Your First Five Lures
Blog by: Scott Brands , Colorado 12/26/2020
In the last blog of this series, I talked about your first fishing pole. My recommendation was a medium power fast action spinning rod, specifically the Pflueger President 7í combo with a 2500 size reel. I also recommended using monofilament for backing, a bright colored braid for your main line, and fluorocarbon for leader material. In this blog I want to focus on the first five lures you will want to purchase to go along with that set up.
Lure number one is a soft plastic stick bait like the Gary Yamamoto Yamasenko
(or senko for short) in either the four or five inch model. This bait is deadly for both smallmouth and largemouth bass and can be fished year-round. To get started with this bait I recommend wacky rigging it on a 3/0 weedless wacky hook like the Trokar Neko Weedless hook
. Take it to your local pond and cast around bushes, brushpiles, rocks, or wood to pick up a bunch of largemouth bass. This set up also works wonders for shallow smallmouth, especially in the month of June. Make sure to use leader material if you are fishing in a clear body of water. If the water is dirtier then you can get away without it and go straight braid.
Lure number two is a spinnerbait
. The spinnerbait is a great lure for beginners because it is fool-proof. For me it shines in the spring on slightly windy days when Iím in a particularly grassy area. Just cast it out and reel it back in. You get bonus points for bumping into wood or bringing it through a brush pile. Donít worry about getting it snagged too much because they have a knack for getting through just about anything. Also, once you bump that log or bring it through some weeds, get ready as that is when the fish strike! Another tip is to mix up your retrieve. Reel a few times and then pause the bite for a second. Throw in a few rod twitches here and there. These techniques are sure to get you a few extra bites along the way.
Lure number three is the chatterbait. This lure fishes very similarly to the spinnerbait and in the same conditions. However, if the fish arenít eating a spinnerbait very well, then tie on a chatterbait and see what happens. Many brands are making chatterbaits these days, but I find that Z-man still makes my favorites. If youíre willing to shell out the money then the Jackhammer
model is a great choice. If the cost is too much for you then go with the Original Chatterbait Elite
. People generally add a soft plastic bait for a trailer on a chatterbait as well. One of my favorite trailers for chatterbaits is the Swim Senko
. I like to cut them down to about 3.5 inches and match the color to that of the chatterbait I'm using. As far as colors go (and this applies for all the lures mentioned in this blog), I like green pumpkin for an all-around color, but will also pick up a white one if Iím fishing a lake with shad in it.
Lure number four is a jerkbait. This bait is a killer in Colorado and for good reason as it catches fish of all species very well. How you work this bait is the difference between getting skunked and putting a pounding on the fish. As the name implies, this lure is built to move when you jerk your rod tip. You can do aggressive twitches or light ones depending on how active the fish are. After you twitch the bait one to three times simultaneously, just let it sit there a while. You can let it sit for a second, or three, or five, or ten, or sixty. When you get bit, try to remember how long you paused it for and use that as a baseline to see if you should change your pause time. In the colder months, I generally start off working a jerkbait slower than in the hotter ones, but like I said, experiment with your aggressiveness and pause times and let the fish tell you what they want. If I were to recommend a specific jerkbait for beginners, itíd be the Smithwick Rattlin Rogue
in the clown color. That lure will catch you plenty of early spring walleye, and if you really want to put a hurting on some brown trout then tie it on in mid-October and go to town.
The final lure Iíd recommend is a crankbait. Crankbaits come in all shapes, sizes, and diving depth, but if I had to pick just one then itíd be the Storm Wiggle Wart
. This is a medium diving crankbait that can be fished in shallow water as well out to about twelve feet. Cast this lure along rip rap dams or anywhere there are rocks and reel it down until it hits the bottom. Once you feel it hit the bottom you can pause your retrieve for a split second to allow the bait to float back up before you continue on. Continue the pattern of hitting the bottom as you bring the lure back to you and you will be rewarded with some fish along the way. The crankbait is a multi-species bait, but for me it mostly gets tied on when Iím targeting smallmouth bass. This lure doesnít fish that well in grass, but if you find yourself in a situation where there is submerged grass about 10 feet below the surface then you can try reeling this bait in just above the grass, ticking the tops along the way.
