At one time, lures and flies were carefully fashioned to imitate as closely as possible the prey of the target fish. Today, many lures and flies are unrecognisable as prey, some even come in fluorescent colours. But they are “real” to the target fish, which can be duped into taking a lure or a fly providing it looks appealing, behaves correctly and is presented in the right place at the right time in the right way.
There are thousands of different types of lures made. There are floating lures, sinking lures, huge half-meter-long lures for marlin and tiny micro jigs for trout. There are lures for trolling, casting, jigging, flipping, pitching and just about any other style of fishing one can imagine.
Whatever the type, the principle remains the same: a lure is used in the hope that it represents the prey of the target fish such that it will fool the fish into make a strike. Thus it is critical that the lure matches in some way the natural food of the fish. A lure need not be an exact resemblance of the prey in appearance; as long as its represents particular features of the prey such as movement and colour, it will be successful.
The main groups of lures are minnows, surface lures, soft plastics, skirted trolling lures, spinner blade lures, spoons and slices, Tassie lures and jigs. Of these , the minnow group is one of the most popular stumps of lures that are available.
The term artificial flies describes a huge range of fish deceiving creations, primarily constructed with fur and feathers, or artificial substitutes. Most are so light they are unable to be cast; they must be presented using a fly line where the weight of the line takes the fly to the fish.
The different types of flies are often categorised by whether the fly floats or sinks, and by the type of food imitated. Dry flies float on the water surface; wet flies are designed to fish below the surface.