First off, a word about the live vs. artificial bait debate; for beginners, it’s better to use artificial fishing baits and lures because they’re not as messy. Also, synthetic lures don’t gut hook as many fish (gut hook means the fish swallows the hook entirely). And the third reason is, artificial lures let you cover more water even from the pier.
While they’re more expensive than live bait, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Note: use of these lures is called “presentation” in fishing jargon.
Jig lures are extremely popular because number one, they’re cheap, and number two, they can catch virtually every type of game fish.
Jig lures come in various colors and sizes, and you can dress them up with hair, feathers, plastic grub or other bait.
To use a jig, cast it down and wait until it reaches the bottom. When your line slacks, it means the jig has reached the bottom, and then you retrieve it by raising the rod tip, lowering it and pulling the line. Try different lifts and speeds until you find one that works.
These are simple metal lures with a curve and come in different colors and sizes.
Spoons for all types of fishing are available but they work on pretty much the same principle; they move through the water in a wobbly manner, mimicking that of on injured bait.
Some spoons are designed to be casted while others are jigged or trolled. If you’re just starting out you should use a casting spoon, as that’s the easiest.
Just like spinners, you just cast and retrieve, varying the wobbling speeds if you like. If there’s not enough action, add a split ring on the lure’s eye to attract more fish.
Soft Plastic Baits
These baits cover a wide range of lures, but mostly they’re for use in bass fishing. The most common type of plastic bait is a worm, but many others are available.
Regardless of the shape, these baits are almost always made by placing liquid plastic in mold, followed by the addition of flakes, dyes, and in some cases scent.
Presentation depends on the kind of bait you’re using.
For worm, you’ll want to use the Texas Rig, which involves the use of a bullet weight. Thread the bullet onto the line over your hook, and then insert the hook on the worm’s head.
Next you have to put the barb in the body and cast it. Let the worm fall in the bottom and jerk the rod tip a few times.
Spinners are easy to use and therefore suitable for beginners.
Different types of spinners are available but they’re basically just a spinning blade with a steel shaft.
When you drag a spinner in water, the blade spins, and the spinning produces vibration and sound that fish pick up.
To use, simply cast and retrieve, that’s all.
Plugs are made from wood or hollow plastic and look like frogs, baitfish or other fish prey. Usually fitted with 2 to 3 treble hooks, plugs can be used at just about any depth and can gurgle, wobble or rattle, depending on the design.
They are available in different sizes and include poppers, diving plugs, floating plugs, surface plugs, jerkbaits and crankbaits.
One of the best options for beginners is to use the long, thin minnow plug, about 3 to 4 inches long. Even when not moving, the plug floats, and it does a shallow dive when being retrieved.
Most of these have a split ring at the eye, but if it doesn’t, it’s easy to add one.
Cast the plug out of the water, wait until the water surface rings dissipate and slowly retrieve it.
Spinnerbait lures are made up of a wire resembling a safety pin joined to a head body. One of the most effective fishing baits and lures available today, they are usually fitted with a rubber skirt and have a metallic blade similar to those on spinners.
There are many ways to use this, but the most basic is to cast it out and retrieve moderately fast. Make sure the lure is situated between the water surface and 5 ft.
If you follow this simple guideline expect to catch plenty of fish.