular color that works well in a variety of conditions. Darker colors often produce better when the water is stained or a bit murky.

inshore saltwater fishing

Topwater plugs for striped bass fishing

Topwater lures float on the surface. They are designed to mimic a bait fish which is dying or wounded up on the surface of the water. Topwater plugs come in several variations including poppers, propeller baits, and surface swimmers. They are great fun to fish as anglers get to visually see the strike.

Cordell Pencil Popper

The pencil popper is a popular surface plug. It is long and slender and casts very well into the wind. This makes it a favorite of surf casters in search of striped bass. The lure has a concave face. When twitched sharply, it puts out a lot of commotion and splash, simulating a wounded bait fish. Pencil poppers are mostly used in saltwater.

Atom Popper

The Atom Popper is another top water popper style hard body plug. It is similar to a pencil popper, however has a wider profile. They are worked the same as other poppers. It is a good choice when cast around jetties and other structure. It can be used from the beach on days with less wind. These baits are effective in both fresh and saltwater.

Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow

The Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow is a topwater bait. Unlike poppers, these lures have very little built in action. The angler must impart the action using the rod tip. This is what is termed a “walk the dog” type lure. The angler keeps the rod tip low and rhythmically reels while twitch and the rod tip. This makes the bait dance from side to side. It is effective in both fresh and saltwater.

Rapala Skitter Prop

The Rapala Skitter Prop is another effective top water plug for catching striped bass. It has a conical nose with a propeller on the rear. When twitched sharply, it puts out a lot of commotion while sitting relatively still. For the most part, this lure is used by anglers fishing in freshwater lakes. It is extremely effective when shad are working near the surface.

Gibb’s Surface Swimmer

The Gibbs Surface Swimmer is a unique top water plug. It has a bill which causes the lure to swim erratically from side to side on the surface. It works best using a slow steady retrieve. Striped bass will rise up from the depths to take this lure. It is mainly used in salt water, but will catch them trophies in lakes as well.

Subsurface plugs

There are also many effective plugs that dive down below the surface. Freshwater anglers term these as “jerk baits” in many instances. In most cases, the lure floats on the surface and that dives down to a determined depth when retrieved. The size and shape of the lip on the plug for the most part determines the depth that which it will run. These are extremely effective lures for both casting and trolling in fresh and saltwater.

Striper fishing in California

Saltwater Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

The Rapala X-Rap family of lures are excellent striped bass fishing baits. They come in a handful of sizes and just about every color pattern imaginable. The shallow diving X-Raps dive down between six and 10 feet. These are most often used by anglers casting to striped bass. They are also available as deeper diving baits, which can be cast as well. However, many anglers use these to troll with. They are very effective for catching stripers in both freshwater and saltwater. Anglers should always buy the saltwater versions as they have stronger hooks and hardware.

Bomber Long A

The Bomber Long A is another long slender jerk bait. It has been around a long time and has a great reputation among striped bass anglers. The Saltwater grade Magnum Long A is 7 inches long and is a durable and productive bait. It is a shallow diving bait that only goes down three or 4 feet. Due to its long slender design, it has a very enticing and unique action in the water. It produces well in both saltwater and freshwater applications.

Rapala Shad Rap

The Rapala Shad Rap is a favored bait among freshwater striped bass anglers. Shad are a primary forage in most lakes, along with herring. The wide profile of this bait mimics these forage species closely. This bait comes in a variety of sizes and finishes. Again, lighter colors with the dark back are generally preferred. They are also available and models that dive from near the surface to 20 feet or more. They are excellent when cast and are terrific baits to troll when trying to locate scattered schools of fish.

Yo-Zuri mag Darter

The Yo-Zuri Mag Darter is another excellent striped bass fishing lure. It has a unique weight transfer system which allows for long casts. This makes it a favorite among surf casting anglers. At first glance, it appears to be a top water bait. However it is not. The design of the face gives it a unique darting and rolling action striped bass find irresistible at times. It dives down a bit deeper than he shallow diving jerk baits, making it an excellent choice when fish are a bit deeper. It is effective in both fresh and saltwater.


