As a charter guide for three decades, I have trialled innumerable lures with mixed success.
There are seven main categories of inshore fishing lures I use to maximise my chances to catch trophy fish.
We also have a blog on offshore fishing lures.
Watch the video for my favourites in each category.
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There are SEVEN main categories for inshore fishing lures we use here in the tropics.
By inshore we mean estuarine areas (saltwater to brackish) and island headlands chasing quality fish like barramundi, golden snapper and others.
1. Shallow Hard Bodies
2. Deep Hard Bodies
When it comes to inshore fishing lures in the tropics, the Halco Scorpion is my go to deep diving lures in both the 5m and 8m depths.
3. Sinking Stick Baits
After being sent a sinking stick bait years ago by a mate, and loved them. I’ve used them extensively and now prefer them to vibes. In fact, when I had trouble sourcing them I began to import them myself. I call them our Pillager lures and you definitely need some in your tackle box.
4. Poppers and Surface Lures
Many inshore fish love smashing things on the surface hence why surface poppers work so well. Balista S-Pop has a flashing light perfect for night time.
The Drunken Mullet is great in calm water as it makes a good racket on the surface attracting fish. Reidy’s J Walker is a floating stick bait with a rattle. We have been smashed next to the boat using these. So make sure you retrieve all the way!
Once my go to lure for big barra in deep holes, vibes are still an essential addition to any inshore fishing lure collection.
6. Curly Tails
No inshore fishing lure arsenal would be complete without the humble curly tail. The Berkley Powerbait Nemesis is one of my favourites. Rigged on a jig head they should be retrieved slowly. We have some great examples of the retrieve in our Proserpine Dam blog. We got about 25 bites in three hours and accounted for some nice fish.
7. Paddle tail plastics
Low and slow is how I like to fish my paddle tails with the Keitech swing impact fat being my favourite.
Fishing on the fish
The secret to using inshore fishing lures (or any lures for that matter) is to fish on the fish. Because obviously you won’t get baits from non-existent fish.
I never take my eyes off the sounder even while fishing because it shows me direction and depth of fish swimming past.
In our last Proserpine Dam trip we demonstrate a perfect example. Seeing the fish, modifying the retrieve and hooking up.
For a crash course in Sounder Skills our Sounder Skills 1 course is on sale at the moment.
Great value if you’re looking to improve your inshore lure fishing skills.
I hope you enjoyed our video on the best inshore fishing lures.
For a cheat sheet of Ryan’s favourite gear and tackle >> click here for the gear and tackle cheat sheet.