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Best Surf Fishing Lures

Last Updated: September 2020
Nancy Perry
Product Review by Nancy Perry

Surf fishing can be a challenging and very frustrating experience at times; we’ve all been there. You go prepared and pumped for the biggest catch of your life, all hopes, and dreams. But a few hours later and an empty catch bucket can be very disheartening at best. 

It always seems to happen when I decide to skimp on quality lures – every single time! I learned my lesson the hard way, and I want to prevent you from doing the same. Even save you the frustration that comes with it. 

That’s why, after hours and hours of research, I decided to put together a list of all the best surf fishing lures. So here it goes! Let’s go over the best surf fishing lures together and see if any of them will you secure your next big catch!

Our Reviews
1

Sea Striker Surf Spoon

The Sea Striker Surf Spoon is a basic, but high-quality surf spoon. It is nothing you’ll ever find kitted in a box with other supplies just because the quality and the craftsmanship of the spoon are excellent. 

It is an ideal solution for catching Bluefish, Trout, Bass, and Spanish Mackerel. It will also make excellent bait for any larger fish that feeds on baitfish. The lure works well in both fresh and saltwater, so don’t be afraid to use it in both. 

The casting is top-notch, and it can cover long distances without breaking a sweat. The Sea Striker brand is well known for its quality craftsmanship and dependable fishing equipment.  

Overall the Sea Striker Surf Spoon is a quality bait that won’t let you down. It is a bit pricey, but I believe the price is right for the quality. It will outlast most cheap bates, so in the long run, it pays for itself.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Strong construction
  • Attractive (to fish) gold color

Cons


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2

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 Fishing Lure

Rapala is one of the biggest, if not the biggest and well-received fishing supplies manufacturers in the world. It is well known for the quality of its products and the reliability of their lures. 

The Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 is produced to the high standards we normally expect from Rapala. The X-Rap is suitable for all styles of retrieve. 

The XR10 is four inches long, making it ideal for pike and bass fishing. There are quite a few patterns and size variations available for the X-RAP line of jerk bait. It might be best to spend some time researching the exact fish you’re trying to catch and then select the size of lure required to nab that fish. 

The Rapala X-RAP resembles a real baitfish that suspends and then comes to a roll when resting to lure a bigger fish into biting. Don’t be surprised if you get a bigger catch than expected. 

Overall the Rapala X-RAP XR10 is one of the best jerk bait surf fishing lures on the market today. Many amateur and professional anglers swear by the quality of Rapala gear, and they are proven performers around the world.

Pros

  • Excellent quality bait
  • Recommended by professional and competitive fishermen

Cons

  • Higher price point for one lure
3

Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Floating Lure

Yo-Zuri is another major player on the bait and tackle market. They’ve been known to produce some of the best surf fishing lures on the market for more than a few years now. 

The Crystal 3D Minnow family of lures has a large variety of applications. The Monnow 3D Floating Lure comes in three different sizes – 3-½ inch, 4-⅜ inches, and 5-¼ inches. The model went through a complete overhaul recently, so all the materials and the hooks are massively improved. All lures come with hooks too. 

The Yo-Zuri Crystal lures are ideal for spotter sea trouts as well as redfish, strippers, and flounder. It works well for other species, but it is excellent for trout and flounder, especially if you present the bait in slow motion.

Overall the Yo-Zuri Minnow family are quality lures that will work in both fresh and saltwater. It offers excellent craftsmanship and is reliable. Great buy for multiple applications and species of fish.

Pros

  • Slow sinking action
  • Ideal for most applications
  • Great for trout and flounder
  • Proven brand

Cons

  • Might not suitable for beginners
  • Varies in price significantly depending on color
4

Tailored Tackle Saltwater Surf Fishing Kit 82 Pc

The Tailored Tackle kit is all you need to start your journey into surf fishing. It comes with all the basics for both beginners and experienced anglers. 

The Tailored Tackle kit comes with a very convenient compartment box that you can use for all your saltwater bait and tackle needs. It leaves plenty of space for additional hooks, sinkers, and floaters in case you want to expand. But for now, let’s see what is included in the kit. 

