PowerBait twitchTail review

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The 3” Power Minnow (3” bass minnow if you’re old) has been a staple in the tackle bags of Aussie and NZ anglers for nearly 2 decades. It’s the skinny little minnow that catches everything whether it swims in fresh or salt water.

Something I always wanted out of the Power Minnow, but could never get was more tail action. The Twitch Tail has filled that void. With the same skinny bait fish profile as the Power Minnow, the Twitch Tail comes to you with a lobe tail, unlike the Power Minnow with a fork tail.

They say it’s all in the tail, and in this instance it is! Having the tail formed in this way gives it some weight, and through the retrieve the body and tail play a constant catch-up with each other allowing the tail to come forward of the body inducing a manic amount of tail action.

Combine this tail action with the E-Motion BEM070XL, BEM0702XL or BEM6102L and you have some crazy tail action coming your way.

To get the most out of structure fishing with this lure, try a Shaking Retrieve for 2 seconds with a 2 second pause, whilst using 1/24 to 1/16oz jig heads. It’s bang on the money for a heap of different fish species!

Berkley E Motion 7’ 1-3kg – Spinning Rod Review by Adam Royter

 

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The E-Motion rod range is extensive in variety and as with most ranges of rods, there are always sweeter cherries to be pick out of the bunch.

One of those is the 7’ 1-3kg. It’s taken from the extra fast action of the 6’10” ‘Dropshot’ rods we have come to love, with an accentuated action – quite the feat!!

For me, this rod answers the call for light tip lure actions. If you cast surface, stick baits, minnows or the lighter end of soft baits, this is a rod well worth you looking at.

The action of this rod’s tip section allows for some very, very light lure movement, something I think we all have forgotten about. It doesn’t work your arm too hard and it gives your lures the type of breathing space they need to perform at their best.

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Although I like quite a few rods in this range, this is one I’ll fight the missus for (she likes it just as much as me!). The length is good, the action is good, the grips are right and the guides are Fuji’s. In one and two piece, how can you say no!

 

These rods are available at your local Berkley stockist and are priced around $100.00!

Fishing Line – The Chronicles of Royter

Fishing line – The Chronicles of Royter

By Adam Royter.

This series of Blogs is about all the things you really shouldn’t do but sometimes can’t help, and the things you do know are right but can’t work out why! Occasionally it takes someone a little kooky around the edges to spell it out for you – enter The Chronicles of Royter!! The place where if you’re a bit of a goose, you just don’t know what you’re doing or you’re too young to be told otherwise, you can probably read about it here. Adam Royter’s not always right and he blows his stack a little bit as well, so if you can wiggle past all of that, there’s a really good chance you’ll learn something along the way.

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Fishing Line

Fishing line is one thing that is surrounded by an air of doubt. It’s the true ‘love/hate’ relationship we’ve got with our fishing gear that’s likely to stay this way forever!

Main lines are easily broken up into two categories – braids and mono’s. In the braids camp we have two very different types to discover – braided (hence the name braid) and thermally fused (what most people know as FireLine but is also available in other brands). The mono’s can be hammered into two camps as well – they are nylon and fluorocarbon.

Let’s break them down into material types, and then further into their target designed use and current use categories.

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Same type of reel, different line – what’s the difference?

 

Braids – All braids are made with one main common material – polyethylene fibre or high-modulus polyethylene – HMPE. This starts its life as a ‘gel spun’ fibre which is used in dozens of industries including the fishing industry. Gel Spun ~ a gel like blob of polyethylene is centrifugally spun out in a single strand from a die and bath, cooled to form a very thin, single strand. Then it’s combined with others to make ‘carriers’ at which point they are braided together either tightly or loosely (pick count) in order to make the finished line. Within this process, manufacturers will attempt to die the line a different colour (other than its natural white, which in most cases it will fade back to after time) and or coat the line with a silicon based treatment to make it more ‘knot-able’ or more user-friendly and ‘stiffer’ to cast and fish (again wearing out after time).

Thermally Fused – This line is manufactured using the same material and process as braids up to the point its heat treated, the process then thermally fuses the outer few percent of line to create a coat not unlike the crust on a bread. The braiding process has less ‘pick counts’ because of the fusing method, therefore it’s fast and less expensive to make.

