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TECHNIQUE:

GETTING INTO

KAYAK FISHING

REVIEWED:SHIMANO SUSTAIN 2500, GLADIATOR EGI EQUIP, PENN PREVAIL SURF + MORE!

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POST FLOOD BASSIN’ THE LURE OF JUNGLE PERCH TEN TIPS ON TUNA


PG. 2

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

APRIL 2013

WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU


WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 3


ON THIS MONTH’S COVER

TECH NIQ

KAY FISHINAGK

GETTING UE: INTO

Daniel Wallace with a great little jew fish taken from his kayak.

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THE LURE OF JUNGLE PERCH

THE LU POST FLOOD BA RE OF JU SSIN’ NG TEN TIP LE PERCH S ON TU NA

REVIE WED:

SHIMANO SUSTAIN 2500, GLA DIATOR EGI

EQUIP, PEN N

PREVAIL SURF + MORE!

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PAGE 14:

GETTING INTO KAYAK FISHING

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POST FLOOD BASSIN

HOOKED UP APRIL HOOKED UP NEWS

14 GETTING INTO KAYAK FISHING 20 THE LURE OF JUNGLE PERCH 26 POST FLOOD BASSIN’ 32 TEN TIPS FOR TARGETING TUNA 36 THE HOOKED UP REVIEW PUBLISHER: Hammerhead Media

GRAPHIC ARTIST: Michael Cusack

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Kosta Linardos kosta@hookedupmagazine.com.au

ADVERTISING: sales@hookedupmagazine.com.au

COVER ART: Michael Cusack

LOGO DESIGN: Tim Haynes & Michael Cusack

PG. 4

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

APRIL 2013

CONTENTS

6

CONTRIBUTORS: Angus Gorrie, Aaron McGrath, Daniel Wallace, Greg Carter, Jason Linardos, Dean Linardos

FACEBOOK.COM/HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE All editions of hooked up can be read digitally on all formats via our website

WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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WILSON LIVE FIBRE GAME RODS

BAR CRUSHER GEN2 - EVOLUTION IN PLATE ALUMINIUM BOAT DESIGN Award-winning Australian boat manufacturer Bar Crusher has cemented its position as an innovator in boat design and construction with the release of its Gen2 hull. The new hull combines key features including a wider negative chine running forward, optimised wider chine aft and the distinctive Delta Flare™ – delivering greater hydrodynamic lift for more efficient planing and improved fuel economy, a higher bow attitude and better spray deflection for a dryer ride, as well as increased stability at rest. Introduced on the new 615C and 615HT models, those lucky enough to have experienced the Gen2 hull during pre-launch water tests have already placed orders. Bar Crusher director Peter Cleland said one of the company’s core values was to provide its customers with boats that delivered the highest level of performance and function. “Over 18 months of research, development and testing were invested in the Gen2 hull and we’re confident customers will appreciate the clever design and engineering that has gone into creating this unique hull,” Mr Cleland said. “Every industry has to have a leader... and Bar Crusher’s vision is to lead the way in plate aluminium boat design by continuing to innovate and

Wilson are an Aussie family owned wholesale fishing tackle supplier and manufacturer. They specialise is developing quality products in Australia for  Australian fishing conditions, employing over 50 staff members Australia wide. Wilson are famous for their Live Fibre and range of Aussie built, Aussie designed fishing rods.  Founded in 1946, Wilson Fishing is a 100% Australian owned and operated business. If you are seeking out a new set of game rods or you need to add a certain rating to your spread, Wilson have the most extensive range of quality game rods that you can buy at your local tackle store and each rod presents more like a custom build than an off shelf rod; the whole range is of amazing quality and craftsmanship. The blanks, aesthetics, bindings, butts, reel seats and guides used in the production of Wilson rods are all the well known and reliable high quality brands that game fishermen have come to love. Whether you are after an 8kg short stroker or a fully rollered 37kg bent butt Wilson have the rod for you. Wilson uses two different blanks in their rod range: the Live Fibre Texalium and the Live Fibre Composite.

RAPALA ARM SOCK

Rapala continues to promote sun safety with its newly released Arm Sock. Do you prefer wearing short sleeved t-shirts but constantly suffer from sunburn or the uncomfortable greasiness of sunscreen? Rapala’s Arm Sock is for you! Specially made from technically advanced fabric, the Rapala Arm Sock keeps you cool in hot weather; is quick drying keeping you comfortable all day; and offers a high level of UV protection to allow for minimal sunscreen use that would otherwise leave you feeling greasy and may put fish off the bite! Rapala’s anti-sliding elastic design ensures the arm sock remains in its correct position allowing you to concentrate on fishing. Perfectly combined with Rapala’s Tehnical Casting/Sun Gloves (pictured but sold separately). Available in sizes M, L, XL, XXL and suitable for both men and women of all ages. 2 x Rapala Arm Socks per pack. rapala.com.au

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APRIL 2013

ph. (03) 9792 2999 or barcrusher.com.au

BLACK BART

If you’re a game fisherman and you haven’t heard of Black Bart you must have been living under a rock; thousands of trophy fish and every species imaginable have been caught on these lures worldwide. Captain Bart Miller established Black Bart Lures over four decades ago in 1966. His lures feature advanced technologies making them the standard in big game trolling lures. New unbreakable plastics and weighted inserts make Black Bart Lures track and attract like no other lure in the water. Black Bart Lures are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, each one battle tested and guaranteed to run with the exact swimming action each and every time you put them in the water. Black Bart lures fit into four size categories of Light, Medium, Medium/ Heavy and Heavy so there is a style, size, colour and shape to suit any species, anywhere in any conditions. blackbartlures.com

wilsonfishing.com.au PG. 6

continuing to build boats that deliver superior on-water performance. “The Gen2 hull is the next evolution in plate aluminium boat design and again puts Bar Crusher well ahead of all the other boats on the market.” Bar Crusher’s new 615C and 615HT each measure 6.15m LOA with a 2.25m beam and are constructed from high-tensile 4mm (bottom sides) and 3mm (top sides) commercial marine grade plate aluminium.. k, Rated to carry up to a 150hp outboard, combined with 140L fuel tank, the new models incorporate all of the functional fishing features for which the brand is renowned. “Bar Crusher set a new benchmark in Australia when the company launched in 2000, with exclusive innovations such as Quickflow™ water ballast technology, Rigideck™ engineered sub-floor system and Waveslicer™ smooth non-pounding hull,” Mr Cleland said. “The new Gen2 hull is destined to follow the same path, as more and more boaters experience the soft, non-pounding ride and incredible stability at rest that only a Bar Crusher boat can deliver.”

WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU


YAMASHITA NEW CHANGES TO MARINE PARKS IN NSW EGI OH Q LIVE GLOW COLOURS Changes to marine parks announced in NSW last month offer federal Environment Minister Tony Burke an opportunity to revise his plans to lock anglers out of 1.3 million sq km of ocean, the peak advocacy body representing recreational fishers says. “The NSW Government deserves plaudits for recognising that effective marine conservation involves more than just locking fishers out,” Keep Australia Fishing spokesman Jim Harnwell said. “The announcement that fishing bans on beach and headland sanctuary zones will be abolished under the NSW Government’s new marine estate plans is welcomed by all conservation-minded fishers. “The fact is that recreational fishers support marine parks that protect what needs to be protected but which are flexible and take a common sense approach to issues of conservation, biodiversity and habitat. “For too long the marine parks debate has been dominated by extremists who want to lock everything up. That’s an ‘old school’ way of looking at marine conservation and it just doesn’t gel these days.” Harnwell said the NSW announcements presented Minister Burke, as well as other state and territory governments, with the opportunity to

revise and improve marine park plans. “We need more creative ways to protect and enhance the marine environment. The green groups have been pushing the same old lock it up idea for decades. In NSW that thinking has changed. Hopefully as a result of the NSW decision we’ll now see similar changes federally and in other states and territories.” Harnwell said while Keep Australia Fishing applauded the decision in NSW to re-allow sustainable recreational fishing in certain sanctuary zone areas, it wanted more information on why spearfishing bans in these areas would continue. “While we think the spearos are more than likely being unfairly treated, on the whole we support NSW’s marine estate initiatives and we look forward to working with the Government to create a healthy, sustainable and accessible marine environment, now and into the future.”

keepaustraliafishing.com.au

FINS METRED BRAID

Some fishing applications require that you know how much line is in the water, and the new FINS metred coloured braid will enable you to know with precision. The line has four colours each being 25 feet long with a one foot white marker in the middle of each colour. The colours are Yellow, Green, Orange, and Blue. Fins metred coloured braid is produced using an eight end braid, making it very smooth and allowing it to pack well onto your reels. SIZES AVAILABLE : 60 – 80 – 100 – 125 – 150lb SPOOLS SIZES: 300 – 600 – 1200 – 2400yds smgilles.com.au

GLADIATOR OCEAN POTION STICK BAITS

Yamashita have released 5 new full body glow colours to the popular EGI OH Q LIVE series.  The ‘warm jacket’ technology used in the LIVE series has proven to be a hugely effective squid catching feature plus add to this the slim nose design and knife edge sinker for improved action with each rod movement. The GLOW bodies are always popular for anglers fishing early morning, late afternoon and night conditions so these 5 additional colours are sure to be popular. Available in sizes 3.0 and 3.5.

