The Best Lures For Bluefishing: 2021 Top 6 Picks

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Crocodile Spoons with Treble Hook (click to see)
“If you’re looking for the most consistent saltwater lure, you’ll find great value in the Crocodile Spoons. Its clever treble hook design is intended for a sure snag, increasing your chances of catching bluefish.”

Best Premium Option: Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure (click to see)
“No other lure mimics baitfish as effectively as the Rapala X-Rap. Its unique holographic inserts allow it to reflect and flash properly underwater. Plus, the rattling sound makes it hard for the fish to resist a bite.”

Best Surf Fishing Lure: Creek Chub Striper Strike Fishing Lure (click to see)
“If it’s a surface lure you’re looking for, the Creek Chub Lure might be it. It has the ideal weight and shape balance, making it a handy fishing tool if you’re a big fan of fishing in shallow waters.”

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Bluefish are popular game fish from the Gulf of Mexico up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Using the right combination of lures can make a difference in fighting fish for hours or only getting a few bites.

The best bluefish lures either mimics the baitfish bluefish schools follow or are irresistible for them. Flashy lures with jerking actions are essential since they move like the small fish bluefish feed on.

Here we will be giving you six of the best bluefish lures on the market, whether you’re surf fishing, trolling, or chasing down schools. 

Sources researched
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Sources researched
Customer reviews
19,821
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
22
Hours spent testing
Products tested
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Products tested
Product Name
Best Overall Lure for Bluefish
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Crocodile Spoons Silver Color with Treble Hook 2oz 6 Pieces
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing lure, 4-Inch, Silver Blue Mackerel
Creek Chub Striper Strike Baby Blue Fish Tackle, 2 1/8 oz
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 91/100
Feature 1
Can be jigged, retrieved, and cast long distances
X-Rap Lures all come with rattles inside the body
Popper front pushes water and creates vibration
Feature 2
Treble hook to snag on strikes
Dual treble hooks
Long casting great for surf fishing
Best Overall Lure for Bluefish
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Crocodile Spoons Silver Color with Treble Hook 2oz 6 Pieces
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Can be jigged, retrieved, and cast long distances
Feature 2
Treble hook to snag on strikes
Buy Now Button
Best Premium Option
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing lure, 4-Inch, Silver Blue Mackerel
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
X-Rap Lures all come with rattles inside the body
Feature 2
Dual treble hooks
Buy Now Button
Best Surf Fishing Lure
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Creek Chub Striper Strike Baby Blue Fish Tackle, 2 1/8 oz
Our grade
Our Rating 91/100
Feature 1
Popper front pushes water and creates vibration
Feature 2
Long casting great for surf fishing
Buy Now Button

Best Bluefish Lures In 2021

Check out the best bluefish lures for all types of anglers:

  1. Best Overall: Crocodile Spoons Silver Color with Treble Hook
  2. Best Premium Option: Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure
  3. Best Surf Fishing Lure: Creek Chub Striper Strike Fishing Lure
  4. Best Budget Option: Capt Jay Fishing Bucktail Jig
  5. Best Soft-Plastic Bluefish Lure: Dr.Fish Soft Plastic Swimbait
  6. Best Bluefish Trolling Lure: Hair of The Dog Trolling Lure

Crocodile Spoons Silver Color with Treble Hook

Best Overall: Ideal for beginners and pro anglers

Crocodile Spoons Silver Color with Treble Hook 2oz 6 Pieces
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KEY FEATURES

  • Classic proven spoon
  • Flashes like baitfish
  • Can be jigged, retrieved, and cast long distances
  • Treble hook to snag on strikes

Crocodile Spoons are one of the more consistent saltwater lures, with their jerking movement and bright flashes mimicking baitfish. It’s a great choice for any fishermen, from beginners to professionals, and works well for inducing strikes from multiple predatory species.

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Bluefish Lure Details

This spoon from Sanhu has a prism patterned plate to go with its silver finish. The minnow shape and plate make it seem like a darting baitfish while retrieving it in jerking motions. The treble hook on the bottom snags and sets when the fish strikes the lure.