 

Mono – Or monofilament meaning ‘single strand’ is comprised of many different classes of nylon and fluorocarbon. Within its range it has hundreds of different nylon variations and mixtures that go into making that one single strand of fishing line. Co and Tri polymers are exactly what they sound like – two or three different types of nylon placed over the top of one another via an extrusion die to make a line that will perform differently to others. Both nylon and fluorocarbon can go through this process and in some instances, both materials are used to make one fishing line in this manner.

After extrusion from the die, the ‘new’ line is run between many hot to warm rollers and stretched to a particular diameter which in turn will result in the desired breaking strain.

The physical characteristics of these two lines is negligible because either one can be – stiff, soft, hard, coloured etc. Regardless of which one, they will both enter the water with some type of fishing tackle attached to them – their physical nature means that they are still ‘there’. However, visually the lines will ‘appear’ differently once subsurface. The characteristics of fluorocarbon means that light will pass through it as it does hit the water and not linger around inside it making it visible. Nylon has a different light refracting index to water and light rays will get caught up in the single strand of mono albeit for a nano second, making the nylon more visible. This is the theory anyway. It’s not always as cut and dry as that!

 

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A spool of line ends up in the bin but why? Wrong choice or bad advice!?

 

Home Truths – Now it’s time for me to yell at you, and if I could grab you by the ears and shake your heads around to see how many peas are in there I would! Why am I going to yell? Because it seems that none of you are listening (yeah you again Mr 20 something smarty pants know it all).

Each one of these lines has a specific use that needs to be understood to be appreciated. There is no one line that will do it all. I’m talking to you Mr 8x braid!! Just because it’s the newest, the smoothest, the limpest, the most expensive or the prettiest, doesn’t automatically make it the best!

Just because you can’t read what’s printed on the box or because Made in Japan is plastered all over it, doesn’t mean it’s the line for every occasion. Hello! That’s why they gave you a spare spool with your reel…you know, for the other line you need to fish with!!

So don’t get all ‘oh, I only fish this line because it’s the best’ on me because you’ll come off second fiddle every time. How do I know this? Because your job has not been to go fishing and test fishing gear for the last 20 years that’s how! And mine has, so you’d better be listening.

Let’s do this one at a time so we don’t get confused because after all, line is confusing!

 

 

Nylon mono – This is the old school version of fishing line out of the 4 different lines we are looking at. It has limited uses but still has a place.

Where? – Mostly for leader material because of two factors that relate directly back to the particular type of manufacturing recipe and physical makeup of this line. If you care to look into it, NYLON fishing line is THE MOST abrasive resistant fishing line in the world today (excluding wire). Not all nylons are this – you have to find the right one out of the hundreds of recipes that are out there. Just because fluorocarbon is physically HARDER than most NYLONS, doesn’t always make it better wearing against abrasive objects. However, the differences are insignificant and it’s almost impossible to recreate the things your line must go through before you get pinged! At the end of the day, the thicker the line the more abrasion resistance it has.

Nylon is also a far better material than fluorocarbon for leaders when fishing small to medium surface lures. Fluorocarbon is denser than water therefore it’s heavier and will sink. This can upset the swimming action of your lures in the same way that putting a big snap swivel on the front of it will.

Nylon also has the ability to be stretched dramatically and return (almost) to its original size or state, which when you look at how knots are formed, is a very good thing! Fluorocarbon doesn’t have this ability and inside certain knots that you may tie, the fluorocarbon will be considerably weakened by this event making it not as user friendly.

Keep in mind that nylon line absorbs water and in doing so, can reduce the breaking strain of the line and your knots.

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Squidding is one type of angling where your line choice is critical – fluorocarbon is a must!

 

Fluorocarbon – or polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) has been available as a fishing line for over 20 years. It’s mostly used as a leader because of is subsurface visual quality, cost and abrasion resistance against sharp objects. Over the last 10 years manufacturing processes have been tweaked and the formula now makes it a more cast-able product but in comparison to nylon, it’s still the stiffer of the two at any given diameter.

Fluorocarbon doesn’t absorb water like nylon does so it’s much more consistent. However it does deform and burn easily when tying it into a knot – slow draws and lots of lubricant can fix this.