Spoons are outstanding lures for catching striped bass! A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. This simple design is incredibly effective. Spoons put out a ton of flash and vibration as they wobble through the water. This will call striped bass in from a long way as they realistically mimic a wounded bait fish. Spoons come in a variety of sizes and colors which can be used to match the locally available forage. Most anglers opt for silver finishes. However, gold can be an excellent choice in stained water and it very low light conditions.

striped bass fishing tackle

Acme Kastmaster Spoon

The Acme Kastmaster is a legendary spoon which is caught just about every freshwater and saltwater species on the planet. They cast well, making them in excellent choice for anglers fishing from the surf, as well as from jetties and boats. The combination of silver and blue or chartreuse prism finish is very popular among striped bass anglers. Anglers should keep a few gold Kastmaster spoons in the box as well.

Tailwater fishing for bass and catfish

They are extremely effective when both cast and trolled and freshwater and saltwater. The many sizes available make it very easy to match the lure to the size of the bait. There are times when striped bass are feeding on very small fry and can be fussy and difficult to hook. When this happens, the smaller sized Kastmaster spoons can save the day.

Hopkins Spoon

Hopkins spoons have been around a long time as well. They are productive when cast out towards striped bass that are working on the surface. However, they are most known for being incredibly productive when vertically jigged over schools of fish or structure. This lure is quite heavy and sinks quickly. Once down to the desired depth, the rod tip is jerked sharply and then the bait is allowed to flutter down. Most strikes occur on the fall. This is a fantastic bait to use in both fresh and saltwater striped bass are schooled up over deeper structure.

Drone Spoon

Drone spoons are very effective lures used for trolling for striped bass. Seldom are they used as casting lures. They come in several sizes, up to 6 inches long. They work well when trolled around and through schools of bunker in saltwater. Anglers fishing in lakes catch them around pods of shad as well. The long, cylindrical design gives it a very tight wiggle. These lures can be trolled fairly quickly. They are used behind sinkers, planers, and downriggers.

Deadly Dick

The Deadly Dick is a spoon-like lure that is quite effective on striped bass as well as other species. It is similar to a Kastmaster, though more slender. The heavier versions of these lures can be cast out towards feeding fish. Smaller, lighter versions are generally vertically jigged or trolled. These slender, low-profile baits can save the day and striped bass are feeding on sand deals and other small forage.

Tony Maja Bunker Spoon

These spoons are wider than most other trolling spoons. They were designed to mimic butter fish, bunker, and herring. Anglers must troll a bit slower with these or they will roll in the water. For the most part, this is a New England saltwater fishing lure.


Jigs were probably the first ever artificial lures designed to fool a fish. These are very simple baits, consisting of a hook with a weight, usually lead, molded in near the eye. Either a natural or synthetic hair dressing is tied on or a soft plastic grub body attached. Jigs are extremely versatile and effective lures for striped bass and just about every other fish that swims. They mimic both bait fish and crustaceans.

light tackle trolling in saltwater

Spro Jigs

White buck tail jigs have been catching striped bass for many decades. Spro makes a fine product that is durable and effective. While they are available in many colors, white is the standard. Second choice would be white with chartreuse mixed in. Spro jigs are available in different sizes, water depth and current and bait fish size should determine which one is used. Jigs can be cast, trolled, and vertically jigged. They are effective in both fresh and saltwater

Bass Assassin Sea Shad

The jig and grub combination is another extremely effective striped bass fishing lure. This basically consists of a jig head with a soft plastic grub body. Bass Assassin Sea Shad Bates are 4 inches long and come in a myriad of color patterns. They work best when cast out towards feeding fish or worked over submerge structure. The jig and grub can also be trolled, but anglers must go slowly or they will spin and roll. They are equally effective in both fresh and saltwater.

Gulp SwimmingMullet

Gulp baits changed the fishing world when they hit the scene. They really are like fishing with both live bait and artificial lures at the same time. The Gulp Swimming Mullet has a tail that puts out great action and vibration and realistically mimics many of the forage species that striped bass feed on. Combined with the scent, this makes a deadly combination! It is fished on a jig head and is effective when cast towards feeding fish or bounced on the bottom in fresh and saltwater.

