Plugs: Historical, Essential, and Effective Saltwater Fishing Lures

This describes the hard plastic body lures fished under the surface and outfitted with treble hooks. These have been around forever – because they work! They are almost all baitfish imitations, come in a variety of colors, and are made to fish at different depths.

Plugs generally refer to the lures that sink. The ones whose line tie is at the nose will dart on the retrieve, stay relatively shallow. The ones you tie in on top will wobble and generally go deeper. Most contain rattles, increasing their appeal.

Suspending lures do just that, suspend anywhere from a few inches to a foot under the surface, allowing them to be worked more slowly, and keeping them off the bottom, in the strike zone longer, and reducing snags.

I've included a few from my tackle box in the picture. As you can see from the picture and as you'll find out when you hit your local fishing store, they come in almost every imaginable color combination. They also come in a variety of sizes, from just over 2” to over 4”, sufficient to cover most of the baitfish that get eaten by trout, redfish, and flounder.

MirrOlure offers a huge selection of suspending and sinking lures, too many to mention here. Suffice it to say, they have been making them for a long time and do a great job.

They are effective in the surf and in open bays around reefs for trout. In the shallow flats, the suspending plugs are effective for catching redfish. Another aspect of these lures is their toughness and durability. The lure bodies are almost bulletproof, and the hooks can be changed out if they rust.

I prefer to fish them where there is little or no grass, in the surf and open areas of the bay. Some come with three treble hooks, and I always remove the middle hook. This makes landing fish easier and safer, and will reduce stress to the fish if it will be released.

The suspending and slow sinking models that tie at the nose should be worked by letting them sink and then giving them short, strong twitches. The speed can be varied depending on conditions and what is working that day. These twitches move water, engage the rattles, and will attract fish.

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