Where? – Fluorocarbon is an excellent choice for soft bait/lure casters because of its inherent sinking qualities (denser than water). Keeping in mind that the line you tie it to (more often than not) is going to be a braid of some description and this will float – almost cancelling out one for the other, but better to have it sink than anything!

Fluorocarbon is best in super clear water with good to average lighting conditions. Any other type of water clarity and its visual plus’s become null.

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Straight through fluorocarbon can be the critical edge between catching and not – worth a try if you haven’t!

The Hard & Soft Leader Fight – I like these analogies – Car tyres are made of soft rubber compounds to resist wear against the very abrasive road surface (amongst other things). If they made them out of a substance that was hard, they would last a week!

Take a file to a block of rubber and timber – there’s every chance you’ll go through the timber before the rubber! That’s the basic rules of leader material versus abrasive material. Harder is not always better! Something to think about.

As far as sharp is concerned e.g. teeth, shellfish, gill plates etc. only wire would resist the sharpest objects – and that doesn’t suit everyone’s needs; but in the sharp stakes, hard fluorocarbon would probably win over nylon.

 

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Hard baiting is straight forward and easy on your line and casting, because of the constant tension that it applies.

 

Braided Lines – Spiderwire made with Spectra was the first commercially available super line for angling. It revolutionised the way we used bait casting reels and gave super human abilities to angling styles, like snag and structure lure casting. It was limp, thin and strong. What it wasn’t, was cast-able on a threadline reel! It was a tangling mess.

This was both an issue with the spool design and the fact that the line had no memory. The line that all modern day threadline reels are designed for (even to this day) has a memory; monofilament. If you take away the line’s memory then you are handicapping the reels abilities to perform as it was designed.

Berkley FireLine was the answer. A fused super line that had memory – giving back to the threadline reel what it lacked from standard braid, yet still retaining all the attributes of a braided line.

Threadline reel spools have come a little way in the last few years. They have lengthened front lips and changed layering angles and systems. As much as we’d like to think the designers have fixed all the issues, sadly they have not. Standard braid still tangles when cast from an ultra modern threadline reel, simply because they needed to not only change the spool design, but pretty much start again from scratch! Something no one is prepared to do and or possibly can do!?

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Inshore fishing is the grey area where the diameter of the line depicts what can be used – thankfully it’s an ‘all-lines’ sport!

So the fact still remains. Threadline or spinning reels have a system where the line is pulled from the spool one loop at a time, while the other loops hold on to the spool with whatever memory they can muster. The line is both running forwards and backward over the top of the ‘loops’ of line that are sitting still, waiting for their turn to fly. If your spool is too full, the exiting loops will contact the waiting loops and pull them off the spool ahead of time, creating a casting tangle. This, even more so if your line has no memory to hold itself on the spool!

Having no memory is one thing that sells braid to humans because we expect it to work better because it’s supple. Sure enough, if we could bypass the spinning reel spool completely, it would be the best line you could use – but we can’t! Braided lines have a small amount of memory out of the box because of certain additives and colours (although colouring braid is becoming better with time) but after used they lose these properties and can no longer ‘hold themselves on the spool’, allowing the exiting line to grab the loops waiting and create a cast tangle.

The only way to beat this is to not fill your spool completely, and allow the spool lip to angle the exiting line over the top of the loose loops. This has its drawbacks as a spool that is not full will not cast at its best.

Braided lines are still, and will always be, at their premium when used on baitcasting and overhead reels. Line manufacturers know this and have been trying to stiffen up stranded braided line for years by means of silicon additives, so that they perform better on spin gear.

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Soft baiting is big and the players want to get it right – consistency is king and fused line has a strong hold with the champions of the sport.

 

Thermally Fused – There are very few of this type of line on the market at present, mostly because Berkley had a patent on the process for 20 years. As time goes on, we will start to see more and different types of fused lines come into play. Getting the right amount of stiffness is key. Some fused lines are too stiff and others take 1000 casts to become any good, but at the end of the day, they are effectively copying the memory basics of nylon fishing line and that’s a huge plus!