Parachute lures

The parachute lure is an odd looking bait that we will put into the jig family. For the most part, it is a specialized lure that is fished in conjunction with and umbrella rig. It is very popular in the Chesapeake Bay region and is also used extensively in lakes as well. It is almost always used when trolling.

Storm Wild Eye Swim Shad

The Storm WildEye Swim Shad is a favorite among striped bass anglers. It is a soft bodied swim bait that has excellent action in the water. A slow, steady retrieve usually works best. It does an excellent job of imitating shad, herring, pogies, and other forage species. It is a fairly durable bait with a razor-sharp hook. Storm Shad Bates are also manufactured with a built-in salt impregnated scent.

Umbrella rig

Umbrella rigs are very popular among anglers who troll for striped bass in both freshwater and saltwater. They consist of a wire frame with several arms, resembling and umbrella a short leader followed by a lure is tied off of each arm. In most instances, anglers use a jig and grub combination. This makes it easier to avoid tangles. Smaller versions called “Alabama rigs” have become popular among bass anglers who cast to fish.

trolling for striped bass

The idea behind umbrella rigs is fairly simple. They are designed to mimic a small school of bait fish that is swimming by. They do work very well. However, it does take a bit of practice to learn how to troll several of these without fouling the lines. A medium conventional outfit works best when trolling with umbrella rigs for striped bass.

In conclusion, this article on the best striped bass fishing tackle and lures will help anglers catch more fish!


Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

This article will thoroughly cover the best catfish fishing tackle and gear. Fishing for catfish is very popular and perhaps the fastest growing aspect of freshwater fishing. There are several reasons for this. Catfish are widely distributed. Most anglers have a catfish hole pretty close to their home. Catfish are less fussy than some other species. They are also terrific eating!

best catfish fishing tackle and gear

For many anglers, the attraction of fishing for catfish is the chance to catch a really big fish. Both blue and flathead catfish can grow over 100 pounds. Blue cats have been introduced into large lake and river systems to provide anglers with a trophy fishery. Obviously, heavy tackle is required for these beasts.

Catfish fishing tackle

The tackle required to go catch catfish is really not complicated. While anglers occasionally catch them on lures, the vast majority are caught on natural or prepared bait. This makes tackle selection easy for several reasons. Unlike other forms of fishing, anglers do not need to spend a bunch of money on artificial lures. Also, the rods and reels do not need to be suitable for casting these lures all day long. This simplifies things greatly.

catfish fishing tackle

Spinning tackle is a good choice for anglers fishing for channel catfish as well as anglers casting from shore for larger fish. The primary benefit of spinning tackle is the ability to cast a bait out a decent distance. Many anglers opt for saltwater gear as it is tough and durable, yet still affordable.

Most serious catfish anglers opt for conventional, also known as baitcasting, tackle. This is especially true for anglers that fish from a boat. There are several benefits of this type of equipment. They hold a lot of line. Conventional reels have excellent drag systems. They also provide more power since the line does not turn 90 degrees as it does with spinning gear. The downside is the limited casting ability.

best catfish fishing tackle and gear

Catfish species

The catfish tackle that an angler needs will depend on the type and size of catfish that is being sought. Unlike other forms of fishing, catfish vary greatly in size, from 2 pound “eaters” to one hundred pound monsters. Obviously, the tackle requirements will need to match the application.

The three primary catfish species found in North America are the channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead (also know as yellow cat) catfish. There are many species of bullhead and smaller catfish species. However, since for the most part they are small, the focus will be on the main three species.

fishing for channel catfish

Channel catfish

Channel catfish are the most widely distributed catfish species in North America. They are found in most freshwater creeks, ponds, lakes, and rivers, as long as the water does not get too cold. Channel catfish are opportunistic feeders. The list of things they won’t eat is much shorter than what they will eat. Channel catfish do like a bit more current than the other species and are caught in flowing rivers.

channel catfish fishing

The world record channel catfish is 58 pounds. However, fish over 20 pounds are not at all common. Most will run between two and ten pounds. In fact, most anglers looking for a few fish to eat prefer fish in the two to five pound range. Top channel catfish baits include nightcrawlers, chicken livers, crayfish, cut bait, and prepared baits. However, they are caught on many more baits that that.

