Flathead Lures | Fishing with Soft Plastic Lures

Fishing with Soft Plastic Fishing Lures for Flathead

Soft plastic lures are a great way to attract Flathead.  While the species is renowned for its laziness, it will put up quite a fight when hooked, and if you win the battle, Flathead make great eating.  Here are some tips for catching Flathead with soft lures.

 

Flathead are found in shallow water in estuaries and bays where they hide, camouflaged and partially buried in sand.  Rather than actively seeking food, Flathead wait for their prey to come to them, conserving their energy for the quick burst of acceleration that they make when an attractive morsel passes nearby.  By slowly trailing bait or lures along the bottom, anglers have the best chance of hooking Flathead.

 

Most of the types of lure that are successful with bream will work with flathead, too.  Soft plastic lures that attract bites from Flathead are generally at least 50 mm in length. Ocean Storm’s Online Fishing Tackle Shop stocks a range of fishing lures in soft plastic materials, such as Squidgies, as well as Berkeley Gulp fishing lures made from natural biodegradable materials. These lures look and feel like soft plastic and are impregnated with a scent that fish find irresistible.

 

Soft plastic lures come in a range of colours, and it’s useful to keep a variety of colours in your tackle box.  Many anglers find that dark coloured soft plastic lures in the same colours work better on dark days, while lures in lighter colours or more natural looking colours attract more bites from flathead on light days.  After a period with no results, changing the shape of lure you use, for example swapping a minnow shape for a grub shape, will often encourage flathead to take a bite.

 

When fishing for flathead, fairly simple tackle is adequate.  Your aim is to slowly work the bottom, so a 3-4kg line on a basic spinning reel is generally fine.  While a fibreglass rod isn’t suitable for use with soft plastic lures because of their action and lack of sensitivity, a basic 6-7 foot graphite fishing rod allows the angler to cast more accurately and gives the sensitivity to feel a nibble from the target.

 

When the weather is warm and the water is shallow, fishing for flathead can be very rewarding.  Flathead appear to be indolent until they’re ready to pounce on their prey.  Flathead don’t seem to be at all wary of lures – so using Soft plastic fishing lures can make for an exciting day of fishing.

Checkout this clip below for fishing for Flathead on soft plastic lures: Brett Wilson From Shimano is using the Squidgy Pro Lobby Lure

Also check out this Clip to further your knowledge and experience in targeting fish on soft plastic fishing lures.. You can buy the full Soft Plastic Tactics Fishing DVD in our online fishing tackle shop.

Fishing for Barramundi in the Northern Territory

It’s not hard to understand why anglers are so enthusiastic about fishing for barramundi, and why it’s considered to be one of the leading Australian sportfish and the most popular target of anglers in the Northern Territory. The fighting characteristics of this feisty species make for exciting sport, and as a bonus the fish itself has a reputation as a delicious table fish if caught in salt water and tidal rivers.

Barramundi can be caught all year round and if you’re travelling to the Northern Territory it is well worth taking some time to discover the best times and places to ensure you have the best angling experience.

The life cycle of this species leads it to inhabit a wide range of aquatic environments, in creeks, rivers and estuaries.  The fish matures in upstream areas of freshwater streams and moves downstream for spawning in coastal waters and estuaries.  Streams that have large catchments, a low continuous flow of water and warm water temperatures are ideal habitats for Barramundi, and they prefer to seek cover under mangrove roots, submerged logs, rock ledges and other underwater structures.

 

While live bait such as mullet and prawns appeals to these fish, and they are also often taken with heavy fly gear, medium sized minnow fishing lures in bright bronze or gold metallic colours are probably the most successful way to entice Barramundi out from heavy cover.

For trolling and casting for Barramundi with medium weight baits and lures, the most popular fishing reels are bait caster fishing reels.  When you’re fishing in billabongs and estuary flats, especially in windy conditions, you’ll find that smaller, lighter lures are more suitable; for casting light lures, spinning reels are ideal.

Whatever style of reel you choose, it will be fully tested when you hook an aggressive Barramundi, so it’s best to go for a high quality salt water grade reel and have it serviced regularly to prolong its life. Shimano T curve Power Spin with Saragosa 3000 Fishing Reel Combo is recommended by the Fishing Tackle Shop as an ideal heavy duty setup if you’re targeting Barramundi.

