3 Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best fishing lures for the kayak this year. Now I have to admit to being a traditional bait user for most of my fishing life however in recent times, after getting out there a bit with a friend of mine who uses nothing else, I have been experimenting with lures on the kayak – admittedly to varying degrees of success.

Some days the lures remains untouched whilst the fresh local bait I use has cleaned up. The next it is lure city for the fish with none touching the bait. So anyway, after a bit of playing around, and some research, I have managed to come up with 3 lure types that have worked well for me on the old ‘yak. Let’s check them out…

My 3 recommended lures for surf fishing

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:

 Surf Fishing LurePriceGet it
Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - berkley gulpBerkley Gulp Saltwater Fishing Soft Bait Lures$CURRENT PRICE
Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - diawa double clutchDaiwa Double Clutch Jerkbait Lure$$CURRENT PRICE
Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - truscend swimbaitTRUSCEND Multi Jointed Swimbait Lures$$CURRENT PRICE

What are kayak fishing lures?

Perhaps the easiest way I can think of to describe a fishing lure is as ‘fake bait’. They can be made from a number materials such as metal, plastic, fiberglass or even wood and are designed to look (and often behave) like natural baits that fish would generally take.

As mentioned above, lures are definitely a personal preference with some using them exclusively whilst others prefer good old smelly natural baits such as squid, prawns or sea worms etc. I personally like to use both and have to admit that there is a certain satisfaction that is derived from landing a big catch on a lure.

In a kayak however I have also found them to be a little more effective if I am looking to just drift down the river with a few lines jigging along behind me. Bait falls off if it bounces along the bottom too much so for me, lures are a distinct advantage here as well.

Types of lures

As a base, when it comes to fishing lures for the kayak there are a few main types to choose from:

Soft Plastics

Soft Plastics comprise of a plastic looking body which is attached to a lead ‘sinker’ (known as a jig head) with a hook attached to mimic bait. The advantage here is that these can be made to look like any type of fish attractant that you can think of such as bait fish, prawns, worms, crustaceans, crabs and even frogs. The lure is then cast and slowly retrieved in a jigging motion (hence the name) to attract fish to it. Some plastics are even coated with a smelly ‘liquid’ to enhance fish attraction.

To be honest, there are not many species that will not take a soft plastic and I love these for drifting as well.

Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - soft plastics


I have always known these as Jerkbaits however most of my research calls them plug lures so I guess that is what they are called. Anyway, these are long slender bait fish looking lures usually with a plastic flap at the front that looks a little like a duck bill. Their design is that they tend to float around the surface and then once the line is retrieved, will dive down to the bottom (via the duck bill) twitching and jigging around along the way.

When retrieving the line with these you can usually feel a vibration in the line as well which is also a fish attractant design. They are great in a kayak as you don’t generally need to cast to far meaning even the lightest options will work well. I also use these for drifting although I will say that for this purpose, they do tend to snag a little more.

Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - jerkbait lures


Whist technically all of lures above can be classified as swimbaits, I am using the name here to describe the options that are made to specifically look like a fish that is swimming. They are often made of fiberglass or plastic and separated into two or more pieces so that they ‘swim’ around like a fish would when retrieved.

These are particularly popular if you are fishing in fresh water for such species as Bass or Cod however they can be just as effective in saltwater as well.

Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - swimbait lures


These are fairly straight forward lures made of a shiny metal usually with a reflective tape down the side and a three-pronged hook at the back. I had always known them as ‘spinners’ and they work in a fast cast and retrieve option designed to mimic fast moving bait fish.

These are my absolute favourite as a surf lure however they are not as effective (I think) in a kayak. That said, there is not much that I have not seen caught on these and they troll very well in faster currents.

lures for surf fishing - spoon

What should you be looking for?

Now, this is where the fun starts. This is because many of the these lures will work on many different types of fish. So, in my humble opinion, it comes down to personal preference. I personally love the soft plastics on a kayak – they are easy to use, can have their weight adjusted quickly by changing the jig head and I have caught a large number of species on them.

Regardless, as you look to purchase your own lures, below are some things that you may want to consider:

Type of fish – Where I fish, soft plastic and jerkbait lures work a treat when drifting with lines out on a kayak as well as in a cast and retrieve situation. We do sometimes however spot surface fish in the estuary so we will chase them with spoon lures too.

That said, as it is with bait, some work better on some fish than others. So in order to give yourself the best chance of a catch, I would do some research to find the best lures for the type of fish predominately found in the location that you are working in.

Weight requirements – Each of the lure types above are available in a number of different weights. Lure weights are important for a number of reasons including:

  • Heavier weights can be cast a little further.
  • Heavier weights will anchor and drag on the bottom more effectively.
  • Lighter weights are easier to jig and ‘flick’ around.
  • Lighter jerkbait lures will float better than their heavier counterparts.

Again, do your research into the environment that you are fishing in. If you are working in shallower waters (a distinct advantage of kayak fishing) then a light weighted lure will work very well. Heaver lures may be needed in deeper areas however they will ‘catch’ on the bottom a lot more often if you are drifting.

If I am planning to cast and retrieve then I usually purchase the same lure in a couple of different weight sizes and will go to a heaver option if I am not able to reach where the fish are on casting.

Rod specifications – The next consideration (and a very important one) is to ensure that any lure you use fits within the specification details of your kayak fishing rod. In some cases, rod specs include a lure or tackle weight which is the highest designated weight that the rod can handle.

