Fishing Baits, Lures, and Flies

For a day of fishing out on the lake, river, or stream, you will want a tackle box full of options. Tailoring your fishing baits, lures, and flies to the fish you want to catch will help increase your success. Diversify your tackle with rigs like spoons, crankbaits, jigs, and an assortment of flies.

What is the difference between natural and artificial bait?

There are two major types of fishing bait: artificial and natural. Characteristics of each type are:

  • Artificial
    • Lures - Long lasting and low maintenance, lures attract fish by moving and looking like their favourite food.
    • Flies - Floating on the surface or just below, flies mimic insects and are great for fishing in moving water.
  • Natural
    • Live bait - Check your local regulations to make sure what you choose is legal in your area.
    • Insects - Choose what your target fish eats.
    • Saltwater - Crab, squid, eel, and chopped fish raise your chance of hooking a trophy.
How do you choose fishing lures?

Fishing lures are one type of artificial bait. They attract by moving or looking like a fish's favourite food. To choose the right lure, you will want to consider where you are fishing and what you are looking to catch.

  • Plastic worms - These rigs attract bottom feeders by slowly wiggling as you draw in the line.
  • Jigs - Weighted fishing hooks, some resembling fish food, jigs are meant to be dragged along the bottom.
  • Crankbaits and plugs - These multi-hook lures resemble minnows or frogs and are drawn in near the surface of the water.
  • Spoons - Like crankbaits, spoons resemble small fish, but are available in many weights to attract fish at different heights in the water.
  • Spinners - This bait get its name from how it spins as water flows past. Spinners flicker in the light like bait fish to attract bigger carnivores.
Which type of fish will your fishing fly attract?

Having the right assortment of flies in your tackle box will increase your success. Some common types of flies and their uses are:

  • Adams - A standard rig for trout and bass fishing.
  • Dave's hopper - This fishing fly attracts trout, especially in shallow water, because it looks like a grasshopper.
  • Black midge - Bass are drawn to this bait.
  • Hare's ear - Resembling a mayfly, this nymph fly works in small streams.
  • Wooly worm - This is a chameleon bait, attractive to many in small streams and lakes.
  • Salmon flies - While they don't resemble anything in particular, this tackle catches salmon by stimulating their aggression.