Lure Fishing Techniques

In this post, I am going to describe the different lure fishing techniques and how you can use them to tempt a strike from a predator fish such as Pike, Perch and Zander. 

Hopefully, you have got your rod, reel and lures sorted and you’re ready to hit the bank. Hold on… Not quite. You need to know what to do with those lures as a simple cast and retrieve will sometimes work but on most occasions, you will need to be a tad more technical.

There are numerous varying methods and techniques that you can use to get the best out of your kit and hopefully the following information will help you enjoy your lure fishing and put more fish on the bank.

Looking for a full guide to lure fishing? Check out:

Perch – Fishing with Lures

Pike – Fishing with Lures

Please Note:

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Lure Fishing Techniques – The Basics

Lure Fishing Technique article basics
The basics – Lure Fishing Techniques

Braided Fishing Line

I’m not going to delve too deep into the pro’s and cons of braid but trust me when I say braid is the best choice for lure fishing. 

The main benefit of braid being the lack of stretch when comparing braid fishing line to mono. Braid will allow you to feel the tug of a fish on your bait at the exact moment it strikes allowing you to set the hook before the fish realises its fallen for your lure. You will also feel the bottom much better than with mono. This is especially important when using lure fishing techniques like the ‘countdown method’ and ‘jigging’. More on that later. 

If you are looking for a good braid Pikezander recommend the products below

A really important thing you should do when loading your reel with braid is to put some monofilament backing on first. Roughly 6-8 layers are enough to prevent “line slippage“. Line slippage can ruin your hook up rate as the line will slip when you attempt to set the hook giving fish more leverage to throw the hook.

Do you know how to connect braid to mono? If not check out this video

Imparting Action

A quick note on the importance of a balanced setup.

It is important to bear in mind how your fishing gear impacts upon your lures and therefore, the key to working your lures properly is having a balanced setup appropriate for the fish you are targeting and the lures you plan to cast. 

In reality, all lures are manipulated by the fishing line to which they are attached. The line movements are in turn guided by the angler through rod and reel movements. Using different types of rods, reels and fishing line will affect the realism of your lure’s presentation. It is therefore critical that you choose the right kit that matches the right situation. This in its self is an entirely new blog post but make special consideration to the casting abilities of your rod and reel, line diameter and the weight of your lures.   

Effective Lure Fishing Techniques

Lure Fishing Techniques
Learn to use your techniques effectivley

In this section, I will explain the different techniques I use to work my lures. Not sure when to use each technique and with what lure? Keep reading I explain that in the next section. 

Straight Retrieve

Pretty self-explanatory this one. It is is a case of casting your lure and retrieving it at a slow, steady or fast pace. Often anglers will partner this with the ‘Countdown Technique’ to search the water. Another benefit of the retrieve is that you are constantly in touch with your lure because it’s on a tight line, in theory, this means you shouldn’t miss feeling any hits.

Pikezander recommended lures for this technique

Countdown Technique

This technique can be used with all styles of sinking baits including crankbaits, jerkbaits, spoons and soft plastics. The goal is to search through the different layers of water until you find where the fish are. 

It is simple to use and a fantastic method for finding fish. Simply cast your lure and count how long it takes for the lure to hit bottom. If you are using braid you will feel it instantly. If it takes 15 seconds to reach the bottom, subsequent retrieves at a countdown of 10 or 5 seconds will ensure your lure travels through the higher levels of water. When you find the fish you can repeat and increase your chances of putting your lure in front of your target fish.

Pikezander recommended lures for this technique

Stop and Go

The stop and go lure fishing technique is accomplished by reeling in just a little, then stopping, then reeling more, etc. The effect of this will differ depending on the lure you are using.

Sinking Lure

The lure will sink during the stop part of your retrieve 

Suspending Lure

The lure will suspend at its current depth until you start the retrieve again. If used properly this type of lure is fantastic at keeping your bait in the ‘strike zone’ for as long as possible.

Floating lure

The lure will rise to the top during the stop part of your retrieve. Ideal for dodging weed and snags. 

Remember to hold on tight during the stop as many of the takes will happen at this precise moment. 


Twitching is an erratic retrieve technique. The vast majority of the lure’s movement is due to short, fast movements of the rod. This causes the bait to quickly twitch a short distance imitating a dying or injured baitfish. Vary the number of twitches and length of pause to find out what the fish are looking for.

Twitching often attracts fish, but the erratic nature of the retrieve can make it tough for fish to successfully strike. Adding a pause to a retrieve gives fish a chance to hit the lure.