The Ocean Potion stick baits are designed to target any hard running fish that predates on surface bait fish. Through extensive testing we have settled on a range of colours and sizes that are proven fish catchers in any waters around Australia. The lures have been fitted with XOS heavy duty hardware and quality 4X strong trebles to combat the monsters. Fast retrieve/ slow retrieve, rip and pause, use whatever action to initiate the strike. gladiatortack.com.au

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APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 7


HALCO ROOSTA POPPER 60 & 45

Halco Tackle has brought some finesse onto the water with its two new Roosta poppers, the Roosta 45 and Roosta 60. Unlike their predecessors, these tiny new Roosta poppers are designed in Halco’s new, clear polymers to produce a highly lifelike appearance for all the light tackle junkies out on the water. The Roosta 45 as its name suggests is 45mm long and weighs in at a touch over 4g while the Roosta 60 is 60mm long and weighs in at 7g. Both are rear weighted for long accurate casts and feature a detailed internal scale pattern for a smooth surface finish and chemically sharpened Mustad trebles. The new Roosta 45 and 60 are aimed at serious Whiting, Bass, Mangrove Jack, and many other light temperate and tropical sportfishing situations. While small in size, these poppers are built Halco tough to give consistent, trouble free performance out of the box. Look out for them at your nearest Halco stockist.

FISH ARROW FLASH J

The Fish Arrows Flash J series are the ultimate in soft plastic jerkbaits, this Flash J Saltwater model utilises an aluminum foil insert to replicate the flashes of a minnow and excite predatory species. This insert also duplicates the bowing of a bait fishes backbone to give off a more lifelike darting action. Available in a 5 inch 4 pack, It can be rigged either weedless or with a jighead. The Flash J SW series 5 inch model comes in 5 colours. searingtackle.com.au

SKUNK WORKS RODS

halcotackle.com

OWNER JIG RIG

Designed for Bass fishing, the Jig Rig™ is the ultimate for fishing weedless soft plastic baits along the bottom. The slim-profile weight, with bait in tow, drops straight down, penetrating vegetation until you feel it hit bottom. Then, as you slowly retrieve the snagless rig over bottom contours, your bait, rigged on a hook that pivots independent of the weight, freely moves about, tantalizing even the most wary bass. With the weight leading the way, the compact profile of this rig allows for longer, more accurate casts. Weights can easily be removed and added to the split ring without re-tying line or re-rigging bait. The light wire hook (Attached to a solid ring) features an extra wide gap, Zlock shoulder bend, Super Needle Point, and Black Chrome finish. If you’re serious about catching bass check out these innovative new rigs from Owner. purefishing.com.au

PG. 8

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

Skunk Works rods are designed in Australia to catch Australian fish. The rods are crafted using the finest components and materials available to ensure peak performance. The eight directionally woven graphite is a very important feature of the rod. The Skunk Works are designed to catch big fish so you need to use a graphite that will withstand the punishment that can be dished out. As with all GLADIATOR graphite rods they are made using Toray Japanese graphite. The length ways modulus tape gives the blank extra bending strength, the cross modulus graphite weave gives the rod compression rigidity which means the rod blank holds it shape and stops compression and breakages when under load. The criss cross weave gives the rod enormous twist rigidity which gives the rod enough strength to fight fish that might make very sharp directional changes close to the boat.

APRIL 2013

WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

The rods also feature: • • • • • •

The very latest Fuji “K” anti tangle guides. Stainless frames with SIC inserts on the spin and overhead jig models Fuji SIC guides on the baitcaster models Fuji reel seat on the baitcaster Individual hard shell rod tubes for each rod. The baitcasters are available in 6kg, 8kg and 10kg blanks All GLADIATOR rods are designed in Australia.

gladiatortackle.com.au or call (02) 9721 9388


OKUMA TRIO BAITFEEDER

LUCKY CRAFT AU BARRA SERIES

Innovation at its freshest... the Trio spinning reels from Okuma feature a unique crossover construction. We took the best from aluminium construction and lightweight graphite materials to create a distinctive new concept in reel design. NEW for 2013 and drawing from the success of the Trio, comes the Trio baitfeeder series. The NEW Trio BF models offer all of the popular Trio features, with the addition of Okuma’s unique baitfeeder function which employs a secondary drag system at the base of the reel to allow for specialist fishing methods. The solid one piece stamped aluminium reel stem and rotor arm of the Trio are paired with lightweight graphite side plates and a rotor housing which provides strength where needed, and weight savings where possible. The Trio spool assembly utilises a multi-piece construction, housing the drag system in an Aluminium Drag Chamber for added stability and smoothness, while incorporating the lightweight graphite housing for weight reduction and distinctive styling. Available in sizes 30, 40, 55, 65 and 80.

Lucky Craft have tailored a number of their Pointer and Flash Minnow lures to Australian conditions. The Pointer 78XD, Pointer 100DD, Pointer 100XD and Flash Minnow 110 are now available with Decoy W-77 trebles and eye popping scale pattern finishes. Lucky Craft are famous for their quality in build and finish plus add to this their fish catching abilities especially when the going gets tough. Each lure is now ready to rumble with big Barra, angry Jacks and other feisty pelagics straight out of the box. Be sure to ask your local tackle shop for the new Lucky Craft AU Barra Series.

okuma.com.au

ejtodd.com.au

ILLEGAL SNAPPER HAUL UNCOVERED AT BLACK ROCK

A 59-year-old Brunswick man had his boat seized by Fisheries Officers in Black Rock on Easter Monday for allegedly exceeding the bag limit for snapper and trying to conceal part of his illegal catch. Fisheries Officers inspected the man’s vessel at the Black Rock boat ramp at approximately 7.50 PM, and were shown a bucket of nine snapper. The Officers then conducted a search of the vessel and located two portable drill cases behind the fuel tank. The cases allegedly contained a further 22 legal size snapper, which made the man’s total catch of 31 snapper far in excess of the daily bag limit of ten. The man’s vessel was seized and, when the matter goes to court, the Magistrate will decide if it is to be forfeited. He is expected to be charged on summons with exceeding the bag limit for snapper and hindering and obstructing Fisheries Officers by concealing part of his catch.If found guilty the man may face fines of up to $3000 plus costs and potentially a criminal conviction. Acting Senior Fisheries Officer Chris Smith said that snapper were a popular target species in Port Phillip Bay, so it was imperative that anglers observed all relevant fisheries regulations. “Exceeding bag limits or keeping juvenile fish can threaten the sustainability of our fish stocks,” Mr Smith said “Fisheries Victoria does not tolerate the concealing of fish to try and avoid inspection by our Officers and won’t hesitate in seizing any vessels, vehicles or equipment involved.” The law states that a person must not take or have in his or her possession more fish than the catch limit for that species of fish. Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to contact the 24-hour fisheries offence reporting line 13 FISH (13 34 74). PG. 10

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APRIL 2013

GLADIATOR SEARCHER 140

The Searcher 140 is a new sinking pencil/stickbait from Gladiator. All five colours in the range are finished beautifully with a gorgeous reflective detail, beaded eyes and all based around a detailed mold. The searcher is a front weighted sinking lure with a cupped face that can be cast long distances with a weight of 51 grams. The searchers cupped face and it’s fast sink rate make it a very useful lure to have in your tackle tray for a variety of species and applications. Upon retrieve the searcher has a slight kick but the angler needs to work the lure with jerks, sweeps and twitches for maximum effect. The searcher is an excellent lure to cast at schools of tuna when they are not taking trolled lures and is ideally suited to tropical species such as queenfish, longtail, GT’s and spaniards. Armed with a through wire construction and VMC hooks the Searcher is something different that cant be found in the average tackle box yet will catch lots of fish in many conditions. gladiatortackle.com.au

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GILLIES PRAWN/FLOUNDER LIGHT OWNER FLASHIE SWIMMER

The Gillies Prawn / Flounder light makes it easy to light up the underwater environment. Easy to carry and use with no bulky battery pack or cumbersome external wires. The compact head design contains an ultra bright 1 watt LED light which is housed in a highly silvered reflector giving an excellent light spread. There is no on/off switch to worry about as the Gillies Prawn / Flounder light has automatic saltwater activation so it comes on as soon as it is immersed in water and switches itself off when taken out so overheating can’t occur. It’s extremely light in weight, easy to handle and affordable. jmgillies.com.au

