11 Best Freshwater Fishing Lures

Heddon Zara Spook
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These freshwater lures are sure to put fish in your boat on any lake, stream, or pond:

Curly tail grubs
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Curlytail Grub 

The soft plastic curlytail grub has been around since the birth of soft plastics. From 1” to 5” or more, these baits can be used to catch everything from trout to pike. The combination of a fat body and tantalizing tail-wiggle make them irresistible. Swim them through the middle of the water column or bounce the bottom on a jig. Whatever you decide, it’s sure to catch some fish.

Kastmaster spoon


With a tight wobble, the Kastmaster is one of the most recognizable spoons. These lures are capable of catching a variety of fish in many different conditions. Trolling and casting for trout in ponds and lakes is one of the most common. Bass anglers have been using them for years, as well. The Kastmaster is a great lure for bass who are staged on a school of shad.

Scumfrog Pro Series with rattle

Scum Frog

Every bass angler has or has had one. The original scum frog embodies what largemouth fishing is all about: casting into the thickest weed mats and waiting for that explosion to come out from the pads. There are a number of topwater frog options on the market today, but it’s hard to look past the tried-and-true scum frog.

Panther Martin lure

Panther Martin 

Something about a Panther Martin makes trout go nuts. This lure is sure to catch you a trout on your next outing. From mountain creeks to deep lakes, it has your trout-fishing needs covered. The weighted body helps keep the bait down while the blade flashes and vibrates. If you are trout fishing and can’t catch one on a Panther Martin, I’d suggest a new fishing spot.

Arbogast Hula popper

Hula Popper 

The Arbogast Hula Popper is one of the most recognizable top water plugs in any bass angler’s tackle box. From the unique chug to the dancing rubber skirt, this lure is a bass’ worst nightmare. Even when they should be feeding on top, a hula popper is a good bet to bring them out of their comfort zone and entice a strike.

DM Marabouo jig

Marabou Jig

From a time long gone, the Marabou jig is a lure that is often overlooked for newer, flashier versions. These jigs come in a large range of sizes, from 1/16 oz. for trout and panfish to 2+ oz. for muskie. The natural movement of the marabou feathers underwater is something that can’t be created by a rubber skirt. Watch the feather slowly flutter in the water’s most subtle movements. This lure is particularly deadly when fishing slow in cold conditions.

Zoom Ol' Monster

Zoom Ol’ Monster 

Big fish like big baits, right? Why not supersize your plastic worm with the 10.5 Zoom Ol’ Monster. This bait has been around for a long time and has proven to be a soft plastic that is worth a spot in your box. Largemouth have been fooled day-in and day-out by these worms. They pack plenty of action and are big enough to make a bass come to you. If you’re not sure on color, try the plum apple.

KVD Pro model tube

KVD Pro Model Tube

Synonymous with finicky smallmouth, tube baits are a staple.  Flip them, dropshot them, bounce the bottom—whatever you need to do, the tube can do it. This bait can be rigged and fished in a variety of ways and cover the deepest reaches of the water column to the shallowest. They are particularly effective when targeting those picky suspended fish.

Rapala X-Rap series

Rapala X-Rap 

In the box, it looks like many other hard stick baits, but it isn’t. The X-Rap gets its fish-catching mojo from the suspended pause. Unlike many other crankbaits that either float or sink, this lure has a neutral buoyancy. Using a jerk-and-pause retrieve, this lure in different sizes will catch anything from trout to musky.

Heddon Zara Spook

Heddon Zara Spook 

Nothing puts a smile on a bass fisherman’s face like an open-water topwater strike. The Zara Spook has been the reason for countless smiles. Meant to be worked on top in a “walk the dog” retrieve, the side-to-side motion mimics an injured fish and triggers the bass’ predatory instincts. Next time you are fishing a rocky point with no luck, make some long casts with a Zara Spook and hold on.

Gary Yamamoto Senko

Gary Yamamoto Senko 

Almost considered to be cheating by some, the simple Senko took the bass world by storm. In the package, nothing stands out of the ordinary when looking at a Senko. The salt impregnation and the subtle movement in the soft plastic while underwater is what makes this lure special. Many companies sell similar-looking worms, but none are a Senko.

Make sure you rig your Senkos right and fish are sure to eat them. Perhaps the best part about the Senko is how easy it is to fish. It can make a first-timer feel like a pro.