The kit falls into two categories – saltwater lures & gear and beach fishing equipment. The saltwater supplies compartment consists of a spoon for Casting & Jigging, Surfcasting Popper Lure, 5 Grub Bait Lures, 5 Painted Jigs. Surf Fishing Rigs – 2 Bottom Rigs, 2 Jetty Rigs, 1 Pompano Rig for live & cut bait. 

The beach fishing compartment consists of Bottom Bouncers, 4 Wire Leaders, 10 Circle Hooks, 5 J Hooks, 10 Wide Gap Hooks, 2 Floats, 5 Leader Sliders, 10 Beads, 5 Barrel Swivels, 5 Three Way Swivels, 5 Snaps. 

Overall, the Tailored Tackle is ideal for both beginner and experienced surf fishing anglers. The compartment box is incredibly useful for storing fishing supplies and even live bait.

Pros

  • Lots of different baits and tackles
  • Excellent quality for a kit
  • Very useful guides if you're new to fishing

Cons

  • The weedless spoon is not the greatest quality
  • The box is a bit flimsy
5

Berkley Gulp! Alive! Shrimp Assortment

Berkley’s Gulp! Alive! Is of the best alternatives to live bait on the market today. They are made of plastic, which closely resembles the look and feel of live shrimp. To make it even better, Berkley provides a powerful attractant to soak the bait it, making it highly attractive to fish. 

The artificial bait shrimp is about 3 inches long. The Berkley Gulp! Alive! Shrimp works very well for all kinds of flounder, trout, and redfish. They are amazing in 12-18’ of water, and flounder simply can’t resist the scent and look of this “live” shrimp. 

Overall the Berkley Gulp! Alive! Shrimp is a fantastic alternative to live bait shrimp

Pros

  • Looks and feels like live shrimp
  • Great for flounder

Cons

  • Change of formula not to everyone's taste
  • Doesn't work with all jig heads

How To Choose Between The Best Surf Fishing Lures?

So let’s take a more in-depth look at the most commonly asked questions about surf fishing lures, what are the best options for fresh and saltwater.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Fishing Lures?

There are quite a few categories that fishing lures can fall into, but let’s take a look at the three main ones. That doesn’t mean these three encompass every type of bait on the market, just the three most common ones today:

Metal Spoons

Metal spoons are made to be cast at long distances, and they are very compact. There are quite a few color combinations and variations of metal spoons, and depending on the size and type of fish you’re trying to catch, some metal spoons can be very different from others. It is all about your specific needs.

Poppers

Poppers are specifically designed to mimic an injured fish on the surface of the water. They are an excellent lure for large fish due to the motion they create.

Soft Plastic Jigs

Soft plastic jigs are probably the most common and widely used surf fishing lure. The variations of size, shape, and color are nearly endless. Lots of fishermen love soft plastic jigs because of their near-universal applications and the excellent results they produce.

What Are The Best Lures For Different Types Of Fish?

It’s really hard to specify a lure for a specific type of fish. In the individual reviews above I tried to cover what lure works best for certain types of fish, but different anglers will produce very different results even with virtually the same gear, bait and tackle. That’s mostly because their technique, experience and, most of all – luck, will play a significant role in the results they get. 

I’ll try to generalize things a bit, but don’t hold me to my words as there are more than a few exceptions to these rules. 

In general, crankbait is an excellent choice for bass. Crankbait is the general term for lures that imitate live baitfish like anchovies, gudgeon, and halfbeaks, for example. 

Jig lures are specifically designed for jigging and are one of the most versatile lure choices for basically all angling applications. They attract a wide array of fish and depending on the size of the bait used can catch small and large fish. 

Spoon lures are another category of lures. Spoons are usually made of shiny metal that looks like baitfish. Spoons are ideal for catching catfish, for example, and other deeper lurking fish.

Is Live Bait Better Than Lures?

That can really depend on the type of fishing you prefer and the species of fish you are trying to catch. Live bait is not better than artificial bait, especially one that is chemically formulated to attract other fish, like the Berkley Gulp, for example. 