MERCURY INSURANCE IS LAUNCHED

Mercury Marine, the world’s leading marine engine manufacturer, is proud to announce the launch of Mercury Insurance. This great new option for boat lovers is the result of a new partnership between Mercury and Club Marine, Australia’s largest provider of recreational boat insurance. Mercury Insurance offers Mercury owners benefits, including: • Three years ‘new for old’ replacement* • Genuine Mercury parts on all repairs* • Five years agreed value* “We’re delighted to be partnering with Club Marine on the introduction of tailored marine insurance for Mercury owners,” said John Temple, Mercury Marine’s General Manager, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. Mercury Insurance will be administered by Club Marine and underwritten by one of Australia’s biggest insurers, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. “When you think of marine insurance, the name that comes to mind for most serious boaties is Club Marine,” John said. “With Mercury genuine parts used for repairs, three-year new for old replacement, and backing by one of the world’s largest general insurers, we think Mercury Insurance offers a unique package of benefits that will appeal to Mercury owners.” Mercury Insurance Members will also have access to the benefits of Club Marine Magazine and Australasia’s premier marine assistance package - Club Marine Assist. “Mercury Insurance will provide our customers with genuine peace of mind as they enjoy their boating activities,” John said. Mercury customers can access Mercury Insurance at a participating Mercury Dealer or by going to mercuryinsurance.com.au

Flashie l h Swimmer with h Owner’s Twistlock l k Centering-Pin Spring (CPS-patent pending) is a unique setup for rigging soft swimbaits, flukes, and other swimming plastics. The spinner blade is attached to a non-moveable weight that keels a rigged soft plastic perfectly for use as an ideal “search” bait. In lieu of spinnerbaits or crankbaits, the flashie swimmer can be used as an alternative to cover a lot of water in a short time. A multitude of presentations can be achieved by switching baits and the speed of retrieval. The added weight helps sink or “swim” the rigged bait down into the strike zone, while the blade adds a fish-attracting flash. The wire pivots where attached to the weight, but the design of the molded lead keeps the wire and blade riding horizontal during a steady retrieve. Attached to the wire is a #3 hammered nickel-finished willowleaf blade, rigged with a dual mini swivel. Other features include a Twistlock “Centering-Pin Spring” (CPS-patent pending) attached to the hook eye, an “open” gap for more positive hook sets, a XX-strong forged shank, Super Needle Point, and black chrome finish.

KOKODA CALYPSO

purefishing.com.au

kokodafishing.com.au

N.S BLACK HOLE MEDUSA The new Medusa spin and cast rods from Korean rod manufacture N.S Black Hole feature some of the latest advancements in rod design including the new Fuji KR guide system and ultra light rod blanks. Available in 2 spin and 4 cast models the Medusa series covers bream, bass and light saltwater work. Finished with a natural black blank and mahogany and dark grey bindings the Medusa has more than just good looks. ejtodd.com.au

PG. 12

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

APRIL 2013

WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

The New Calypso sinking stick baits are a hybrid blue water lure style that’s designed to catch kingfish, bonito, dolphin fish, cobia, GT’s and just about any fish species that chase bait to the surface. The swimming action of the Calypso looks like a baitfish that been separated from the school with a darting and erratic action. They can be easily cast or trolled for best effect. Heavy gauge thru-wire construction plus heavy duty Ikuza flat style split rings and Ikuza 4X strong short shank trebles make light work of even the toughest species. Other features include a brilliant holographic body finish and oversized eyes. Find out for yourself why blue water stick baiting is latest lure craze to sweep Oz. Sizes - 13.5cm/80 gm sinking and 16cm/110 gm.


SCAN THE TAG & BROWSE THE ARSENAL AT

PENNFISHING.COM.AU

With a new water-tight design, full metal body and sealed HT-100 Slammer Drag System for twice the drag pressure, the Spinfisher V is impervious to saltwater and engineered for battle. pennfishing.com.au TM

®

HIGH PERFORMANCE BRAID & MONO


technique - getting into kayak fishing WORDS AND PHOTOS BY DANIEL WALLACE

I relate kayak fishing to another hybrid sport – wind surfing. Take two perfectly good elements, surfing and kite flying I suppose and mash it into some connected sport. Much is the same with kayak fishing although it’s a little simpler to see where this came from. Some bloke out on a hollowed out tree trunk thousands of years ago thought he’d see if he could catch dinner while out paddling around. Between then and now there have been vast improvements to both kayak and fishing gear nonetheless the sport remains much the same – catch fish from a self-propelled floating craft. I have been kayak fishing for quite some time, starting off at the local swimming hole on an old surf ski, a handline and some garden worms but fastforward say 20 years and here I am still doing it and loving it even more.


What kayak for me? If you’re thinking about getting into kayak fishing chances are you are either an experienced kayaker or an experienced angler. I say this because I haven’t met many people who just out of the blue decide to take up kite surfing without either surfing or wind sports experience; the same is true with kayak fishing. For those that have a kayak, it might be time to look at how well it is suited to fishing or how well you can set it up. For those fishermen looking to open up their options a little by way of a kayak we will go through myriad choices available. Lets start off by looking at the two traditional types of kayaks available – one being a sit in kayak and the other a sit on. A sit in varies to a sit on by looking more like a small canoe that the kayaker sits inside and are level with or below the waterline inside the kayak. A sit on can be looked at like a big plastic balloon, that is to say you are sitting on top of a moulded bit of plastic that has a large air pocket under you. A sit on will generally sit markedly higher in the water due to this fact; this will come in a little later regarding their various applications. Sit in kayaks don’t differ too much from one another mainly just sizes and every one I’ve seen is paddle only. It’s the sit on kayak that has really been experimented with in the last few years and now come in paddle, peddle, sail and power varieties. Companies such as Hobie and Native Watercraft offer peddle options which really frees up the hands for holding rods. Hobie again offers a sail kit with most of their kayaks right up to the big Hobie Adventure Island sailing fishing kayak with peddles as well – one serious bit of kayak fishing kit. The type of water you fish most, or want to fish most will generally dictate what kind of kayak you will buy and vice versa if you already have a kayak. Sit in kayaks, due to their open tops are susceptible to water turbidity and taking a wave over the bow could leave you bailing out water or overturned and trying to drag a kayak full of water to the shore minus some fishing gear. Sit in’s come into their own in small water – rivers and creeks where chances of waves are slim. They are generally small enough that you can drag them over rocks with ease and sitting lower in the water enables paddling under low hanging trees and branches while catching less wind. Sit on kayaks are made with self draining holes called scuppers. These holes as well as providing a level of stability by allowing the kayak to sit evenly in the water, allow any water taken on board to drain back through the holes easily to leave you with a dry deck. If you are thinking about travelling fair distances in the kayak either getting to a quiet fishing spot of trolling up and down a river or estuary for example it is worthwhile considering the method of propulsion. If you find yourself tired with paddling all day it may be worth considering a sit on top kayak with peddle propulsion. Hobie kayaks utilise a peddle system called a Mirage Drive which is modelled on the flippers of a penguin, so they effectively flap underwater creating forward propulsion. The Native Watercraft brand of kayaks use a more advanced propeller style peddle system driven by a chain from the peddles giving this kayak the option of going forwards or reverse. In my 20 odd years of kayak fishing utilising both paddle and peddle I would have to say having your hands free to flick lures around is a massive advantage. If it is the wide open ocean you seek, a slimline long kayak should be your weapon of choice. There are a number of manufacturers that make dedicated offshore fishing kayaks including fibreglass models. The Hobie Adventure Island I eluded to before is one such dedicated offshore machine with a large sail, with the ability to turn it into a trimaran with trampolines either side of the seat it really hits the pinnacle of today’s offshore kayak fishing vessels. I have had all manner of kayaks starting off with what would considered to be a kids kayak that I used for fishing, to a dedicated fishing paddle kayak to what I have now – a dedicated fishing kayak that is peddle driven and the size of a small boat. My partner likes to join me sometimes so we got her a sit-in kayak, which conveniently doubles as my skinny water yak. WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 15


Safety I once saw a shirt a base jumper wore which read “safety comes third”. It might not be a very big issue if you jump off cliffs for a living but we mere pedestrians value it quite highly. Safety in kayak fishing is really two fold, safety from fishing and safety from kayaking. On one hand there are sharp trebles and hooks swinging around and the other you are keeping balanced on a piece of plastic in the water. The issues compound greatly depending on the weather. Personally I don’t wear a personal floatation device (PFD), it’s not a requirement in QLD to wear one in the waters I frequent and I don’t feel comfortable in them. Coming from a surfing background I could think of nothing worse than being tossed around in the waves without being able to duck dive under them – having said that, however if I was venturing far offshore it would be the first thing I would pack. If you feel comfortable wearing one then I recommend one to no end, they can prove invaluable if say you become unconscious and end up in the water. Some States and Territories may have different requirements so check them out before casting off. Moving on from the obvious, there are more subtle safety measure one might need to think about while out kayak fishing like anchor releases, knives, clothing and paddle tethering. A little research on these items will expose you to a wealth of knowledge and ideas. Fishing gear The fishing gear I use is not very different to what I use when land based or fishing from a boat. Obviously you are a little more limited to the amount of gear you can carry in a kayak so you should really think about where you will be fishing and the species and size you think you will encounter. I generally take a 1-3kg rod with 1500 size reel for small hardbodies and surface lures, a 2-4kg rod and 2500 reel for medium hardbodies, plastics and larger surface lures and depending where I’m heading I might take a 2-4kg overhead rod and reel for throwing bigger lures for jacks etc. I have found that this gear will stop anything that has come my way so far but I live for the day when I’m under gunned on this set up. My lure choices are determined by the waters I’m fishing also, there is no point taking a little bream lure offshore or an 8m deep diver onto the sand flats. I generally have 2 tackle boxes filled with lures to suit the occasion and most times I will take out something like 3-4 packs of different plastics and jig heads. If it wasn’t for the size of my kayak I could see how this much gear would start to crowd the deck let alone adding sounders, lights and all manner of equipment.

