All About Fishing Lures

Independent Unbiased Fishing Lure Information

Most Popular Target Species

Most Popular Target Species

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Popular Fish Chart

The 2016 National Survey on Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation shows the most popular fish to catch in the USA, with Black Bass taking out the top spot. 

Black Bass

Black Bass Caught

Black bass are from the sunfish family and are the most popular sports fishing species in the world as they are great tasting and very good fighters making it a fun fish to catch, noting that Americans spent more time fishing for black bass than all of the salt water fish combined.

There is no legal length limit for Black bass, however there are state restriction of bag limits, as an example Florida has a bag limit of 5, with only 1 allowed over 16inches.

The black bass category have multiple species; Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Spotted bass each with different descriptions;

Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) – the largest of the black bass, greenish/brown in colour, single fin, single dark horizontal line that goes from tip to tail

Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) – the smallest of the black bass, brown in colour, with red eyes, with vertical bands of dark brown

Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) – slender body, with black spots along its side that turn into a dark bands as the fish matures in size. Spotted bass can sometimes be mistaken for the Largemouth bass as they have similar colour, although Spotted bass can be differentiated as they have a smaller mouth.

Genus: Multiple

Where are they found: Black bass are native to eastern North America, but have been introduced to other countries and lake systems as they are so popular for sports fishing. They can thrive in water ranging from 70F to 90F, and can live 20 feet below the surface.

Size : Can grow as large as 22 pounds, 31.5 inches

Feeding habits: Feeds mainly on smaller fish

Panfish

Bucket of caught fish

Panfish are a broad fish category, and is more in relation to size than genus, as a panfish is a fish that is just big enough to fit in a pan. Pan fish can be Bluegill,

Genus: Multiple

Where are they found? Everywhere from deep water systems, to fast flowing streams, to still ponds

Size Can range from legal limit, to the size of a pan (10inch)

Feeding habits Can range depending on the species, but best lures are black jigs, and small spinners, also topwater poppers can work well along the surface.

Catfish/bullhead

Catfish
Catfish

Catfish are a group of fish known for having whiskers (barbels) which distinguish them from other fish. Mostly catfish are bottom feeders, they eat dead materials that fall to the bottom of the waterway.
Most popular catfish caught in USA are the Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), and both look very similar, both are heavy bodied, blue/grey in colour and have a dorsal hump and a deep fork in their tail. To tell them apart, count the rays on their anal fin – channel catfish 25-29 rays, where the blue catfish has 30-36 rays

Catfish are able to make sounds, hear sounds and tell the direction from where the sound came, so you will need to be quiet when targeting this species.

Genus: Multiple

Where are they found? Catfish can be found all around the world, on every continent except Antarctica.

Size: Range up to 40 to 50 pounds, but that is very rare, a spectacular catch would be 20 pounds, with 10 pounds being a great catch

Feeding habits Catfish have a very astute sense of taste, as their body is covered in sensors like tastebuds, when they taste amino acids in the water, they get excited and show signs of aggression.

Sporting qualities catfish use their smell and taste to find food, so lures work best when they also release a smell or taste, for ideas around this strategy see the below link;

  • HOMYL Smelly Flavored Soft Plastics Earthworm Fishing Lures with Box
  • Baitmate Live Bass Dip Jar Fish Attractant for Lures and Bait
  • Smelly Jelly Sticky Liquid

Catfish can also be caught using vibrations in the water to attract them, so a spinner or other vibrating lure can also work. As catfish live at the bottom of the waterway, its best to use lures in clear water.