The multimillion-dollar artificial lure industry is testament to the popularity and effectiveness of man-made fishing lures. These fish-attracting objects come in many forms and are constructed from many different materials, such as wood, metal, lead, hard and soft plastic, feathers, fur and yarn.
One way to categorize artificial lures is by the level at which they are fished in the water. The three basic categories are:
Surface Lures – Also known as “topwater” lures or plugs, surface lures are designed to trigger strikes at the surface of the water. These lures appeal to highly aggressive fish that tend to attack surface-swimming prey. Surface lures include any lure that is worked on the surface, including popping and wobbling plugs, propeller lures and buzzbaits.
Subsurface Lures – These are lures that float like a surface plug but swim or dive just beneath the surface on retrieve. These include shallow-running crankbaits (plugs), minnow imitations, and jerkbaits among others.
Diving Lures – Most diving lures are designed to float while at rest and dive (or descend by other means) when retrieved. These are often called “crankbaits” because they dive when the angler turns the reel crank (however, not all crankbaits are designed to dive). Depending on the speed of the retrieve and the lure’s design, some can reach bottom at depths of 15 feet or more. Most all of these lures achieve their diving performance by an extended lip at the head, either as part of the structure of the lure itself or as an added piece of metal.