The Northern Territory seasons govern the style of Barramundi fishing.  During the wet season between January and March and the post-wet period from March to May, most anglers fish by casting from boats anchored in waterways. During the dry season, between June and September, fresh water lagoons and rivers become accessible to anglers.  At this time of year, when temperatures are cooler, Barramundi tend to stay in deep water. From October to December, during the run-up to the wet season, Barramundi become more active as water temperatures rise and fishing in freshwater lagoons and in salt water estuarine waterways can be very productive.

In tidal rivers, Barramundi tend to bite better towards the end of run-out tide while an hour or two either side of a low tide are good times to attract Barramundi in estuaries and salt water creeks.  And when you hook a Barramundi, be prepared for an exciting battle of wits and strength with a worthy opponent.  Shop Now for barramundi fishing tackle

 

Snapper Fishing – Species Article

Species Article: Snapper

 

Snapper is a saltwater fish popular with both recreational and commercial anglers fishing in the southern half of Australia.  Not only does snapper taste delicious, it’s renowned as a good fighting fish and is targeted by anglers who look for a real challenge.  Let’s look at some of the features of the snapper that make it such a prized catch.

Although many snapper that are caught weigh less than 3 kg, larger fish weighing up to 10 kg are there to be had, especially in South Australian waters.  Schools of small snapper are found in shallow bays and on gravel beds near the mouths of clean rivers, or in deeper water over reefs. The preferred habitat of larger fish is depths of 10 to 25 metres in bays, and offshore in depths between 20 and 70 metres. The most productive times for anglers targeting snapper are on a rising tide in the morning, late afternoon and early evening.  Weather conditions seem to make little difference to snappers’ readiness to take bait or lures, although some seasoned fishermen swear that the fish bite well in the half hour before a thunderstorm.

Snapper aren’t overly fussy about their food.  They’re opportunistic grazing feeders and tend to scavenge for whatever is readily available to them without too much effort.  Offshore they tend to favour live bait or soft plastic fishing lures such as berkley gulp Jerk shads, while inshore snapper seem to have a preference for a wide variety of dead bait.

Fishing rods specifically intended for anglers targeting snapper include the Shimano Rader Snapper Rod 762, available from the Fishing Tackle Shop online store.  This is a light two piece rod, a little over 7 feet in length, and designed to be used with a spin fishing reel.  When selecting a line, bear in mind the sensitivity to line diameter displayed by snapper, particularly smaller specimens.

The main challenge of snapper is actually hooking the fish: snapper tend to be easily spooked by any resistance on the fishing line when they first mouth bait.  For the best chance of catching snapper, consider using a free spooling technique and aim to allow the fish a couple of seconds to swallow the bait and be caught by the hook before striking.  For the same reason, it’s helpful to use sharp hooks when targeting snapper.

Fishing for snapper is great fun, and once you’ve hooked your fish it will put up a good hard fight. Capturing a good sized snapper will bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded of anglers.

Fish species article: Bonito – Fishing for Bonito

Species article: Bonito

While Bonito used to be considered a bait fish, its eating properties were overlooked; it is actually a tasty fish if bled straight after capture and cooked fresh rather than frozen. The main reason this species is so popular with anglers is its ability to fight fast and hard, providing great sport on light fishing gear.

Bonito is an inshore pelagic species, often found along the subtropical eastern and western coastlines of Australia. There are a few species of Bonito in Australia  such as: Australian Bonito (sarda australis), Oriental Bonito (sarda orientails) and Watsons Leaping Bonito (cybiosarda elegans).  In Australian waters they don’t grow large: to a maximum of about 7kg on the east coast and about 4kg off the coast of Western Australia.  Bonito are sometimes mistaken for skipjack although their colour is a brighter green and black stripes appear along the top of the body rather than along the lower sides as with skipjack.

The Bonito are surface feeding fish and most often found close to the shoreline, in rocky wash areas and around reefs, so they can be caught from boats or by anglers casting off from rocks or jetties. Around dawn in summer and autumn, when the water is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius, is the best time to catch bonito.

