The 12 Best Surf Fishing Lures for 2024: Full List & Reviews

Surf fishing is an exciting and rewarding form of fishing that requires some specialized gear and techniques to get the best results. When it comes to selecting the right surf …

Surf fishing is an exciting and rewarding form of fishing that requires some specialized gear and techniques to get the best results. When it comes to selecting the right surf fishing lures, there are many options available, each of which can offer a range of benefits for beginners and experienced surf fishermen alike. 

In this article, we will explore the 12 best surf fishing lures on the market today and provide a short list of their key features, which can help increase your chances of catching that prized fish. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned surf angler, these lures are sure to help you reel in more fish on your next fishing trip.

Lures for surf fishing
Surf fishing lures are specialized fishing baits designed to attract and catch fish in the rough waters of the surf.
Bucktail Jig
Bucktail Jig
Bucktail Jig
Our Score

Bucktail jigs are versatile lures that can mimic a variety of prey, making them ideal for surf fishing. They come in different weights and sizes, and the hair on the jig's head can be colored to match different species that are naturally being fed on at the time. These jigs are perfect for surf anglers pier fishing or those using a surf rod from a boat.

  • Durable construction
  • Versatile and effective for many surf species
  • Wide range of sizes and color combinations
Kastmaster
Kastmaster
Kastmaster
Our Score

Kastmaster lures have a unique design that allows them to cast long distances and reach deeper waters. Their spoon-like shape mimics baitfish, and they come in a variety of sizes and colors that can get a variety of predatory fish striking. Many anglers consider Kastmaster spoons to be a prime example of light tackle for surf fishing if you are looking for a more finesse approach.

  • Unique design for long-distance casting
  • Attractive baitfish profile that will catch fish
  • Range of sizes and colors to imitate natural baits
Heddon Super Spook
Heddon Super Spook
Heddon Super Spook
Our Score

The Heddon Super Spook is a topwater plug that creates a lot of surface commotion, making it an ideal choice for new and experienced anglers enjoying some surf fishing. Its realistic action mimics a fleeing baitfish, making it irresistible to predator fish in the area.

  • Topwater action for quick strikes
  • Realistic fleeing baitfish action
  • Durable construction for rough surf conditions
Tsunami Swim Shad
Tsunami Swim Shad
Tsunami Swim Shad
Our Score

The Tsunami Swim Shad is a soft plastic lure with a realistic baitfish profile that works in a variety of weather conditions. It can be fished at a variety of depths, making it a versatile option for surf fishing. I personally use this with a steady retrieve throughout the late summer months in the low-tide surf.

  • Realistic baitfish profile
  • Versatile for different depths and retrieves
  • Extremely durable construction
Gulp! Sandworm
Gulp! Sandworm
Gulp! Sandworm
Our Score

Gulp! Sandworms are soft plastic lures that mimic the scent and action of real sandworms. They are ideal for surf fishing for species like striped bass and surf perch, as well as bottom feeders that target shrimp and similar live bait. These artificial lures work well in areas with coarse gravel and soft sand, giving you many options when fishing.

  • Realistic scent and action
  • Effective for several species
  • Perfect option for pier fishing conditions
Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow
Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow
Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow
Our Score

The Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow is a hard bait that mimics a variety of saltwater baitfish. Its holographic finish reflects light, making it more attractive to your target fish. When it comes to proven lures, the Crystal Minnow is arguably one of the best surf fishing lures that will help you catch fish on any type of surf fishing rod.

  • Realistic baitfish profile
  • Reflective holographic finish
  • Strong exterior shell
Berkley Gulp! Shrimp
Berkley Gulp! Shrimp
Berkley Gulp! Shrimp
Our Score

The Berkley Gulp! Shrimp is a soft plastic lure that mimics the scent and action of live shrimp. It is an effective lure for surf fishing for species like redfish, flounder, and speckled trout. Most anglers will do well to have this lure in their tackle box, especially when fishing from the beach during the winter months.

  • Realistic attractant and action
  • Effective for multiple species
  • Arguably the best surf fishing artificial shrimp lure
Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper
Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper
Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper
Our Score

The Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper is a topwater plug that mimics the action of a quickly fleeing baitfish such as Spanish mackerel. Its design allows you to cast it long distances and create a lot of surface commotion, making it an ideal choice for surf fishing.