So there you have it! Those are the five lures Iíd recommend to the beginning angler. Once you start catching fish on these baits, Iím sure youíll get hooked on this sport just like the rest of us. Thatís when you start really diving into the nuances of fishing, and start building the rest of your tackle collection. I hope this series of blogs helped you out. As always, if you have any questions you can add them in the comments section, or create your own forum post and hear from the Fishexplorer Community.
Anteroman, CO 12/27/2020 9:33:41 AM
Interesting blog thank you for the info. I primarily trout fish with flyrod on the South Park lakes but do enjoy spin fishing at times. My favorite rod is a one piece fast tip Fenwick 6'6" spooled with 4# braid on a 1000 size reel. Unlike most people I've fished with in Colorado I stopped using a fluoro tippet and just tie my small snap directly to the braid. For the lakes my most effective bait has been a 1/4oz. Thomas Buoyant spoon in red gold. On the rivers I fish, (Frying Pan, Arkansas, and South Platte) I've found the Vibrax minnow in various small sizes always produces, I prefer the brown trout color and this is most effective during the fall spawning run.
This lure over a ten year period with two, three day trips, each year, has produced 6-10 fish an hour on the Frying Pan. Most in the 10-15" size but the largest was 29" and est. 10#.
I'm going to try and convince AWB to show me some of his spin secrets this season.
FishHuntNow, CO 12/27/2020 2:35:41 PM
1. Kastmaster 2. Panther Martin 3. Swedish Pimple 4. Rapala Jerkbait 5. Atomic Teaser
Coyute, CO 1/4/2021 9:18:29 AM
my top five: 1. lipless crank, 2. squarebill crank, 3. t-rigged craw, 4. tube jig 5. jerkbait
spicyhombre, CO 1/4/2021 1:22:22 PM
These are all good choices. I have become a big fan of tube jigs the last few years for its versatility and ability to catch all predators. this summer I was thinking about what lure type would I choose if I could only have 1 for the rest of my life for all species fresh and salt and I landed on tube jig. That doesn't mean that I spend most of my time using them as I love variety but I feel like I could catch most fish on them in varying sizes and with a multitude of techniques at any point in the water column.
malty falcon, CO 1/4/2021 5:22:17 PM
All those lures are primarily for bass. What are the top five for trout?
green 2-1/2" tube jig
Anteroman's fave, the gold/red Thomas Buoyant
Yellow/black Mepps Aglia spinner
Green/brown marabou hair jig
Top 5 flies for trout
#18 Zebra Midge
#16 or #18 gold bead Pheasant Tail
#14 GB Gold ribbed Hare's Ear
Black Wooly Bugger with silver Bead
Toss-up betweenOrange Egg or Red San Juan Worm
Scott Brands (Skookshunter), CO 1/4/2021 7:20:50 PM
Thanks for the input everyone! In one of my earlier blogs I mentioned that I'm primarily a bass guy so eventually my fishing for beginners series would transition more towards the bass side. I obviously wouldn't recommend some of these baits for trout as a beginner lure. Although a jerkbait would make my top 5 list for trout along with a tube jig, kastmaster, panther martin, and I'd probably throw powerbait or worms in there for the bait dunkers.
chodeman, CO 1/4/2021 9:40:25 PM
Summer: 1-Lindy Rig 2-1/4oz jig with Gulp minnow 3-Shad Rap 4-HuskyJerk 5-Tasmanian Devil
Winter: 1 Ratso (white/pink) 2-Dynamic Spoon 3-Crappie Sausage 4-4" Tube Jig 5-Jigging Rap
RickFish, CO 1/9/2021 4:57:07 PM
KastMaster gold, Mepps (red/white), Thomas Bouyant silver/red.
Panther Martin (black/gold), Rapala jointed shad-rap chart/white.