School of Fish, Singapore with a random fishing session demonstrating that the DOA C.A.L range is indeed a catch anything lure. Ranging from predators like Fingermarks, Golden Snappers, Red Snappers, Mangrove Jacks and Barramundis, the DOA Shad Tails are favoured by a majority of lure eating fishes. Simply pick up some of your favourite colours of DOA 3″ Shad Tails or what you think might work and pair them with the DOA Jig Heads of various colours and weights. Simpler still is to just pick up one of those pre-selected sets and you should be on the right track to catching some of these targeted predators.
Fishing DOA Jerk Tails allows you as an angler to play a larger part in luring. The fact that the Jerk Tails need as much as you prefer or as little as it would entice a bite. The DOA Jerk Tail comes in 4″ or the 5.5″ to allow you to fish in accordance to the appetites of the predators. I usually prefer to fish these DOA Jerk baits with the DOA coloured Jig heads to create a contrast between the head and tail. Depending on my intention of contrast to increase or decrease presentation size or using red Jig head to present an injured bait, I would usually vary the choice of tails and Jig heads, also the weight of the Jig heads as well. Using a lighter Jig Head like the 1/16oz gives a good feel and you becomes in control of every movement of the Jerk Tail but it may compromise for those who wants a long cast. Variation is best to locate the strike zones or holding areas of fishes. My preferred presentation would be a cast into a fish holding area and allow the Jerk Tail to just fall erratically to the bottom. Leave the bait for 1-2 secs before I make a light jerk and allowing it to fall in case I am attracting the attention of predators near my bait, I want to allow time for the sneaky or hungry predator to hit me.
I would give it a couple of light twitch or light jerk upright and retrieve the slack line. Repeat this right up to the bank because you never know what predator is following this “sick” Jerk Bait. Always understand that you want to jerk to attract attention but not to run away from the target. I usually practice the “picture-it” techniques as if you can see through your lure…stay in contact. The jerks can also be side ways as if the bait is darting from rock to rock behaving like a scared bait, so worried bout being caught but we really want our bait to be caught so that we can strike our rods and have hook-on’s. The 6 colours set of 36pcs is a good way to start and get the 1/16oz, 1/8oz, 1/4oz Red or Chartreuse to create one of the most fun way I catch fish, like Barramundi, Snappers, Jacks. Think like a Fish…Tight Lines!
We have our fair share of groupers when fishing with D.O.A soft plastics, whether it is the D.O.A ShadTails or D.O.A Shrimps we don’t specifically target these popular species.
Groupers are territorial but at the same time lazy and would attack only when we are able to bring our lures very close to their strike zones…ie. their line of sight. It is different when luring in a pond as compared to fishing over structures on a boat where the coordinates of the sunken structures clearly marked their location.
Fishing in commercial ponds which often releases groupers as it seems to be a prized catch is much of a different matter since we don’t use fish finders but requires a certain amount of common sense since groupers are not exactly keen on movement. Knowing the popular areas of landing groupers would help in locating your next catch because chances are the spots vacated by the caught fish gets occupied by the next fish. Luring for them is much of a slow retrieve with little jerks or movement since we need to bring the lure close to them.
Recently while fishing for barramundis in Hinchinbrook we saw a large grouper in very shallow water but seriously we don’t want to throw our lure into their feeding zone since we won’t want to spend our next hour fighting a fish we are not targeting. Many years our fellow angler spend 4 hours fighting a grouper we did not target in our fishing safari.
When we first started to use the DOA soft plastic shrimps, it was more of a novelty and trying something that I have not seen anglers use in the local angling scene. These DOA Shrimps caught my eye when we were already using DOA Shads regularly and we then realised that the founder first invented the Shrimp lure and the 3″ Shrimps were in fact his favourite lure which he still uses for his own fishing. With a handful to try, we were very excited by the hard hits we were getting on these DOA Shrimps and soon we realise that these being creature baits are seen by the predators as hard to come by and may require them to hit on it harder inorder to catch them for food. The soft plastic Shrimp lure soon became my essential in my tackle bag and I soon develop my own retrieval techniques and speed of retrieve. I pay extreme attention as I feel the Shrimp moving across the small rocks at the bottom of the pond, just anticipating the hit and I very often get “whacked” as I come close to the bank of the pond. This is a fact that makes it all that important that I should sit down close to the bank and do a very slow retrieve right to the edge of my retrieval area.
Many times, we have said…”if you think your retrieval is slow…slow down some more”. I always remind myself that these Shrimps by nature are escape artist, if it is too far away or retrieved too fast, the predators that we are targeting to catch is very unlikely to want to exert the energy…so retrieve like you want to be eaten is always what I would tell fellow lurer. Don’t work your lure at speeds that the predators find it a waste of energy. Start to think like a predator and at the same time behave like a prey.
Most fishes ARE NOT CHOOSY about what they eat…that’s what people say But as fishermen we know that with the Unfair Advantage of D.O.A “farmed baitfish added” into the soft plastic Shrimp lures to entice the Snappers, we do have an advantage.