Spoons are tried and confirmed to be the best bluefish lures in most environments. Coming in multiple sizes allows you to adjust for the size of the fish you’re targeting and adjust the weight to get the most extended casts with the gear you’re using. 

How to Use It

For bluefish, you’ll want to cast the spoon directly into their school or into a feeding frenzy in the best-case scenarios. You can use spoons from the beach or a boat, and they work best on light to medium tackle.

Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure

Best Premium Option: Flashy and reflective design

Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing lure, 4-Inch, Silver Blue Mackerel
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KEY FEATURES

  • X-Rap Lures all come with rattles inside the body
  • Dual treble hooks
  • Variety of patterns and sizes

X-Rap Lures come in as a premium option because the larger ones become more expensive, and bluefish fight hard and tend to break off quite a few lures. They are meant to be cast and retrieved similarly to spoons, and their design and patterns mimic baitfish. X-Rap bluefish lures are tested in water tanks to check that they accurately move through the water and mimic baitfish properly.

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Bluefish Lure Details

The patterns and rattles are what set X-Rap lures apart from others. They come in various designs meant to mimic different fish species, such as the blue mackerel X-Rap. In addition, each lure is made with holographic inserts to reflect light and flash properly underwater regardless of the pattern. 

These best bluefish lures have balls inside their body that rattle while it’s being retrieved. The rattle adds some sound to the visuals the lure presents, helping it entice a strike even when fish aren’t actively feeding.

How to Use It

Like spoons, these lures are made to be cast out and retrieved. X-Rap lures work great from beaches, piers, and boats. 

Locate a school of bluefish and cast the lure directly in front of them for the best chances. They will still work even when the schools aren’t feeding since the rattles can help trigger bites.

Creek Chub Striper Strike Fishing Lure

Best Surf Fishing Lure: Made for consistent hookups

Creek Chub Striper Strike Baby Blue Fish Tackle, 2 1/8 oz
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KEY FEATURES

  • Slow sinking surface lure
  • Popper front pushes water and creates vibration
  • Mimics injured fish
  • Long casting is excellent for surf fishing

Surf fishing for bluefish limits the amount of water you can fish, but thankfully they swim along beaches following schools of baitfish. Once the school arrives, throwing a popper in front of them will entice strikes, and sometimes you’ll need to cast a long way to reach them. Thankfully, Creek Chub Fishing Lure delivers the casting distance and action you’re looking for.

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Bluefish Lure Details

This popper stands out because it’s made a surface lure and used in shallower water, as you would find in surf zones. Its action mimics the jumping baitfish that bluefish target, and it comes in a variety of patterns.

The dual treble hooks help with the consistency of hookups but do make it more challenging to unhook a fish. The casting ability of the lure comes from its balanced weight and shape, allowing you to reach schools farther out from the shore.

How to Use It

Once you see a school coming, you’ll want to grab your rod and get into position to throw the lure out beyond the school. Then, begin retrieving and working the lure as the school approaches, so you pull it directly through them. With luck, the bluefish will be feeding on a school of baitfish, and your lure will get hit during the feeding frenzy.

Capt Jay Fishing Bucktail Jig

Best Budget Option: Enticing lure for a great price

Capt Jay Fishing Bucktail Jig Saltwater jig Fluke Lure Striper bass Blue Fish Tuna jig Lure Surf Fishing Saltwater Jigging jig (Green, 2 Oz-56G (1 pcs))
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KEY FEATURES

  • 3D eye and hair tails
  • Many color and size options
  • Holographic body mimics baitfish
  • Jigging action

Bucktail Jigs are very responsive lures that mimic baitfish by darting through the water with fibrous tails covering the hook. They work well in most situations but work best when jigged vertically from a boat or pier rather than retrieved from the beach.

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Bluefish Lure Details

Bucktail jigs feature a body shaped like a baitfish, with 3D eyes and fibers covering the hook, which flow in the water like a tail. They come in various sizes and colors, up to eight ounces, but all have holographic inserts and sparkling tail fibers to help entice a bite. 