PG. 16

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

APRIL 2013

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IT’S WAR! R!! AR WA ng W ariin clar ecl de sd es iis ries The new Warlock Pro-Series declaring WAR! eri Se -S oro Pr ck P oc rllo ar Wa ew W ne he n Th T . t u ut o r ro T & s ss Trout. Bream, Bass as B m, Ba am ea re r nB on o

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APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 17


Kitted out yaks I consider myself quite the tinkerer, can’t leave something alone without modifying it one way or another. The first kayak I frequently used seriously was that little kiddy yak which actually went quite well considering. I modified this to include rod holders and some straps for storage. After a few years of putting up with this little thing I bought a larger Jackson Coosa. The Coosa was a great paddle yak and once I installed Scotty rod holders and a fish finder the Coosa was a paddle yak fishing machine that gave me many weekends of fishing. Considering the amount of distance I was travelling each outing I decided something easier to move was on the cards and upgraded yet again to my current Hobie Pro Angler 12. To date I have installed a Scotty rod holder, a Lowrance Elite 5 DSI sounder/GPS unit on a quick release adjustable RAM mount and have recently built my own sail. One you start modifying a kayak it really is hard to stop due to the ease and relative cost. Capitalising on the booming kayak fishing sport companies are starting to offer some very innovative products. For instance a few companies have come up with a dedicated kayak electric motor which in some instances can be attached to a rudder or dropped down the peddle well of Hobies. If I get my way I would also add a Hobie Tandem Island to my fleet, allowing me to take out my partner sailing and fishing all day – I might have a bit of work ahead of me to get that one approved however. All these ideas of sails and electric motors are helping kayak fishers get further and go longer under relative green power while having a minimal impact on the environment we utilise. Further reading. The internet holds a plethora of information on kayak fishing. There are a number of worldwide kayaking forums and sites, but in Australia if you want to talk and meet with like minded people – Kayak Fishing Down Under (www.kfdu.com.au) and Australian Kayak Fishing Forum (www.akff.net.au) are some top places to visit. The friendly folks post everything from fishing reports, planned trips to kitting out their kayaks and rod building. All there is left to do is get out and have a paddle.

PG. 18

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

APRIL 2013

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APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 19


technique - THE LURE OF JUNGLE PERCH WORDS AND PHOTOS BY GREG CARTER

Jungle perch Kuhlia rupestris are a superb sport species native to north Queensland within Australia which are high on many anglers wish list to tackle with. They are not monstrous fish only growing to around 50cm or 3kg but what they lack in size they make up for in aggression and eagerness to take an artificial offering. In many ways they are very similar to Australian bass and can be targeted with very similar methods. JP’s are a freshwater species that can be found as far up stream as the water course will allow them to travel. Commonly large waterfalls will be the upper limits and fish can be found in numbers at the rivers end so to speak. Typically JP’s like to hunt in back washes, under overhanging trees and amongst river timber. JP’s have large eyes and rely mainly on sight when sourcing food. They are an opportunistic predator that is more likely to attack by reaction or ambush than seek a particular prey and hunt it down. The upper water column is where the majority of their food source comes from hence targeting them with surface lures or flies is a very effective method of attack. In fact, I would go as far to say it is the most effective and consistent method of targeting them. As with any surface fishing the visuals make for an exhilarating experience, add a sensational backdrop of remote pristine rainforest and you’re in angling heaven. Fishing for these feisty water warriors can become an obsession and landing a fish over the 50cm mark is the ultimate reward, one which I have never been lucky enough to achieve after countless trips hunting them. There is a 1 take limit on jungle Perch although they are not considered a good table fish and in my opinion are way too special to be taken for consumption.

Coloured to blend in.


close up JP on popper.

JP on RMG.

Methods: Whenever I have the opportunity to chase JP’s it is hard to go past surface fishing. Despite the obvious rewards of surface fishing they are simply one of the most consistent surface fishable species that I have ever encountered and will take a surface lure at just about any time of the day with the exception of night when placed in the correct areas. In low light scenarios a JP may attack a surface lure in just about any part of its habitat. Some of the tight streams they are found in are constantly shaded and provide the low light hours required for a great surface session thoughout the day. Progressing towards the middle of the day in more open water courses accurate casts will have to be placed under shaded overhangs or behind shading large boulders. Fast flowing water with backwashes and eddies fish well throughout the day as fish pounce on passing prey by reaction alone. Without these reaction strikes many potential meals would be missed. I often preach that when surface fishing using a heavy leader has no disadvantage however with jungle perch leaders should still be kept as light as practical, their sight really is amazing. Plastics, subsurface flies or shallow diving hardbodies work well although are fished best in the top half of the water column for optimum results and as with surface fishing most strikes are likely to come from backwashes, snags and ambush points as the lure first appears within the fish’s line of sight. Quite often a JP will hit the lure as it lands on the water and I’ve seen them rise to a fly as it is being pre cast into an area which to me confirms their reliance on sight when hunting. Constantly moving cranking lures and plastics tends to work best as pauses often give the fish time to determine that the food source is not real particularly in the crystal clear water in which they are most commonly found. Locating Fish: Just about every substantial freshwater stream or river on the east coast north of Townsville holds numbers of jungle perch. They prefer clean fast flowing water with lots of obstacles like boulders and timber they can shelter amongst waiting in ambush. Best captures are usually taken far up river in the remote areas that are uneasily accessed which sometimes includes long hikes or pushing up past obstacles in punts or yaks. In these remote areas there is still a real threat from saltwater crocs living far upstream so most local anglers prefer to use punts instead of yak’s for obvious reasons. In built up areas like Freshwater creek for instance in the outer suburbs of Cairns JP’s can still be caught in reasonable numbers however their size is generally lacklustre and the fish are somewhat wiser than those residing in remote locations. Some of the better rivers I have fished for JP’s that are quite easily accessible are the Tully, Mulgrave, Mossman and Russel rivers.

Small surface flies work a treat.

Distribution: JP’s are found east of the Great Dividing Range in northern Queensland. Although patchy they can be found as far south as Fraser Island and on Palm Island but are most prolific north to the tip of Cape York. They do not inhabit the western side of the Cape nor are they found in any of the Gulfs river systems. Jungle Perch are also found in other countries like Fiji. Within its original range the jungle perch’s distribution has been substantially reduced by agricultural practices over the past 100 years. The Queensland sugar cane industry has been identified as one of the major culprits here. In particular the practice of clearing right to the water’s edge has severely impacted this species and also over fertilising fields for allowance of rain run off. I have fished many rivers from Townsville to Cooktown for JP’s and areas that had severe clearing to the bank were generally poorer producing areas. Breeding: Recent research has confirmed that jungle perch migrate downstream to the lower estuaries to spawn in a similar manner to Australian bass although it has been well know for a WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 21


Poppers are the choice of method for many reasons.

long time amongst the astute local anglers that have spent many hours targeting them. When the first big rains of the wet season come pouring down JP’s migrate downstream to the lower river reaches to breed in slightly saline or brackish water. They only stay down in the lower reaches for a short period of time and head back upstream as the swollen waterways slowly subside. Many years ago a young gun from Cairns (Nathan Ruth) took me chasing JP’s on one of these occurrences and explained to me why we were catching so many. Throughout his childhood any many hours fishing for JP’s he had worked out the patterns of their migration which he suspected was for breeding. When targeting JP’s on this migration, timing is of the essence and a day late or early will result in a huge difference in numbers landed. JP’s also migrate downstream with consequent flooding however the first big flood is when mass migration and breeding is mainly executed. I have experienced many trips around these floods with double digits caught in a relatively small area. JP’s are no where near as heavily fished as bass and a closure would not be warranted or necessary. A lot of residence who have lived their whole lives in FNQ started fishing for JP’s in their childhood at the local creek and take them for granted in adult hood preferring to tackle larger sport species like barra. Recently jungle perch have been breed successfully in captivity and it will be interesting to see if stocking these feisty predators will occur and if so where they will be stocked. I’m sure many SEQ anglers would welcome JP’s in their local dams. Diet: Jungle perch are omnivorous although primarily a carnivore feeding on other fish, crustaceans, insects and small animals. JP’s have also been known to eat such diverse foods as and figs and berries.

An average size JP.

