One thing I love to do is take people fishing and teach them how to use lures. I get a real buzz from the look on their face when they hook their first fish on a lure, especially on a surface lure. One of my favourite and fun techniques to teach is the use of plastics as surface lures. Now this is not a new thing, not something I have invented, but what I can say is that it is a technique that not many people use or know about and what I can tell you is why they can be more effective as a surface lure on a tough bite and how I rig the plastic and use them.
Most anglers who use surface lures have had days when the bream just will not eat off the top, they will follow the lure and just sit under it when the lure is stopped, with the fish eventually just swimming off. If you have ever watched a prawn flee with a bream hot on its’ tail, you will see the prawn skip along the surface then stops. The bream will stop just behind and wait, as the prawn slowly sinks back and that’s when the bream will strike. This is what the soft plastic is trying to mimic, and it will if it’s work correctly.
To work the lure, make long casts along snags, over weed flats, around oyster racks or anywhere you find the fish, as soon as the plastic hits the water engage the reel, lift the rod tip up and start the retrieve with a slow to medium retrieve you will see the tail of the plastic working and looks like a prawn swimming. You will also see bream come out and start to follow the lure, this is the time to stop the plastic, as soon as you do drop the rod tip this will give some slack in the line and allow the fish to eat the plastic without feeling resistance, if it feels something is wrong it will spit the hook. It also allows the plastic to slip just under the water surface and sit right in front of the fish making it look like an easy meal. Keep an eye on the line, if you see the line move the fish has eaten the lure DON’T STRIKE HARD you will ether rip the lure out of its mouth or end up with just a pair of lips on the lure, just a slow draw back of the rod and let the rod load up.
Most of the time you can get 3 to 4 bream per lure before it will be too damaged to work effectively so having a hand full pre made on hand so it only takes a minute to tie a new one on. The main species I am targeting with this technique is bream but other species you will encounter are flathead, tailor, whiting, trevally and bass, pretty much if it eats prawns it will eat this lure.
THE SET UP. Start with the rod, I use the Samurai Reaction 203 with k series guides and a medium fast taper. The guides and soft tip help in getting some casting distance with this unweighted lure. But what I really like about this rod is part of the reel seat is missing allowing your finger to sit on the rod blank which lets you feel every bump on the lure even on a slack line. I mainly run braided line with 4-6LB silver thread leader but I have success with 2-3LB straight through fluoro over the sand flats and for this I use the Samurai inflict 2-4 rod.
THE LURE. Now this is just how I set it up and what works best for me this is not set in stone if you can improve the design or just make up a new way all together that’s part of the fun with this lure it’s all about what works for you. There are two ways that I use. The first is, I get a short piece of 10LB and crimp a loop at both ends and fitting one end with a w hook size 12. Then using a bait needle start just above the tail push the needle through the plastic and out the end pulling line with of it. The shank of the hook should be pushed up inside the tail of the plastic and a loop just hanging out the head end for you to attach your leader too.
The 2nd way is I make a loop knot in the leader attach it to a bait needle starting at the head of the plastic push it through the lure and come out near the tail, pull the loop right through, attach the hook and pull the line back through until the shank of the hook is inside the plastic making sure the line and hook are nice and strait. This is not the be all to end all lure, but it is a lures to try when it’s a hard bite, though sometimes I use it on a hot bite too, so why not try rigging up a couple of plastics and give it a go and you will see how fun and addictive this technique can be.