The biggest downside of bucktail jigs, when used to catch bluefish, is that they will usually be torn up reasonably quickly. In addition, just a few bluefish strikes can remove most of the tail fibers from a jig, so while cheap, they’ll need to be replaced relatively often. 

How to Use It

You’ll want to cast or drop a bucktail jig directly into a school of bluefish. If you can get ahead of a school, drop the jig to the depth they are traveling and work it up and down while the school runs into it. You can cast and retrieve these jigs, but other lures will do a better job because of how quickly the bucktail jigs sink.

Dr.Fish Soft Plastic Swimbait

Best Soft-Plastic Bluefish Lures: Life-like lure in a variety of patterns

Dr.Fish Lot 6 Soft Plastic Swimbait Fluke Tail Soft Lure Jerk Shad Wiggle Fishing Lure Bass Perch 3in Blue Suggest a change
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KEY FEATURES

  • Lifelike action and colors mimic baitwell
  • Casting or trolling works to get the right action
  • Reinforced silicone stands up to teeth

While not the most popular lure, bluefish will strike a soft-plastic lure as well. Soft plastic swimbaits have the advantage of feeling more lifelike when struck and holding scents out of the package. 

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Bluefish Lure Details

These best bluefish lures stand out because they are impregnated with scent and salts. Made to look like a three-inch baitfish, they are also going to smell like one.

The silicone lure is reinforced to keep it from being torn to shreds by a toothy fish immediately after being hit. They come in various patterns that allow you to mimic local baitfish or pick one that stands out in the water quality you’re fishing.  

How to Use It

Like most of the best bluefish lures on the list, you’ll find the most success casting and retrieving this lure in the middle of a bluefish feeding frenzy. If appropriately weighted and pulled at low speed, you can use these as trolling lures, creating your little bait school for bluefish to follow.

Hair of The Dog Trolling Lure

Best Bluefish Trolling Lure: Works on bluefish and other pelagic species

Hair of The Dog 8.5' Chromed Head Heavy Trolling Lure 4.25 Ounces (Blue/White)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Heavy weighted head and 3D eye
  • Great for adding as a teaser on baits
  • Works on large bluefish and other pelagic species

Trolling allows you to cover a lot of water while still fishing, and bluefish are one of the species that will hit trolled lures once you run into them. Trolling lures need to be paired with bait and trolled behind a boat, and you’ll generally need to be in an area with large bluefish for it to be effective.

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Bluefish Lure Details

The hair skirt on the lure is designed to be a visual teaser underwater. It flares and moves when trolled, and the weighted head keeps the bait under the water. The 3D eye and hairs help make the baits seem to be swimming and alive instead of a quickly moving dead fish.

Since it’s a skirt, you’ll need to attach both a leader and a bait to make it the best bluefish lures. Unfortunately, you won’t get any use out of it outside of trolling, and only large bluefish like those on the Atlantic Coast will take it. On the plus side, while trolling for bluefish, these skirts entice bites from sailfish, dolphins, and other pelagic species as well.

How to Use It

After you’ve run your preferred leader through the skirt, you’ll attach a bait to the hook and then pull the bait right into the skirt. Pre-rigged ballyhoo is a great option to purchase and get a rig together quickly if you don’t want to make your rigs.

Once set up, you’ll troll the lure behind your boat, generally between 6 and 9 knots. These can help catch bluefish and pelagic species and can be a great use of your time when searching for bluefish schools.


Tips and Tricks for Bluefish Fishing 

Bluefish travel in schools, usually numbering between six and fifteen fish. They aren’t picky eaters and will strike anything from frozen cut baits to wooden plugs. Bluefish range from the Gulf of Mexico up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States to Maine.

Bluefish tend to school with others of the same size. In Florida, most bluefish are only around three pounds, but as you go north, they get larger, with the world record bluefish sitting at nearly 32 pounds.

How to Catch Bluefish with Artificial Lures

The most crucial consideration in choosing an artificial lure is that it mimics a baitfish. While bluefish aren’t picky eaters, the lure needs to flash and move like a baitfish.