Tackle: As jungle perch do not grow to any substantial size they can be targeted with light tackle. The average fish is around 30cm and rarely are they caught over 50cm. Any fish captured in the 40’s is a capture worth boasting about. An ideal spin set up would be a 1-3 kg rod, 1000-2000 size reel, 3-6 lb braid and a fluorocarbon leader from to 6-20lb. I prefer to use a crisp shorter rod up to 6 feet when chasing JP’s as often you find yourself in tight situations trying to get a cast into ridiculous areas. Shorter rods also have obvious advantages when hiking through dense rain forest. A 6 wt fly rod, small capacity reel, floating line and 6-20lb tapered leader will be ample if you’re into throwing fluff. The disadvantage of throwing flies is the tightness of areas the fish can be found in. Most fly rods are typically 9 feet in length however there are smaller versions that can be obtained for the serious tight water JP angler. It is possible to go down in rod weight however casting flies with a large surface area will not punch through the air as easily as there are no “bones” in the rod to compete with the resulting wind resistance. Now 20lb may seem a little extreme when choosing a leader and in fact it’s an over kill and can be a disadvantage however jungle perch are found in north Queensland where many other more sizable predators are realistic bi-catch. The majority of bi-catch being tarpon, sooties, archer fish, barramundi and the odd jack. Ultimately if it is JP’s you are specifically targeting and you don’t mind loosing the larger bi-catch keep your leaders as light as possible for optimum results. PG. 22

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APRIL 2013

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APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 23


When selecting lures I generally use poppers, walkers, bibbed crank baits and plastics intended for targeting bream. The tackle market has such a great range of lures specifically made for bream however in north Queensland the enormous variety of small tackle is a little harder to come by as the need for it is not in such demand. A note for southerners who head that way is to take your bream lollies with you. FNQ isn’t all about barramundi and a common mistake for travelling anglers is to pack heavy gear only. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cast a 1 inch popper with a 20lb loaded bait caster. When it comes to fly selection surface offerings such as dahlberg divers and other small flies made of deer hair work a treat. These types of porous flies do become water logged to an extent though and tend to loose their buoyancy so need to be dried occasionally or constantly coated with a water retardant. Small foam poppers, realistic foam insect imitations and crease flies tied on a size 1–1o hook are a hassle free option which stay dry and maintain buoyancy unless damaged. Weed guards are not a necessity as most fishing will be in fast flowing water free of lilies and the like. If the opportunity arises any keen angler would be crazy not to have a crack at these magnificent piscatorial predators. They are commonly overlooked when heading north but are well worth devoting a few hours to. On occasions in the past I specifically targeted JP’s due to demand whilst chartering in FNQ by boat and on foot and never had a disgruntled customer even when the fish weren’t so cooperative.

JP’s and sooties compete for food.

Where the fish can go no further upstream.

Time to abandon the punt.

JP on plastic.

Rapala Skitter Pop

PG. 24

HOOKED UP ISSUE 15

APRIL 2013

Duo Poco Poco

Gladiator Kazami

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Jackall SK grande

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APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 25


technique - post flood bassin’ WORDS AND PHOTOS BY ANGUS GORRIE

Heavy rains and flooding do in the short term have numerous negative effects on fishing both fresh and saltwater environments. There are of course the obvious cons such as the simple desire by an angler to stay dry. Also, there can be a lot of short term changes to waterways such strong flows, murky water, sunken debris and other such waterlogged obstacles. The combination of above issues can lead to fish temporarily being off the bite and systems simply too dangerous to sensibly fish. However there is a solid silver lining to this story. For many reasons, post flood bassin’ can produce sensational results for land based and vessel bound anglers alike. By the end of this piece I would hope that during the next big wet more anglers will be waiting with baited breath (no pun intended) for the local system’s recovery as opposed to falling into quiet remorse.


When is the right time to head back on the water..? This is a loaded question answered only with logic and suggestions as opposed to specifics. Largely, the best time to hit the water will depend on your local system, its size, depth and of course how much water its respective catchment dumps into it. The smaller the catchment and body of water, obviously the faster it will recover from a large downpour. In my local area, enthusiastic creek bashers are often hitting up systems within days of waters subsiding. Another added benefit to post flood fishing is the simple fact it can clear a lot of the foliage that tends to cover river banks which can be a huge advantage to land based anglers. Not that I like to see naturally occurring plants removed, but many of my local systems are plagued by the noxious lantana and I am always happy to see it go. One of the fundamental bits of advice I happily dish out is always wait until it is safe to head back out there. I myself have been silly enough on a couple of occasions to risk fast running floodwater in search of fish. This is a fundamentally flawed idea for two reasons… Firstly, the fish themselves are often having a hard enough time of it themselves and are not likely to be on the bite. Secondly, no fish is worth your life! I do not mind mitigated risks if it gives me a chance of catching a dream fish, but when fishing the dangerous conditions adds no benefit, why bother? Live to fish another day! Although the smaller systems clear up quickly, larger systems can often be well worth the wait. Often, the longer fish are shut down or prey is hard to come by, the hungrier they are when things come good! This fact can result in red-hot sessions if you time your prospecting mission well. Another huge factor, which affects larger systems, is the prominence of stocked impoundments along the east coast of Australia. Many of our larger river systems, for better or worse, are dammed, and these dams are of course stocked with whatever local stocking groups deem as relevant locally occurring species. When these dams spill over, or are intentionally released, this then essentially stocks the entire system under it with new fish in the thousands. Many larger systems benefit hugely from these releases as these fish are now able to breed and proliferate, as opposed to dams where many species, Australian bass included, cannot spawn due to lack of access to brackish water. What to look for..? You do not need to reinvent the wheel when deciding where and how to fish after floodwaters. However, consider the fact that many things are ‘greater’ than usual. There is a greater amount of flow, a greater amount of siltation in the water and potentially a greater number of fish (if you are fishing under impoundments) at a hopefully greater size! The fish are extremely affected by all manners of change and although they will follow normal routines to an extent, these routines will not be exaggerated. For example, whereas in calmer waters, an eddy to hide from the current is a convenience, in faster flowing waters it is a necessity! It is the ability to think and pre-empt a fish’s needs and wants that will save many a fruitless cast. With this being said, my first suggestion would be to find those eddys! Australian bass, like many other natives, are an extremely adaptable and diverse fish in the ways in which they hunt and live. Fish, despite many peoples’ opinions, are not bound by fixed rules regarding what they must eat, how they must hunt and where they must be. It is very important to consider this when fishing outside of normal conditions. What would you do if you were a bass? Would you a: fight the current with all your might, expending copious amounts of energy is doing so leaving you bereft of any when finally prey is sited? Or would you b: wait patiently at the bottom of a fast flow for food to inevitably be swept right past your mouth, both conserving much needed energy and maximising to energy consumed. Bass have not survived and evolved into their modern day embodiment by being ‘Darwinistically flawed’ and of course, the vast majority would be choosing option b. This brings be to my second suggestion regarding what to look for: slower sections of water occurring immediately after faster flowing sections. WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

PG. 27


The previously mentioned phenomenon is caused primarily by two main factors. The first and more common, are narrows stretches of river opening out into wider, possibly deeper pools. Water being forced to gush through narrows sections naturally ease and slow as it all of a sudden finds more room to spread out over. Australian bass love these locations and anglers need to capitalise on this. Locations fitting the afore mentioned description perfectly match the ‘option b’ scenario. The second phenomenon is physical barriers in the waterway which cause flowing water to pool and eddy on the downstream side. These come in naturally occurring and man-made forms, such as waterfalls/cliffs and weirs/bridges respectively. These offer an angler the same benefits as the previous phenomenon, with an added, almost unfair addition. Australian bass are often in disproportionate numbers in these locations due to the barrier these obtrusions create. Bass swimming upstream will find these barriers impossible, or at the very least extremely difficult to scale, causing them to school up and become easy targets. This is in fact the very reason that in most locations, it is completely illegal to fish within given distances downstream from man-made weirs so make sure you check your local regulations before fishing these sorts of areas. Tackle, Tactics and tips… So you have an idea where to find the fish…but now how to target them? Once again there is no need to reinvent the wheel in regards to tackle and tactics. Similar methods and techniques will apply but with a few slight tweaks, you can give yourself an edge. For starters, you must consider the clarity of the water… In all but a few systems I have fished after heavy rains, the water clarity will always become murky with visibility being reduced to mere cms. Now this puts some anglers off altogether, thinking that if the fish cannot see, they cannot hunt. This could not be further from the truth as fish are more than capable of finding prey in these conditions, and with some planning and consideration you can help them do this! Sounds and vibrations are a couple of my personal favourites in achieving this result. In crystal clear water, the opposite is true as I prefer more finesse; delicately presented offerings that will entice yet not spook fish. However, in these more rugged and turbid waters, stealth to some extent should be exchanged for some attention rousing action. Scores of lures these days come with the option of inbuilt rattle and silent. Obviously, this is perfect opportunity to test the former. While many lures have an inbuilt action causing vibration that the fish can hone in on, the added edge of sound can draw them from much further away causing each cast to become more effective and efficient. Sound is also of great benefit on the surface and can be achieved without the need for rattles. Once again, just to offer a contrast, in calmer and clearer times I would opt for a subtle and petite walker in an attempt to simulate a small insect on the surface. However in flooded times I am purely seeking to get the fish’s attention and opt for larger walkers or typically louder poppers. Size does not intimidate fish in murky conditions but goes a long way to drawing them in. It is in fact not uncommon to have well under legal fish (10-15cm) anteing up and smashing lures over 10cm in length. Lures of this size and length are after all not far outside of the naturally occurring prey during periods of raised water levels. Many larger creatures such as lizards, large insects and even rodents find themselves crossing water they would usually avoid. With hungry fish in the system this is a precarious endeavour, but one, as angler you should be obliged to take advantage of. Colour is always a matter of debate amid anglers. Does colour really matter? Or are multiple colours for the same shaped and actioned lure more to entice fishermen than the fish themselves? A very well-known Australian bass angler once took the time to explain his theory on the colour spectrum and how it applies to lure choice and fishing. It is a theory I have held to since. Colour that you can see, is the colour most visible in the spectrum it is occurring in. This illuminates, for example why many deep water bass fishermen opt for dark purples or black lures, or why an angler on the flats may opt for vibrants greens and blues to match the turquoise water that occurs there. Using this logic, rusty browns, oranges and shrimp patterns are great choices for fishing slightly silted, cloudy waters. This is of course just an opinion, however one of the greatest things one can possess while angling is confidence in our opinions as it keeps us casting until success! PG. 28