This lure fishing technique is generally used with jerkbaits and surface lures


In most cases, Jigging refers to a  jighead teamed with a soft-plastic lure. It is often mentioned when using techniques like the texas rig and Jika Rig     

The jigging retrieve starts by casting the bait into the water and letting it drop to the bottom on a controlled line. This will let you detect any hits as it sinks (be ready because this happens often). Once the bait lands, it’s worked along the bottom by raising the rod, which lifts the jig off the bottom and brings it forward. Next, the rod is lowered to its starting position, the jig falls back to the bottom, and the slackline is retrieved with the reel. At this point, some anglers may pause before repeating the action.

Lots of anglers make variations to the jigging technique and may include: 

  • Reeling while the rod is lifted to make baits swim longer distances. 
  • Using a few quick turns of the reel to lift the bait upwards and forwards instead of using the rod. 
  • Short, smaller actions that subtly move the bait across the bottom. This is called hopping


Jerking is similar to twitching. This retrieve style relies almost entirely on rod manipulation to impart the right action in the bait. Jerking consists of longer, sweeping or downward motions of the rod before retrieving the slackline with the reel. 

This style of retrieve is mainly used with jerkbaits. If you are interested you can check out the perfect jerkbait rod setup on our site. The sweeping of the rod causes these baits to dive or swim/roll to the side. On the pause, baits will either sink, suspend, or float, depending on their design.

Dead Stick

This technique is used with floating lures. To ‘dead stick’ is to leave your lure still in the water until the impact rings sub-side. Pike especially are very aware of surface movements in the spring. After leaving your lure a while, start the retrieve but don’t be surprised if it gets hit immediately.

Drop Shot Fishing

The dropshot technique is generally used for smaller predators such as Perch though I have had a 1 or 2 tiny pike using this rig. Drop your lure into fish-holding areas such as near weed beds and structure long boats, locks etc… Lightly shake the rod to see if you can pick up bites. If this does not work feel free to drag just like a Carolina rig. More often than not dragging will get more hits.

Lure Fishing Techniques – Time of Year

The most important thing to consider when lure fishing is where the fish are likely to be. This is more often than not determined by water temperature, location of food and water features such as weeds, depth changes and time of year. Let’s have a look at the lure fishing techniques you can try for the best effect at each time of year.


Definitely the toughest time for a lure angler. The best advice I can give is to use slow retrieves and explore the deeper water. To get a take particularly from Pike you will need to put your lure on the end of her nose! Avoid erratic retrieves and use sinking baits for the best chance of a reward. The following lure fishing techniques work well at this time of year:

  • Countdown Method
  • Jigging a soft plastic across the bottom
  • Stop and Go at a slow speed
  • Twitching a bait across the bottom
  • Drop shot method works well for Perch

Check out the best lures for perch


As the water warms the fish will become more active and move into shallower waters. Mix up your lure fishing techniques and add extra speed to get a hungry predator on your lure. Try the following:

  • Countdown Method – Explore all the water layers to find where the fish are striking
  • Jigging – This method will still work at this time of year particularly for Perch
  • Stop and Go
  • Twitching – More erratic retrieves in the higher water layers will get takes from Pike, Perch and Zander
  • Jerking


Rising water temperatures bring the predators out of the shallows and now is the time to fish out over deeper “cooler water”.  Pike will smash lures fished above their heads at this time of year so choose baits that dive to half the waters depth.

  • Jerkbaits come into their own at this time of year
  • Medium-depth crankbaits on a straight retrieve or stop and go 
  • Slow sinking soft plastics and spinnerbaits fished at speed with erratic twitching
  • Possible action from surface baits such as poppers, frogs, ducks etc…


Perhaps the best time for experimenting with your lure fishing techniques is during Autumn. Predators start to focus on feeding hard for the winter and they are in tip-top condition at this time of year. Baitfish start to shoal as the water cools and the days get shorter and shorter. 

To get action it is a must to search the water quickly. Use fast and erratic retrieves.

  • Jerkbaits continue to do the business at this time of year
  • Spinnerbaits are brilliant for searching the water
  • Crankbaits on a straight retrieve or stop and go 
  • Possible action from surface baits such as poppers, frogs, ducks etc…

Check out how to catch Pike on lures in Autumn

That wraps up this Pikezander post on lure fishing techniques. If you put any of this into practice let us know in the comments below. Remember to check out our blog for similar fishing related articles and subscribe so you know when the next post lands. 

Any questions? Feel free to comment below or contact us

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