A simple guide on how to choose a fishing lure

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Choosing The Right Fishing Lure

One of the upsides to investing in a fishing lure is that you can move around the water and cover a wide area effortlessly. 

What’s more

There is a wide range of fishing lures that you can choose, depending on the level of water you’re targeting. 

These fishing products are categorized into two classes: hard and soft lures. 

Hard fishing lures are typically plugs designed with multiple metal hooks, while soft hooks are made of softer material, such as latex, usually used with a jig head (which we will discuss later). 

This article provides insights into the different types of fishing lures, the best color to choose, and some tips for selecting the best lure for your angling needs.

You can also look at this article for information on 
how to choose the correct fishing reel to maximize your effort in fishing.

Infographic how to choose the right fishing lure

here are four types of fishing lures available in consumer markets. They include:

1. Top Water Lures

These types of lures are used on the surface of the water. They mimic an injured baitfish, although they may also imitate smack birds and frogs. They have a gurgling effect and make noise to attract your target fish. Fish predators battling the surface lures offer the most exhilarating fishing experience as the fish chases, fights, and hits the lures.

2. Subsurface Lures

Subsurface lures hover around the surface of the water column and imitate injured or swimming animals. These types of lures can perform a wide range of actions, such as jerking, splashing, suspending, and sliding.

3. Suspending Lures

Suspension lures mimic baitfish and suspend midway through the water column – they never float on the water surface or sink to the base when you stop retrieving it. They can move in fast and slow motion to entice any lurking predators.

4. Diving/Sinking Lures

As the name suggests, these lures work excellently in deep waters. However, you need to understand how to use them effectively for a crown catch. The quicker you retrieve it, the deeper it sinks. Some types of sinking lures come with interchangeable bibs that enable you to adjust the diving depth.

Fishing lures come in different designs and features that determine the depth it goes into the water and the lure actions it performs. Here are some alternative options to choose from.

  • Plastic worms – These lures resemble worms and can be attached to the hooks in various ways. You can use them with a sinker and jigs. Angling using plastic worms should be slow near the bottom of the water column. They attract fish by wiggling.


  • Crankbaits and Plugs – Crankbaits are used as suspension lures and can wiggle like a stunned baitfish. They feature multiple hooks, which can be challenging to handle out of water. However, handling them in water is effortless, and you can slide them around and even pause if need be until you get your catch.


  • Jigs – These are typically hooks attached to a weight. You can use them with a range of bodies and work well when fished gently during cold weather. The trick with jig fishing is to use the lightest product so long as you can still feel it hitting the bottom.


  • Spoons – As the name suggests, spoons look like the bottom section of a teaspoon. They are made of shiny metal to imitate the glisten of baitfish. They come in different colors and feature weights to vary the fishing depth.
  • Spinners – The only difference between spoons and spinners is that the latter features a spinning blade on the lure’s front section instead of a teaspoon-shaped metal. It’s attached to a spinner on the other end and should be fished slowly to ensure the spinner remains visible to the target fish.
  • Hooking live bait – This is an angling technique where you use live [not dead] baitfish, such as minnows. To ensure your baitfish remains alive, you can hook it from the bottom lip through the top or across the body near the tail fin.

What is the best color for fishing lures?

One thing you need to understand when choosing bait color is that the color you see is not the same color a bass or tune will see in its habitat. 

The color changes as it descends to greater depths because of insufficient light penetration and low water clarity. 

By the way…

Even eye-catching colors can lose their attractiveness when fished in the bass world. 

It would be best to choose light or dark shades of lures instead of the intricate options.

What size and weight of lure should I choose?

Like humans

, fish are attracted to larger portions. 

Small fish do not always behave as you might expect and will curiously investigate any large food, even if they can’t manage to eat it. 

That’s right

This behavior varies from one species to the other, depending on their feeding habits and preferences. 

It would help to do your homework and understand what your target catch eats and what size it prefers.

Tips for Choosing the Right Fishing Lure

  • Match the lure profile with your target-catch profile – Use pencil popper when fishing long and skinny species but lures with a plastic body with a deep profile works better for deep-water fish hover.
  • Find the right color for the fishing depth – Fishing depth influences bait color. Use blue lures when angling in deep waters as they maintain the color throughout the water column. Brighter colors like red, orange, and yellow are better for shallow, well-lit water.
  • Lipped plugs work well for thermocline-oriented fish – Choose a plug with a lipped design that allows the bait to dive to the thermocline level and pause during the retrieval. That puts the lure at the radar of your target fish.
  • Avoid rattling lures in clear water – When fish approach a potential prey, they expect it to be relatively calm. Any rattling action frets them away.
  • Lure contrast – High contrast lures work better than low contrast lures. Still, it depends on the species. For instance, brass is attracted by flashy lures on bright days but love dull lure in overcast weather.
  • Lure photo contrast – Luminous lures are popular in angling, but you must know when to use them. In general, species attracted to light-emitting lures do so during the night. They are the best when fishing under the moonlight.
  • Select vibrating lures when you’re in muddy water – It becomes unable for fish to spot a lure in muddy water. A vibrating lure causes turbulence in the water, which leads the fish to it.
  • Lure finish – When choosing the right lure finish, go for the one that replicates the prey’s surface profile. Instead of adding lines, colors, or dots, look for traditional bait styles and patterns.
  • Use heavy lures in windy weather – Using a heavy lure is the right decision for windy conditions. The heaviness maintains better tension on the line, allowing for easy retrieves.
  • Lure shape – A fish will approach its food only if it looks like its normal prey. Also, that calls for research to understand a fish’s environment and its prey.
  • Larger lures work best in cold water – Fish will conserve energy in cold water. In their pursuit of more calories, they will usually go for prey relatively larger than themselves.
  • Consider spoons and spinners if all options don’t work – There is a reason spoon and spinners have been around forever – they work. They might not be the best choice on any given day, but they offer a last resort when all options go awry.
  • Lure action – Different lures move and dance differently in different conditions. Choose crankbaits when you need speed, but you need to jerk lures like jigs to create movement.
  • Lure running depth – Different fish species thrive in different depths due to the varied thermal conditions at each depth. Therefore, you need to study the fish’s thriving depth to determine whether to choose surface lures, suspension, or diving lures.
  • It is critical to choose a lure with barbless single hooks if you are on a catch-and-release angling adventure. They are easily removable and cause less damage to the catch.
  • Stainless steel lures are excellent options but don’t use them if you don’t intend to take the catch home. It might not dissolve over time. Instead, use a softer/flexible lure.
  • If you’re trolling, ensure that you choose a lure that has its own action. A crankbait and crew-tail lures wiggle and slide like an injured baitfish by themselves. However, jigs require you to jerk them by hand to attract fish.
  • For beginners, crankbaits, top-water lures, jigs, and spinners are the best options.

Your success in choosing the right fishing lure requires research and careful consideration of the type of water and fish species you’re targeting.

Fishing is not easy, and that’s what makes it exciting. 

As anglers master the science of choosing fishing lures, you also gain in-depth insights into the different fish species and how they behave in their natural habitats.

We have an article about the best place to fish in malaysia. Gathered from interviewing 12 top anglers in Malaysia. Check it out!

Seahawk Fishing Malaysia