How to maximise your chances is to change colours every now & then just to know what will score better for the day. Believe me its more than science and we all fishermen know it is. Shop @ School of Fish, Singapore online shop @ http://schooloffish.com.sg
Mangrove Jack are extreme adversaries capable of lightning-fast strikes and strong and violent runs for cover, providing sport fishermen with the ultimate fishing challenge. Their large and razor-sharp canine teeth and spines and powerful and aggressive fighting style leave most fishermen in the dust, so top class tackle, strong line and hair trigger reactions are a must when hunting down this fish.
Physical Description: Mangrove Jack have a similar body shape to Bream and strong, dog-like teeth. Young jacks are reddish-brown or copper coloured (becoming paler in reef waters), and often have a pearly mark in the centre of each scale.
Size: Mangrove Jack can grow to 10 kg but are most commonly caught between 1 and 3 kg.
Habitat: Mangrove Jack are present in both coastal estuarine and reef systems. Younger fish occupy estuaries and rivers to the extent of tidal influences, moving seaward when they reach about 3 kg in weight. Lower tidal estuaries are a great place to fish as Mangrove Jack take advantage of the available cover and food supply offered by mangrove systems. Indeed, cover is an essential part of Mangrove Jack territory so look for snags, submerged vegetation, roots, rocks, logs, rock walls, bridge pylons and jetties. Current is also important and can give an indication of a Jack’s presence. If the tide is flushing in or out schools of bait fish, Mangrove Jacks’ will, most probably, be in the area.
Hint! The best time to catch a Mangrove Jack is during summer at day or night, at the bottom of a tide or the start of a rising tide.
How to Catch:
Bait – when fishing for Mangrove Jack with D.O.A, you can include 3″ DOA ShadTails or 4″ DOA Shrimps (prawns) inserted with a glass rattle.
Rod and Reel -baitcaster rods are your best choice of gear for M.J. fishing because you have direct contact to feel the bite. Make sure your rod is short with a fine tip and heavy butt section for maximum control over the tough Jack. Remember the Jack hits for territorial reasons as well as food. When your lure move into the strike zone (right at its door and not the post box), the aggressive Jack can pick up the lure strike angrily and get hook or gulp the lure for food and dash back to cover. Whichever the reason, you got to be ready to strike at the feel of any slack of line as the Jack can also rush forward. Many times fishermen are not conscious of such a bite assuming always that the fish must pull away from them. If you use the D.O.A Shrimp, you will realise that the fish often ambush right at the edge of the rock wall just before you lift your line. You can also do a light drag/lifting of your soft plastic across the floor just to encounter the Jack. Occasionally, the Jack will be pissed at your lure coming into its area and immediately hitting at it, sometimes you will not hook them immediately, you should repeat the cast and visualise the lure coming into the same position and be “ambushed” once again. Remember the technique I mentioned that you should always “picture it” as you move your lure across the possible strike zones.
Line and Tackle – Line should be between 6-15 kg and sinker should be as light as possible or absent. A heavy trace is essential insurance against Jack cut-offs. Best hooks to use are 2/0 to 4/0 shortshank. Lures such as DOA ShadTails or the DOA Shrimps with inbuilt rattlers are best and should be trolled or cast near snags.
Hint! It is important to strike on the first bite otherwise they will bolt for the snags.
Its the dream of any serious fisherman to want to have the opportunity to take a break from the stressful routine of work or school life to fish in such a remote location such as Endyalgout Island, Northern Territory, Australia. It’s a chance of a lifetime to make contact with nature and to listen to surf of the beach and at the same time to be fishing with your best friend and sharing experience with them along with the experienced guides.
Hearty Chuckles and friendly rivalry can be enriching as we escape into this remote location trying to outfish each other but mostly ourselves as we participate in this more than act of fishing. The complete experience of arriving early in the morning via Jetstar or Qantas and meeting the eager guide in his 4×4 Landcruiser and flying further in on a smaller AirNorth plane into the remote plains if weather permits the landing of the propellor aircraft. The Check-in is impeccable as we get picked up by a tractor to bring us from the landing point to our land based camp. The mosquito netting of our camp in good condition to keep out any mozzies and the elevated tent clearly shows that we have to be higher to avoid possible crocodiles coming in for a snack as well.
Fishing is just paradise with multiple creeks and river systems to explore which constantly change with the tides and each new season will present different holes and holding areas as the large floods wash off the favourite spot of last year.
Throw in a few good size Barramundi and the plentiful casting opportunity not knowing when you will hookup a good one. Simply a sport with skills needed to bring your lures close into the strike zones and bringing the hooked fish out of the snags. Mud crabs makes good snack before our dinner beef or Barramundi steak.
Return in the late afternoon to relax by the “bar” over a few VBs or XXXX and enjoy the surf of waves as you watch the sea eagles pick up scraps from the beach. Chill out over chips and jerky as you await the sunset and a quick hot bush shower as you prepare for dinner and star gazing the milky way in the almost darkness surroundings. Celebratory stories and the misses as we look forward to the next 5 days of almost wonderful fishing holiday.