The 5 Best Lures For Stream & Creek Fishing

Fishing creeks and small rivers are one of my favorite types of fishing because you never really know what you’re going to get. There are countless different lures and baits you can use but in this post, I’m going to be talking about my 5 favorite lures for creek fishing.

A lot of it will depend on what area you’re in, what fish are around, and what time of year it is. If you’re out at the right time of year then you can pretty much use anything you want. Sometimes the fish are a little pickier but here are my favorite lures to use:

  • Rapala Jointed 07.
  • Strike King Grub Bait.
  • Strike King Square Bill Crankbait.
  • Rooster Tail Spinner.
  • Trout Magnet.

I’m not saying these are the best or are the only thing that’s going to catch fish because that’s not true at all. I’ve used other lures and baits but these have worked the best for me. You don’t have to get these exact models but anything similar to them should do the trick. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on the best lures for creek & stream fishing.


Rapala Jointed 07

If you’re fishing a spot that has fast-moving water and are seeing a lot of small baitfish then this is the one you’ll probably want to throw. It’s great for bass but it’ll work completely fine for whatever else is swimming in the water.

I like this lure because it can be fished at different depths to get as close to the fish as possible and it’s jointed which creates a lot of nice action through the water. You can get it in different sizes but this one seems to be right in the sweet spot. You can always go a bit bigger if you’re looking to catch some big fish.

I always use a braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. Some people like using just fluoro but I prefer braid because it lasts longer, it is thinner, and it’s more sensitive. Normally I’ll use a 20 lb test braided line with an 8-12 lb leader.

How do you fish it?

All you have to do is cast it upstream into the current and slowly start reeling in. Cast it at a 45-degree angle as well so it doesn’t come straight back at you. You can keep your rod tip low if you want it a bit deeper or hold it high if you want it close to the surface. This bait will float when you stop reeling so you can try letting the current do all the work. Check it out on Amazon.

Strike King Grub Bait

A lot of the time, creeks and streams are full of crawfish so it’s a pretty common thing for the fish to eat. This is why using some type of soft plastic with claws works really well. There are a number of different options to pick from but this is the one I use most of the time.

You’ll want to use a shaky head jig to give it a bit of extra weight and the best rod to use would be a baitcaster. You don’t have to but it’s what I prefer for this. If there’s a lot of weeds and rocks in your area then you’ll want to hide the hook in the plastic so it doesn’t get snagged up.

How do you fish it?

You’ll want to look for an area where crawfish might be hiding. Normally it’s around rocks and in a place where the current isn’t moving too quickly. If you can find a calm area of water that’s close to moving current then that’s probably your best bet.

The way you’re going to fish it is by casting it out and letting the hook sink to the bottom. You’ll then lift your rod tip which will drag the bait along the bottom and bounce into rocks. Lower your rod tip and reel in the slack. Continue doing this until you reel the hook back to you. Check it out on Amazon.

Strike King Square Bill Crankbait

This is my favorite crankbait for fishing creeks and I prefer one that has a bit of red in it. It’ll be a similar color to the crawfish in the water and it’ll also move like one as it goes through the water. I like to throw it on a baitcaster rod as well.

It’ll catch pretty much anything that’s out there as long as you have the right size. If you want to catch a bigger fish then you’ll want a slightly bigger lure. If you do that you’ll get a lot fewer bites though.

How do you fish it?

It’s pretty much the same as the Rapala. You’ll want to cast it upstream into the current and slowly retrieve it. You can give the rod a twitch and you can let it move by itself (don’t reel). If you want it to swim shallow then hold your rod tip up. If you want it to dive deep then lower your rod. Check it out on Amazon.

Rooster Tail Spinner

This is one of the old school lures that’s been around forever (because it works). There are a number of different colors but the one I prefer has a bit of red and yellow in it. It could depend on your area and what time of year you’re fishing but this has always been my go-to.

Here’s how you fish it.

You’ll probably want to use a spinning rod/reel with it because it’ll be a bit tricky casting it with a baitcaster. Again, you’ll just need to cast it upstream into the current and reel it in. You don’t need to twitch the rod or anything like that so it’s a pretty simple concept. Check it out on Amazon.

Trout Magnet

This is something new I’ve been trying and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’ll catch anything that’s swimming near it and it comes with a bunch of different colors to pick from. It’s also the lazy man’s way to fish.

The kit comes with 15 weighted hooks and 70 grubs in all different colors. I’ve used it to catch trout, salmon, bass, and a number of other fish. You can toss on a bobber as well and sit back and relax.

How do you fish it?

You’ll probably want to use a spinning rod with this bait because it’ll be easier to cast. There’s really no wrong way to fish this thing but the main thing you’ll want to look for is deep pockets of moving water and areas of cover (fallen trees, shade, rocks).

I like to cast it out and slowly start reeling in. I’ll give it a few twitches every 3 or 4 seconds and after that is when you’ll most likely get the bite. If you don’t want to cast and retrieve you can always toss on a bobber and be good to go. Check it out on Amazon.

Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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