What lure do I use?

    I remember starting out fishing, and shopping for lures. It's hard to make sense of it all unless you've got some experience. It also helps to have someone around with more knowledge than you. Fishing is one of those things where a little knowledge is NOT dangerous. Any more than you have is better. There are a few little hints to help narrow the field of what to use and when though.


  • Water color
  • Type of bottom

  • When they still don't bite

Water color

     Water comes in many colors. Well, it usually depends on what's in the water. Blue to brown, some greens, some clear. Some in Yellowstone are all kinds of colors. But that's mainly algae growing on the bottom. 

    Fish don't see things like us. In water we can't see anything in they are right at home. So how do you know what color jig to use in the water you're fishing?

   A general rule is match jig color type to watercolor type. Clear water means clear and bright lures. Dark murky water, dark and murky lures. 

    This is because whatever fish you're trying to catch is probably feeding on smaller fish in that same water. Little fish don't last long if they stand out. Well, usually anyway.

   They depend a lot on camouflage. Subterfuge. Blending in. Animosity. "If they don't know I'm here they won't eat me", kind of thinking. This is how little fish grow up to be big fish. By blending in.

   When your using artificial you're trying to mimic the natural baitfish of the predator fish. At least in color. Technique is different.

   What you really want is to mimic a hurt baitfish. They go after the weak ones first. Nature isn't kind. People are kind. Pets are kind. Fish, just want an easy meal before their buddy spots it. This is not kind, but we can use it to our advantage, by tricking their strike instincts. Make it look hurt to trigger a strike. Doesn't matter what color the jig. But get the color right first.

Type of bottom

    Some of the lure selection process is simply what's the bottom like. Is it muddy, sandy, are they're a lot of snags, is there a lot of grass? This part doesn't so much effect the color choice as it does the type of lure. It also determines what kind of fish might be lurking below. 


  •  Lots of grass and snags, the obvious choice is a snaggles sally.  It's not snag or grass proof, but it does work. Don't throw lures with a lot of hooks here. Trust me, you'll end up losing a lot of them and you'll bring in even less fish. 
  • A good sandy bottom with clear water. Throw anything you like. On sandy bottoms I usually like good old plastic whatever's. Bounce it off the bottom and twitch it a time or two until WHAM!        Top water if the fish are shallow, crank baits if it's deep. Color choice depends on water conditions.
  • Muddy bottoms go for plastics. Bounce them off the bottom in fresh or salt water and you'll be surprised.  In saltwater flounders like to bury themselves on the bottom. This where the little bounce method works really well. Worms are natural to freshwater mud, and you'll likely get a bass with a plastic worm.

When they still don't bite

    Sometimes you can throw exactly the right lure and they still don't bite. So, what then? Easy. Throw whatever you think they have never seen before.

   Fish get spooked if they've been hooked by something before. And who can blame them. They're just minding their business. Here comes lunch. And WHAMMM. Get your mouth ripped out. Doesn't take too many times of this before they won't hit that again.

   So basically, do the opposite of what you're supposed to throw. Put on the most unusual, least likely to look like anything they've seen before lure and cast it out. Sometimes they hit it because it's there. It's true. Fish are well, unpredictable sometimes. Most times really. we like to convince ourselves we are smarter than they are but it's just determination.

    Nobody catches one on every cast. It usually takes a whole lot of casts to catch one. This is why it's called fishing and not catching. 

    So next time you're trying to figure out what to start with remember these helpful little tips. 

  • Match to water color
  • Check the bottom
  • Then throw whatever they have never seen before.

   Start small with how many lures you get in your tackle box. Don't overload on new info at one time. You have to pace yourself. Fishing is a lifelong passion.

      Try and remember, "You will never know everything." There will always be more to learn. Always."

Trust me, that's a good thing. 

   Life isn't about getting there. It's mostly about just enjoying being there and getting better. Fishing, life, faith, it's all the same. Really.  Good life lessons apply to all aspects of life.


Enjoy the outdoors. Life is out here!

written by Benjamin Evans