In most cases however, you are going to be looking at this from the power rating of the rod. In simple language, I have always known the power rating as a measure of how ‘bendy’ it is. Light power rods bend with little force and heavy need a lot of pressure to bend. So, in short:

  • Light – very bendy – even whippy – will bend a lot with even the smallest fish. Use these for light jiggy lures only.
  • Medium – needs a bit more pressure to bend – In general, this is a good measure for all round use with light to medium weighted lures.
  • Heavy – takes a lot to make it bend – I would recommend these for areas where the current is quite strong or you want to use particularly heavy lures etc.

The other aspect of this is Action. The action of a rod determines where the rod bends. Slow rods bend down near the handle and fast rods near the tip. Regardless of the power rating above, faster rods tend to cast a lot further than slower ones so if long casting with a heavy lure is needed, then you will need a medium/heavy rod with a fast action.

Saltwater rating – And finally, if you are using your lures in saltwater, just make sure they are rated for it. If not, they will potentially corrode a lot faster than they should – you still need to rinse all lures off after use of course.


  • You can generally cast a lure further than bait
  • Better for drifting and trolling than bait (simply because bait can fall off)
  • Lures can be swapped more easily if one type is not working
  • Cleaner than bait
  • You do not need to get new bait every time you fish

Lures are also supposedly better for those who like to catch and release as it is much harder for fish to swallow the hook with a lure.


  • Lures can be harder to master
  • Lures can be expensive (initial purchase only) – especially if the hooks go blunt or rust
  • Lures are more prone to snags than general hooks


Can you trawl from a kayak?

Absolutely you can! Obviously you are not going to get the speed up that you would on a boat unless you have a trolling motor however a good bibbed jerkbait or plug will work really well at a good paddle speed. I personally go for something a little heavier as it will sink a little better at that speed than a light surface lure. You can also try a popper if you have a peddle kayak as well.

What is the best rod for trolling on a kayak?

For me, anything around the 6 – 7ft medium-light to medium spinning rod is perfect for trolling of jigging from a kayak. The medium power will give allow the lure to jump a little at the slower speed without it flying out of the water and the length gives you a little more to play with as well. It is also manageable in a small area.

What do I use?

Look, as I have mentioned above, I love my soft plastic lures on a kayak. They are easy to cast and drift with and last a good amount of time. I do have a couple of jerkbait options as well (I like the Diawa double clutch) and if a heavier lure is needed, I also carry some metal spoon options as well which work well for surface fish – although on a kayak I don’t use these lures often. My ‘go tos’ in the kayak are pictured below:

Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - my lures

My three recommendations broken down

There are literally hundreds of fishing lures available online so I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you options taking into consideration the information above. Based on this, I recommend the following:

1. Berkley Gulp Saltwater Fishing Soft Bait

The first option I have chosen is one that I use and great for those who want to play with soft plastic jigging lures in the kayak. They are available in numerous shapes and sizes (I prefer the ribbon tail options) designed to attract a number of fish species including bass, trout, flathead, bream, whiting and even catfish. Specifications as follows:

  • Size: 0.3 – 0.7 inches
  • Hook: Not included
  • Composition: Plastic swim bait
  • Replaceable hook: Only when jig head replaced

Other inclusions:

  • Soaked in the powerful attractant to catch more fishSeveral tested and proven colours and designs

Why have I chosen it?

This is a great option for those looking to get started with soft plastics containing some versatile options for most conditions and needs in most kayak fishing environments. The only issue here is that the packs do not include jig heads or weighted swimbait hooks. I have however included a link for those below as well…

2. Daiwa DC95SP37 Td Double Clutch Jerkbait

I am a member of numerous fishing FaceBookgroups and have found that hands down, the Diawa Double Clutch jerkbait lures are the most popular lure of choice. They work well in most environments and based on the photos in the groups, attract and catch just about every species found in saltwater environments in both Australia and the U.S. Specifications as follows:

  • Size: 3.21oz – fish weight limits not stated
  • Hook: 2 x treble hooks on bottom and one at back
  • Composition: Tungsten
  • Replaceable hook: Yes

Other inclusions:

  • Unique bib design and slender profile for straight and deep tracking
  • Available in 29 colours

Why have I chosen it?

Again, as above, this one is by far the most popular lure on any fishing page that I have seen. From a fishing point of view however, have personally found it simple to cast and will track nice and straight making it good for beginners and experienced fisherman alike with deep diving to assist in strong currents. Just be aware of the hooks on these – man they are sharp!

3. TRUSCEND Multi Jointed Swimbait Lures

This third one is an example of the multi piece swimbaits as outlined above. Used mainly in freshwater, it will work in saltwater as well across a large spectrum of species such as Bass, Muskellunge, Salmon, Trout, Yellow Perch, Common Snook, Northern Pike, Walleye. And again as with others above, they are available in a large range of options including fresh and saltwater baitfish species as well as ducks and even mice. Specifications as follows:

  • Size: 2.52 – 5.5″
  • Hook: Treble hook – single or double dependent upon species
  • Composition: High-quality ABS material
  • Replaceable hook: Yes

Other inclusions:

  • Equipped with built-in rattle
  • Built with 3D realistic eyes

Why have I chosen it?

I like this one purely for its multiple colour options and versatility across species. It will fit most larger kayak fishing rods and suitable for medium-heavy cast and retrieve or trolling in fresh or salt water. You could do a lot worse than this option if you are a beginner or new to lures although they are just as suitable for experienced fisherman you just want to go down for a quick paddle and throw.


And there they are – my 3 best fishing lures for the kayak this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


3 Best Fishing Lures For The Kayak - Pinterest

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.