Fishing Plugs

Plugs are a popular type of hard-bodied fishing lure. They typically have a plastic or wood body and are designed to be used on top of the water or at depths below the surface. The term minnow is usually used for long, slender, lures that imitate baitfish, while the term plug is usually used for shorter, deeper-bodied lures which imitate deeper-bodied fish, frogs and other prey.

Types of Plugs

There are two general types of plugs: Topwater Plugs and Diving Plugs.

Topwater or floating plugs, when cast, will be suspended in the water or float on the surface. But during a slow to medium-fast retrieval they will dive under the surface of the water and product a side-to-side swimming action. This imitates the movement of real fish and attracts predators like pike and bass.

Diving plugs (crankbaits) are underwater lures. How deep under the water they go is determined by the angle of the bib as well as the size of the lip. A diving plug with a small lip will stay fairly shallow, while one with a larger lip will go fairly deep. You’ll also hear these kinds of plugs referred to as “deep-divers” or “shallow-divers” based on their diving depth. They are also called “crankbaits” for the kind of bait casting reels they are often used with, which have a crankshaft.

How to Fish with Plugs

You might think that a plug’s action is determined by their design. But accomplished anglers are able to help add to the lifelike-ness of that action. They can make a retrieve fast or slow, or let the plug stop int he water and then start again quickly, or use the rod tip to add a twitching motion during retrieve. These nuances are very effective to tempt wary fish out of their hiding spots in snag piles or deep cover.