Buyer's Guide 2003 - Lures

From natural to crankbaits, these 4 lures are the best.

Field & Stream Online Editors

1. FoodSource | Natural Lures
A team of Ph.D.s at Auburn University put their heads together with a bunch of die-hard fishermen to develop this line of 100 percent biodegradable lures, which have the action and feel of plastic but the irresistible scent of natural bait. In fact, fish can eat these all-natural "biobaits" without harm, and they're durable enough to withstand repeated casts into both salt- and freshwater. $5.50 per package; 205-995-9055; www.fslures.com

2. Berkley | Gulp! Natural Baits
If it looks like a worm and smells like a worm¿¿¿it probably is a worm. Unless it's one of Berkley's new all-natural Gulp! baits, which spread 400 times the scent trail of plastic, so the fish smell 'em sooner and hit 'em harder. Fish these water-soluble, biodegradable minnows, worms, and grubs with the same techniques and rigs you would use with live bait. $4¿¿¿$5.50 per package; 800-237-5539; www.berkley-fishing.com

3. Rapala | DT Crankbaits
Like a Roger Clemens fastball, Rapala's DT crankbaits are designed to blast into the strike zone. The DT 10 and DT 16 (DT stands for "dives to") quickly plunge to 10 or 16 feet-depths that pro bass anglers say are the most productive-and stay there, so the lure spends more time where the fish are. $6; 952-933-7060; www.rapala.com

4. Strike King | 3X Soft Baits
After catching two or three bass, a regular soft-plastic lure is usually too torn up to keep attracting fish. But Strike King 3X supersoft plastic lures are extremely durable: Stretch the 3X Lizard beyond recognition, and it snaps right back into place. Plus, the 15 different styles (worms to centipedes) are impregnated with salt and garlic, so hungry largemouths on the prowl can't resist._ $3.50 per package; 901-853-1455; www.strikeking.com_