The perfect bait does not exist. However, these 7 lures are sure to get you a hook up in any saltwater environment anywhere on the globe.
1. Paddletail Soft Plastic
The paddletail soft plastic is undoubtedly the most versatile of all lures saltwater fishing. These lures can draw strikes from pretty much all predator fish that eat smaller baitfish.
And their soft tail that generates great motion when retrieved through the water enables this lure to get strikes even with a straight retrieve.
But the reason why it ranks in the top spot is because these lures can effectively cover so many different depth levels…
When rigged on a jig head as shown in the picture above, this lure can cover water in as shallow as just 10 inches with a tip-up fast retrieve, but the next cast can target depths of 5+ feet by putting the rod tip down and slowing down the retrieve.
There are many manufacturers of paddletail lures, so you have a ton to choose from.
Our personal favorite is Zman because their unique ElaZtech material has been the best at holding up to a TON of punishment even from the toothiest of saltwater predators.
2. Gold Spoon
The gold spoon is a staple in more inshore saltwater fisherman’s tackle boxes across the globe than any other fishing lure.
As you probably know, the “spoon” now comes in all sorts of shapes, colors (like the second most popular spoon, the Silver Spoon), weedless spoons, single hook spoons, treble hook spoons, etc.
And although there is no one spoon that will always work better than all spoons, it’s tough to wrong with the traditional gold spoon that has been known to attract hits from countless types of saltwater species.
3. Berkley Gulp Shrimp
There aren’t many saltwater game fish that won’t eat a shrimp…
And the best overall artificial shrimp that we have ever used is the Berkley Gulp Alive Shrimp.
You can use these shrimp in just about any situation from fishing the grass flats to jigging in deeper water.
Now these “Gulp! Alive!” shrimp come in a bunch of different colors, but the best two that we have found for consistent bites among most saltwater fish are the white shrimp and the “New Penny” color (below)
I personally order these Gulp Shrimp buckets from Amazon as they seem to be some of the best prices online.
4. White Bucktail
These days, bucktail jigs come in all kinds of crazy colors and crazy flairs!
But I recall the days of fishing down in Marco Island as a kid where all we needed for a fun afternoon of fishing was a Millies White Bucktail…
We would catch snook, redfish, speckled trout, and even tarpon all using the exact same white bucktail…
The great news is that these white bucktails still work like magic today.
Another option with these white bucktails is to add some flair (like the “Silver Flashabou” found in this bucktail video), or you can add a plastic tail that trails off the hook.
In regards to getting your hands on the best bucktail deal, you have two options:
5. Topwater Lure / Popper
It doesn’t get much better than a fish attacking a topwater lure…
And although there is what now seems like an endless amount of topwater lures to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the original Zara Spook topwater plug by Heddon.
We recommend either their 4.5 – 5 inch Spook topwater lure, and if you had to only pick one color, the Bone (white) is always a safe bet.
The other topwater lure that is tough to ignore (but pretty expensive) is the Yo-Zuri Sashimi Metallic Sardine Popper that can catch big game fish pretty much anywhere in the world.
These poppers are always a blast to fish with.
6. Soft Plastic Fluke (Jerkbait)
Freshwater, Saltwater, Brackishwater… the Fluke can attract a fish strike almost anywhere!
In fact, the fluke is probably one of the best overall artificial lures for both freshwater and saltwater fishing (and the company Zoom Bait does make them for both freshwater and saltwater anglers).
You can fish these flukes weedless, you can fish them close to the top, or even put a weighted hook on and fish them a bit lower. They are incredibly versatile lures.
Just a warning, Zoom has these Super Flukes is just about every color imaginable (over 25 of them), but you can’t go wrong with any of the “Watermelon” colors or the “White Pearl”.
7. MirrOLure Suspending Twitchbait
If I were only able to bring one twitchbait with me, it would be this MirrOLure suspending twitchbait.
These twitchbaits are ideal to have because they are designed to mimic a glass minnow which is one of the most favorite natural baitfish for cruising coastal predator game fish.
These twitchbaits are very versatile as you can fish them many different ways and in a variety of water depths.
And just like all of the essential saltwater fishing lures on this list, these MirrOLures come in a vast variety of shapes and colors.
All credit for this awesome article goes to Salt Strong. https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/7-essential-saltwater-fishing-lures/