These five inshore fishing lures lures have stood the test of time.
Whether you find yourself surf casting on the beach, floating in the brackish marsh, or wading through the flats, you should likely have at least a few of these offerings at the ready at all times. Ultimate decisions depend on the species you target, the time of year, and the weather, but you can't go wrong with these in most conditions.
We've tried to narrow down the best lures for inshore saltwater fishing after a lot of discussion, a few arguments, and the proven success of each. Some of these are inexpensive and so easy to use that anyone can have success with a little experience.
The Johnson Spoon is a timeless, single hooked classic that never gets old. It still amazes me to think of how long I have used this lure and for the amazing number of different species that it attracts.
This weedless wonder works quite well through the grass, mud flats, and even in open water. It has an action that isn't the most spectacular, but maybe that is why it is such a confidence lure. Silver and gold are the two most popular patterns because they're simple but effective, with gold usually being the standard for most inshore fishermen.
Another of the many walk-the-dog baits, Rapala's version of this lure works tremendously well in any conditions. As we've found over the years, topwater baits don't need to be used exclusively on calm days when the water is still, but are quite advantageous when the water surface is moving.
These are best used in 10 feet of water or less and at dawn and dusk. These Skitter Walk baits are great for enticing strikes but should be cast past or to the side of wary fish to keep from spooking them.
Is there a more versatile, more commonly used, and more deadly bait in any type of fishing than the jig? If so, we would like to hear about it, because jigs have been around forever and still catch fish everywhere.
They can be used in the current, on the flats, and through the thickest cover to target many species of fish. Inshore species such as pompano, redfish, trout, striped bass, snook, and tarpon all fall for these wounded bait imitations at one time or another. They are inexpensive to buy and can even be made at home.
This is Yo-Zuri 3D Popper is among a long line of twitchbaits that comes with the best kind of warning: after you throw it, hang on! All kidding aside, this bait comes in many styles and color patterns, all serving as great eye-catchers.
The 3D prism color finish stands out in stained water to get a fish's attention, and then causes them to commit thanks to the great dying minnow action. Although some saltwater anglers prefer single hooks over treble hooks for the hard-mouth species such as tarpon, the Yo-Zuri comes with two razor sharp power trebles that sink in and hold on.
Like the bucktail jig, the idea of a soft plastic shrimp bait has been around for a while. It's a proven, solid performer in the saltwater for many years. Any good shrimp imitation can and will garner the attention of every kind of inshore saltwater predatory fish.
Berkley's PowerBait Rattle Shrimp is pre-rigged and weighted for lifelike action, and the rattle adds increased vibration. They come with Berkley's PowerBait scent technology, which fish hold on to 18 times longer than regular plastic bait.
Finding More Saltwater Fishing Lures That Work
Spoons, topwater plugs, twitchbaits, shrimp lures, and bucktail jigs aren't the only ways to catch fish while fishing inshore areas, but they all seem to be inside of most salt angler's tackle boxes. These offerings imitate wounded baitfish or even live bait in an effort to create a lifelike prey that gamefish can't resist. Of course, there are always more choices you can make.
Crankbaits that emulate shad, mullet, or even sardines can work for anglers everywhere, and that's perfectly normal. When the conditions call for it, gamefish can be enticed by topwater lures, hard baits, or by jigging when the time is right to make them forget about caution and pay mind to your artificial lure.
Baits like the Rapala X-Rap are great for casting long distances to catch the eyes of suspending fish as well. Swimbaits along with other soft plastics are great when conditions demand that the angler use a little more finesse in the shallow water.
Spinners and jerkbaits have their place as well, and could easily be a part of this list. Ultimately, the choice is yours. There are many great options and this is just the tip of the iceberg.