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APRIL 2013

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APRIL 2013

ISSUE 15 HOOKED UP

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As for rod and line class choice; there is a desirable tendency to fish slightly heavier gear in these conditions than some would usually cogitate, and for several motives. First of all, a bit of extra leader power can go a long way to saving many lures. An upgrade of say 12lb leader from my preferred 8lb ensures a lot more lures can be pulled off finer snags just out of view under the water. As swimming for lures is not recommended in turbulent waters, this simple addition of 4lbs worth of line can help avoid some serious back pocket woes. Further to the last, the extra poundage added does not in any way affect your fishing potential as with visibility so low, the need to use subtle, invisible lines becomes less apparent. It has been proven by many serious anglers I know that even 20lb mono will not inhibit bite rate in these conditions. A heavier leader also assists in the throwing of slightly heavier than normal lures you may consider employing. Spinner baits are a classic example of this. In still water, shallow water, extremely light spinner baits are ideal as they can be left to sink slowly in a vertical nature. However, in a stronger current, heavier spinner baits (or any sinking lure) will be required to ensure you get accuracy as to where your lure ends up. It is not fun at all to try and pre-empt where a slow sinking lure will sink to in fast water. Water craft… So far, this article has really discussed a land based approach to tackling post flood bass fishing and with good reason. Many waterways are just not safe for water craft after heavy down pours. Combine this with the fact skinny water (not highly suitable for boats at the best of times), is often best for bass to begin with, hoofing it is more often than not the best way to do it. However, there are water craft options, kayaks in particular are a great way to get into water that may be completely inaccessible from the bank. Steep banks and inaccessible bush can be barriers to a land based angler but not to a kayak. This allows those willing to drag a yak over shallow sections of river a chance to get into some relatively pristine sections of river. It is not rocket science that the less a section of river has been hit, the better it can potentially be! Kayaks also assist by giving anglers the ability to target snags and overhangs on both side of the bank, whereas fishing land based can often restrict you to just one side. At the end of the day whether or not to use a kayak will have to be an angler’s choice. Consider if it is required, and what added benefits that may be gained and go from there. Post flood bass fishing offers anglers a real chance to see their local systems from a completely different angle. By utilising a ‘think like the fish’ mindset and tweaking your usual tactics appropriately, sensational results can be had. So please, next time the water is up, consider the changes to both the fish, and your safety and enjoy the fish!

Jackall Mask Frog

PG. 30

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Lucky Craft Pencil

APRIL 2013

Arbogast Jitterbug

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iMa Tetra

Pontoon 21 Crack Jack


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TEN TIPS FOR TARGETING TUNA It’s that time of year again where Southern fishermen become fixated on Southern bluefin tuna. They are an amazing fish and for many southern anglers it’s their first taste of game fishing. For the more experienced anglers the allure of catching a tuna that exceeds 100kg in weight is enough to leave the family, work and day to day responsibilities to have a crack at one. Here we list ten tips that will help improve your chances of getting on to some tuna.

1.) DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST

Be sure you have a boat capable of rough conditions.

Find out as much as possible about where the fish are! This will save wasted time and petrol. Use social media, fishing forums and your local tackle store. Check as many reports as you can and keep in touch with fishing mates about where the tuna have been. Getting some gps locations of the last known schools will help you out a lot. Most of the time you will probably have to travel a fair distance from port to get on to the fish, there is no point heading miles in the wrong direction and just aimlessly heading out to sea. If you hear that they have gone quiet, maybe wait for another time to go.

2.) QUALITY TACKLE When purchasing fishing gear that is intended to subdue southern bluefin tuna, the old saying still rings true; ‘you get what you pay for’. Rods, reels, line, harnesses, gimbles and lures will generally be of higher quality with a higher price tag attached. Of course less expensive or ‘cheap’ gear will catch fish, and if you’re targeting school size fish it should suffice, however, should that fish of a lifetime come along the last thing you’re going to want to be using is inferior equipment. Quality game rods with roller guides and conventional reels with a large spool capacity and a smooth and reliable drag are essential in fighting large southern bluefin tuna. With the comeback of the big bluefin the chance of hooking up to a 100kg plus behemoth is a real possibility, and for this reason you should try and purchase the best gear your money can buy. Line class is up to you, if you run light line class you take the risk of losing big fish and if you go too heavy it could be less of a challenge, this is a risk you must take with any type of game fishing.

3.) SERVICE YOUR BOAT AND ENGINE AND KNOW ITS CAPABILITIES Attitudes like “she’ll be right” when it comes to your boat are unacceptable. Catching bluefin rarely happens close to shore. Triple check everything, be sure you have your engines serviced and be confident your boat and the skipper can handle long journeys and rough seas. No one wants to tow you home. If you don’t know how to read your GPS and don’t understand coordinates, learn before you go out on a big journey. Make sure all safety gear is in good order and on board. If you’re not ready to tackle the wild southern oceans, you’re just not ready, know your limitations and maybe head out on a charter or with someone else first.

4.) LURES AND TERMINAL TACKLE When it comes to choosing lures for bluefin tuna the options are endless; colours, head shapes, materials and style all differ greatly yet are all effective in enticing a bluefin. You can troll lures for bluefin, cast dead baits, live baits, or throw surface lures. The trick is learning when and where to use which lures and where if trolling to place them in your spread. Appropriate lure choice will help to unravel some of the mystery of why you are catching nothing but the boat next to you is. Many lures on the market are coloured to represent the baitfish that bluefin tuna feed on and this is a good starting point. Size is very important when targeting bluefin and more often than not smaller skirted lures are more productive. Talk to your local tackle store and they will help you with lure choice. Check all your terminal tackle in detail. This is the fish that will expose all faults and weaknesses and break your heart when you lose him. Hooks, split rings, swivels, crimps, check it all three times!

5.) LOOK FOR THE SIGNS

Check your terminal tackle and be sure it’s all up to par.

Quality rods and reels are essential when tangling with big tuna

One of the best indications that tuna are about are birds. Their advantage of height and eyesight allows them to quickly home in on any feeding bluefin. Flocks of birds seen circling and diving are a sure indication that something is happening and this should never be ignored. Sometimes bird activity won’t be as obvious. Watch closely to see how much area they are covering, if they are continuously going back over the same area without diving and just zig zagging they may have found bait that is too deep or they are following tuna that aren’t harassing bait yet. Always drag a lure or two through any birds that are doing this before moving on. Birds that are concentrating on each other, sitting on the water or covering too big an area rarely produce a strike so maybe don’t bother pursuing this kind of behaviour. Bait on the surface is an obvious and important thing to look for, if you can find schools of baitfish shallow on your sounder then you’re on the money, if tuna aren’t harassing the bait they soon will be. The radio is another great sign, it’s the best way for your mates to let you know what is happening. Just knowing that others are catching fish is a great boost for the crew who may be starting to get disheartened; there is nothing worse for a crew than doubting that the fish are even there. Make sure all crew members are active and that they have their eyes peeled for all signs of fish! PG. 32

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TEN TIPS FOR TARGETING TUNA 6.) SETTING A SPREAD

Having an effective spread is essential when trolling for sbt

Trolling is the most common form of targeting southern Bluefin tuna so it’s important to know how to properly set your spread of lures. Setting an effective spread is where a lot of fisherman will go wrong, knowing where and how far back to position your lures is something that can only be learnt from hours on the water. If you’re just starting out it’s a good tip to purchase lures where the manufacturer has a suggested position and troll speed on the packet; this will take some of the guess work out of it and save you time on the water trying to get a lure to swim effectively. When determining your lure position its good to place lures where it is as easy as possible for the fish to see it. So when targeting bluefin, run deep divers from the short corners closest to the transom, this puts them below the prop wash and provides a clear silhouette against the white bubbles. From the short and long rigger try running resin headed skirted lures in sizes ranging from 3 to 8 inches in length, as these are run off the outriggers they will spend quite a lot of time in clean water outside of your wake; especially when you are turning. From the shot gun or rocket launcher a metal bullet head skirted lure is a great option, it will travel just below the surface and won’t necessarily have a lot of action. Boat speed when trolling is crucial to how your chosen lures will swim. Placing your lures in the front face of the pressure waves created by your boat is advantageous.

