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for catching giant fish, or will deliver you fish every time you use them. It’s important to keep their ability and use in perspective”. Carl Jocumsen is an angler who’s perhaps thrown more swimbaits than any other Aussie angler, and just like when targeting largemouth bass, he sees swimbaits as the lure to pick up and throw when big fish is on the menu. “We’ll fill our limit with jigs, cranks, or whatever they’re keyed in on, and once

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abt.org.au we have our bag we’ll pick up and throw the swimbait to try and catch a mega upgrade. A big swimbait can trigger the apex predator to bite like nothing else will, and I use and have had success using this approach when chasing barra,” explains Carl. And that’s exactly what our 2016 Zerek BARRA Tour Team of the Year Craig Griffiths and Karim De Ridder did on the 2016 BARRA Tour. “We’d fill our limit with

traditional lures like Slick Rigs, and once we had our limit one of us will put it down then pick up the swimbait rod and throw big swimbaits for the rest of session,” explained De Ridder. It’s an approach that regularly pays dividends for the pair and generates that big bite when the big fish come out to play late in the session. “Late at night is often when the smaller fish will retreat and the bigger fish will begin to move and feed,

Purpose-built rods and reels are important when fishing such a large bait.

so the timing with pulling out the big baits is often perfectly coincided.” “In some ways I think the fish may be looking for that last big meal before they retire for the night and retreat back to the weed or deep to rest and digest what they’ve eating during their period of feeding.” WHEN DO WE DO THIS? While De Ridder has given us an insight into when and what time of the day they’ll pick up their elephant hunting swimbait rods and start throwing XOS baits for XOS barra, there are prime times of the year for swimbaits, particularly at Peter Faust Dam, the lake they find tends to be the pick for catching barra on swimbaits. “The end of September through to late January seems to be the peak for swimbaiting,” Griffiths says. “We theorize that outside of this the fish are feeding on different sized bonies, feeding on something other than bonies, or feeding in a manner that makes them less willing to eat a swimbait. It also seems to be more an after dark thing rather than during the day.” Jason Wilhelm sees a similar warm water pattern; one he thinks is driven by digestion and metabolism. “When the weather and water is warm and the fish

are in full active feeding mode they seem to be more willing to eat big baits. Their feeding and digestion is in overdrive and it’s when that it’s like that that I will pull out the big swimbaits,” explains Wilhelm. BAIT UP There are many different swimbait types available and while there are at times overlaps or hybrid combination of different types they can essentially be categorized into three distinct groups, hardbody, soft body and paddle-tail. Within each of these groups there are subcategories, let’s take a look at them. HARDBODY Single jointed baits Made of two solid body parts joined by a hinged connection. This joint allows the lure to swim when it’s retrieve through the water. Glide baits A single piece swimbait that in most cases has a sleek hydrodynamic profile that gives the lure a wide more elegant s-shaped swimming action. A lure that can be worked slower than a single joint swimbait and can have a stop start retrieve imparted to it like a jerkbait. Multi-jointed baits A bait made of more than two sections hinged together. They have a wider smoother action than single jointed

baits and deliver plenty of noise due to all their joints and body parts. SOFT BODY Full Body A one-piece soft body swimbait that generally has trebles attached to the belly. Line through As the name implies the line runs through the nose of the bait and exits on the top of the bottom of the bait. You then connect the line to the hook. The bait runs up the line during the fight minimizing damage to the bait and eliminating the fish using the lure as leverage during the fight to dislodge it. Top Hook Features a hook that runs from the nose, where the eye of the hook is, and exits through the back on the top of the bait. Can come in a variety of different weights including weightless. Has great hook exposure, hook up rate, and are great for fishing along the bottom. Some come with an eyelet at the bottom for fitting a treble. PADDLE-TAIL Hollow body A hollow tube-body style paddle-tail bait. Their hollow body makes them soft and provides good hookset due to the fact that they compress easily when bitten. They come either unweighted or with a belly weight style To page 26

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Tournament Angler Guide 2017  
Tournament Angler Guide 2017