There’s no doubt that soft plastic lures are becoming more popular on the barramundi impoundment scene. More anglers have realised just how effective plastics are when hunting these mighty fish.
These easy to use lures are very effective in different situations. The most common way to fish soft plastics when targeting barra is to simply cast and retrieve them. There’s no need to spice up the presentation with rod twitches as you would when targeting other species. Plastics get the job done with a simple steady retrieve all the way back to the boat or the bank. This no frills style of fishing is perfect for anglers who starting out and want to catch their first barra, or those not confident with casting and working hard-bodied lures.
The most popular plastics used for impoundment barra are the pre-rigged styles of swim baits. Most of these lures have strong hooks, which can handle the abuse dished out by these powerful fish. This means there’s no need to purchase a pack of plastics and several different jigheads to complete the rig. Pre-rigged swim baits are a cheap way to obtain a rigged plastic that’s ready to fish from the packet.
The disadvantage of pre-rigged lures is the inbuilt weight that is moulded to the hook can’t be changed. This means that in certain situations, the plastic may be too heavy. When luring in shallow water with the bigger and heavier plastics, they plummet to the bottom and are often fouled by weed or slime. To prevent this, you could wind like crazy and rely on speed to keep your lure high in the water column and off the bottom. This isn’t the ideal approach as barra are often in a lazy mood and prefer a medium or slow paced retrieve. Luckily there is a way to improve the performance of your pre-rigged plastic swim baits to make them more appealing in different situations.
Pre-rigged lures have a piece of lead inside the body. In some cases, the weight can be worked out of the lure without causing any damage to the plastic body. Once this is done you can cut it down until it is more suited to your fishing depth. Other plastics have the weight moulded inside the belly cavity. To access this weight, a small slit is needed in the underside of the plastic. Then you can use a tool to remove some of the weight. Once the weight has been removed, you’ll find that plastics that were once too heavy can be used in shallow water. There are plenty of swim baits available and we’ll take a look at cutting the weight down in two popular brands.
Make a small slit in the belly of the plastic underneath the built in weight. This cut can be made using a pair of braid scissors.
Work a pair of side cutters into the belly and remove some of the weight. I find that a number of small cuts work more effectively than one big one. About half of the weight can be removed if the plastic is to be used in less than 3m of water.
Pull the nose of the plastic forward and remove the weight through the hole where the hook eye protrudes.
Use side cutters to remove the desired amount of lead from the weight. When removing it be sure to take it from the bottom of the weight not from the nose section. This will ensure the weight fits nicely back into the plastic body. Cutting 3mm at a time is the secret to cutting through the lead.Reads: 5516