Best tackle for channel catfish fishing

Since channel catfish are of moderate size, medium spinning tackle is well suited to catching catfish. Most anglers already own a suitable outfit. Spinning tackle allows anglers fishing from shore to make longer casts out into the lake or river. A 7 foot medium action rod with a 3000 series reel will work fine. It can be spooled with 12 pound monofilament or 20 pound braided line. Here is a Penn Battle 5000 combo for $100, nice versatile outfit.

Light conventional tackle is perfect for anglers fishing from a boat and targeting larger catfish. With a little practice, anglers can learn to cast these rigs effectively. They are quite versatile and affordable. A 7 ½ foot medium to medium heavy outfit spooled up with 20 pound braid is a good all round set up. Here is a nice specifically designed catfish outfit from Abu Garcia for $100.

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Blue catfish

Blue catfish get big! The record blue cat is a 130 pound monster. Blue catfish are mostly found in larger bodies of water. They have been successfully introduced into many large lake and river systems to provide anglers with a trophy fishery.

fishing for blue catfish

Blue catfish feed primarily on larger bait fish such as shad and herring. That is one of the reasons they do so well in larger lakes and reservoirs. The best bait is usually fresh cut shad and herring that is found in the body of water being fished.

Best blue catfish fishing tackle

Anglers targeting blue catfish will require stout gear. While heavy spinning gear can be used, medium heavy to heavy conventional tackle is a better choice. Catching a trophy blue catfish will require a heavy outfit spooled up with 60 pound braided line.

Flathead catfish

flathead catfish fishing

Flathead catfish, or “yellow cats” prefer slow moving rivers. These are perhaps the most difficult of the three species to catch. They are less widely distributed and are also loners, they rarely school up. Flathead catfish feed primarily on live bait fish and do not scavenge as the other species do. Where legal, live sunfish are a prime bait.

Best flathead catfish fishing tackle

The world record flathead catfish is 123 pounds. The average fish is quite large. Also, since large, live baits are often used, stout tackle is needed. Flathead catfish are also usually found near fallen trees and other structures. Heavy conventional tackle spooled up with 60-80 pound braided line works best.

Line choices for catfish

In most cases, braided line is the best choice for anglers fishing for catfish. The combination of big fish and heavy cover dictates this choice. 40-60 pound braid works well in most applications. However, anglers targeting pan sized channel catfish can certainly do fine using 12-15 pound monofilament line.

Catfish hooks

Anglers seeking the best catfish fishing tackle have a lot of choices when it comes to hooks. Where legal, many anglers choose treble hooks, especially for channel catfish. #6 is a good all round size. Special hooks are designed with a coil to hold prepared dough baits and similar baits on the hook.

Most anglers fishing with cut bait opt for circle hooks. They rotate in the fish’s mouth and usually hook them in the corner of the mouth. This also reduces fish mortality and facilitates an easier release. It is important to just come tight and NOT set the hook when using circle hooks.

Larger circle hooks are required for these hooks to work properly, especially when using larger baits. 8/0 to 10/0 circle hooks are often used. This seems large, but the gap is what is important.

Anglers need strong hooks when fishing for catfish. Hook strength is listed as “x”. For example, a 4x hook is stronger than a 2x hook. Anglers fishing for catfish should choose 4x or 6x hooks. Stout, short shank bait hooks are still used successfully by many anglers.

Catfish sinkers

fishing for catfish

Sinkers, or weights, are simply heavy weights which both allow for the bait to be cast and to get and keep the bait on the bottom where catfish feed. The basic rule of thumb is to use the least amount of weight required to accomplish this. Heavy currents and deeper water will require the use of more weight.

No roll sinkers are very effective and are quite popular among catfish anglers. They lie flat on the bottom and hold their position well. The sinker has a hole in it, the line slides through it. A swivel then stops the sinker. A short leader and hook finishes off the rig. Bank sinkers are used when drifting and also to keep a bait a little bit off the bottom. One ounce to three ounce sinkers will cover most situations.

