When you are first starting out, it’s important to understand the various types and categories of lures. you will need at least one of each. Now that you’ve got your basic rod, reel, and line, take a look at these lure.
You will need some type of soft plastic lures. Most look like worms and small fish. You will also find some that look like creatures; lizards, frogs, and crawfish. You need at least a packet or two of these. Buy natural colors to start, greens and browns. These can be rigged in many different ways, but the most basic will be to put it on a Texas Rig or just a weighted hook and drag it or jerk it across the bottom. See our techniques section to learn about all of the rigging and techniques.
You will need something that floats on top of the water and generates commotion. A basic floating minnow or frog bait will suffice. But you should also add a crankbait. A frog can be walked, jerked around, hopped and used in many different ways. The only issue with frogs is losing fish and not being able to set the hook (poor hook up ratio). An alternative would be a square billed crankbait. These also float, can be walked, jerked, popped, and hopped. They can also dive and wiggle underwater. This gives you a little more versatility and because they have dual treble hooks, hook up ratios are higher. Fish will sometimes come up and bump a topwater before actually eating it. Make sure you don’t set the hook unless you see your topwater disappear and not just see a big splash.
There are so many things that can be moved along the bottom that the possibilities are endless. Soft plastics can do that, a jig, a swim bait, a spinner, a tube, and almost anything. A lipless crankbait can do this as well. It sinks quickly, can be cast a mile, and causes a huge amount of commotion on the bottom. Swim these slow, fast, twitch, pause until you figure out what the bass are biting. You can do this with spinners, jigs, swimbaits and almost anything that sinks.
You have to have some type of jig in your arsenal. They are the most versatile baits available. They can be dragged across the bottom, hopped up and down, swimmed above weeds, flipped into grass, skipped under docks, and just about anything else you can imagine. You can add soft plastic twister tail grubs, straight worms, chunks, swimbaits, or just about anything. They can do it all. Tubes can be used similarly.
You need either an inline spinnerbait or a standard paperclip spinner bait. These are just as versatile as jigs and can be used to do everything that a jig can do. They displace a lot of water and send vibrations all throughout the water, hence will attract fish from all over.
These are your hard plastics; crankbaits, jerkbaits, lipless cranks, and others. These can run shallow, dive deep, suspend at a certain level, or scoot across the bottom. You should have at least one of each.
These are soft or hard plastic fish that have a lifelike swimming action. Some have paddle tails that wiggle, some have jointed bodies, some have a small fin in the back, but they all mimic injured or helpless baitfish swimming in an area that they shouldn’t be in.
You should budget about $30-50 dollars to buy at least one of each of these categories. This will give you the most versatility in being able to present lures in multiple different ways.