The same fishing techniques as you’d use to catch species like skipjack, kingfish and salmon will be successful with bonito. The fish will attack live bait and cubes of fish flesh, as well as flies and fishing lures.  While land based anglers are limited to casting and retrieving lures or baits, boat anglers have a much wider range of options including casting lures, and trolling lures and baits.  Because bonito have sharp teeth, metal lures will last longer than lures made from softer materials. One of the best types of lure for attracting bonito is the Halco Twisty Fishing Lure or Kokoda Quarter Back Fishing Lures, both versatile metal lures with an enticing actions, available from the Fishing Tackle Shop.

Bonito are very much sought after by light spinning enthusiasts.  Fishing reels best suited for land based fishing for bonito should allow a reasonable casting distance, so for angling from rocks or jetties consider a six-eight kilo spinning outfit. For boat fishing, lighter spinning outfits (four-six) would be suitable. For land based fishing you’ll need an 8 to 10 foot fishing rod, while a shorter (6-7 foot) rod is better for boat angling. A great rod/reel combination offered by the Fishing Tackle Shop is a Okuma Epix 60 Fishing Reel with 8 foot Crystal Power Tip Fishing Rod which is perfect for targeting bonito from the shore.

You can fish for bonito from the shore or from a boat close to the shore, and light – medium fishing gear is all that’s needed.  Provided that you have the patience to keep casting until the speedsters start to appear, your persistence will be rewarded with some great sport.

Images: The owner of fishingtackleshop.com.au  2011 with  few  bonito captured from Kiama Blowhole Point, NSW on an 8 foot Uglystik Fishing rod paired up with a Shimano Stradic 6000 Fishing reel with 20lb Power Pro Braid. Lure is a  Kokoda Quaterback metal lure.

Fishing for Australian Bass with Lures

Fishing for Australian Bass with Lures

 

Australian Bass are rated highly by anglers as great sportfish that can put up a spectacular fight when hooked on light fishing gear. Although a relatively small fish that grows to less than a few kilograms, the Australian Bass displays amazing strength.  Here are a few hints on fishing for this exciting species.

Australian Bass are predominantly distributed along coastal New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. A number of freshwater impoundments from southern Queensland to Victoria are also stocked with Australian bass. In their natural habitat, the fish can be found in coastal tributaries and rivers, from the tidal reaches to fresher upstream waters.

Australian Bass like to shelter under snags, reeds, overhanging trees and similar cover during daylight and venture out of cover to feed at night. Summer, is generally the best season for angling for Australian Bass and It has also been said that any month ending in an “R” are the months when fishing for Bass is likely to produce results. Daytime fishing close to the bank of a river or impoundment is likely to be far more profitable than fishing in more open waters.  At night the fish can be found more easily in midstream as well as close to the bank and if you’re looking for larger Bass you’ll find them around during the full moon period.

Although a famously wary fish, Australian Bass take bait and lures aggressively. They are attracted to bait’s such as, prawns and freshwater yabbies as well as land based bait such as cicadas, worms, grasshoppers and crickets.  Some Saltwater or freshwater baitfish flies can produce well, or fishing lures such as deep diving or buoyant minnows, surface crawler and other small surface fishing lures and soft plastic fishing lures all attract Bass. Surface lures such as fizzers or Popper lures are effective around sunrise and sunset; while spinner baits suit daytime fishing or angling in heavily weeded areas when Bass are deep in the water.

The Shimano Raider Bass Raider Fishing Rod, available from Ocean Storm Fishing Tackle’s Online Fishing Tackle Shop, has been devised specifically for the angler targeting bass.  It’s a light one piece rod, just less than 6 feet in length, and designed to accommodate an overhead bait caster fishing reel.

For the Spinning Anglers and for tossing round the lighter weight lures a spinning combination is generally a light weight graphite fishing rod from 6 – 7 foot in length combined with a small fishing reel. A good choice for the angler that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a bass fishing set up but also wants a quality bass fishing outfit the choice would be a Shimano “Rack Raider” – Raider Fishing Rod coupled with a 2500 Size Shimano Spinning Reel.

Some of the more productive fishing techniques when targeting Australian Bass include casting from the bank or a boat into likely cover locations, and trolling over sunken weeds and logs.

 

Although many of the best spots for fishing for Australian Bass are rather remote and difficult to access, your perseverance and dedication in trekking or kayaking to these locations can reward you with some great fishing.

 

For all your bass lures Bass Lures