Other catfish gear

There are a few other items of equipment that catfish anglers should consider. These include a pair of pliers, fish lip gripper, landing net, scissors, scale, and a fillet knife. Most anglers already own tackle boxes, though a dedicated box for catfish can be put together.


A good pair of pliers are an essential device for every angler. They cut line, pull knots tight, and safely remove hooks from the mouth of a fish. Some have holsters and many sport a lanyard to keep them from falling in the water.

Fish gripper

A lip gripper can really make handling a decent sized catfish much easier! Anglers can control a fish, remove the hook, and hold it up for a picture much easier. Here is a kit with both pliers and a gripper for $24.

Landing net

Anglers fishing for catfish will find a big landing net to be an important part of the best catfish fishing tackle and gear. These will help land larger catfish instead of lifting or wrestling them over the gunnel or bank.


Scissors are very helpful when fishing for catfish in a couple of instances. Braided line is often easier to cut with scissors than with pliers. Also, they make cutting bait into chunks or strips easier and safer as well. Some anglers have both small scissors and game shears.


Some anglers like to know exactly how heavy their catfish is. For this, they require a portable scale. This is more of a luxury item as opposed to a required piece of equipment.

Fillet knife

Anglers desiring to keep a fish or two for dinner will need a knife to clean it. Many prefer electric knives, though manual blades work fine as well. The knife needs to be large and stout for cleaning a decent sized catfish.

Catfish fishing tips and techniques

Catfish can be caught in a wide variety of environments. They are landed by anglers fishing in the smallest of creeks as well as the largest lakes in the country. Slow-moving, mid-sized rivers are prime habitat. Tailwaters are fantastic spots to target catfish as well.

River fishing for catfish

Rivers are great waters to target catfish. Anglers fishing in rivers have an advantage over those fishing and lakes; there is simply much less water in which to search for fish. Small rivers in particular are excellent spots to target catfish, especially for novice anglers.

fishing in tailwaters for catfish

Outside bends in rivers are the top spots in most cases. The current flow gouges out and undercut bank as well is a deep hole on the outside bends of river channels. This results in these areas often times being the deepest portions of the river. Additionally, current deposits debris such as fallen trees and other cover which then accumulates in these holes. This is perfect catfish habitat.

Anglers can have great success by simply moving from one outside corner or bend to the next. Generally speaking, the straight portions of rivers tend to be less attractive to fish. There is nothing of interest to hold them, unless there is a significant depth change or other feature that will attract fish.

Larger rivers are a completely different situation. These rivers can be dangerous and angler should always put safety first! Strong currents and eddies along with unseen hazards can create a very dangerous situation. Commercial barge traffic is often present. However, some of the largest catfish in the world are caught in large rivers.

fishing for river catfish

Outside bends are less of an issue in large rivers as they are in small rivers. Catfish will relate more to underwater bars, sunken debris and other structure, holes, ledges, points, bridges, and anything else that will break up the current and give them a good ambush location.

River conditions affect catfish

Conditions are an important factor when river fishing for catfish and other species. Water height and flow will have an impact on fish movements as well as being a safety consideration. During periods of high water, which is often times in the spring, fish will move out of the main river channels to escape the strong current. Sloughs and backwater areas off of the main channel will be better spots to fish. This can also be a dangerous time to be out an angler should be extra careful!

Conversely, during periods of low water catfish will congregate in the deeper areas of rivers. There simply will not be enough water on the shallow bars and flats to hold them. This often occurs in summer when the water is warm. The deeper holes will be cooler, which is another factor that will attract and hold fish.

Bait presentation is important in rivers, whether anglers or fishing from a boat or from shore. In most cases, the best technique is to approach the structure or area to be fished from the up current side. The bait is then presented downstream to the fish, with the bait being placed just ahead of the structure. This will result in the current taking the scent of the bait downstream to the fish and hopefully pulling it out away from the structure. Presenting the bait right in the structure will often result in a snag.

