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Regardless of where you fish – offshore or inshore – the best lures are your surest way of bringing home a bountiful catch. If you use the wrong bait for saltwater fishing, your results might not be too far from less than impressive or even frustrating in many cases.
But here’s the problem: what options are the best saltwater lures? We’ve gone ahead to do a little bit of fishing around for answers and created this list of the best artificial baits for anglers heading out into saltwater.
By the way, if you are new to fishing or wondering why countless men and women around the world go fishing, you may want to check out this beginner’s guide to learn everything you need to know about fishing.
Now, let’s get back to finding the best saltwater lures. Our list covers different options from topwater lures to saltwater jigs and everything between. You can choose any of the baits that appeal to your fishing style because we are confident that these lures will up your saltwater fishing experience.
Experienced anglers know that the fluke is undoubtedly one of the best saltwater lures as far as artificial baits are concerned. The lure can attract fish strike just about anywhere, whether in saltwater, freshwater, or even brackish water.
Zoom Bait makes some of the most versatile flukes, the Salty Super Fluke Bait. These are available for under $4 and can be fished in a number of ways. Fish them close to the top or attach a weighted hook and fish them a little below the surface. You can even use the flukes with Alabama rigs or fish them weedless. In any case, they attract a lot of attention with great action and excellent water displacement.
Zoom Bait impregnates these flukes with a salt mixture, which explains why any fish would hold on to the lure long enough for anglers to get more hook up. The 5-inch flukes are available in just about every color you can imagine – more than 30 different shades! We recommend the white pearl or any of the watermelon colors for excellent results in saltwater environments.
White bucktails have been used for saltwater fishing for a long time, and they still work great up to date. Whether you target tarpon, common snook, trout, or redfish, a white bucktail never disappoints. You can use fish these using different retrieves both on deep and shallow water.
The Spro Prime Bucktail Jig is a great choice for saltwater fishing primarily because it hangs straight down like other options from competitors. It maintains a parallel position while providing a natural gliding action.
Spro designed this lure with a head that’s unique, but what brings it to life is the clever placement of the eyelet. To top it all, it offers an impressive jigging action that attracts all species of gamefish, especially in saltwater. The lure is fitted with a premium Gamakatsu saltwater hook.
While you can make these artificial lures at home, but why go through the trouble when you can simply buy them online?
Just in case you are not familiar with glass minnows, they are some of the most popular anchovies used in Caesar dressing or garnishing your favorite pizza. Guess what else love to eat glass minnows? Predator game fish, of course!
Twitchbaits are built to mimic glass minnows, and manufacturer Mirrolure makes some of the best-suspending twitchbaits in the market. These lures can work in waters of different depths, and because they are versatile, you can fish them in several ways.
Mirrolure designed the Mirror Minnow lure with an incredible strike-provoking realism that attracts just about any species of gamefish. Plus, its brilliance provides long-range detection, making it one of the most productive artificial lures available.
Crankbaits developed from the world of bass fishing and are now popular for fishing in saltwater. The “trick” to successfully catching bass with crankbaits is just about the same for attracting any other fish. The hard baits have small beads inside them that rattle and make sounds that spell “dinner time” to predator fish. This action, combined with the lure’s realistic paint, delivers impressive results every single time.
The Rat-L-Trap Magnum Force Lure is a great crankbait choice. The lure is exceptional in saltwater and is particularly simple to work. But the best part about Rat-L-Trap’s lure is its deadliness, especially in off-color waters.
Another classic option is the River2Sea Ruckus lipless crankbait, which comes in a 3/4-ounce weight for attracting larger fish. These make very loud sounds that are hard for any predator fish to resist.
Okay, here’s one of our favorites! Topwater lures are the easiest way to attract and catch fish around shallow covers, such as logs, rocks, bushes, stumps, and brush in the water.
You are almost guaranteed to get a strike because these lures look so much like injured baitfish, and predators are easily drawn to them. Of course, bass and other larger fish “know” that there’s nowhere else for baitfish on the water’s surface to go – a strike is imminent once they are out in the open.
There is no shortage of poppers or topwater lures in the market, but one option that stands out for many anglers is the versatile Super Spook Topwater Fishing Lure by Heddon. It works great for both salt and freshwater fishing. Plus, it is incredibly affordable.
This comes in over 40 different colors and shades for literally any type of fishing condition. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the huge selection of colors, we recommend going with the bone (off-white) option because it delivers results in both stained and clear water.
Yo-Zuri’s Sashimi Bill Metallic Floating Lure is another classic topwater popper any serious angler should consider getting. These sardine-like lures are great for catching big fish in just about any saltwater in the world.
Here’s a caveat, though; these poppers are not cheap. They are among the most expensive options available in the market. They are some of the best saltwater lures money can buy!
Yo-Zuri’s offerings are pretty much competitive and may not always be available online. But you can check here. Who knows? You might just be lucky.
Highly versatile in nature, paddletail soft plastic is one of the most suitable lures for saltwater fishing. Many experienced anglers consider it the most all-around lure, capable of attracting strikes from nearly all large fish that feast on smaller baitfish.
Paddletail soft plastic can draw strikes even with a straight retrieve, thanks to the excellent action of its soft tail. It also works great for a variety of depth levels, making it one of the best saltwater lures for different water conditions.
Yum Lures produce excellent paddletail soft plastic lures and calls them Plastic Minnow Swimbait. They swim well even when the retrieve is considerably slow, so you will most likely get strikes. The lure is available in more than 10 different colors, with the crystal smoke color being our favorite.
Saltwater game fish love to eat shrimps, and that’s a huge advantage for anglers who can find Berkley’s artificial shrimp lures.
The 3-inch, 11-ounce Gulp Alive Shrimp lure from Berkley is about the best you can get anywhere, and fish will come after it whether you jig it in deep water or use it for fishing the grass flats.
Berkley’s artificial gulp shrimps are available in four different colors: molting, natural shrimp, pearl white, and new penny (as pictured above). All these work great, but most saltwater fish are usually in the mood to bite a new penny and pearl white shrimp.
If you take a quick peek inside the tackle boxes of many inshore anglers, you will probably find a recurring lure – the gold spoon.
These spoons are available in different colors and shapes, including weedless spoons, treble spoons, single hook spoons, and silver spoons. While they all work great, depending on different conditions, the classic gold spoon is famous for drawing strikes from a wide range of saltwater fish.
Johnson Spoon is a great choice. It is platted with 24K gold to produce greater brilliance more attraction. This works better than brass or chrome. It also features a metal weed guard, plus blades built for long casts (up to a mile).
You can use this in a variety of ways, including jigging, trolling, or twitching it on the bottom. There is no need to worry about twisting your line because it simply won’t.
It’s simple: anywhere there is saltwater! The lures in this article have been used by anglers worldwide to catch any and every type of saltwater fish. Whatever continent you find yourself in, whether you live there or you are vacationing and happen to bring a tackle box along, you can rest assured that you will get some strikes if there is saltwater available.
But it gets better. Many of the best saltwater lures can also work for freshwater fishing, especially for attracting massive predators such as pike and largemouth bass.
Here’s the deal; saltwater fishing in any part of the world is likely to be more successful with these lures listed above, and that’s a fact.
The truth is your tackle box doesn’t need tons of lures just because you want to catch saltwater fish. You will have more productive outings out on the water with these options. While they may not work all of the time, you can be sure they will get you strikes quite often.
Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.
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