The main advantage of lures is that you can usually use them over and over without affecting their performance and structural integrity. Live bait, while generally cheap to get, lasts for only a single bite.

Live bait, on the other hand, is much better for fishing at night or in muddy water. If you can’t use live bait, try to opt out for bright and shiny lures to increase your visibility and attract more fish.

Are You Supposed To Put Sinkers On Lures?

Sinkers are slowly declining in popularity as modern lures often outperform them. They are, however, great for placing a bait exactly where you need it to be. The extra weight can also improve your lure’s action and movement thus attracting more fish in the process.

Are There Specific Lures For Saltwater?

Yes, there are. Saltwater lures are specifically designed to survive the corrosive nature of saltwater. It is always better to go for a saltwater specific lure as it will prove more durable and will easily outlast a freshwater model.

What Is The Best Action?

Action is very important as it is done manually – surf fishing is usually done from the shore or on a pier, for example. When you’re on a boat, you can imitate the slow-motion or low pace baitfish, but angling is different from the shore – you control the movement of the lure. 

Try to do a little research beforehand on the location and the type of fish that is most commonly found there. Once you do that, you’ll be better equipped to mimic the kind of movement that is most appealing to the fish that lurks the water there. It can vastly improve your chances of actually catching anything.

Is There A Specific Color To Look For?

Surf fishing lures come in a variety of shapes, colors, and palettes. There are quite a few “schools” on the matter, some saying to use bright and flashy colors while others are teaching to choose a color that closely mimics the color of the baitfish of the fish you’re trying to catch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s see what are the most common questions when it comes to surf fishing lures and angling with lures in general: 

What is the difference between saltwater and freshwater lures?

The main difference between freshwater and saltwater fishing lures is the durability of the latter. Saltwater lures are designed to withstand the overly corrosive nature of seawater, and they won’t break down or get damaged in saltwater. Saltwater lures can be used in both saltwater and freshwater, but they will vastly outlast the freshwater ones in seawater. 

Can you use freshwater lures in saltwater?

Unless you tell the fish otherwise, they will bite just fine with both saltwater and freshwater lures. There will be a massive difference in how long the latter will last in seawater – you might spot signs of corrosion after just a few uses while saltwater lures will be far more resistant to the corrosive effects of salt.

How do you clean saltwater lures?

The best way to clean saltwater lures is by cleaning them with fresh water, dry them, and store them in a dry container. 

Never leave the lures without washing them after a saltwater fishing trip as that will significantly reduce the life of them, and they might corrode and get damaged prematurely. 

You can refresh plastic lures by changing the hooks if they are badly rusted, but be careful not to change the type and weight of the hooks you use. Putting a hook on that is vastly different in shape and weight might severely affect the action of the lure and impact its performance too. 

There is also a special paint for plastic lures called tail dip. You can even experiment with different tail dips and see if a different color or pattern will work better for the same lure.

How to select the best location for surf fishing?

That depends on the time of day and the tide. However, it is always best to do a little research before going fishing to save yourself a bit of trouble. Using Google to find articles like the one’s Fishing Pioneer produce will help you determine great locations for surf fishing. Here is a list of great places to go fishing in Florida without a boat. 

Recap

I had a tough time picking the best surf fishing lure from all the choices above. Both the Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 and the Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow lures are fantastic choices, but in the end, our winner is Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10. 

The Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 surf fishing lure consistently gets impressive results for both surf and deep water fishing. It is the choice of bait for many professional fishermen and fisherwomen. The X-Rap Jerkbait is available in lots of colors and patterns, as well as size and action. Depending on the type of prey you’re after, you can switch around between different patterns and see what works best for the species of fish you’re trying to catch. 

The Yo-Zuri Minnow family is almost as good as the Rapala lures but came just short of it. We spotted a few inconsistencies with the quality, and the design of the Yo-Zuri lures while researching. Always try to shop from a reputable place that stands behind its products. 

I hope this guide will help you choose the best surf fishing lure for your next fishing trip, and I hope the next big catch is just a throwaway!

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