Soft Plastic Swimbaits:

Soft plastic swimbaits are incredibly versatile and effective for targeting a variety of species in Maryland waters, including largemouth bass, striped bass and even trout. These lifelike lures mimic the swimming action of baitfish, making them irresistible to predatory fish. Rig them on a weighted hook or a jighead and retrieve them at varying speeds to imitate the natural movement of prey.

Topwater Lures:

Maryland's shallow bays, marshes, and estuaries provide ideal habitat for topwater fishing. Lures like poppers, walkers and frogs create surface disturbances that attract fish lurking in the shallows. Topwater fishing can yield explosive strikes, especially during low-light conditions or when targeting aggressive species like the invasive northern snakehead, largemouth bass and striped bass (also known as rockfish).

Jigging Spoons:

Jigging spoons are a staple for targeting striped bass in Maryland's deeper waters. These heavy metal lures are designed to be vertically jigged beneath schools of baitfish or around underwater structures like bridge pilings and rock formations. When jigged erratically, they mimic injured baitfish, triggering a predatory response from hungry stripers and all other predatory fish in Maryland.

Crab and Shrimp Imitations:

Maryland's renowned blue crab and shrimp populations make crustacean imitations highly effective for catching species like red drum, flounder and speckled trout. Soft plastic crab and shrimp lures rigged on a weighted hook or a jighead can be bounced along the bottom or dragged through grass beds to entice strikes from bottom-feeding fish.

Scented Soft Baits:

Adding scent to your lures can make a significant difference, especially when targeting finicky or wary fish. Scented soft baits, such as scented worms, grubs and tubes infused with natural fish-attracting scents like shrimp, crab or baitfish can increase your chances of success, particularly in murky or stained waters where visibility is limited.

In addition to these lures, it's essential to match your tackle to the species you're targeting and the fishing conditions you encounter. Quality rods, reels, lines, and terminal tackle are crucial components of a successful fishing setup. Always check local regulations and obtain the necessary licenses before heading out on the water.

By incorporating these top six lures and tackle into your fishing arsenal, you'll be well-equipped to reel in trophy fish and create unforgettable angling experiences in the diverse waters of Maryland. So, pack your gear, hit the water, and get ready for a Maryland fishing adventure like no other!

Get Ready for Your Next Fishing Outing

In need of additional information, inspiration, or a preview of what Maryland has to offer? Check out Fish & Hunt Maryland’s latest articles written by fellow sportsmen and women and local partners along with our great library of videos available.

Be sure to acquire your license from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources if you plan on heading out on your own, charter passengers are covered by the captain’s license.  

Visit our Planning Resources page for information on fishing charters and guides, lodging options, marinas, retailers and more. And if you’re up for a quick getaway, be sure to check out Visit Maryland for places to stay, dining, and things to do while you’re here.