Bluefish are sight feeders, so working lures across their path is key to using artificials. Once you’ve located a school, cast your lure beyond and ahead of the bluefish, whether from the beach or in your boat. Then, as they swim, you’ll work your lure across their path and hopefully trigger a bite.

The biggest challenge in using artificial lures is finding the bluefish. Look for water that looks like it’s boiling, diving birds, or rolling water to help you locate the fish.

 If you’re sitting on the beach, you’ll typically be able to see the school coming as a dark spot in the water, and the baitfish the bluefish are chasing will be jumping out of the water to evade them. However, once they get close, throwing out a spoon or a Creek Chub popper in front of the school will give you an excellent opportunity to land a fish.

How to Successfully Catch Bluefish on Live Bait

In Florida, the most popular live baits are shrimp and pilchards. But, as you head North and the bluefish get larger, you’ll find success with pogies and finger mullet as well.

You want to freeline these baits behind your boat, only using some split shot to keep them down on windy days. Let their scent get out in the current and wait for strikes. You can cast pilchards or other small fish into the path of a bluefish, and the bait’s panic can help provoke a strike.

Alternatively, you can use live bait from shore; make sure the bait has room to swim up off the bottom. The biggest challenge with live baits is catching them. Using some chumming techniques and a cast net will usually work well, but you can always try to hook some bait with a sabiki rig as well.

Bluefish Locations

Bluefish tend to spend their time in coastal areas, and it’s rare for them to be found far offshore. The prime spots for bluefish will be between five and ten-foot depths. Passes are fish highways that allow them to travel between bodies of water, and passes, bays, and inlets are great spots to catch bluefish.

Many anglers drift over grass flats with cut baits out while casting artificials when schools are located. You can also drive quickly to any evident bluefish schools when you see action on the surface. 

Trolling for Bluefish

The biggest advantage of trolling for bluefish is the amount of water you can cover. You can also fish multiple depths at one time. The best bluefish lures to troll are spoons and plugs, but the Hair of the Dog is a great choice for larger bluefish when you want to troll some cut baits.

You’ll find the most success running through passes and near shorelines in around ten feet of water. If you know which direction fish tend to run, running the opposite way can help you locate fish faster. The biggest challenge in trolling is that the bluefish will be at either populated beaches or passes with boat traffic. You’ll need to be careful to avoid tangles or accidents.

Surf Fishing for Bluefish

Surf fishing for bluefish typically requires a two-pronged approach. First, you’ll want to soak a dead or live bait and let it sit while actively looking for schools of bluefish coming down the beach and casting lures into their path.

The biggest challenge in surf fishing is that you’re limited in the amount of water you can cover since you’ll generally be walking up and down the beach and can only cast so far out. Rougher surf days can also pose challenges since you’ll need to use heavier weights to keep your bait down, and it makes using artificial lures nearly impossible. 

When you get your chance, cast a spoon or X-Rap right into the path of the bluefish and drag it across their faces. If they’re hungry, you’ll be hooked up in no time. 

Fly Fishing for Bluefish

Bluefish put up a heck of a fight and are a ton of fun on fly gear. Any flies that mimic baitfish work pretty well. Once you locate the bluefish, pull your fly across their face and wait for a strike.

The biggest challenge is you’ll frequently break off while fighting the bluefish. Getting a tougher leader can help with their sharp teeth cutting off your flies.

Eight-weight gear is ideal in Florida, but East Coast anglers may want to up that to a ten-weight setup. Also, try thirty-pound tips to help avoid break-offs and cuts from the bluefish’s teeth.

Drift Fishing for Bluefish 

The best way to drift fish for bluefish is in passes and on grass flats. First, let out a few live baits while casting artificials and wait to locate schools. Then, you can start throwing out spoons and other artificials after feeding out some live shrimp or small baitfish.

Since you aren’t covering a lot of water quickly, scents can help bring fish to you. Using a chum mixture or live-chumming around your boat works well. Alternatively, you can use soft plastics that have scent embedded in them like the one we mentioned from Dr. Fish.

The biggest challenge anglers face in drift fishing is normally slow, but you can remedy this by picking up and moving when you notice clear signs of fish in the distance.