How to catch catfish in lakes

Lakes throughout North America offer anglers excellent opportunities to catch all three major species of catfish. Targeting catfish and large lakes can be overwhelming as there is so much area to be covered. However, lakes often produce the largest catfish. The primary reason for this is simple, forage.

Many lakes, particularly Southern impoundments, are full of shad and herring that were stocked as forage for striped bass. This has resulted in an outstanding environment for catfish to thrive in.

fishing for blue catfish

Catfish are similar to other game fish in that they have the same basic needs. They prefer some type of structure that they can relate to. Cover and structure offer fish a feeling of safety along with a spot from which to ambush prey. While catfish are fairly tolerant to a wide range of water temperature, water that is either very warm or very cold will affect their movements and behavior.

The same types of spots that produce striped bass, largemouth bass, and other game fish species will hold catfish as well. These include bends in the sunken river channel, long sloping points, bluff banks, flats, bridges, docks, artificial reefs or fish attractors, the mouths of creeks are rivers entering the lakes, and deeper holes.

Catfish migrations in lakes

Catfish do have a seasonal migration in most lakes. As it warms up in the spring, they move up into the rivers, creeks, and tributaries in order to spawn. Areas with gravel or rocky bottom are prime spots. Once the spawning process is completed, catfish will scatter out into the main lake areas. During summer, catfish will often be found in the deepest portions of the lake, particularly near the dam. This area of the lake is often the deepest, coolest, and will attract the most bait.

As it cools off in the fall, catfish will once again move shallow as the water temperatures drop. Large flats in 10 feet of water to 15 feet of water adjacent to deep channel edges are great spots to try. Tributary mouths along with sloping points are also high percentage catfish spots in the fall. Striped bass often times will be seen schooling on the surface this time of year. Catfish can often times be found under the schools of feeding fish, gorging on the easy scraps.

Anglers targeting catfish in lakes have one advantage over river anglers; they can put out multiple lines behind the boat and off to the sides in search of fish. Often times, anglers fishing and rivers can only put out a couple of lines due to the current. However, this is not to case and lakes. Depending on local laws, anglers can put out quite a spread and cover a large area of water from a single location. This will help the catfish angler dial in the depth, presentation, and bait that is most effective on that outing.

How to catch catfish in tailwaters

Tailwaters are fantastic spots to fish for catfish as well as just about every other freshwater species. Fish just naturally are attracted to current, and catfish are no exception. Flowing water gives game fish an advantage over bait fish. The water flowing through and/or over a dam can be quite swift. Catfish are well adapted to maneuver in this environment and they will feed heavily on the available forage.

Often times, bait fish such as shad, herring, bluegill, and other species can get chopped up going through the turbines of a hydroelectric dam. This provides an easy meal for catfish and other species as they lie in the current at the base of the dam and wait for the buffet to begin.

Boating in tailwaters can be dangerous! Anglers should always heed warnings and never anchor the boat from the stern. In many cases, these areas are accessible from shore. This is an excellent opportunity for anglers without a boat to have the chance to catch a big fish. Any lake or river system that has a decent population of catfish should have excellent fishing in the tail water area below the dam.

In conclusion, this article on the best catfish fishing tackle and gear will help anglers all over North America have more success!







Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

This post will list the best 13 brown trout fishing lures. Brown trout are a favorite of many trout anglers for a variety of reasons. Brownies are a gorgeous fish that fights hard. They can tolerate warmer water than other trout. This makes them more widely distributed. Brown trout grow fairly large. They will hit a wide variety of lures, flies, and baits.

Brown trout have a varied diets. This is one of the factors that results in so many lures being effective. Smaller brown trout feed on insects, flies, larvae, bait fish, and small crustaceans. As they grow larger, they shift to seeking more substantial meals. This mostly means larger bait fish and larger crustaceans.

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

The best 13 brown trout fishing lures all mimic bait fish or crayfish. These include spinners, spoons, plugs, and soft plastic baits. The great thing about all of these lures is that they catch brown trout of all sizes. Anglers choose the lure size based on available forage and size of the fish being sought. Big lures do catch big fish!