7.) REMAIN CALM WHEN YOU GET A STRIKE Once you’ve got a strike, you need to keep motoring until the rod that has been hit is fully loaded up and paying out line. With the first fish firmly hooked, continue trolling forward allowing the other lures a chance to hook up, you will be surprised just how often you can turn one strike into multiple hook ups if you do this. Give the other lures about 10 seconds before you stop. With 2 or 3 anglers hooked up the remaining crew are free to bring the teasers and rods in, if you can control the situation without tangling often the sinking lures will get hit as well.

8.) STAY WITH THE FISH Once you have found the fish and you’re getting strikes, it’s time to hit the man over board button on your gps to mark the position, you will be surprised just how far you will move from where you hooked up to where you land the fish. Once all the lures are back out in the water the idea is to make your way back to where you got hit, it’s a good idea to approach the mark in the same direction as the first time. Chances are you are going to get hit again somewhere close, if not, you can zoom right in on your plotter and do ever increasing circles or figure eights of the area. This method will generally result in crossing paths with the school again and the procedure can be repeated over and over. If you are unlucky and can’t find the school again don’t waste too much time over a dead area, move off in search of a different school.

9.) USE THE BOAT TO FIGHT THE FISH Although small fish can be easily subdued on 15kg tackle, should you get a chance to rumble with one of the heavy weights, some fancy foot work will be required and your best aid is the boat. Big powerful bluefin need to be bullied and good boat driving can aid in this. Line angle is important, allowing the angler to fight direct up and down from a stationary boat is a bad idea; this just gives the tuna a chance to lay on his side, kick slowly and rest, unless the angler is good on the rod with some heavy fish fighting experience they will soon tire out in this position. Keeping a high line angle will put less pressure on the angler and will lead the fish forcing him to either swim with you or away from you burning energy in the process.

10.) BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHER ANGLERS Often, many boats will be in an area where a small school of tuna have become apparent. If you see a boat trolling through this school or casting at it, keep a respectful distance from the boat that is already there. Charging at a school and spooking it or trolling through another boats lines is just plain rude, disrespectful and will bring you bad fishing karma. Find your own fish and feel happy for the guy finding success; this may save you some nasty confrontation back at the ramp. The result you can achieve if you fish smart!

More often than not small lures will catch the big fish PG. 34

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GLADIATOR EGI EQUIP 8’ 10” Gladiator have designed a range of Egi rods that come in at a mid range price point. There are two rods in the Equip range, a 7’2” that’s designed for the boat and an 8’10” that’s designed for the land. These were one of the first dedicated squid rods on the Australian market and have garnered a very good reputation among squid anglers. There is a lot of criticism from anglers at the idea of a dedicated squid rod. Many believe it’s just marketing hype and a bream or estuary outfit will suffice. Yes, you can catch squid with a bream rod, a hand line or even a game rod, however, you will catch more squid with a dedicated squid rod if it has the right specs and the Equip does.

Retrieving: One of the most important factors in an egi rod if you are going to fish a squid jig as intended is the ability to jig it. You wouldn’t buy a soft light rod to jig a knife jig so you should approach a squid jig the same. The equip has enough power in the blank to aggressively impart action into your jig. You can wack a 3.5 as hard as you want and you won’t feel like your going to break the rod. The longer rod does make this aggressive jigging action a little more difficult but nothing you won’t get used to. Of important note is that the rod is also stiff enough to retrieve jigs snagged on weed which is an inevitable part of targeting squid if you’re doing it properly.

Casting: When offered a choice between the 7’2” and 8’10” version of these rods from Gladiator I chose to review the longer version. I chose the longer rod as even though I have a boat I still enjoy fishing land based for squid and I don’t see the extra length as a disadvantage on the boat. The extra length offers greater casting distance which is an obvious advantage when land based but is also an advantage on the boat. When I’m drifting away from the reef I am casting at, I can reach it from greater distances before I have to motor back in with my engine or electric motor. This allows me to keep my jig in the strike zone for longer periods at a time. It also means I can cast at much shallower areas the boat cannot reach (where squid often reside). The Equip is fitted with titanium low profile graphite guide frames, which keep the line close to the blank and greatly aid casting distance. The blank has enough power for you to cast out 3.5’ squid jigs which weigh about 20gm as hard as you like. It also has enough finesse to cast out smaller/ lighter jigs good distances.

Fighting: Of most importance in an egi blank when it comes to fighting a squid is the fact that it has a parabolic action and the Equip possesses a great parabolic action. Squid fight with short hard pulsating jerks and short fast bursts of speed. Often your drag will be quite tight so line doesn’t peel from the spool when aggressively working your jig, so the parabolic action is necessary so as not to rip tentacles straight from the squid or pull the jags. The parabolic action is also necessary as you will be going straight from slack line and aggressively jigging into a squid, which is like hitting the bottom. Again the length can make bringing the squid to the net a little more difficult but you just allow for it. This is undoubtedly the best egi rod on the market for its price point and it’s a much better rod than many rods that are twice the price claiming to be dedicated squid rods. The high modulus graphite blank is great and well suited to its application. The finish is excellent and while not in any way striking or different looking, who cares? If you want to get more out of your squid fishing whether from the boat or land based this would be the best rod to start with and maybe the only rod you you’llll eve ever need. DISTRIBUTED BY: GLADIATOR TACKLE WEB: GLADIATORTACKLE.COM.AU

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PENN PREVAIL SURF

Of recent years Penn released the Big Game Surf series which were great rods with good tapers, a solid build and had the ability to cast large weights good distances. They have recently released a new range of surf/land based rods that they have titled as the Prevail Surf series. There are nine rods in the range in both spin and overhead and they start at ratings of 6kg (8’) all the way through to the 10-20kg (12’) which I have for review. At first glance the prevail appears to be an old-school robust surf rod, but upon closer inspection you find a modern day rod that hasn’t left behind build qualities and performance aspects you may be accustomed to. For starters a two piece all graphite blank with a fast taper replaces the old slow taper glass blank. A graphite reel seat and stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts are used instead of plastic seats and ceramic guides that tend to drop out of the frames. Heat shrink replaces EVA which looks awesome and feels good in the hand whether wet or dry. So while the Prevail presents a little old school in regards to the blank, it has some modern day enhancements that marries the best of old design and new technologies. Casting: First off, hallelujah to Penn for providing a maximum cast weight on these rods. It greatly helps surf anglers who know they will be casting large weights and will not bother with a rod that cannot cast their desired offerings. Generally when I’m targeting gummy sharks or jewfish in the surf I will be casting a 6oz lead and a large bait that’s at least 2oz. Thankfully the Prevail claims it can cast 10oz and this was something I was keen to test out. Using a 5000 size reel with 60lb braid and a 60lb shock leader made casting 8ounces a breeze. The Prevail has just enough whip in the top third and enough grunt in the lower regions to easily cast this kind of weight. A large stripper guide and large guides through to the tip allow heavy braid or mono and line joins to easily pass through without catching. I managed to cast about 30 metres which is about as far as you’re gonna get casting this kind of weight with a big piece of squid that severely lacks any aerodynamics. To really test out its cast ability I tied on an 8oz sinker with a big squid bait and

managed to cast about 20 metres. This is pretty bloody good for 10 ounces of weight and I was very impressed. The reel seat is positioned really well for fighting and there is enough length in the butt to making casting very comfortable. Fighting: When you start fighting fish with rods that go beyond the length of 10’ you are always at risk of the rod putting a bit of hurt on you. Unfortunately this is the trade off for casting distance. The pictured gummy shark was not large enough to really test out the blank but fighting a 25kg clump of weed will put any blank to the test and showed the Prevail to have a fast action that left you a lot of rod to put the muscle on the fish, this however does put a lot of strain on your back when you’re fighting something really large and you’re standing in sand, but is a worthy trade off to easily keep good tension on the fish and tire him out before you go for the gaff shot. It’s a really well designed blank for fighting large fish, really large pests like stingrays and skates and the ever troublesome weed clump that comes along to ruin your day. Conclusion: This rod is robust, light for its size and casts heavy weights a great distance. You should be able to pick it up most places for under $250 so it’s a great price for the quality of rod you get. A bonus is the stainless guide frames and the aluminum oxide guides are always smooth. They haven’t gone with Fuji parts to keep costs down but the parts used seem fine and I expect they will endure the abuse a surf rod receives. At the end of the day there really isn’t anything on the shelf that can do all this at this kind of price. Penn have done really well to provide a rod for anglers chasing large fish in heavy surf. DISTRIBUTED BY: PURE FISHING WEB: PENNFISHING.COM.AU

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PG. 37


SHIMANO SUSTAIN 2500

In the last few years Shimano has made a few changes in the hierarchy of their spinning reel range. Where Stella used to sit at the top followed by the no longer produced Twin Power, it is now the Sustain that sits second in command. This is a great thing for anglers as you can grab yourself a Sustain for less than half the price of the Stella and it’s a workhorse of a reel. Cosmetically I personally like the plain black look, it’s a nice departure from the usual, however, it does look a lot like a cheap reel you would buy from K-Mart; mechanically though it is far from that. The 2500 has 8+1 bearings, and that “1” bearing is the rollers bearing, I highly suggest not buying reels for use in saltwater without that “1” bearing as the roller will generally cease exactly when you don’t want it to. The drag can dish out 8kg of pressure that you’re probably never going to use more than 3kg of, but that’s ok, it means it’s equipped to dish a lot more so you won’t be wearing out the washers anytime soon.

with no latency on the first strike. At pressures that were maybe nearing 4kg when turning snapper on shallow reef the frame in no way bends or buckles and the gearing system is very strong providing good crank power when bringing in a fish or retrieving heavy lures at speed. Conclusion: I’ve had two Sustains for about about six months now and they have gotten a lot of use in saltwater environments. They perform as good as what they did the first week I got them and they don’t seem to be slowing down. While they’re not as fluid and light aas a Stella they really are the second best thing in the Shimano line up. Falling somewhere omewhere in the mid-high price point they are great value for money and are very durable urable so will last you a long time. After spending quite a bit of time with the 2500 I am really keen to use the 5000 on some larger fish.

