Snapper get salty with soft plastics!
  |  First Published: December 2015

Without a doubt, land based fishing for pinkies on soft plastics can make for some of the most thrilling fishing –simply because they pull like an absolute freight train. What better way to target pinkies than 5 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, and St Kilda Beach and Pier? St Kilda Pier has a reputation of catching a broad range of fish such as big snapper but little is spoken about catching them on lures. Snapper tend to fight a lot harder on a lure such as a soft plastic – which makes for such an enjoyable outing.

To target pinkies from the beach you need to fish low tide so you may fish the drop off which generally holds good numbers of fish. This is because predators such as pinkies and flathead are waiting for small sized baitfish (for example, mullet) to swim past as the tide goes out. Bringing a pair of waders is a great advantage, as you will get that extra few metres to cast well beyond that drop off. Fishing both sunrise and sundown is recommended as the pinkies come close to feed at these times.

When Pinkies are feeding you’ll find they won’t be partially fussy, although at times a finesse approach may be needed. Using plastics just as the Ecogear Grass minnow, Zman Grub and small profile lures between 2.5-4” is the perfect size. As you target pinkies you will find you’ll catch a lot of flathead as by-catch as they are both predators waiting for food. A simple technique that works to minimise the by-catch of flathead is to try and keep your lure of choice half way in the water column as flathead feed on the bottom.

No matter where you are or what your targeting, light as possible is best. A light 1-3kg to 2-4kg weighted rod with a 1000 – 2500 sized reel is a must and a perfect outfit. This will allow you to keep in contact with your lure more precisely. Whether you’re using braid with a leader line or straight monofilament, a line class of 6 – 10lb is ideal. Although, I would highly recommend using braided line because you’re casting will be a lot more precise. One of fluorocarbon's biggest benefits is that it’s nearly invisible underwater. This is because it doesn't appreciably distort light passing through the line. I would highly recommend trying to cast as close to the structure, for example, look to pylons and boats as species such as pinkies use this cover as a form of protection.

Whether you’re casting from the pier into the marina or off the sand, long casts are a must because you’ll keep your lure in the strike zone for a lot longer and will cover more ground. Pinkies are a schooling fish, so often when you catch one, the same area will continue to produce fish from the school.

Overall, catching fish such as pinkies that fight well above its weight is something everyone must try on light gear. In saying that, for the anglers who love to drop a line using a bit of bait, rest assured – bait fishing is a popular and successful method in which you can target pinkies and even large snapper on.

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