Brown trout can be found in a variety of environments and a fairly wide range of water temperatures. This results in brown trout being the most widely distributed trout in North America. They are found from tiny streams to large rivers. Some of the largest brown trout are landed by anglers fishing in lakes.

Top 13 brown trout fishing lures

Here is the list of the top 13 brown trout fishing lures. These are all proven baits which have been catching trout for a long time. All of them can be both cast or trolled. Trolling is a great way to locate fish in larger lakes.

  • Worden’s Original Rooster Tail Spinner
  • Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait
  • Little Cleo Spoon
  • Panther Martin Spinner
  • Sweedish Pimple Spoon
  • Luhr Jensen Krocodile Spoon
  • Mepps Aglia Spinner
  • Rebel Jointed Minnow
  • Flatfish
  • Acme Kastmaster Spoon
  • Mister Twister Grub
  • Rebel Wee Craw
  • Rapala Jointed Minnow

These brown trout fishing lures will catch fish in any situation. As an added bonus, they will fool most other trout species as well. Rainbow trout, brook trout, small lake trout, and other species can all be taken on these extremely effective lures!

brown trout fishing lures

1)  Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spinner

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The Worden’s Original Rooster Tail is an excellent brown trout fishing lure. In fact, it is a very productive lure for every trout species as well. This is your basic in-line spinner. Rooster Tails come in a variety of sizes and many different color patterns. The 1/16 ounce is ideal for streams and small rivers. Larger lures are better suited for trolling and lakes and for fishing larger rivers with stronger current.

Most anglers brown trout fishing choose a brightly colored Rooster Tail spinner with the gold blade finish. Gold is a excellent all-around color in a variety of conditions. Silver bladed spinners with light colored bodies are a good choice in bright sunny conditions in the middle of the day. They are even available with a single hook for waters that require that.

trout fishing

Rooster Tails are very easy baits to use. They can be cast as well as trolled and both rivers and lakes. One excellent aspect of this lure is that it is very light and sinks quite slowly. This makes it a good choice in shallow streams. The blade will rotate with just the slightest movement, putting out flash and vibration.

2)  Rapala X-Rap

The Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait is second on the list of top 13 brown trout fishing lures. It is in the family of what anglers call “jerk baits”. These are hard bodied plugs that float at rest and then dive down a few feet below the surface upon retrieve. They come in a wide variety of sizes and color patterns. The smaller 04 and 06 sizes are perfect for streams of small rivers. The larger 08 and 10 sizes work well when trolling or casting in lakes.

brown trout fishing

The best retrieve when using one of these baits is a hard twitch followed by a pause. This pause is very important as it simulates a wounded bait fish. Often times, strike occurs as the bait just hangs there motionless. Anglers in the Great Lakes and other larger lakes troll the number 10 and number 12 size X Raps to catch large brown trout.

3)  Little Cleo Spoon

The Little Cleo spoon by Acme is a proven brown trout fishing lure. Spoons are really simple lures, just a curved piece of metal with a hook in. Like all spoons, this one puts out a ton of flash and vibration. Smaller versions are excellent for casting in streams and rivers with pools and more quiet water. They are fairly heavy and will sink down to the bottom quickly when not retrieved. They are excellent ice fishing lures as well.

brown trout fishing

Little Cleo spoons are very versatile baits. They can be cast out and retrieved in both rivers and lakes. Anglers trolling with these spoons do very well behind downrigger’s and other devices. They can also be presented vertically in both open water and ice fishing conditions. Silver and gold are popular finishes along with the many variations of painted patterns.

4)  Panther Martin Spinner

Panther Martin spinners are legendary among trout anglers. They are number four on the list of top 13 brown trout fishing lures. Panther Martin spinners are heavier than some other in-line spinners. This makes them an excellent choice in larger streams and rivers with deeper pools and runs. They will hang up on the bottom in shallow streams.

brown trout fishing lures

Anglers fishing with Panther Martin spinners catch trout both trolling and casting in lakes. They are available in several sizes and quite a few different color pattern finishes. Once again, gold is a great all round blade color while silver works best under the bright sun. Many seasoned anglers are convinced that these lures put out a unique, fish calling vibration.

