Every angler has been there, you’ve been fishing with your pals a couple of times, and you feel it’s time to purchase your gear. You already have the basics covered like a rod, reel, and fishing line and hooks, now just for some lures. This is where being in a tackle shop can be daunting, with wall after wall of soft plastics, hard lures, spoons, and spinners. What lures go to what species? Here is a breakdown of the best beginners’ fishing lures.

1. Soft Plastics

Soft plastics are undeniably a beginner’s best friend when learning how to feed a hook. It’s also a suitable alternative for those who oppose using live bait or aren’t quite ready to put their fingers on a live worm yet. With a variety of shapes like tubes, crawlers, frogs, and lizards in all shapes and sizes it’s a matter of experimenting and seeing what your preference is. 

2. Snap Swivel

Although not technically a lure but an attachment, beginners will want to have a swivel on their line for these next lures. A swivel is an attachment that allows for quick detachment of the line if you get snagged. Swivels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the snap swivel being the best for novice anglers. Simply replace the hook with a swivel line and attach the following lures through an eyelet by the swivel carabiner-style opening. It saves a lot of hassle and makes fishing more pleasurable.

3. Square Bill Crankbait

Square bill crankbait is an excellent choice for those who want to try out a hard bait lure. At the front is a plastic lip that allows the bait to swim and imitate a wounded baitfish. It’s ideal for those fishing in shallow ponds or from the shore. Try to avoid casting in an area that has weeds in it, as the treble hooks will snag a passenger from the retrieval. For best practices, the movement of this lure should be a jerking motion with pauses to allow the lure to dance in the water column.

4. Spinnerbait


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When it comes to the degree of difficulty, the spinner is the most difficult to utilize on this list. Simply attach the spinner bait via swivel and cast it into the water. A good spinner bait will mimic gill flash, enticing anything nearby to strike. The key, however, is using constant movement with this lure. Where novice anglers go wrong is in allowing the spinner to sink. Thus, getting it snagged in weeds, sunken logs, and between rocks.

5. Swimbait

The best way to think of a swimbait is a combination of a soft plastic bait but in the form of a hard lure. Alas, these baits are preferred because you simply pull them out of the package or tackle box and snap them onto the swivel, that’s it. Like spinnerbait, you will want to use a consistent movement, however, not to get stuck but to copy a swimming fish. These are best utilized in areas where there are schools of fish or where it is thought there could be bait fish.

6. Topwater Baits

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For those who prefer fast action and invoking a chase with their target, then a topwater bait is for you. These come in all shapes and sizes from frogs, ducks, and torpedoes. The objective is to attract game fish by looking like an injured mouse, bird, or frog, desperately trying to get to the shore. This action, in return, will draw out curious predatory species. Chances are it will take multiple casts on a topwater lure, but it sure is exhilarating when a fish lunges out of the water at your bit. As an additional note, topwater lures are almost foolproof to use, just cast, retrieve, and repeat.

7. Jigs

Jigs are among one of the most versatile lures that all anglers should know how to use. These come in various forms from weedless, skirted, and just a jig head. Jigs can be coupled up with both live and artificial bait, which further adds to its appeal of being an all-in-one lure. There is a myriad of uses when it comes to jigs from bottom fishing, used with a float rig in an area of obstructions, ice fishing, or casting a seedless jig through a field of weeds. Every angler has their secret way of using a jig, so there’s no right and no wrong, here.

The Final Cast

When you start fishing, learning about species, equipment, and lures can be an overwhelming task. It seems like every angler has their perspective and a story tied to a specific lure. Take this advice at face value and try to instead focus on your target species and where you will be fishing, as a starting point. From here, the type of lures and their specific uses will fall into place. Further, making the task of being a novice angler a little less discouraging.