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Lure fishing has become increasingly popular over the years, and the variety of lures of lures available now is extensive.
With so many different kinds of lures available, it is beneficial to know what you can use for saltwater fishing and the best situations for using each type of lure.
In this guide, I will go through the best types of lures for saltwater fishing and the different situations each lure-type can be used.
Best lures for saltwater fishing
Saltwater Hard Bait Lures
Hard bait lures are very popular due to their ease of use and also their versatility. They can be used in a wide range of situations, from inshore fishing to trolling.
There are many different kinds of hard bait lures, some of them are used on the surface and others are designed to dive under the water.
The diving lures will have a plastic fringe on the front (called a lip) that pushes them down as soon as they are retrieved. The bigger the lip on the lure, the deeper they will dive. This should be taken into account depending on where you want to fish.
If you are fishing on shallow water, make sure you use a lure with a smaller lip. If you’re fishing in deep water and want to get the lure down deep, then a lure with a bigger lip is required.
Here are a few good options of hard bait lures:
Big Game Lures
If you are heading out offshore in search of big game fish, then you need the right type of lures to deal with the hard-fighting pelagic species.
Big game lures range from trolling lures, that will attract anything from Marlin through to Tuna and Mahi Mahi. Then you have the big stick baits and poppers if you want to fish in the surface.
When going after the bigger game fish, you need to make sure you have lures that are well made and strong hooks. No point skimping on these big game lures when you could lose the fish of a lifetime because you wanted to save a few dollars on a lure.
Here are a few good options for big game lures:
Saltwater Soft Bait Lures
Soft bait lures are probably the most innovative category of lures in as far as their designs and realistic movement when in the water.
There are saltwater soft bait lures to suit all types of fishing. From worms, crustaceans, grubs, shrimps, whitebait….you name it, there is a soft plastic bait to match.
Another benefit of soft plastic lures is their versatility. You can use them for all kinds of saltwater fishing, and target many different species with them. With so many different colors available, you can ensure you have the right match for your fishing spot each time.
Here is a selection of just some of the soft plastic lures you can find:
Saltwater Trolling Lures
Trolling is a great way to target a wide range of saltwater species, and the lure you use is key to what you can potentially catch.
Trolling lures can either be deep diving, mid column or surface, so it’s important to know where your target species are feeding so you can use the right lure.
Trolling lures vary significantly in size as well as design. You have your much bigger varieties for targeting the big game fish, but you may want to use much smaller lures if you are trolling from your kayak and targeting smaller species.
Here are a few of the best saltwater trolling lure options:
MirrOlure Deep 25’+ Diver 111MR Trolling Lure
The MirrOlure is designed for trolling and will dive down to depths of 25 feet and more. It has great action to it, and it also rattles which attracts fish through the sonic vibrations the rattles create. Best trolled at speeds of 2-7 knots
Zuker’s Trolling Feather or Grass Skirts
Feather lures are great for trolling as they move around erratically and really catch the eye of predators waiting to pounce on anything that swims close to them.
The Zuker’s trolling feature lure is designed for faster trolling speeds of up to 12 knots and the moving eyes within the head of the lure add to its realistic look.
Mann’s Textured Stretch Trolling Baits
These trolling lures from Mann’s have very life-like movement and mimic live baitfish incredibly well.
They dive to depths ranging from 6-feet to 20-feet and are ideal for targeting species such as grouper, sea bass, striper, kingfish, and snapper to name just a few.
MagBay Lures Fully Rigged 7.5″ Trolling Wahoo Lure Set (4) Plus Lure Bag
These excellent MagBay Wahoo lures come fully rigged so you can use them right out of the bag. Talking of bags, they come with one of those too, so you can keep them well organized and easy to fit in your tackle bag.
The action on these lures is really solid, they look like and move just real fish, and do a great job of attracting Wahoo as well as other fast-moving species
Topwater lures have become extremely popular over the years, and now you will find a massive range of lures that are specifically designed to target the fish feeding on the surface.
Surface lures also vary a lot in size, from the bigger popper and stick baits that are used to target bigger pelagic species through to the might smaller topwater lures that can be used to catch smaller species from shallower sand flats.
‘Popper’ style topwater lures are called such as they have a flat face to them, and when you drag them across the surface of the water the flat surface repels the water violently, creating quite a commotion on the surface.
