Fish Explorer Logo
Texas Fishing
Texas Fishing  
Login Usr:Psd:
No account? Register now...
spacer spacer
Scott Brands
View bio
Other recent blogs by Scott:
Should You Add Scent To Lures?
4/30/2024 11:29:00 AM
CKFC Boyd Lake Tournament Recap
4/22/2024 12:46:00 PM
New School Meets Old School
4/17/2024 11:39:00 AM
View more...

Your First Five Lures

Blog by: Scott Brands , CO 12/26/2020
Part of Series: Fishing for Beginners
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. 

Blog content © Scott Brands
Blog Comments
Anteroman, 12/27/2020 11:33:41 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. Bill
FishHuntNow, 12/27/2020 4:35:41 PM
1. Kastmaster 2. Panther Martin 3. Swedish Pimple 4. Rapala Jerkbait 5. Atomic Teaser
Coyute, 1/4/2021 11:18:29 AM
my top five: 1. lipless crank, 2. squarebill crank, 3. t-rigged craw, 4. tube jig 5. jerkbait
spicyhombre, 1/4/2021 3:22:22 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, 1/4/2021 7:22:17 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 Silver Kastmaster 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), 1/4/2021 9:20:50 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, 1/4/2021 11:40:25 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, 1/9/2021 6:57:07 PM
KastMaster gold, Mepps (red/white), Thomas Bouyant silver/red. Panther Martin (black/gold), Rapala jointed shad-rap chart/white.

Other Blogs in the Fishing for Beginners Series

Let's argue over how size matters by B. Prater 10.02.22
You really can learn useful stuff watching those televised bass fishing tournaments. What I have learned is, those Southern boys and girls mostly throw baits five times larger than needed here in Colorado, and try to convince us we need that stuff too.
Getting ready for spring: time to study Google Earth by B. Prater 02.09.22
It appears Google Earth has updated its satellite photos of northern Colorado. Looks like most of the composite photos were taken on clear days in June 2021, giving us an updated tool to study fishing holes from a unique perspective high overhead.
Wacky Rigging by S. Brands 10.06.21
One of the best techniques for a beginning angler to learn is wacky rigging. Over the years I have learned a few tips and tricks when it comes to fishing a wacky rig, and Iíd like to share some of those things with you today.
Let's argue: Does size matter? by B. Prater 08.20.21
One of the many great things about ultralight gear is, it doesn't matter whether your intended catch is a Master Angler class whopper or a small over-achiever.
When (and if ) you should lie about fishing by B. Prater 06.13.21
The trouble with writing an occasional fish story is, most readers wonít even agree on what kind of fish to catch, much less what to do with it afterward. (Eat that carp? or Let It Live to Bite Another Day?