Every angler has their personal favorite lures, and these top five fishing lures of all time probably rank high in their lists. Whether you enjoy trolling from your Crestliner fishing boat, casting to the shorelines at dawn, or jigging until your arms grow tired, each of these top picks should find a home in your tacklebox.
Curly tail soft plastics like Mister Twister
Back in 1972, Mister Twister changed the way anglers think about soft plastic lures with their original Curly Tail. There are countless curl-style lures out there today, and there’s a reason so many are on the market: these things catch fish, period. Even when retrieved at uber-slow speeds, they provide an enticing action, and they make excellent trailers for chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and other offerings.
Jigging spoons like Hopkins Shorty
When you need to get deep in a hurry, nothing fits the bill like a solid metal jigging spoon. Some can also be trolled effectively, and they can be cast and retrieved as well. Metal jigging spoons also have a unique ace up their sleeve: when fish are chasing bait fast and furiously on the surface, you can cast one of these a country mile then rip it back at top speed without the lure jumping out of the water.
Lipped plugs like Rapala Shad Rap
Lipped plugs have an inherent swimming action that triggers strikes. What’s more, with a proper selection of floaters, neutrally buoyant options, and sinking models, you can use lipped plugs to work virtually any portion of the water column. They can be either trolled or cast and retrieved, and just about any predator will try to make a meal out of them.
Inline spinners like Mepps Aglia
Invented in 1938 and at one time selling better than any other single lure in North America, the Mepps inline spinner is famous for its combination of flash and vibration. These days, there are plenty of spinners from multiple manufacturers to choose from, and these lures are effective on fish of all species in different types of waterways ranging from flowing rivers to open bays.
Wobbling Spoons like Johnson’s Silver Minnow
There’s a world of difference between jigging spoons and wobbling spoons, and when you need a tempting side-to-side swimming motion at varying speeds, these spoons fit the bill. Many are available in a weedless version, and all can be either trolled or cast.
We anglers aren’t shy about loading up with lots of fishing gear, and if you haven’t experimented with these you’re missing out. More importantly, you’re probably missing some strikes that you could have gotten if one of these top five picks had been tied to the end of your line.