Surf fishing is a challenging (but rewarding!) style of angling that requires a specific set of gear for success. Whether you’re planning on casting lines from a craggy beach filled with rocks or from a pier dock, surf fishing lures should be on your mind.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of surf fishing lures and some potential picks for your next excursion.
Best Surf Fishing Lures Comparison Chart
Acme Kastmaster Lure
KIKITOY Saltwater Fishing Lures Inshore Large Hard Bait Minnow Lure
Bomber Saltwater Grade Badonk-A-Donk High Pitch
Alwonder Bucktail Jig Saltwater Freshwater Fishing Baits Fluke Lure
YZD Saltwater Pencil Popper Lure
How to Choose Surf Fishing Lures
Know how to use, but not how to choose? Here is how:
With little exception, surf fishing is mainly done in saltwater. For this reason, it’s vital that your lures can withstand the corrosive nature of seawater. Many lures will claim that they are functional for all water use, but to be safe, it’s a good idea to shop for a lure that is made specifically for ocean fishing. This will help you avoid a product that breaks down over a relatively short period of time.
Because surf fishing is generally done from the shore or a pier, it’s important to keep a lure’s action in mind. You’ll be the driving force in the movement of the lure, rather than with the help of a trolling motor. Try to match the action of your lure to the species of fish you’d like to catch. For example: panfish are selective about lure action; they’re more likely to bite a fast-moving or quivering lure.
There are so many choices when it comes to lure color. While there is some debate in what pallets are the most effective, for a clear, sunny day on the ocean, go for a lighter color. For clear water, try to match the color of your potential catch.
Quick Take - The Best Surf Fishing Lures
These are our recommendations for the best surf fishing lures:
Review of the Best Surf Fishing Lures
Keeping the previous section in mind, we’ve put together a list of five top-of-the-line products that will contribute to the success of your surf fishing experience.
In the world of lures, Acme is a well-known and loved name among many anglers. They’re known for offering an extensive, versatile selection of lures that can be used in a variety of angling styles.
The Kastmaster lure is one of the most popular among the lines associated with Acme. They come in many different colors and a couple different styles, each specific to the species of fish you may be after. Acme says that the Kastmaster balances on the fine line between producing “wild lure action” and crossing into a line twist.
The aerodynamic design was created with long casting distances in mind, as they can travel far and fast with ease. Each lure is created with a durable solid brass material, made to resist corrosion in saltwater, as well as being break and bend-resistant.
The sizing ranges from a 1/32 oz, great for panfish, trout, shad, and ice fishing, all the way to a 4 oz size, which is suitable striped bass, lake trout, pike, jacks, and muskie.
Acme’s Kastmaster line of lures is an old faithful of many anglers’ tackle boxes. They are proven to perform well in a variety of circumstances, which makes them an easy recommendation. Structurally, they’re created with durable material which will provide reliable use for years to come. Be sure to read the description of your lure clearly before purchasing, as some users complain that the lure they received was smaller than expected.
If you’re looking for a more economical choice, these saltwater lures come in a five pack, for a great value at a low price. They come in five separate colors in order to adapt to a variety of water conditions and colors. The colors are black and silver, red and yellow, blue and white, red and white, and green and black.
Each lure is 5.5 inches and 0.8 oz, a good middle ground size for fishing between medium and large schools of fish. They are created with a high carbon steel treble hook, which is fairly durable-- KIKITOY says it “increases fishing rate by 30%.”
The lure’s designs are well-thought-out and each colorful body is made to mimic a bait fish. They include gravity shift balls in the body, making for longer and easier casts and a unique action that attracts a variety of fish.
The five pack of lures from KIKITOY is a pretty baseline purchase that can definitely get the job done. Although they’re definitely not the highest quality lures on the market, you get five in a pack, which is great for testing out the waters, or as a backup lure. The size and shape are a versatile combo which can attract a variety of fish species.
This lure gets its name from the pattern of movement you can achieve using this line and a twitch back and forth. From twitching the line from right to left, an angler can get a sashay-like swimming movement going that “drives bull redfish and gator trout wild.”
A compact design makes this lure super easy to cast a mile, even in high winds on the coast. It also features loud, internal rattles, which can grab a catch’s attention in tumultuous conditions with heavy waves and wind. The lure comes in several colors and styles, all designed to attract saltwater species, but can also be used in freshwater. They’re also corrosion-resistant and created with saltwater grade hooks and hardware.
This fairly unique lure provides “explosive topwater action,” which is super useful in attracting fish. This product is a great pick for angling on days with less than ideal weather conditions, as the rattle and movement capabilities can catch the attention of distracted fish.
