With so many fantastic lures to choose from these days there’s no excuse not to get out there and cast them around your local waterways. It’s a great time of year for it too, with nearly all fresh and saltwater species being very active over the coming weeks, feeding up heavily before the cooler months set in.
The Daiwa range is extensive and ever increasing, with very high quality, well designed models from small topwaters for bream, bass and whiting, through to serious bluewater offerings for anything from kings and cobia through to mackerel and GTs. As good as these lures are though, they’re certainly not going to catch fish by themselves. It takes time and effort to entice any type of fish into biting a lure, regardless of where and when we’re fishing.
The following tips are all about making the most of a lure once it’s been cast and has splashed down. Sure, there are times when a lure will get nailed the instant it hits the water, but in most cases the all-important hit will come at some stage during the retrieve.
The general concept of lure fishing is to fool a fish into thinking the offering is a genuine, living form of food that will probably make a tasty, nutritious meal. So rather than looking at the lure on the end of your line as a piece of plastic, rubber or metal, try to mentally consider it a live creature and the fishing rod is like a remote control device which can make it do different things.
There’s not much that swims in a straight line, at a single, constant pace. So by making the lure dart around, change direction, speed up and slow down it will become a step closer to imitating a real, live fish, prawn, crab or terrestrial that’s fallen into the water.
In the brutal, eat or be eaten marine world, it’s all about survival. So when a fish is considering something as a potential meal, the last thing it wants is for that meal to get away or another fish get to it first. So a strategy that can sometimes make a hesitant fish strike is to quickly pull the lure away, as if it’s a prey item suddenly making a dash for freedom. This technique works particularly well on bluewater predators, but it’s also one of my ‘go to’ tactics when trying to get bream to hit a surface lure.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, stops and pauses should always be incorporated into lure retrieves. Bream are very curious and sometimes a lure sitting there, motionless can get the better of their curiosity and they can’t stop themselves from taking a bite. Bass are another that respond very well to stops and pauses. In fact, there’s no such thing a pause that’s too long for bass!
So grab a box of lures, head out and get into the action. Perhaps you can come up with new ways of making a lure look alive?
Even pelagic speedsters like bonito, striped tuna and kingfish can see a sudden stop as a trigger to take a swipe. So the occasional stop is always part of my retrieve technique when spinning from a boat or the rocks. It’s quite remarkable just how effective this is at times.