Most people shy away from fused lines because of how they feel straight out of the box, in comparison to what standard braid feels like: fused = stiff, standard braid = soft. It’s a natural reaction that all unknowing anglers have to these lines and because of this, they will opt for the soft line thinking that it’s the better performer. Unfortunately this becomes obvious sometime down the track as the colour and additives wear out and the tangles start (this can also happen immediately out of the box, depending on the line).

Some people have a different fishing style and they like to stick with standard braid. Here the line is wound back on the spool under tension by the retrieve, mostly alleviating the loose loop scenario – fishing styles like hard bait fishing will do this and lessen the amount of tangles.

FireLine and other fused lines have their place in the scheme of things and for me, I think FireLine is at its best in 3-lb to 4-lb for light spinning, and 8-lb to 10-lb for inshore. No other line that I have ever cast has given me less tangles whilst doing a multitude of different fishing styles – soft baits, hard baits, natural baits etc.

The proof is in the casting and in the fishing, something I do a lot of. There are some different lines out there these days and almost all of them are good at something. There are very few bad lines left on the market because of the way technology has developed.

If you have made it this far into the Chronicle then well done! And keep in mind that these are only my thoughts, and not anything written in stone. There will be the ‘disagrees’ and the ‘agrees’ and that’s why I write; to get people thinking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hodgey brings it home in Gippsland

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ABT GIPPSLAND QUALIFIER

The Gippsland leg of the ABT Vic tour will be a tournament that I will remember for a long time. Going into the final day I was sitting in 8th position almost 1kg behind the leader. I was fishing an area I know pretty well, almost all of my tournament hours over the last 9 years at Gippsland are spent fishing at lake entrance, I have come to know the ‘lay of the land’ and I’m confident that if the fish are where they should be that I can put together 5 reasonable fish. But what happened on day 2 of the ABT was far from reasonable, it was much closer to remarkable!!

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I was using my all time favourite hardbody lure – Berkley puppydog with what is fast becoming my favourite combo – Abu Garcia Salty Stage light casting 6’10” 1-3kg rod with the incredibly smooth Abu Garica MGX20. My line of choice was 6lb nanofil and 4lb sensei leader. I was casting into the shallow edges and working the lure with a twitch and pause retrieve.

Within the first 30mins I had 2 solid fish in the well including a kilo fish. Kicker fish are hard to come by so to get one early was a real confidence booster. As I continued, the fish really began to hunt the lure and by 9am I had a 4kg plus bag and was upgrading with solid fish.

With an hour to go I got 2 crucial bites that upgraded a pair of 32fork length fish for a pair of 38forkers. With all 5 fish now being on or just over the 1kg mark I knew I had done all I could. The drive back to the weigh in seemed to take for ever. I gave myself an extra 15mins to make the trip and I can tell you I have never been so nervous of engine failure as I was during the final dash for home. Luckily everything worked smoothly and I was able to hit the weigh in with my biggest 5 bag ever, weighing 5.4kg which was enough to take the win and secure my 5th ABT qualifier victory. The ABT grand final is at a new venue for me, St Georges basin and I can’t wait for November to come around.

The difference is clear – New 4inch Gulp! Nemesis colours.

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4 new colours make their into the 4 inch Gulp! Nemesis range. The clear transluscent finish in Clear Purple Shimmer, Clear Red Black Silver, Clear Green Silver and Clear Lavender Pearl Holo is going to prove deadly on all manner of species.

Combine the fish catching profile of a Jerkshad and the enticing tail action of a grub and you get the Berkley Nemesis. Designed in Australia the Nemesis shape is now available in a 4” size. The tail action of this shape has to be seen to be believed. On the drop or on the wind, the Nemesis tail swims at the slowest of speeds delivering continuous lifelike action.

Each Gulp! Nemesis is also loaded with Berkley’s exclusive GULP scent and flavour formula, a powerful water based scent dispersion system that also makes Gulp 100% biodegradable.

 

– 100% biodegradable and made of 100% natural ingredients.

– Gulp releases 400 times more scent than plastic baits.

– Gulp is available in a huge range of shapes and sizes.

– Gulp has been proven effective on just about every Australian species of fish.

Berkley Emotion Rods

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Berkley® E-Motion rods are for anglers looking to take the next step in rod performance.