Whichever species you are targeting with these lures, there is something about that moment when a fish smashes a topwater lure, it is one of those experiences that is hard to compete with in fishing.
Here are some of the different kinds of top-water lures you can find:
Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg Topwater Hard Bait
The Strike King KVD is a superb topwater lure that looks incredibly real, and has a life-like moving action that really draws the fish in.
‘Walking-the-dog’ action is easy with this surface lure, and the resulting action of the lure is a side-to-side movement that also pops and spits on the surface, and this sound and movement will attract any hungry fish that are close by.
Atom Atomizer Topwater Lure
The Atom Atomizer is a ‘popper’ style surface lure and is available in several different colors and sizes.
It creates a lot of noise and really does a great job of disturbing the water as it is dragged through on your retrieve. It is a versatile lure that can be used for many different species.
Rapala Saltwater Skitter Walk Hard Bait
Not only does the Rapala Skitter provide great walk-the-dog action, but it also casts like a bullet.
If you need that extra distance on your topwater lure then this is a really good option for you.
As the name suggests, casting lures are heavier by design so they allow you to be able to cast them further. This makes them ideal for any situation where you need to launch your lure a long way from the spot you are standing.
A lot of the time casting lures will be made from metal, so they can get the extra weight they need for the longer casting. This is not always the case though, and you will even find some topwater lures that are heavier by design and can be cast a long way.
Here are some of the best saltwater casting lures:
Tady Lure Casting Lure Model 9
The Tady Lure Model 9 lures are like bullets when casting, and then they also have excellent swimming action.
They are also quite versatile lures as they can be used for vertical jigging too.
JSHANMEI Metal Spoon Casting Jigs
These metal casting spoons are ideal for surf fishing. Their weight will allow you to cast them out a long distance, and then on retrieval they provide a very effective moving action to attract the attention of any close by fish.
These casting spoons come as a set of 10, and you have a choice of weights: ½ oz (14g), ¾ oz (21g), and 1.4 oz (40g).
Rapala X-Rap Long Cast Shallow Lures
If you need a lure that will allow you to fish close to the surface, but also allows you to cast it a long distance, then the Rapala X-Rap is an excellent option for you.
Great for fishing in the surf, from a boat or from jetties, the Rapala X-Rap casts like a bullet and has great swimming action too. The hooks on this lure are also excellent, no need to change anything around, you can use right out of the box.
Saltwater jigs are mostly used offshore, or can be used off piers and jetties when you can vertical-fish.
Jig lures will catch fish both on the drop and on the rise when you retrieve them, so they need to have decent action for both.
It is a very exciting way to fish, the bites are often aggressive and you can hook into a wide range of species when fishing with jigs.
Here are some of the best saltwater jigs to help you catch some deep-water monsters:
Shimano Butterfly Flatside Jigs
The Shimano Butterfly Flatside jigs have been cleverly designed with the weight more at one end, and also a flat side so that they sink a bit quicker and have a swinging motion on its decent. This really helps to catch the eye of any fish in the area.
The colors of these lures are really eye-catching, and they do a great job of reflecting light. There are several different colors available as well as weight and sizes.
If you do any vertical jigging, then I highly recommend you add one or more of these lures to your tackle bag, you will not regret it!
Ocean Tackle International Jig Kit
This jig kit form Ocean Tackle will have you covered for a wide range of species and conditions for your vertical jigging sessions.
You also get a free lure bag with this jig kit, which will keep all of the jigs safe and sound and easy to find when you’re out on your fishing trip.
Offshore Angler Freestyle Jig
The excellent Offshore Angler Freestyle jig produces really good action on both the drop and retrieve when vertical jigging. The hologram finish on these jigs gives them an added life-like aesthetic to them as well, along with the oversized 3D eyes.
These lures come in a wide range of colors, weights and sizes to suit all needs. They really are top-quality jigs that a wide variety of fish species seem to love.
Reeldiculous Flat Sided Jigs (set of 6)
If you want a really good set of jigs, then this 6-piece jig set from Palomar Fishing is a great option.
These flat-sided jigs provide really good action in the water, and the variety of colors will suit all conditions and water clarity.
The Kevlar cord that the mustard steel hooks are attached to ensure the ultimate strength, so you can have the confidence when you hook into a fish of a lifetime that the strength is there.
You also get a free canvas lure bag with this set, so you can keep them all safely organized in your tackle bag or box.