Warmer weather sparks up fish
  |  First Published: October 2006

Ah yes, warmer weather and active fish. What a great time to be a lure fisher!

Water temperatures are rising all around Australia and the fishing action is heating up.

Hard bodies

Bundaberg is no exception and now is the time that barramundi and mangrove jack really start to get motivated and whether you’re in a creek or a dam it’s time to get the hard bodied lures out.

Yes, I said hard-bodied lures. Despite the rise of soft plastics it’s important to still have a variety of techniques up your sleeve – fishing effectively with the hard lures is a very important one.

Why hard lures now? Well in my area spring and early summer sees plenty of storms and rain that will inevitably dirty our local rivers. This won’t deter the predators; in fact a little dirty water is often the trigger for many species to start hunting. So if you mix active predators and dirty water you just need to attract their attention. This is done much more efficiently with a lure that sends out vibration and noise over one that essentially relies on sight and smell.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fishing plastics but a lure with built-in action and sound will attract a lot more of your quarry in this situation.

Mangrove jack hard lures

Most regular readers will know I have a real passion for chasing jacks on lures and October and November are the best months of the year for catching big jacks in Bundaberg on a cast and retrieved, hard bodied lure. I’ve used hundreds of different types, brands, models and coloured lures over the past 15 years in Bundaberg and the lures that work most of the time get the top spot in my lure box.

If you where to sneak a peak into my jack lurefishing pack, here is what you would find.

There would be plenty of Tilsan Barras which are my number one confidence lure for jacks. I normally use the pink herring or fingerling colours. The way this solid timber lure slowly rolls when you just cast and wind it back really appeals to predators. When you cast it tight into a snag and then give it an erratic jerky retrieve the lure dances and flashes the pearl underside that fish see and then eat.

Next is the Rapala Shad Rap that attracts fish from a distance with its tight shimmy-type action. It is easy to get the best from this lure as a plain steady wind with a few pauses has proved the undoing of many good jacks. The brown crawdad and herring colours are the best.

Up next is the Killalure Flatz Rat, a versatile lure that has built-in rattles and dives well when retrieved steadily. Green and the gold are my two picks for colours and I also upgrade the size of the rear treble as this improves the hook-up rate on larger fish.

Upsize me

When I am fishing the bigger waterways like Baffle Creek and targeting the big boys along rock ledges and banks I step up the size of the lure. Over the past few years I have caught some big fish on Halco Laser Pro 120s. Earlier this year I put a 58cm jack in the boat on the king brown coloured Lazer Pro and since then I have lost several of them to even bigger fish in nasty country. I believe the sound and the action of this lure is unbeatable when fishing big water.

Go hard or go home

Now is the time of year for you to get into fishing hard-bodied lures. You really will have more success attracting active fish and it isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you can jiggle a plastic you’ll be able to wiggle a lure.

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