Using Freshwater Lures In Saltwater? (Acceptable?!) 

Many people who enjoy fishing often ask if they can use freshwater lures in saltwater.

If you also have such questions or other questions as to whether there is a difference between saltwater fishing lures and freshwater fishing lures, then this article is for you.

Here Is The Answer To Using Freshwater Lures In Saltwater:

Although it may appear irrational since freshwater lures are not primarily built for fishing in saltwater, you can still use them for fishing there. 

However, this may subject your freshwater lures to rust and get damaged quickly due to their exposure to salt.

Do Freshwater Lures Work In Saltwater?

Freshwater lures can work in saltwater. 

Even though not all freshwater lures will work effectively in saltwater, a good number of them will still work well.

Using freshwater lures in saltwater has yielded excellent results. 

They are quite productive, particularly when you have to fish in saltwater and all you have is a tackle box filled with freshwater lures.

However, if you keep using your freshwater lures in saltwater, you may have to replace them so soon because they would rust quickly since the environment is unfriendly.

The hook and split rings of saltwater lures are usually stronger and more durable than freshwater lures, making them last longer in saltwater. 

With this, you should not expect your fishing lures specially crafted for freshwater to last as long as saltwater lures if you keep using them in saltwater.

In situations where you have no choice other than to use freshwater lures in saltwater,  you can make them last for a reasonable time by always making sure you rinse the freshwater lures with fresh, clean water after fishing.

Can You Use Bass Lures In Saltwater? 

Yes, you can also use bass lures in saltwater. 

You don’t always have to purchase new lures specifically made for saltwater, particularly when you can find some bass lures perfect for the job in your fishing tackle box. 

Some of the bass lures you can use in saltwater include;

  • Rattle Baits
  • Topwater Walker
  • Fish Head Spin
  • Spinnerbait
  • Suspending Jerk Baits
  • Chatterbait
  • Swimbaits

After using bass lures in saltwater, remember to rinse thoroughly with fresh water to remove salt residue. Also, dry them well before storing them back. Otherwise, corrosion will set in fast and ruin your lures if they are not thoroughly cleaned.

You can also upgrade the hooks to more durable and suitable ones for saltwater fishing.

Is There A Difference Between Saltwater And Freshwater Lures?

There are some distinctions between freshwater and saltwater lures.

Both freshwater and saltwater lures come in various colors, types, and sizes. However, some significant differences between them are;

  1.  The Ability To Withstand Corrosion

Saltwater lures are specifically made to withstand the salty environment and won’t rust quickly. On the other hand, freshwater lures are not built to withstand the salty environment and will rust faster when exposed to saltwater.

  1. Price

Freshwater fishing lures usually cost less when compared to those used in saltwater. 

The reason is that tough materials are used to build saltwater lures, and the parts are sealed, protecting them from corrosion.

  1. Hooks

Saltwater hooks are usually tougher, durable, and can withstand corrosion compared to freshwater hooks.

Can You Use Crankbaits In Saltwater?

Yes, you can use crankbaits for fishing in saltwater.

Crankbaits are popularly used in saltwater, especially lipless crankbaits designs.

Several crankbaits designed for saltwater fishing are readily available, but you can also use freshwater crankbaits in saltwater.

It would help if you considered the following tips when using crankbaits in saltwater;

  • Use dark brown or red colors of crankbaits in clear saltwater. If the water is murky or dirty, use crankbaits with a color like chartreuse.
  • Upgrade the hook of the crankbait to one that is suitable for saltwater. You can expect the crankbait hook built for freshwater to rust quickly. It’s better to change it to a more durable one that can resist corrosion.
  • Wash the crankbaits with fresh and clean water each time after using it in saltwater
  • Select crankbaits that can go deeper into the water than you intend.

The chances are that freshwater crankbait will not go as deep as it should in saltwater because saltwater has more density than freshwater.

What Kind Of Lures Do You Use In Saltwater? 

There are countless lures available for you to use in saltwater fishing, some of which are

  • Lipped plugs
  • Flutter jig
  • Poppers
  • Artificial shrimp
  • Bucktail jig
  • Crankbaits
  • Hammered spoon 
  • Soft plastics
  • Clarkspoon
  • Twitch baits
  • Gold spoon

When determining what type of lure to use in saltwater, it is also essential to consider the color of lures. 

Here are several color tips you should always keep in mind, which will guide you in determining the lures to choose for saltwater.

  1. Target Fish

Try to use colors similar to the prey of the fish you are targeting.

  1. Time Of The Day

For fishing in saltwater during the day, choose colors like red, black, blue, and orange. When it becomes sunny, switch to bright colors like green or chartreuse. Use darker colors at night.

  1. Clarity Of Water 

If you are going to fish in clear saltwater, it is best to use lures with colors like silver. It attracts fish better. The silver color often gives fish better visibility of your lure by flashing in clear water.

For other colors, use more subtle and natural ones like brown.

However, if you plan to fish in water that is not clear or somewhat murky, use fishing lures with gold colors as it tends to reflect better in dirty water. For other colors, use brighter ones like yellow or chartreuse.

  1. The Time Of The Day

If you were fishing during the day, you would want to choose lighter colors of lures. On the other hand, darker colors are best used at night. 

  1. The Depth Of The Water 

The deeper you plan to fish, the less you will need to worry about your lure’s color. 

So if you are fishing deep in saltwater, you won’t have to worry so much about the colors of the lures. In deep depth, all colors of lure will eventually turn black.


While it is possible to use your freshwater fishing lures in saltwater, always remember that you are compromising the lifespan of your freshwater fishing lure with every use. This is because they are not specifically built to endure the salty environment.

Nevertheless, if you wash your freshwater lures with cleaned water after fishing in saltwater and adequately take care of it afterward, you may not have to worry so much about the salt damaging them.