  • Topwater action that draws attention
  • Extremely long casting distance
  • Realistic fleeing baitfish action
Savage Gear Sandeel
Savage Gear Sandeel
Savage Gear Sandeel
Our Score

The Savage Gear Sandeel is a soft plastic lure with a realistic sand eel profile. It is effective for species like striped bass and bluefish and can be fished at different depths. It has been proven effective for catching fish that favor live bait, making it perfect for stubborn or highly suspicious fish.

  • Realistic sand eel profile
  • Versatile for different depths and retrieves
  • Available in a range of colors
Yo-Zuri Mag Darter
Yo-Zuri Mag Darter
Yo-Zuri Mag Darter
Our Score

The Yo-Zuri Mag Darter is a long-casting lure that imitates a wounded baitfish, making it perfect for attracting the attention of big fish suspended in the surf. Its unique lip design allows it to create a lifelike swimming action, and its realistic 3D eyes and scale pattern add to its appeal.

  • Unique lip design creates a lifelike swimming action
  • Long-casting for covering large areas of water
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
Tsunami Holographic Sand Eel
Tsunami Holographic Sand Eel
Tsunami Holographic Sand Eel
Our Score

The Tsunami Holographic Sand Eel is a versatile lure that can be used for both surf fishing and inshore fishing. Its holographic finish and realistic body shape make it irresistible to a variety of saltwater species, including striped bass and bluefish.

  • Holographic finish for maximum flash and visibility
  • Realistic body shape and movement
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
Rapala X-Rap
Rapala X-Rap
Rapala X-Rap
Our Score

The Rapala X-Rap is a versatile and effective surf fishing lure that imitates a wide range of baitfish, making it a favorite among anglers targeting various saltwater game fish. The lure features a sleek, aerodynamic design that allows for long, accurate casts, even in windy conditions.

  • Versatile design that mimics a variety of baitfish
  • Durable hard plastic construction
  • Realistic appearance with holographic foil and 3D eyes

Catching Fish in the Surf FAQs

Surf fishing fisherman in waves sunny casting
Surf fishing refers to the activity of fishing in shallow waters along the shoreline of a beach or other coastal area.

Which Type of Surf Fishing Lure Should I Use?

The type of surf fishing lure you should use depends on several factors, including the species of fish you’re targeting, the weather and water conditions, and your personal preferences. Some common types of surf fishing lures include topwater plugs, soft plastic baits, jigs, spoons, and swimbaits.

Topwater plugs are great for targeting species that feed on the surface, while soft plastics and jigs are versatile and can be used in a variety of conditions. Spoons are good for casting long distances, and swimbaits are effective for imitating baitfish.

What Color Lures Work Best in the Surf?

In general, natural colors such as silver, white, and green can be effective in clear water, while brighter colors like chartreuse, pink, and orange can be useful in murkier water. Darker colors like black and purple can work well in low-light conditions or during overcast days. It’s often best to have a variety of lure colors on hand to experiment with and determine what works best in different conditions.

What Are Good Beach Fishing Lures?

In murky sandy water, brightly colored lures with high visibility are often more effective as they can be easily seen by fish. Some good lures to consider include:

Bucktail Jigs
These jigs have a long history in beach fishing and work well in murky water due to their extremely bright colors and lifelike movement in the water.

Soft Plastic Baits
Soft plastics such as grubs, worms, and shad are effective in murky water due to their high level of visibility. They can also be rigged in various ways to mimic the movement of natural prey.

Topwater Plugs
Topwater plugs are great for fishing in the surf because they create a commotion on the surface of the water that can attract fish even when visibility is low.

Spoon Lures
Spoons have a highly reflective surface that can help fish locate them in murky water on sunny days. They also imitate the flash and movement of baitfish, making them effective for a variety of target species.

What Are Good Rock Fishing Lures?

Rock fishing lures should be strong and durable enough to handle rough terrain and strong currents. Some good rock fishing lures to consider include:

Bucktail Jigs
These jigs are versatile and can be used in a variety of rock fishing situations. They have a realistic swimming action that mimics baitfish, and the bucktail adds extra movement in the water.

Diamond Jigs
These lures are great for fishing deeper waters around larger rock formations. They have a diamond shape that creates a lot of flash in the water, which can attract fish from far away.

Topwater Plugs
These lures are great for fishing in rocky areas with high surf. The action on the surface can be very enticing to fish, and the noise they create can help draw in predatory species.

Metal Spoons
These lures are ideal for fishing in deep water around rock piles. The reflective surface of the spoon can attract fish from far away, and the fluttering action can entice rapid strikes. With a decent surf fishing rod you can cast these lures a mile.

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AUTHOR
Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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