plastic fishing lures in box


This Quick Guide is designed to help you make the most out of common fishing plastics and know how to use them better.


Grub plastics typically refer to models that have a ribbed body and a single curled tail. They don’t resemble anything in particular but could be mistaken for a worm, fish or mollusc or crustacean that is struggling and wriggling around. Grub plastics are perfect for most, smaller species (Bream, Flathead, Sooty Grunter, Jungle Perch, Australian Bass etc.). They work particularly well around sand and mud flats, around pontoons, wharfs and boat hulls and are best worked slowly. A steady lift that kicks the tail into action and then a pause to let the plastic sit works well for Bream. A slow steady retrieve can also be effective. Larger models can now be purchased for deeper water reef species too.


Minnow-style plastics (sometimes referred to as stick bait plastics) are essentially a long straight and flexible plastic designed to loosely resemble a baitfish. They often have a small fork in the tail. These plastics have the least natural movement and require the most effort from an angler to impart a fish attracting action. These plastics work well with any species that will eat baitfish. They can be retrieved quickly across the surface for species such as kingfish or twitched slowly across the bottom for bream. Remember to impart an erratic action that resembles a sick or struggling baitfish.


Pre-rigged plastics are a quick and easy option plastic. Nevertheless, they still need to be used for the correct applications. Most pre-rigged plastics feature a paddle-tail action and are targeted at bigger fish, such as Barramundi, Jewfish or various reef-associated species. Some of the smaller versions are suitable for Flathead. These plastics can be hopped or bounced across the bottom or worked with a steady retrieve. They are one of the best choices for targeting barramundi in impoundments. Remember to clip off the plastic hook protectors before fishing. Paddle tail plastics can also be purchased without the pre-rigging for customisation convenience.


There is an assortment of weird and wonderful plastics that fall into the critter category. These plastics typically feature multiple appendages that flutter and kick and resemble a crustacean or worm-like creature. They look weird, but they catch fish and are a great option for smaller species. Try them on sand and mud flats or around wharves and pontoons for species such as Bream, Whiting, and Flathead. Fish them slowly with lots of pauses and twitches and make them look like a struggling animal.


I don’t think there are many fish species that would turn their noses up at prawn offering. There are plenty of plastics out there that resemble prawns but make sure you choose an appropriate size for the intended target. Similar to minnow style plastics, prawn plastics usually require plenty of action from the angler to get the lure kicking. Imagine a fleeing prawn as it repeatedly kicks backwards through the water and try to imitate that with your plastic.


Is there anything we have missed? Let us know and share with everyone else.

Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.