by Jarrod Day
Walking into a tackle shop to choose a lure can be a daunting task unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Sports fishing for bream on lures is very addictive these days.
In fishing magazines around the country, lures are heavily promoted from one manufacture to another with each trying to have the leading edge over their rival. At the end of the day, all lures catch fish but there are some features on lures that will actually outperform others.
Talk about a mouth full.
Choosing a lure can be extremely confusing at times. For instance there are many factors that come into play. Lure size, bib choice, colour and type whether it be sinking, floating or suspending.
Then you have the choice of which lure to choose whether it be a, metal lazer, soft plastic, jig, octopus jig, spinner Bait, hard body, skirt or plug. Then to confuse people even more, each of these above categories can be divided again. Take hard bodies for example. A hard body lure can be broken up into poppers, stick baits, bibbed and bibless lures.
Although this sounds confusing it is almost simpler just grabbing a lure off the shelf and trying it out. Though this might be an easy approach to lure fishing, it can sometimes work as a disadvantage. Getting the right advice and purchasing the right lures to suit your fishing style will improve your success.
Lures can be categorised into a myriad of types and each one has its own unique action. But which one is good for what species? At the end of the day you need to look at what your targeting to be able to choose what lure is going to be effective.
Poppers are ideal for those fish that feed from the surface, salmon, bream, estuary perch and kingfish are the main species in Victoria.
Stick baits can be used for many species including salmon and bream, trevally and even flathead if allowed to sink. Then there are bibbed lures designed to be trolled and cast. If trolling, you’d most likely encounter flathead, salmon, barracouta, mulloway, pike, snook, snapper, kingfish, trevally, tailor, tuna and plenty of others. Bibless lures on the other hand are more so designed for cod, yellow belly and larger sized bibles lures for tuna, mackerel and marlin.
Metal lures are mostly used for casting at salmon or tailor schools but also come in the form of vibes for bream and snapper. Newer style metal lures are known as octopus jigs are designed for use on kingfish, snapper and other deep water species but it is the snapper that can’t resist them.
These days, there are many trends with lures especially on the bream tournament scene. Where once soft plastics over ruled, was then replaced by small shallow and deep diving hard body lures. Over the past 12 months as seen a huge swing towards metal vibes and although still popular, bream anglers are now heading down the track of using small sinking stick baits.
I haven’t seen such a rapid change in a particular lure type for any other species but I guess with heavy promotion behind the lures and proved successes, trends can be changed.
When choosing a particular lure for a species, try to match the hatch so to speak. If you’re trolling for salmon, use a lure similar to that of what they feed on. For example, you may troll a Yo-Zuri 70mm diet minnow which will be about the same size as the anchovies they feed on.
If you’re targeting Tuna at Portland, you may troll the 180mm Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnum hard body lure which is similar to that of the baitfish they prefer and if you’re in search of snapper, plastics, vibes and octopus Jigs are all proven lures.
No matter what fish you’re targeting, these days there is a lure designed to catch them, it’s just a matter of tying on the right one.
When to use a lure:
There is no real right or wrong time to use a lure to catch a fish. Lure fishing is designed around imitating baitfish so a predatory fish will take the lure over the real thing.
In saying that, if you stumble across a boiling school of tuna, you’re certainly not going to throw in a pilchard on a running sinker rig; rather you’re more likely to troll around the school with a spread of deep diving hard body lures and skirts, this is where having the right lure will prevail.
There is a place for all lures. This tuna took a skirt off the surface.
Lure fishing is quite simple providing you can get the action you’re wanting from the lure. Getting this to happen is all from the angler twitching the rod tip while simultaneously winding and pausing the lure on the retrieve. Some lures such as large hard bodies and skirts don’t warrant the lure to be 'worked' as such; rather just the action of moving forward at speed gets the required action.
Usually it is the smaller lures designed for salmon, trout, bass, bream, barramundi, kingfish, flathead, mulloway, trevally, mackerel etc: that are the ones that require the angler to do all the work to get the lure to work effectively.
Flthead love lures. this beast fell to a Zerek Shrimp.
When it comes to barramundi fishing, lure fishing is highly effective.
These days, there are more and more anglers switching to lure fishing. Some of which when asked, can’t remember the last time they actually threaded a bait onto a hook and presented it to a fish. Of course you’re not always going to catch every fish with a lure but if you flick a lure enough times you will have success.
Why use a lure over bait:
Although bait is very effective, lure fishing revolves heavily around the species of fish you’re targeting. Some species, especially scavengers like seven gillers and gummy sharks are not lure takers. Although I have heard of the odd gummy taken on a soft plastic lure, it is still not a common catch.
That aside, fishing with lures for the right species can actually lead to out fishing baits.
Lures are so effective due to their ability to portray injured baitfish that they are irresistible to most pelagic species. Some lures have a rattle, some click, some are scented and some create a disturbance in the water. All these features aid in attracting predatory fish to the lure.
As you may well know, the soft plastic revolution is still going strong. Soft plastics out fish bait on more occasions that you could imagine and more and more anglers are going that way.
Although I still like to soak a bait from time to time, lure fishing often takes precedence. These days more and more predatory fish are being caught using lures, it is just the scavengers of the ocean still salivating over stinky baits.
Soft plastics are also very effecitve on snapper.
If you’re apprehensive as to using a lure to catch a fish, the next time you in a tackle store grab one and try it for yourself, they really do work.
Southern Blue Fin Tuna = Richter Oscar Jnr skirts, Yo-Zuri Bonita, Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnum Hard bodies
Trout = Instinct Hell Boy, Duel Pins Minnow, Tassie Devils, Celta Spinners, Duel Stoop divers, Stump Jumpers, Rapala CD 5 and 7.
Cod / YellowBelly= Yo-Zuri Drum, Stump Jumpers, Oar-Gee, Bassman Spinner Baits, Jackals, Doozers.
Bream = Eco-Gear SX40’s, PX 35’s, Vibes, Yo-Zuri snap beans, Duel Stoop
Salmon = Instinct Abyss, Yo-Zuri Diet Minnow, Duel Adagio stick minnow, Duel surface slider, Blanka metals, Instinct Slugs.
Snapper = Deka Bokun Vibes, Squidgy 110mm Flick Bait soft plastics, Duel Salty Baits, Duel
Trevally = Berkley 3' Bass Minnows, Yo-Zuri EBA Shad.
Calamari = Yo-Zuri Aurie Q real.
Tuna may take skirted lures but hard bodies also work well when trolled.
Surface popping is highly effective in the tropics. Red bass and giant trevally are a common catch.
Duel's Adagio 85 is a killer on busting schools of salmon.