Stranded on a small island with a rod and 5 artificial lures? I’d want THESE 5!
Fishing lures are expensive. Even overseas I’ve seen lures that were outrageously priced.
Who can afford them? You will if you want to catch fish, right?
Over the years I’ve found that I use a small set of artificial lures in the saltwater and freshwater over and over. THESE LURES JUST WORK!
I know, this scenario is highly unlikely especially because I am rarely even on a boat and I don’t swim that far.
But if I was stranded on a remote island with banana and coconut trees and one of my PENN rods washed up on shore from my shipwreck, and later my open tackle-box rolled up onto the beach in a wave. I’d be praying these 5 artificial lures were still inside because I know I’d make it.
Which lures? These ones.
1 – GOT-CHA (Gotcha Lures!)
- saltwater lures – I’ve never used them in freshwater
- heavy and easy to cast far out there
- durable, just sharpen hooks occasionally
- cheap – price has dropped considerably
It was, I don’t know, 22 years ago? When I first heard about GOT-CHA lures by Sea Striker. I have only bought them in 3 colors (silver, gold, and white) but there are many variations and some added features.
These are solid metal bullet like lures that have 2 sets of treble hooks on them in the G300 series. They weigh about 1 oz. (28g). The front has a tapered (angled) head designed to go deeper the faster it is pulled through the water.
You fish GOT-CHA lures like the G300 series fast. For some fish, as fast as you can reel. Fish have a certain trigger built in that triggers their feeding response. Seeing a shiny fish zipping through the water can get fish excited and biting. They don’t think – they just chase and bite at it!
What Fish Can You Catch with GOT-CHA Lures?
With the silver and gold G300 GOT-CHA lures I’ve caught big Crevalle Jack that pulled me around Tampa Bay, Permit, Amberjack, Bluefish, Ladyfish (a trash fish), Spanish Mackerel, King macks, and Snapper. These lures last forever, and as long as you sharpen the treble hooks every now and again, you’ll catch so many fish with these lures.
You can buy a 3-pack of GOT-CHA lures in the G300 series for around $12 USD at Walmart or Amazon.
2 – D.O.A Shrimp – Dead on Arrival!
- saltwater lures, but try it in freshwater and let me know what happens
- UGLY, but they catch fish
- last for years in the tackle-box
- not for twitching
It was a couple of years after I found the GOT-CHA lures that I tried these DOA Shrimp. I ignored them for the longest time to be honest because it looks nothing like a real shrimp to me and I thought the fish MUST see the same thing as I do.
But all I kept hearing on the radio (yeah, it was a while ago) from the Florida fishing reports was that these dumb lures were smashing it. I finally paid something ridiculous like $9 for one and set out on Tampa Bay to see if I could catch something with it.
I twitched the heck out of that shrimp for about two hours in all kinds of conditions and some of my favorite snook and redfish spots. I even stopped the kayak at my famous Trout Spot. Nothing. I got about 5 hits the entire day on that shrimp and I vowed to never buy another one.
A month later I bought 6 of them and had a new strategy. A friend told me you don’t twitch it like a shrimp. You crawl it on the bottom or float it mid-column with the tide. They sink slowly and often are hit just after they touch the water on a cast.
That changed the game immediately and I began catching trout, snook, and redfish regularly with these lures. All the whacky colors too. Glow even works!
Make sure not to forget to put the provided weights in the shrimp’s gut to give it some weight! Use a 1/4 oz. or 1/2 oz. jig head depending on strength of the current. Works best in water that is not crystal clear as you might imagine.
Oh, and I’m pretty sure they make the rubber legs like that so pinfish and others don’t rip them off and eat them. Also, it makes the DOA’s more durable when they don’t have tiny strips of rubber/plastic hanging off them.
Fish these things SLOW with finesse and you’ll see the power of DOA Shrimp. Definitely one of the best lures I’ve ever used. When used correctly!
What Fish Can You Catch on DOA Shrimp?
