Archeological research discovered that Homohabilis and Homoerectus were likely the pioneer fishermen and they lived an astonishing 500.000 years ago. Early fishing consisted of either catching fish by hand or using primitive tools made from natural material.
It wasn’t until 2000 B.C.E that the Chinese and Egyptians began to use more complex equipment made from bronze, bones, and silk. They were probably the first to use rods, hooks, and lines to catch fish.
Today, fishing is a whole different game. All kinds of sophisticated baits and fishing rods make modern fishing fun and enjoyable activity.
In this article, we will examine the two most common types of modern baits – plugs and artificial flies, explain how they work, and what is their best use.
Let’s “cast the hook”!
Plugs are hard plastic fishing lures, designed to mimic a wounded bait fish thus presenting themselves as an easy meal. They can be made as a single piece or constructed of two, three, or even more parts. These lures are usually fitted with either two or three triple hooks.
Plugs come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, but we can differentiate the two most common types – surface plugs and subsurface plugs.
Surface plugs are made to wriggle and splash on the surface. They are best used for fishing in calm, warm, and shallow waters. The most widespread types of surface plugs are:
- Chuggers – plugs with a cup-like opening used for catching water as the lure is pulled up and down the water surface.
- Rotating blades – plugs with the central clade aka Globe that rotates upon retrieval while creating a bubble trail.
- Surface wobblers – plugs that are made from two parts, one for making a clicking sound and the other for providing additional wake.
- Propeller – plugs that have props on their noses and tails.
- Crawlers – plugs that have a large faceplate for easier back and forth motion.
- Flap tail – plugs with brass-like tails that slap the water surface to produce plopping sounds.
We can differentiate two types of subsurface plugs:
- Shallow-diving plugs operate at about 10 feet below the water surface. They are best used for inshore saltwater fishing. With these lures, you can go after species such as redfish, tarpon, spotted seatrout, etc
- Deep-diving plugs have heavy-duty steel hooks and can reach a depth of up to 40 feet below the surface. They are ideal for fishing deep water species, such as grouper, tuna, king mackerel, etc.
Subsurface plugs come in many different types, but the five most popular are:
- Gliders and twitch
- Trolling plug
- Naturally buoyant plugs
Because of their flexibility and diversity, fishing plugs have been one of the most popular types of lures in the fishing community for years.
Artificial flies are fishing baits that mimic aquatic insects in different stages of development, terrestrial insects, crustaceans, worms, baitfish, small reptiles, etc. You can find many different types of these lures in hunting and fishing stores like Natches, but the most common are streamers, nymphs, wet, and dry flies.
- Streamer flies mimic smaller fish or leaches and are best used for lake and reservoir fishing. This lure imitates a lot of movement and is often the first choice for trout fishing.
- Nymphs are designed to mimic the immature form of aquatic insects and small crustaceans. These baits are mostly used for freshwater fly fishing.
- Wet flies are used for below-the-surface fishing in streams with strong currents. They usually mimic flies that have been swept below the water surface or flies that penetrate the surface to lay eggs.
- Dry flies are designed to mimic flies that have already hatched, have wings, and are sitting on the water surface. These baits are best used for freshwater fishing at a time of the year when these hatches naturally occur.
The most important aspect of fly fishing is knowing what type of bait to use for a targeted fish. For successful fly fishing, you need to choose the lure that will act like the fish’s natural prey.
In the words of Justin Morgan: “ It doesn’t matter if the rod is or isn’t bent. Time spent fishing is time well spent.”
If you are passionate about fishing you will quickly learn what baits to use in specific situations. In the meantime, we hope our article can serve you as a good starting point for your exciting fishing journey.