Which Fish Species Bite Off Lure Tails (Hint: It’s Not What You Think)


Do you ever wonder why you reel up a half-eaten lure with no tail?

No, you didn’t “just barely miss” a trout.

I’ve been filming lures underwater a lot recently to see how we can catch more fish, and in this video, you’ll see what’s really eating your lure tail, as well as how to keep this from happening.

Check it out below!

What Eats Lure Tails [VIDEO]

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Which Fish Species Are Biting Your Lure

From what we learned in the video, different fish are going to strike your lure at different points on the body of the bait.

While pinfish and pufferfish tend to go for the tail, your predator fish tend to go for the middle of the body or the head.

Here’s a breakdown of the different fish striking tactics:


Pinfish usually travel in schools and nip at the tail.

They don’t always bite it off, but if you feel a bunch of little nibbles on your lure, pinfish might be the culprit.


I used to think needlefish were the guilty ones when I would reel in a lure without a tail.

But as this video shows, needlefish usually strike the middle of the bait.


This is my worst enemy.

You know the pufferfish are around if you are getting tails bitten off multiple times and quickly.

They’ll go right through the tail in one strike.


I used to think that small trout were the ones stealing my lure tails, but as it turns out, that’s not the case.

Trout strike the middle of the body and actually flip the tail up on their nose.

Yes, even the small ones going for the body of the lure.

So if you’re coming up with half a tail, you’re probably in pufferfish territory, not trout territory.

How To Stop Fish From Tearing Up Your Lure

If you are getting a lot of tails bitten off, chances are there are not a lot of predator fish around and the smaller fish start to get very bold.

This is a good sign that you need to change up your tactics, particularly if there are a lot of pinfish.

You’ve got two options:

  1. Move to a spot with fewer pinfish and pufferfish
  2. Switch up your lure to a spoon or hard plastic that they cannot destroy

Here are some options if you need to change up your lure:


pufferfish eat your lures

If your lure is coming up shorter than when you casted it, then it’s time to put a new strategy into play.

You can either:

  1. Move to a spot with fewer pinfish and pufferfish
  2. Switch up your lure to a spoon or hard plastic that they cannot destroy

Do you have other tips for how to avoid getting your lures torn up?

Or any questions about this underwater footage?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who has a tackle box full of half-eaten soft plastics, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Ryan Stoddard
14 days ago

Get video again! I had these issues yesterday. Went through half a pack of Slam Shadys and then moved to another area. I was catching small trout in that area. I tied on a xrap and caught two Pin Fish before moving.

Joseph Saunders
13 days ago

While my wife and I were fishing on Wednesday we went through 5 ss bombers getting bitten off just behind the hook. We saw puffer fish in the water. We moved spots and I caught my pb jack. Great report Luke thanks!

13 days ago

Thanks for posting this. I always thought it was trout short striking the lures. Nice to know the real reason. The videos are amazing keep posting them.

11 days ago

Hi Luke, My wife and I fish out of Ocean Isle NC. Could Blue fish be the evil culprit? I know we’ve lost a lot of gulp to what ever varmint lurks below.

Wesley Gilbert
11 days ago

I was always told Bluefish here in Eastern Carolina. They leave a perfect bite shape off of your platics and other bait as well. They never seem to get hooked.

Chuck Harrison
10 days ago

In Virginia small bluefish are usually the culprits. They are numerous and very aggressive. Small trigger fish will sometimes leave a circle shaped bite in soft plastics too.

Ronald H Mattson
10 days ago

Thank You for the great video. I was told once that the owner of DOA Lures has a huge pinfish farm and distributes them where needed lol.

David davis
9 days ago

I see people commenting on eating puffer fish. I thought they were extremely Poisonous?

Jerry Dexter
9 days ago

Thanks for the INFO

Louis Gore
8 days ago

Man facts sooo aggravating , and i did just that the other day was like ok um gettin hits maybe big fish here too but im not gonna have lures left so i did move location , you guys have been a great source for me to get better … Thank you for all you do

Ps ik i shouldnt say this but i saw a video where Joe simonds (like diamonds hahaha ) mentioned 1fish2fish and i thought that was soo cool to give them a shout out its the 2 fishin sources i seek out to better my fishing game an maximize my time on the water like the 90\10 and 3 cast pass means alot ! So again thank you thank you thank you and please keep it up!

I will join the insiders club when times get alil better for me , so i do greatly appreciate the free videos guys!

Last edited 8 days ago by Louis Gore


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