Casting: I could sit and explain the many different logos such as X-ship, Paladin, Magnumlite etc.. plastered all over this reel, but really, who cares? I’m pretty sure most of you don’t, you just want to know if it’s smooth, performs and that it will last. So let’s get to it. A great feature of the sustain is that it casts beautifully. The spool-lip is designed to have minimal friction as line leaves the spool and this is evident when spooled with braid and fluorocarbon. It’s accurate, smooth and provides good distance when casting light lures. The 2500 is fairly light at 235 grams and balances beautifully with 7’ rods of about 1-3kg so is a joy to cast with for extended periods. Retrieving: The Sustain has great fluidity when wound but still feels solid. It’s a lot smoother than the Stradic Ci4 and the Stradic FJ so three extra bearings do make a difference. A 6.0:1 gear ratio makes it versatile as you can retrieve lures at high speed when chasing tuna, salmon, tailor etc.. and you have the drag to fight them with. Line lay is excellent whether using braid or fluorocarbon. Fighting: I’ve had the opportunity to tangle with bream, flathead, jewfish and snapper to 4.5kg with this reel and its performance is excellent. The fight is where a reel should perform at its best and the Sustain really shines in the fight. The three things I look for are a smooth drag, a strong frame that doesn’t bend or buckle and some good crank power. The drag is faultless, smooth, and responsive

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YAMASHITA EGI OH Q LIVE - PURPLE UNDERTAPE/PURPLE CLOTH Yamashita have always made great jigs that catch squid. What I really like about their range is the variety of colours and various bases/foils that they offer with a number er of cloth colourings to go with them. They also have a great variety of sizes and sink rates. This model itself is offered in three sizes and sink rates. The Egi Oh range itself self is massive and you can get everything from standard silver, gold and red bases through rough to rainbow, glow, pink, orange, clear and keimura/UV. They have a jig to suit every ry application and a very handy website that is great for showing you in what conditions ditions you should apply each jig to. One stand alone model in their Egi Oh Q Live range ange is a purple base with a purple cloth. I had never seen or used a squid jig of this colour combination but I have always been a fan of purple lures.

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When trolling for pelagic species and running purple lures in the prop wash or casting hard bodied lures for trout in dirty water or low light, I have always been en a fan of purple lures. Purple and black lures stand out and provide a strong silhouette ouette in low-light or murky waters and are therefore a necessary colour to have in yourr arsenal of squid jigs. Perusing the Yamashita website I noticed that the purple jig has been designed to use in dirty water, low light and when the squid are a little finicky. All these conditions were conducive to Port Phillip Bay at the time of testing so I was as keen to see how effective this lure would be, I was also a little shocked that of all the squid jigs I owned, I didn’t really have anything like it. I was using a 3.5 size in standard d d sink ink rate and fishing in about 3-4 metres of water. It takes about ten seconds for this jig to reach the bottom at this depth and drops nicely. It responds with a great action when jigged aggressively or lightly jerked. Conditions were tough with surrounding boats not having any luck and the other two fishermen on the rocks next to me catching nothing. On my third cast I was successful and the squid really did aggressively attack the jig. I unfortunately lost the jig on my next cast and proceeded to fish with some lighter coloured jigs and caught nothing else and neither did anyone else. These jigs have a great action, sink rate and the whole series offers you a large variety of colour, size, sink rate and foils. I think that the Purple is a great addition to anyone that loves their squid fishing, you can use it at night, in murky conditions and when the squid aren’t all that active. A great action and excellent colour combination.

BERKLEY MF 60 The popularity of vibes and lipless crankbaits can only be attributed to the fact they catch ch fish. They’re also easy to use and will catch many species with a simple retrieve; they have ve an amazing action that predators find irresistible and they are also very versatile. Aside from om action and colour the other feature of a lipless crankbait is a big sonic rattle, so the only thing ing missing is scent and a soft body; enter the MF60. Berkley have pretty much made every single gle shape and design you can think of (and some you’ve never thought of) into a plastic, and now ow they’ve made a plastic lipless crank bait. While you sacrifice sonic attributes with a MF60 you have the added benefits of a soft plastic and Berkley’s undeniably effective scent. So, how does it go in the field? Casting: Snapper in about 15-20 metres was the target quarry. First thing you will notice is that you u get great casting distance with this lure. At 26 grams it outcasts most other plastics you would d use in this application, not only due to its weight, but it’s a lot more aerodynamic than a shad ad or curl tail. While it can be cast accurately it’s shape does cause it to land a little louder than han a standard soft plastic, but should we be comparing this lure with a plastic anyway? It won’tt land any harder than a standard crank bait. Retrieving: It can be worked fast or slow while retaining a great action and has a great tight wiggle on the retrieve and a good flutter on the drop. You can bump it off the bottom or cast out distance and retrieve it deep in the water column over structure. I perceive it would also be great casting into schools of queenfish, salmon and tailor and retrieving at high speed. Fighting: When it comes to strike and fight time this lure really has the goods. The soft plastic body will surely have finicky fish hanging on for longer or taking that second strike and the through-wire construction won’t let you down on those larger fish. There is no need to upgrade the trebles as it comes standard with great trebles that are a heavy gauge and sharp. This lure is a really effective bait to have in your tackle box. When fish are shut down and you don’t wont to spook them is where it will really come into its own. It has a great action, strong terminals and Berkley’s power bait scent. While snapper were the target species when reviewing this lure, it’s suited to golden perch, cod, threadfin, jacks and barra.

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KORKERS CHROME WADING BOOTS Neoprene or rubber waders with the built in boot are crap; I’m sorry to be so blunt, but they are. They’re bulky, squeaky, you sweat in them, they provide no support for your feet and ankles; and they’re terrible when navigating rivers, bush and many of the environmental challenges you come across when trying to find a secluded trout stream. If you’re reading this and wondering what the alternative is, it’s Gore Tex, Toray and waders made from very light materials that have a built in waterproof neoprene sock. There are many brands out there on the market but this review is about the boot you wear with these waders, and there is no point spending the dollars on a really comfortable pair of waders ders and not having a great boot to go with them. The Korkers Chrome wading boots are just plain awesome. This is one of those reviews where you have to calm yourself down and try and find something thing negative about the product just so it doesn’t sound like you’re blowing smoke up someone’s ’s ass, however, I can’t fault them. First off, they’re built like a tank, but they’re very light and extremely emely comfortable. They even remain light while submerged. While the boot is not waterproof of the majority of its materials are, so it doesn’t log with water and become weighty and cumbersome. some. The majority of the boot is constructed from the same material used in making white water er rafts so it’s extremely durable. Aside from great construction and comfort the Korkers Chrome me have two very special features; Boa laces and Omnitrax Interchangeable soles. Now if you’re e not familiar with Boa laces, basically they are a steel cable (very similar to wire fishing trace) confi nfigured like a standard shoe lace, and you tighten them just by turning a circular dial that sitss on the tongue. They are easy to use, extremely durable and give you a tight secure feeling all day, they lock in and won’t come loose. The other very awesome feature is the interchangeable sole. Korkers offer rubber tread, d, felt and studded soles to suit the various terrains you may use them in. Changing the soles takes akes about five seconds and they lock in solid and don’t come loose. A pair of rubber and studded dded soles

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comes in the box upon purchase so you only need to buy the felt soles if you need them. Basically, you’re never going to wear these boots out and if you do wear out the soles you can just buy a new pair. If you’re an angler that fishes in waders a lot of the time it is well worth spending the money and upgrading and getting a pair of these boots. They will enhance the enjoyment of your fishing experience ten fold and they will last forever. They are a one time purchase. I love them so much I just wear them as boots when fishing around muddy and wet terrain even when I am not in wadend you tryy a pair on. ers. They are excellent fishing footwear and I highly recommend

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