This unique hook with a silly name is a great choice for anglers with a little more experience with a walk-the-dog type action. It’s an awesome pick for surf fishing as it is super corrosion-resistant and can hold its own use after use in the ocean. Although this isn’t the most versatile choice, as it is fairly large and not a great beginner’s pick, it features great swimming action and could help you catch your next trophy fish.
Bucktail jig lures have been a very popular choice among saltwater anglers for decades. In fact, during WWII, the U.S. Navy would include a bucktail jig in survival kits to catch fish in case of an emergency. If that doesn’t speak to the effectiveness of the lure design, I’m not sure what will.
Bucktail jigs are super versatile and can be used in a variety of angling activities, including saltwater surf fishing. The lures from Alwonder are created with a lifelike, scaled, holographic jig body, along with bulging 3D eyes.
The bucktail jig by Alwonder is created with quality U.S. made material and designed with colors that appeal to a variety of fish. The hooks are made with durability in mind and are resistant to saltwater corrosion.
The Alwonder bucktail jig is designed to have a lifelike swimming action, providing a realistic glide-through action. It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from a 1 oz size to a 6 oz size.
While it may take some time to learn the jigging techniques to get the best results with this lure, there is no doubt that a bucktail lure is a great choice for all anglers. Thanks to their versatile nature, these lures from Alwonder can be used in saltwater without fear of corrosion, but can also be as effective in a freshwater lake or river.
Pencil Popper Lures are a unique product that might elicit a chuckle if you’ve never seen them in use before. They’re tail-weighted, making them easy to cast long distances, but also make them “stand” in the water. These lures, including the YZD pencil popper lure, have an erratic, lazy kind of action that mimics the movement of an injured fish on the surface of the water.
The YZD lure was made with saltwater predators in mind. All the components are saltwater grade and can hold up to many uses in the ocean. They’re created with durable stainless steel hooks and sturdy hardwood bodies. Each lure features two Mustad hooks, which are super durable and made to keep fish hooked once they’re caught. They feature energy channels and reinforcement ribs for extra strength.
The lure comes in five different colors and two different sizes, a 6-inch/2 oz size and a 7-inch/3 oz size. Each color is designed immaculately, with detailed sculpting on the body, reflective laser film, and lifelike prismatic eyes, created to fool the pickiest of fish.
If you’re an angler on the hunt for a trophy catch, this Pencil Popper lure from YZD might just be the choice for you. The lure’s back-weighted design is great for casting sizable distances and the design is well-made for fooling finicky fish. The only downside of this lure is that it’s not a versatile choice, but thanks to its reasonable price, this is an easily justifiable purchase.
Types of Surf Fishing Lures
There are a few major categories of surf fishing lures that are effective, each for several different reasons. While the following categories don’t encompass all the styles of lures on the market, they are some of the most popular.
These are super compact lures that are made to cast long distances. They come in a variety of color combinations that mimic baitfish and differ depending on what species of fish you’re trying to target.
Made to look like an injured fish at the surface of the water, poppers are a great lure to attract large fish thanks to their rhythmic motion and the noise they create.
This style of lure is perhaps the most versatile of the categories. They come in a large variety of styles and colors, including something like a bucktail jig, featured on our list above. They’re attractive to many anglers because they can be used for a variety of angling activities.
With so many lure options on the market, hopefully, this article gave you a better look into a small part of the world of surf fishing. Surf fishing lures are a vital element to the success of your angling experience, so choose wisely! The products on our list will get you a head start into catching your next trophy fish. Happy fishing!
People Also Ask
The process of choosing your first surf fishing lure can be daunting. Here are some questions that might help you through the process.
What Lures to Use For What Fish?
Crankbait, a style of lure that imitates baitfish really well, are created with two treble hooks and tend to attract bass easily.
Jigs, specialized lures made specifically for jigging, are one of the most versatile choices, and attract almost all species of fish.
Catfish, panfish, pike, and bass tend to go for spoon lures, an oblong, shiny piece of metal designed to look like bait fish.
Is Live Bait Better Than Lures?
Not necessarily. Lures are great because you can use them over and over again. Lure fishing is more popular for this reason. Live bait is better for fishing at night, in cold weather, or in muddy water.
Do You Put Sinkers on Lures?
It’s a fairly old-fashioned practice to utilize a sinker, but some still do it. It can be very effective for placing your lure exactly where you want it in relation to your potential catch. A weight can help a lure move farther in a water column or even improve the action.