5)  Sweedish Pimple Spoon

The Sweedish Pimple spoon is another bait with a long and storied reputation. It is a favorite among anglers ice fishing for brown trout as well. Smaller versions are productive when cast across the current and streams and rivers. Larger baits are used by anglers trolling for big brown trout in open water in the deeper rivers. It can be used in a vertical presentation over deep water structure and through the ice. Silver with a prism finish works well.

best trout lures

6)  Luhr Jensen Krocodile Spoon

The Luhr Jensen Krocodile spoon is another effective and proven brown trout fishing lure. As with the other spoons, it is a very versatile lure that can be presented in a variety of fashions. They produce brown trout when cast in streams and rivers, cast and trolled and lakes in deeper rivers, and vertically fished through the ice and over submerge structure. It is available in a wide variety of color patterns and in several sizes.

brown trout fishing lures

7)  Mepps Aglia Spinner

Mepps is well known for their in-line spinners. The Mepps Aglia spinner is number seven on the list of the best 13 brown trout fishing lures. This bait has been around a very long time. It comes in multiple configurations, giving anglers a wide choice and colors and styles. The bait with the gold blade and brown dressed tail is one of the all-time favorites and still produces plenty of brown trout to this day. It is a fairly light spinner and works very well in streams and rivers.

8)  Rebel Jointed Minnow

The Rebel Jointed Minnow is an excellent brown trout fishing lure, especially for larger fish. It is a hard body plug that, as the name implies, is jointed in the center. This gives it a very realistic action as it swims through the water. Gold with a black back and silver are two of the most popular color patterns. Anglers should match the size of the lure to the size of the fish being sought as well as the available forage. For the most part, this bait is used in larger rivers and lakes for anglers who are seeking brown trout that are larger than average.

9)  Flatfish

These odd looking plugs are extremely productive for anglers brown trout fishing, especially in larger rivers. While they can be cast, the majority of anglers using them do so by trolling. There is also a special technique where they drop the plug back on a three-way sinker line into strong current. As the boat sits motionless, the Flatfish is played back downstream. The strength of the current causes the lure to dance seductively in one spot. This will trigger strikes from brown trout as they migrate up the river system.

10)  Acme Kastmaster Spoon

The Acme Kastmaster spoon looks a little different than the other spoons on this list of the best 13 brown trout fishing lures. However, the unique design gives it a tantalizing flash and wiggle in the water. The gold finish is by far the most popular for trout. However, silver with the prism finish is gaining in popularity. The tiniest sizes are extremely effective on trout and small streams. Larger versions can be cast or trolled in larger bodies of water.

11)  Mister Twister Grub

Mister Twister grubs are well known among veteran freshwater anglers. However, not many associate them with brown trout fishing. This can be a mistake! This is especially true and water said get a lot of pressure. Often times, anglers casting a different bait will draw strike. Mister Twister grubs are fished on a jig head. The size and weight of the jig had will be determined by the current and the water depth. These lures will mimic bait fish as well as crustaceans and insects when bounced along the bottom.

12) Rebel Wee Craw

The Rebel Wee Craw is a legendary River fishing lure. However, like the Mister Twister above, most anglers associate it with smallmouth bass fishing. It is an extremely effective bait when used in pool sections between riffles. The Wee Craw will oftentimes catch larger trout. It is most effective when it is digging along the bottom, bouncing off of rocks and boulders. These plugs will turn sideways when used in heavy current. It slightly warmer waters that hold both brown trout and smallmouth bass, it is an excellent lure choice.

13)  Rapala Jointed Minnow

The old school Rapala Jointed Minnow is the last, but not least, selection on the list of best 13 brown trout fishing lures. It is similar to the Rebel plug, however it does have a different action. This bait can be used in larger streams, rivers, and lakes. It is an excellent lore when slowly trolled behind the boat. Gold with the white belly and black back is by far the most popular color pattern.

In conclusion, this article on the best 13 brown trout fishing lures will help anglers catch more trout in streams, rivers, and lakes!