There are so many saltwater lures on the market today, so I am going to do is run you through the lures I use, what I catch on them and when I use them.
Hardbody lures for offshore.
Over the summer months here off the Gold Coast is our pelagic time and we get everything from Marlin to Mackerel, and there are only two types of lures I use to catch these species. The first ones are Pakula skirted lures in mixed colors when I am chasing Marlin, Tuna and Mahi Mahi. I run a pattern of 5 lures with the darker lures in close to the boat and the lighter colors further out (Riggers). Troll around 6 to 6,1/2 knots. The other saltwater lures I run are shallow and deep diving hardbody (X-raps, Halco) lures which are fantastic for Mackerel and Wahoo. With these types of lures, I run a short single strand 60 lb wire to stop those toothy buggers biting through my leader. I troll a pattern of 4 lures with two deep divers (6 to 8 meter)closest to the boat and two shallow runners out further 1 to 2-meter divers. I run mixed colors at 6 knots.
More Saltwater Lures I use Are Soft Plastics.
I don't use a lot of soft plastic lures but the one I do use is a 9-inch Slug-Go in white with a 7/0 worm hook and I use this lure for Snapper when there is little current, just cast down current and let it sink slowly giving it a twitch every now and then. I also use this lure for Yellowtail Kingfish and the method is very easy, this time cast towards the fish schools or bommies and do a couple of turns of the reel handle and twitch the rod and watch the lure glide for a couple of seconds then repeat. The other soft plastic lure I use offshore is a Gulp Jerk Shad pink and white 5 to 7 inch with a 1/8th 5/0 jighead this is also for Snapper once again cast down current and let sink slowly NO TWITCHING just a slow sink. I usually find the bigger fish in the top half of the water column. Slug-Go lures are not available in Australia but we do have something similar and work just as good. Silstar Slapstix lures
Micro Jigs Are Awesome Saltwater Lures.
Micro jigging has become huge in Australia and there really isn't any fish that won't eat a Micro Jig. These jigs come in a large variety of sizes and colors and can be used from inshore waters to the open ocean. I think the appeal of micro jigging is testing your skill against powerful fish with light whippy rods. No matter where you fish in saltwater there will be a micro jig for you! For this method to work, you will need a proper jig rod, go and talk to your local tackle shop about micro jigging your area.
Surface Lures.Stick baits and poppers are some of my favorite saltwater lures as you can use them for a large variety of species from inshore to well offshore and watching a surface strike is just amazing! I mainly use stick baits to chase Tailor in the surf (good fun) or for casting into Tuna schools offshore, and my favorite is to find a bait school on the close reefs 30 meters deep and cast around the bait looking for a Spanish Mackerel. Of course, I use a short wire trace when looking for Mackerel. I only use poppers when chasing Mangrove jacks around the structure as a popper you work slower than a stick bait which means it stays in the strike zone longer. By the way, stick baits and poppers work very well at night for Jacks and Trevally.
Metal lures have been around since the dawn of time and still are one of the easiest and best lures to use, just cast and wind as fast as possible that's it! These saltwater lures come in a very large variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Metal slugs will catch a large variety of species such as Tuna, Tailor, Salmon, Mackerel, Trevally, etc. The best way to use these lures is to find a school of fish cast into it and wind. For best results use the old saying MATCH THE HATCH. Match your lure color to the bait the fish are feeding on.