From finesse estuary and freshwater presentations to punching out 7 inch jerkshads on inshore reefs, the Berkley E-Motion Performance Series of rods combines superb function and performance at a best-in-class value.

Lengths, powers and actions are engineered to perform and designed with the keen angler in mind.

Constructed of a 100 percent carbon fibre blank, Berkley E-Motion Performance rods provide all anglers a unique balance of strength and sensitivity to detect even the subtlest bites.

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The High Energy Transfer Reel Seat Design™ provides maximum energy transfer from butt to tip for more powerful hook sets or working big fish out of heavy cover. The soft coat texture applied to the reel seat, combined with the ergonomically shaped split handles, provides added grip, comfort and control at all times. Utilising the proven Fuji Alconite guide system ensures smoother, longer casts.

Seven spinning rods ranging from 6’6” to 7’2” in length with extra light to medium heavy actions complete this range. Anglers looking for performance and value need look no further, the Emotion range is second to none.

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Team Abu Garcia Wins Berkley Evinrude Teams Series (BETS) round 1 – Hawkesbury River

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Team Abu Garcia starts their Bream tournament season with a WIN at the Berkley Evinrude Teams Series Hawkesbury round.

Ross Cannizzaro and Cody Stewart were just shy of the 5kg mark with the 5 fish bag. Revo MGX and Salty Stage Light casting rods are the boys weapons of choice. The guys winning bag came via 2 main techniques. Slow rolling Berkley 3B Fatdogs in the new Red Eye Express Colour along the rockwalls of the Hawkesbury and working the deep sections with Berkley Power blades. For more information on the BETS series visit

http://www.betsbream.com.au

DRIFTING the lines with BERKLEY ‘NEMESIS’

There are many types of soft plastics, but there are certain plastics that consistently produce Snapper when fishing on the drift.

One of these plastics is a Berkley Nemesis 6.5 Inch. When you have one of these tied to your fluro carbon leader, you can bet if a BIG RED sees it its going to inhale it. The tail action of the Nemesis is only one of many aspects that help make it the most irresistible plastics for Snapper.

 

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The tail action is like that of a worm. When Snapper have there heads down in the sand, its often only a Nemesis that can entice it to strike. The added scent and colour range means you have a dead set winner.

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When drifting we like to sound the school up over deep structure, and then try and drift with the wind and tide directly over the school. Often when you hook a fish or two, you can turn around, head back to the start of the same drift line and do it all over again. Once you have found a line that is producing (AKA an epic drift line) the action can be RED HOT.

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My gear of choice is the Penn Regiment 6-10KG rod, or the ABU VANGUARD 6-10KG rod, matched with either a Orra S40 or Revo. We choose the 6-10 kilo rods here in SA because the fish tend to be really big and 12-13 Kilo fish are not uncommon. You may find that a 4-8kilo rod that can handle up to 1oz plastics will do the job nicely,

VicBream Classic Round 1 – Marlo

Vicbream Classic Round 1 – Marlo

Marlo is a unique system for us Victorians, it has fast tides that greatly affects the fishing, we’re not really use to fast flowing water so lure presentation and boat position is added to the challenge. The system itself is made up of a main channel that is dotted with islands and creeks, 2 shallow lakes that at low tide are almost impossible to get in or out of and 2 rivers that flow pretty hard. With plenty of water to cover, our prefish was fantastic with plenty of fish found on a range of structures. But our go to plan was to fish the rock walls and a shallow creek nearby with Berkley puppydogs, a technique that both dad and I enjoy using.

Day 1 started slowly with both the rock wall and creek not producing any fish for the first 2 hours. We were hoping that it was a tide related bite and that being patient would pay off. So to kill some time and to hopefully find some more options we fished our way to the mouth, picking up a solid fish along the way. We were sounding fish but without any more convincing bites we headed back to the rock walls with the rising tide. This decision almost paid off with 3 x 1kg fish making it to the net. We also lost a couple of fished and dad got roasted by a big bream in the snags. With only 4 fish to weigh in we were happy to still be in the mix with 3.94kg and sitting in 7th place.

