What is The Best Fishing Lure?

What Make A Lure Great? That’s a question that leaves many amateur anglers scratching their heads all over the world?

Is it the actual lure design? Is it because it has caught your fish when all other lures have failed? Is it because it has a special patented design that nothing else has? Is it because it is made of composite materials only found in the space shuttle? Is it because you’ve never lost that lure, or is it because it is affordable and you can easily stock it year after year in your tackle box?

To be quite honest, it’s probably a combination of all of the above, and the debate over which lure is best will rage on through the centuries. Fishing lures come in a million different shapes and sizes, and you, as an angler, can truthfully make the decision on your own.

A great lure possesses several important characteristics that contribute to its effectiveness. Here are some key factors that make a lure great:

  1. Realism: A lure should closely resemble the natural prey of the target fish species. The lure’s color, shape, and size should mimic the baitfish, insects, or other creatures that fish typically feed on. The more realistic the lure appears, the more likely it is to attract fish.
  2. Action: The movement and action of the lure are crucial in enticing fish to strike. A great lure should have a lifelike swimming or wobbling action, which can be achieved through its design, built-in features, or the angler’s manipulation. Lures that exhibit enticing movements are more likely to trigger fish’s predatory instincts.
  3. Versatility: A versatile lure can target multiple species in various fishing situations. Lures that can be retrieved at different speeds or depths, or those that can be modified with different hooks or trailers, provide anglers with more options and increase their chances of success.
  4. Durability: Lures that are well-made and durable can withstand repeated use, strikes from fish, and encounters with underwater obstacles. A great lure should be able to maintain its effectiveness over time without losing its action or falling apart easily.
  5. Attractiveness: Lures often incorporate features such as rattles, flashes, or scents to make them more attractive to fish. These additional elements can help draw attention to the lure and entice fish to strike. However, it’s important to note that different fish species may respond differently to various attractant features.
  6. Proper Size and Weight: The size and weight of the lure should match the target fish species and the fishing conditions. Using a too-small or too-large lure for the fish you’re targeting may result in fewer strikes. Similarly, the weight of the lure should allow for accurate casting and the desired depth of retrieval.
  7. Confidence and Angler Skill: Ultimately, a great lure gives the angler confidence and complements their fishing skills. Anglers often prefer certain lures based on their past successes, personal experience, and familiarity with the lure’s performance.

While many will say, ‘Yes..this is the greatest lure on the planet,’ we can’t make that choice for you, but what we can do is suggest some great picks that, over the years, have proven themselves in various ways.

Curly Tail Jig 

Curly Tail Jig

Any walleye angler in the northern hemisphere will tell you that in their tackle box is probably a wide assortment of curly tail grubs in various colors and jig heads in assorted weights and sizes. Absolutely nothing else says northern Ontario freshwater fishing like the old grub and jig. So what exactly makes this lure great? As mentioned in the opening sentence, it is a tried and true walleye slayer.

With so many variations to play with, it is just a matter of time before you find the right combination for any given day. Now let’s not forget about what really makes this lure great in Ontario lakes and rivers. The grub jig isn’t just relegated to walleye fishing. Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Northern Pike will also strike on it. Just remember, when fishing in remote Ontario lakes for walleye, it’s also a good idea to run a good leader just in case a toothy pike decides to strike. Without it, in many cases, you’ll just be left reeling in an empty line.



Who hasn’t, as a kid growing up, seen Grandpa or Uncle George pull out this time-tested fishing lure. Many remembered the first white and red flash as it darted through the water and wished that they had enough Canadian Tire money in Dad’s jar to gleefully run to the store to purchase 2 or 3 of these magical fish tamers. 

I remember it like yesterday when my dad hoisted my first Lake Trout onto the boat on an autumn Muskoka lake. At the same time, a long-forgotten picture in my basement still shows that red and white stripe dangling from the mouth of my first ever ‘Laker.’ 

A favorite for trolling and also a favorite for Northern Pike, the red and white Dardevle spoon is definitely a classic. It isn’t at any time about to show its age.

Mepps Black Fury #4

Mepps Black Fury #4

Definitely, still one of my go-tos lures when nothing else is producing. Coming in 4 distinct colors, white, yellow, chartreuse, and orange, the French-bladed Mepps #4, in my opinion, is a masterpiece of angling precision. Proven effective for Largemouth Bass, Trout, and the occasional Smallmouth bass, they are a given for medium to large-sized pike.

Coming in 2 variations with the non-dressed version shown, I will always swear by a fully dressed #4 Black Fury in chartreuse on a hot summer day.

The secret to the success of the Black Fury is in the precision spinning and the attention to detail from the clevis right down to the bucktail. A lure for many species and all kinds of conditions, they are very hard to come by in the dressed version as of late, and many have taken to the internet to obtain these golden boys of angling.

Swedish Pimple

Swedish Pimple

While we’ve touched on a few softwater favorites, it’s only fair to discuss one that has proven itself year after year with the hard water crowd.

Pop your head into most northern Ontario ice huts on a lake with walleye, and you’ll probably find an angler jigging a Swedish pimple close to the bottom. Its overall design and variety of weights, coupled with a minnow tip, make this an all-time favorite with the walleye crowd.

Over the last few years, many new colors have surfaced from a variety of manufacturers and are readily available at most local tackle shops.

Having a few different colors to choose from always increases your odds, and we like the ¼ ounce variety. If the fish are fickle, then we downsize to a small 1/10 ounce rigged with a smaller minnow. This ice fishing season, don’t forget about this lure before you head out onto your favorite Ontario lake. Check back periodically while we review a few more of our favorite lures.

Remember that different fish species and fishing environments may require specific lures. It’s essential to consider the behavior and preferences of the fish you’re targeting and the prevailing conditions when selecting the best fishing lures.

Photo of author
About the author
After a few years of writing for small local newspapers and freelancing for numerous national publications, Shaun took his skills to the Internet. Shaun's work has appeared on various sites and he is ready to tackle new topics and learn new things in the world of journalism.