Ladyfish are a lightning-fast and aggressive fish, which makes them the perfect target for artificial lures. Called the "poor man's tarpon" by many, ladyfish can be very impressive jumpers for their size, often leaping two feet out of the water several times before being landed.
The majority of a ladyfish's diet consists of fish. In fact, studies looking at the stomach content of ladyfish have found very high amounts of shiny baitfish in particular, so the best lures are the shiny and flashy ones like spoons, spinnerbaits, and the many others on the market.
Spoons for Ladyfish
Silver spoons work great for catching ladyfish, because they not only look like their favorite prey, small, shiny fish, but they work well when reeled in very fast, which is exactly what a ladyfish just can't resist. Use smaller spoons (one to two inches) in the backwaters of estuaries and lagoons to catch big ladyfish all day long.
Hard Plastics for Ladyfish
Hard plastic lures work great for ladyfish because they can be retrieved fast, often have a great shiny new coat on them, and make lots of noise. In dark water like the back of estuaries, that noise can do a lot for attracting the attention of aggressive fish like ladyfish.
Saltwater Flies for Ladyfish
Any time you have a hungry, aggressive fish as a target, they are usually a good candidate for using flies. The best flies are the streamers of course -- white or silver in color to mimic an anchovy, small sardine or menhaden. Sometimes flies can be difficult to use in the tight corners of a mangrove channel, so find the small open coves where the ladyfish will be hiding for the best fly action.
A General Statement about Ladyfish Lures
Ladyfish are a whole lot of fun to target with artificial lures, and they can be taken on just about anything that shines. In fact, to really keep up the excitement, switch up the lures when the fish stop biting, so you have some action all day. Anything from the lures shown here in this article to small spinnerbaits for bass or crappie will catch their attention.