Day 2 was a real struggle, we headed back to the rock wall and after 3 drifts we only had 2 bites which resulted in 1 fish. With the tide dropping we headed back to the fish we sounded the day before and began the slow grind of throwing Berkley Bigeye blades in watermelon and 3” nemesis in camo. After 40 minutes of nothing, we had 3 bites in quick succession resulting in 2 solid bream and a huge 1.5kg Estuary Perch. The excitement of thinking we had hooked a potential winning fish only for it to have a large bucket mouth really knocked the wind out of my sails. With 3 good fish in the well, we went back to the rock wall in an attempt to get lucky and pull a couple of monsters from the heavy structure and catch the leaders to steal the win. But luck didn’t play nicely. With time running out we went back to the schooled fish and pulled two legals on 3” nemesis which saved our day.

We weighed 3.64kg and snuck onto the podium to take 3rd place, a result that really doesn’t reflect how tough we found the fishing. As this was only the second time we have fished Marlo we definitely learnt a great deal about the system. The Vicbream Classic Grand Final will be held at Marlo this year so hopefully we can use what we have learnt to produce the quality and quantity of fish that will be required to be competitive.

– Hodgey

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Searching for Gold

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For a number of years I’ve had plans and wishes of heading to the gold fields in Central Victoria in search of Golden Perch aka Yellas, but for one reason or another I’ve never actually made it until now. In recent months I’ve made several trips to try and learn the art of freshwater native fishing in particular catching yellas.

I had my first introduction in the tail end of this year’s summer in late February when while fishing a Central Victorian Lure Caster Super Series tournament I caught my first golden perch on a lure. On this day I was casting spinnerbaits to standing timber and the day played out like a script; It was a slow start in the morning until a 4’ nemesis was added to bulk out the spinnerbait. Almost instantly I had a solid fish follow the lure right back to the boat and within the next handful of cast I had hooked and landed my first Golden Perch. As the day continued I landed another 3 and I’ve been itching to add to this total ever since.

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As spring rolled round I dragged myself away from the saltwater and hit the freshwater. I struggled on the first few trips resulting in just a couple of follows but no hits and definitely no fish landed. Whether this was due to it being too early in the season or a lack of experience and know how or a combination of both only time will tell. On the 3rd trip I was 5 hours into the session and it was looking similar to the others, no bits, no follows, no confidence.

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A change of technique was required however knowing what to try was a difficult choice. After retrieving a snagged lure from deep inside a semi submerge tree I figured I may as well try the vertical retrieve I have heard about. The idea, as I understood it, is to drop the lure to the bottom through the maze of branches and slowly, very slowly wind the lure back the surface and then repeat. I figured I had nothing to lose. After a dozen or so drops I had a handful as tiny bites, still no hook up and I didn’t even know if the fish were yellas or tiny redfin. Still the excitement of just getting bites was motivation enough to continue this method. I moved to a different tree and the same thing happened, more bites but no hook ups and I was still unsure of the species. That was until on one of the retrieves I slowed right down and watched carefully trying to see my lure come up through the maze of branches. As my lure came within sight about 5ft under so did a beautiful golden perch, although I didn’t catch him or even get a bite, I knew I was doing something right.

What happened over the next couple of hours, I’m claiming to be the changing moment in my early freshwater fishing addiction. I landed half a dozen yellas all on a vertical retrieve with a range of lures including the Berkley 3’ nemesis and Powerblade 37.

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Having returned a couple of times in search of more golden perch I’ve experienced some success but probably not the number of fish I was hoping for. This technique is far from fool prove and requires a keen attention to detail, much like any good technique, some days are much better than other.

The pros to a vertical retrieve;

  • Getting multiple hits from the one fish
  • Having complete control over the speed of the lure
  • Keeping the lure in the strike zone

The cons of a vertical retrieve;

  • It’s time consuming, quietly getting the boat into position and repositioning the boat to work the whole snag can take a long time
  • The balancing act of trying to hold onto the tree, the boat, the rod and constantly wind slowly all at the same time.
  • The wind – it makes the technique extremely difficult and the trees will make mince meat of your boat rubbing against the branches

As the water continues to warm up in the Victorian lakes I am hoping to find that the golden perch become more active and I’ll be able to catch them on a range of techniques. Stay tuned. Hodgey