A crazy variety of amazing gamefish can be caught on the DOA shrimp artificial lures. Check out this list: Redfish, Black drum, Snapper, Tarpon, Snook, Trout, Grouper, Sheepshead, Ladyfish, Catfish and Jacks.
Buying them in a 3 pack is the best way to save money. I’ve seen them for as low as $9.99 USD.
3 – CULPRIT Plastic Worms (7.5″ Red Shad, June Bug, Black, Pumpkinseed)
- freshwater – but feel free to try it in salt, it will probably do OK
- bass smacker – it’s the best lure for largemouth bass
- cheap for a pack of them
I was working in a cognitive rehabilitation institute in Tampa, Florida and we had a client who was hit by lightning twice and needed home services.
My job as a counselor and rehab therapist was to bring people back up to speed after traumatic brain injury. The guy I was treating was high functioning, so we usually went out and did fun stuff so he could get his confidence back – especially about being outside. As you might imagine!
Long story short, we haded to his favorite bass lake. He loaned me a rod.
On his first cast, he caught a 10 lb. Largemouth Bass (not joking) and he was jumping for joy. It was great to see this guy, 6’10” and jumping around like a kid on his first day of fishing! I caught a few bass under 5 lbs. and he caught another 8 lb. bass shortly after his huge 10 pounder!
We caught every largemouth on the Red Shad Culprit 7″ plastic worms. They are amazing baits for freshwater lakes.
What Fish Can You Catch on Culprit Worms?
Largemouth bass, Crappie, Bowfin, Gar, other Bass. I’ve only used this to fish for bass, but I’ve caught Bowfin on them too by accident! Bowfin eat anything though, don’t they?
I’ve seen an 18-pack for like $8 USD. Super cheap. You’ll need a plastic worm hook that looks like the image above.
4 – Spinning Spoons (Gold, Silver, all sizes)
- consistently catch fish
- very affordable
- easy to use, just pull them through salt or freshwater at varying speeds
- last forever
The good old spinning spoons have been around forever and catching fish then, and catching fish today too. Fish can’t pass them up because they flash brightly as you pull them through the saltwater or freshwater.
That flashing triggers a fish’s feeding response and the hunter realizes he was the hunted soon after.
You can pull any sized spinning spoon through either saltwater or freshwater and catch some fish. There are many different sizes and colors, but a simple 1/4 oz. spoon in silver or gold is the best place to start.
What Fish Can You Catch with Spinning Spoons?
The variety of fish you can catch on a spinning spoon pulled the water is astounding. How’s this for a list, and this is my own list, I’m sure there are many more species you can catch with them.
Saltwater – I’ve caught these fish with spinning spoons: Spanish mackerel, King mackerel, Permit, Jacks, Bluefish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Yellowtail, Mangrove snapper, Pinfish, Ladyfish, Speckled trout, Pompano, Snook, Redfish, Grouper, Catfish. I’m sure more will come to memory here in a minute!
Freshwater – Crappie, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Bluegill, Mayan cichlids, Peacock bass, and Bowfin.
5 – Paddletail Swimbaits
- fish them year round
- catch many species of fish
- no special action, just finesse
There is a huge variety of paddle-tail swim-baits available to purchase and the brand usually doesn’t matter at all. They’re basically shaped like those in the image above. They’re very soft and the paddle-tail gives the lure some cool action that looks like a swimming fish maybe more than even a swimming fish!
The brand doesn’t matter much because almost everyone makes them from the same thing. The design has been copied over and over. Just choose a range of colors and get out there with a 1/4 oz. jig-head and see what you can catch with them!
What Fish Can You Catch with Paddlefish Swimbaits?
Saltwater – I’ve caught Jacks, Snapper, Red drum, Black drum, Snook, Speckled trout, Ladyfish, Grouper, Flounder, Pinfish, and Mahi Mahi inshore.
Freshwater – Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, Bowfin, Crappie, and Bluegill.
[Images – Featured image from unsplsh.com. Other images are product images from Amazon. I’ll be linking to there shortly.]
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