Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best lures for surf fishing to jig around with this year. This is a timely post for me as we are heading into the winter fishing season here meaning a lot of our time is spent throwing silver bits of metal into the surf chasing Tailor, Salmon and even the odd Trevally. It also means I get to do my yearly shop to purchase my lures.
Now, before we get started, lures are definitely a personal choice and there are also obvious influences on the types that you should be purchasing as we will run through below. What I have tried to do here then is to give you an outline of the types of lures that may best suit a number of targets and/or environments rather than a specific species (which I will break down in future posts for sure).
So grab your rod and let’s see if we can find some decent lures to stick on the end of them…
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:
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What are surf 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.
The old live bait vs lure debate will go on until the end of time. Lures are definitely a personal preference with some using them exclusively whilst others prefer good old smelly natural baits such as pilchards, 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 – I don’t know what it is, but it is just the way I feel.
Types of lures
As a base though, when it comes to fishing lures for the surf, there are a few main types to choose from:
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 favourite and there is not much that I have not seen caught on these.
Jigging lures (we call them ‘soft plastics’) comprise of a lead ‘sinker’ as the head with a hook attached. From there a ‘plastic’ body is attached to mimic pretty much any type of bait that you can think of from 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.
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.
Straight metal lures
Another common type of lure is sort of mixture between a Spoon and a Plug in that it is generally a long straight metal lure with one or more hook sets (at back and bottom) that is painted to look like a live bait. In general, they are designed to either dive (called poppers) or twist as the line is retrieved in order to look like it is injured.
What should you be looking for?
Now, this is where the fun starts. I started to list above the types of fish that each lure is best ‘suited’ for but to be honest, after listing the same fish over and over again, I gave up. That 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 spoon lures – they are easy to use, come in a good number of weight measurements 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, spoon and straight metal lures work a treat in the surf for the species (Tailor and Salmon) we chase although I have seen them take soft plastics as well. And I have caught Bream and Flathead on both poppers and soft plastics 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 will float better than their heavier counterparts.
Again, do your research into the environment that you are fishing in. If the beach you are on has strong currents, then heaver lures may be needed just to keep it in the water in front of you as well.
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 surf fishing rod. In some cases, these 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 the surf, just make sure they are rated for saltwater. 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
- 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
- Better for those who like to catch and release as it is much harder for fish to swallow the hook with a lure.
- You generally can’t throw in and leave the rod on a holder with a lure
- Lures can be harder to master – meaning not great for beginners
- Lures can be expensive – especially if the hooks go blunt or rust
- Lures are more prone to snags than general hooks
What are the best lures for surf fishing?
This one, as with the use of lures for any type of fishing, is really about personal preference. Personally however, I have found that spoons and soft plastics/jigs work the best in surf as they mimic the fast moving bait fish that are found there. Poppers will also work if you are casting out past the breakers to chase surface feeders too.
How do you rig lures for surf fishing?
When using lures in the surf, I personally tie them directly to the end of my line without the use of a swivel or sinker (most lures are weighted). If using braid, then I strongly recommend connecting a mono or flouro leader first then attaching your sure to the leader.
What do I use?
Look, as I have mentioned above, I love my spoon lures. They are easy to cast and clean and last a good amount of time. If a heavier lure is needed, I also have some straight metal options as well which work well for Tailor. My ‘go tos’ in the surf here are pictured below:
I am not a real fan of the jerkbait lures myself, mainly as I cannot seem to use them properly. That said, one of my fishing buddies uses a daiwa double clutch lure in the surf and cleans up! He also uses soft plastics effectively there too.
Wow, that was no help at all was it… hahaha.
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 options:
1. Jigging Fishing Lure Kit
The first option I have chosen is a great little kit for those who want to play with soft plastic jigging lures in the surf. It comes with a number of weighted head pieces and soft plastic swimbaits designed to attract a number of fish species including bass, trout, Flathead, bream, whiting and even catfish. Specifications as follows:
- Size: 3/16oz, 1/4oz and 3/8oz jig heads
- Hook: Single hook
- Composition: Lead jig head, stainless steel hook and plastic swim bait
- Replaceable hook: Only when jig head replaced
- Contains 7 x Paddle Tail Swimbaits. 8 x Soft Jerkbaits, 10 x Curved Tail Grubs, 6 x Craw Baits
- Several tested and proven colors
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 surf fishing environments.
2. Acme Kastmaster Spoon Lure
This next one is the same type as I use for surf fishing and a great option for those looking to get themselves a decent fishing lure that is easy to cast and use for a decent price. It is obviously very straight forward and simple but I love them and they just work on a large range of fish species. Specifications as follows:
- Size: 3/4oz – 10-15lb
- Hook: Single treble hook at back
- Composition: Brass
- Replaceable hook: Yes
- Machined from solid brass
- Available in a number of colours
Why have I chosen it?
I like this one purely for its ease of use and multiple colour options. It will fit most surf fishing rods and suitable for medium-heavy spinning, baitcasting 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 ‘throw’.
3. Daiwa DC95SP37 Td Double Clutch Jerkbait
And finally, I am a member of numerous fishing FaceBookgroups and have found that hands down, the Diawa Double Clutch plug 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 the surf 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
- 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 it is simple to cast (much like a straight metal lure) and will track nice and straight making it good for beginners and experienced fisherman alike with deep diving to assist in strong currents.
And there they are – my 3 best lures for surf fishing to jig around with 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