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Visit a bait and tackle shop or a website like Eat My Tackle, and you’ll find a wide range of fishing lures available. For beginner anglers, the many options can be rather intimidating. It’s not uncommon for beginners to buy a random lure, and then buy another one once they figure out the lure they bought isn’t what they need.

The right lure can truly improve your catch rate, and doing so will build up your confidence as an angler. A poor selection of lure, on the other hand, may simply waste your time and discourage you from fishing altogether.

Get the Right Size

You’ll need to find the right size by considering just what kind of game fish you’re after. Smaller lures measuring an inch or two is great for bluegills, perch, and crappies. An inch to three inches is more suitable for white bass and river trout. Smallmouth bass needs a lure ranging from 2 to 5 inches, while a range of 2 to 6 inches is ideal for largemouth bass. Walleyes require 3 to 6 inches, while you may choose from 3 to 7 inch lures for lake trout and salmon. For northern pike and muskies, try a lure measuring 4 to 12 inches.

What’s the Depth of Your Fishing Grounds?

Most experienced fishermen recognize that game fish tend to go to different spots depending on the season. These spots have different depths, so you need suitable lures for them.

In the summer months, fish tend to go to deeper water so you’ll need deep running lures. They go to shallower waters in the fall. This is also true in spring, when game fish spawn and look for food in shallower waters. For these areas you’ll need to use shallow running lures and surface lures instead.

Cover Conditions

If you’re targeting northern pike and largemouth bass, you’ll be fishing in spots with lots of weeds all year. To keep your lures from snagging, try to bring a lure with a weed guard. For fishing around cover especially during early morning or early evening, use surface lures instead.

Water Temperature

Cold water tends to lessen fish activity significantly so you may want to use a smaller lure which you should present slowly. For northern pike and muskies, your ideal lures are jerk baits and gliders, preferably with a pause in between your retrieve.

When the water is warm, the fish become more active in their metabolism, and they tend to feed more often. Now you can use your spinnerbaits, inline spinners, and crankbaits with fast retrieves.

Color Choices

There are many different theories regarding the color of your lure, and experts also have their own opinions as to how the clarity of the water affects the color. The general rule is that in clear water you should use lures with lighter colors. In stained waters, use fluorescent colors. Others say that you should use dark-colored lures when it is overcast and light colors when the day is bright and sunny.

Of course, even with these tips you may still end up experimenting with your fishing lure. But that’s actually part of the fun!


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