Top 10 Saltwater Fishing Lures – Best of All Time

There are endless types of saltwater fishing lures on the market today but what is the best?

You would think that with all these options the perfect lure would have been created, but the truth is, the perfect lure doesn’t exist.

Truly great saltwater anglers know you need a wide selection of lures because so many factors are at play when fishing. Water temperature and clarity, the size and species of the fish and the color and size of the lure all affect how well your lure will perform. Read on to see the best 10 saltwater fishing lures of all time that get great reviews from experienced anglers.

Crank Bait Saltwater Fishing Lures

The crank bait originated in the bass fishing world but is becoming commonly used for other saltwater fish. These types of baits rely on their bright colors and a lifelike fish swimming movement to attract other fish. With a steel ball inside the bait rattles to attract and are often chosen in off-color water. This saltwater fishing lure is both simple to use and effective.

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Hammered Spoon Saltwater Fishing Lures

The hammered spoon lure is effective like a traditional casting spoon, but with the ability to work in deeper water. These lures have a hammered finish for extra eye-catching reflection in the water. Hammered spoons are used for jigging, casting or trolling in several different types of species.

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The Bucktail Jig Lure

saltwater fishing lures in the bucktail jig category

The bucktail jig remains a hugely popular lure no matter what type of water you are fishing. This type of lure can work in both shallow and deep water and is a must in your collection of lures for all occasions. Depending on what size you choose you can catch striped bass, yellowtail, snook and more with a bucktail jig.

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Lipped Plug Lure

The lipped plug has two options for the retrieve, allowing this type of bait to mimic a wounded baitfish or like forage trying to get away. With these two options you can attract fish with either erratic swimming action or the steady swimming action that attracts other predators. These types of saltwater fishing lures are built to bring in the biggest of saltwater giants so if you aim to catch something big make sure you have a lipped plug in your bait box.

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Flutter Jigs Fishing Lures

flutter jigs saltwater fishing lures

All over the world and in all depths of water a flutter jig can bring in the fish. Designed to draw in fish with the jigs vertical walk-the-dog action, a flutter jig works great when angle-vertical jigging from a drifting boat. The rear/center weight balance lets the flat side jigs fall to the bottom quickly with a gentle swinging motion that especially appeals to bottom species whether on the fall or the retrieve.
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Top Water Jerk Bait Lures

A top water jerk bait allows for walk-the-dog action on the surface of the water, building up to that exciting moment when a big aggressive fish explodes out of the water to get it. With a single tungsten rattler to draw attention it will take a little bit of practice to use this lure but the results are well worth it.

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Saltwater Fishing Spoon Lures

Spoons are a versatile bait coming in a variety of colors and styles. They provide plenty of flash, an important element that can encourage fish to bite. Most spoons can cast long distances and can also be used when trolling. The wiggling and wobbling action is especially popular with pike and walleye and bass.

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Soft Plastic Fishing Lures

This type of saltwater fishing lure is as varied as the name suggests. These artificial lures can be found in numberless styles mimicking every type of forage fish or crustacean in the ocean. The plastic provides supple body and natural action and can be rigged as shrimp, eels, finish, worms, grubs or simple attractors.

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poppers saltwater fishing lures

Poppers are a saltwater fishing lure that creates tremendous surface disturbance that can pull in bass and stripers from long distances. When retrieved erratically, the sound of a popper draws lots of attention, making it appear to be an easy meal. This type of topwater bait can also come with light attracting glitter strands for flash and has been regaled in fishing magazines for its great success in luring in bass.

Sinking Twitch Baits

saltwater fishing lures

If you’re after a fish that isn’t biting surface baits, a slow sinking twitch bait is the saltwater fishing lure for you. Their life-like appearance and built-in flash make them a great lure for fishing along beaches, deep grass flats or channels. Sinking at a rate of a foot per second, anglers can give a slight twitch to the rod to mimic an injured bait fish.

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More Tips on Selecting the Right Lure

  • Match your lure to the water color. It sounds counterintuitive to put a green lure in green water but this tip usually holds true. This is a good starting point when you have several colors or patterns to choose from.
  • Choose lures that vibrate if you’re in murky water. Vibrations will help the fish hone on your lure before they can even see it.
  • Avoid the rattling lures in clear water. If a fish can clearly see the lure sometimes the rattles seem to spook them.
  • When trolling choose a lure that moves on it’s own,  like a crank bait.
  • Choose lures that have contrast on their finish. Fish often have contrast on their scales so they are used to seeing it on their prey.
  • Larger lures work best in cold water.
  • Choose heavy lures for windy conditions
  • Don’t assume the flashiest lure will work the best. The action of the lure and the quality of construction comes first.
  • If you’re fishing for a certain type of fish, know the common prey of that fish and choose a lure that mimics that fish’s size.
  • A good general rule is use slow-moving bait in cold water and fast moving bait in warmer water.

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