I have to be honest; when I see people chasing gobies and suchlike using LRF gear, its not really my cup of tea. But earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be selected to fish the Hobie World kayak fishing championships in Australia. Initially my thoughts were – marlin, tuna, sailfish…. but after a bit of research, it became clear that we would be fishing for bream in estuaries. These fish are very similar to our own black bream. The Aussies catch them on lures. Not the usual bass gear – the fish are far too wise for that. They have to resort to fishing very light tackle. Braided mainline of about 5lbs with a fluro leader of about the same breaking strain, and very small plugs/cranks weighing about 5g and measuring about 40mm long – that’s small !
Well, it got me thinking, I reckon there would be many scenarios in this country where a similar approach could be used to catch decent sized fish rather than gobies and blennies.
The first problem was getting hold of appropriate tackle. Its more difficult than you would think. Luckily I managed to get hold of some suitable LRF gear from Veals. This included a Teklon 7 foot LRF rod – 702UL, and a cracking little Tiny Z500 reel (10 ball bearings and great value for money).
I also got some Mebaru Light Game PE braided line. This is rated at 5lb average (7lbs max) with an index of 0.3.
Then it was on to the lures themselves. I had some Little S plugs from Shakespeare, but I was really after something smaller. Then a chance conversation with Dave Box solved the problem – he had some new lures which had just arrived, they were from Maria (the same people who make the 120BW bass plug). They were just what I was after.
My first outing saw me out on the river in the kayak, I was thinking that the lures would be great for targetting decent perch. The first lure I selected was the Maria MS-1 D45SP (Maria Shad deep 5 feet 45mm long suspending)…
The perch obviously hadn’t read the script, but the pike had designs on the little lure. Even jack pike go really well on this sort of tackle. The rod had a surprising amount of backbone, really great sport – much better than gobies and blennies I thought.
I was now starting to realise why the Aussies use this light approach to lure fishing, and I was loving the micro crankbaits.
A few weeks had passed, and I had been doing more research. I was starting to notice that there was a pattern developing with respect to the micro cranks they were using over there. The ones which were winning bream tournaments seemed to be between 40 and 50mm long and they were all of a similar shape – a big like a shad. Then one day, I was out walking alongside a stream which is only a few minutes from my house. I spotted a decent fish in a small pool. A have walked along that same stretch many times and never seen any decent fish (despite the fact that it looks very “fishy”). The fish looked like a chub of 2 or 3 lbs.
I rushed back home and went into “fish mode”. Half an hour later I was back with my ultra light lure gear and micro cranks. Stealth was the name of the game in this location. The stream was only a few feet wide, and no more than a couple of feet deep. The swim was cramped and the foliage was dense – not an easy spot to fish from I made a couple of casts – nothing. I changed the plug for a Maria MC-1 45SR…
First cast, and the little plug landed with barely a ripple close to the spot where I had seen the fish. I had barely turned the reel handle when BANG, a decent fish hit it. The reel screamed and all I could do was hold on. The fish tore up and down destroying the silence and trashing the little pool. There were reeds and tree roots everywhere. I put as much pressure on the fish as I could, which just sent the fish into the air tailwalking. At that moment, I caught a glimpse of it – not a chub as I had thought – this was a trout. After what seemed like an age, I managed to slip the net under the fish. What a beauty. What a scrap.
Okay, so this style of fishing is fun and productive. As you can imagine, I am now sold on micro crankbaits ! I only hope I can get some more of them in time for my Australia trip at the end of Oct… errm Dave ? 🙂