Reaction Baits Rule
  |  First Published: March 2003

NOT a lot to talk about this month because, with the dams at the low levels that they are, it’s very simple to catch a fish. Most of the fish are being caught on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. At times soft plastics are pulling fish, but reaction baits ‘rule’ with water temps as they are at the moment.


During an average day’s fishing with clients, there are a few subjects of conversation that regularly pop up. One of them is equipment – motors, boats and tackle for freshwater fishing. At least 50% of my clients are out there to learn how to catch and what they need to catch freshwater fish.

One client with whom I regularly fish has a rod and reel he christened ‘the outfit from hell’. It was a birthday present from his girl who spent her hard-earned cash on an all-round freshwater outfit, and of course he has to use it.

You can imagine how it happened: she would have approached the salesman and said she wanted a rod and reel for dam fishing. Now, if the salesman was switched on he probably would have asked questions like: “What weights will he be casting?” “Will he be throwing spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastics or baitfishing?” “Line weight?” “Size of the person in question?” “Price range?”

Pretty involved, you think. Well… not really. If this guy’s girl had all that info she and the tackle salesman would have worked out that there’s no such thing as an outfit that will do everything. This guy’s ‘outfit from hell’ couldn’t really do anything well. The rod was too heavy, short and stiff. The reel was too large and line too heavy and wrong type.

There are two morals to this story. Firstly, if you want to get an outfit for someone, buy a gift voucher. Secondly, if you’re looking for an outfit for yourself, make sure you know what you want it for and then go to a tackle shop where the employees know what they’re on about. Ask the staff member whether they actually fish the techniques they’re talking about or whether they have an adviser who does (guide, tournament angler etc.). And before you make your final decision, look and feel several outfits.

As a guide, a 7ft light spin rod mounted with a 1000 or 2000 size reel with 8lb braid is perfect for throwing soft plastics, light spinnerbaits and small minnows, but you can’t throw big lures around structure or bully big fish with it. A medium heavy baitcaster with 20lb braid will handle big fish in any structure and throw the lures required to catch them, but is not for finesse work with plastics.

If you’re still confused after talking to the tackle shop employees, give me a call and I’ll try to put you on the right track.

For charters on the dams you can contact me at Greenfish Sportfishing on (07) 5463 4096 or 0407 596 814, or visit my website at www.greenfish.com.au.

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