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What’s in my tackle box? Bait for beginners

As a beginner, choosing the right bait for the right fish can be challenging. You probably have a handful of baits in your tackle box and aren’t entirely sure what it’s used for. In this article, we explain how to use five basic fishing lures for the most popular species in freshwater.

Crank bait

The crank bait is a universal bait for several wild fish such as perch, pike, pikeperch and trout.

  • Use a crank bait to search for fish by casting in different locations
  • To mimic a wounded baitfish, rewind 5-7 turns, then pause and repeat
  • To mimic a swimming baitfish, reel in at a steady pace


Spoons reflect sunlight and bright colors to attract fish from afar. Larger spoons are used for aggressive fish like pike, while smaller spoons are used for tired fish like rainbow trout.

  • Expel and wait a few seconds for the spoon to sink
  • Reel in moderately fast to swim the spoon over the weeds
  • Always keep the spoon moving to reflect light and colors

Basic fishing lures from the Tailored Tackle Freshwater Fishing Kit

Plastic worm

Artificial worms are a popular option for bass fishing because they can reach shady areas where bass is lurking.

  • Aim for shady spots under docks, in weed beds, and under branches
  • Upgrade your worm weed-free to limit the stumbling blocks
  • Bounce your worm against the ground while you are armed with a weight
  • Swim your worm slowly along with no weight


Spinning baits are ideal for trout as they attract roaming fish with a combination of vibration and light reflection.

  • Throw the spinner a few feet below the surface and pull it out at a gradual pace
  • The blade vibration calls trout so keep the spinner moving
  • Spinners also catch bass, perch, and panfish

Curl tail grub

A maggot on a stencil is your main bait for catching fish of all types and sizes. The maggot is small enough to trick Panfish, but lively enough to entice a bite of bass and pikeperch.

  • Match your maggot color to live bait: white for minnow, black for leech, brown for worm
  • Fish along the coastal crossings, ideally from a dock or bank
  • Bounce the template along the floor in 1 to 2 foot hops

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