Winds picked up in the late afternoon as the tide rises towards its peak and makes it rather difficult to have a good long cast with our lures into the strong wind facing the bank. Bob decided to cast with the wind and have his lure into the open section of the port side, a few cranks into his retrieve he was smashed and was already into the fight with what we knew was a beast. 25mins into the fight, we see the massive 1.2 metre long Barramundi surfaced for the first time. As soon as the image of the monster Barramundi registered into the brain of the tired angler, things changed and adrenaline levels rises. Fight changes with the anxiety of landing what might be a record size Barramundi. After some photos, the beast was landed for a couple more pictures before release after a quick revival. Because of the hard fight, both fish and angler needed to rest, the Barramundi was then released and swam away feeling defeated but yet relieved that it was not the kill we were after.
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!
The pleasures of being hit by the predator whether hungry or angry when luring with the DOA Soft Plastic Shrimp cannot be amplified any further. The adrenaline rushes through your head and causes your heart to pulsate harder because the hit is really hard. That is because the Shrimp is a creature bait and by nature requires more energy from the predator to catch one. But, the trick here is to think like a fish while behaving like a shrimp as you slow retrieve your DOA Shrimp across the bottom. I have had many catches since the day I got hold of these DOA Shrimps and it is no wonder that it remains as one of the baits that the DOA founder, Mark Nichols is so passionate about. His early understanding of the Shrimp and its behaviour led to this invention. But, still the trick is to find a retrieve that works for the moment…whether it is slow fall, slow crawl…you have to find what works.
Special Thanks to Shelly Flanigen Prestridge of DOA Lures, USA for arrangement for us to fish with DOA Founder, Mark Nichols. But, we were guided by Capt Ed Zyak and he was quick to put Cindy onto a Big Snook on her cast. The fish was huge and far bigger than we had hope for and Cindy from Singapore put up a very good fight with an unfamiliar species. Though we know that these Snooks have abrasive lips much like our Barramundi, she had little consideration not to pump hard at it and eventually the predator had to succumb to her pressures of the tight lines. Capt Ed was enthusiastic to quickly get into the shallow waters to bring the fish into his grip. The 42″ or 1.06M Snook was quickly released after a quick photo. But, not without care to revive the tired fish and as soon it could struggle off Ed’s grip, it was good to go. Well Done DOA and Cindy!
The pleasure of luring is magnified by your selection of lure profile, colour and the strike zones at the right moments. This video of myself was made without much intention, I had my Go Pro with me and the recording could only last as long as the battery life. The fishes were caught within 1 short session and in less than 2 hours of recording. The variety of predators that love the DOA Shrimp is beyond imagination as some anglers believe that there is no fish that can refuse a Shrimp.
Use of the Shrimp lure comes with confidence of the lure, knowing the strike zones where predators would lurk or hunt, the variation of retrieval techniques can be an added advantage when action turns slow.
Be encouraged by the great catch with a single Shrimp lure and enjoy the hard hits you would experience with the DOA Shrimp lures. Tight Lines!
Few people may have success using a plastic shrimp lure, simply because they pay little attention to the small details such as the way the “live” shrimp or prawn would swim or behave. Some of us may not have fully understand the many ways the Shrimp would behave, such as the slow advance or the quick backward dash. Prawns do not dash all the time and that is why “Shrimp Lure Anglers” should not always hard-jerk the Shrimp as that can turn off the lazy fishes who are predators for the “unaware” preys (baits). Occasional jerks of the Shrimps especially the D.O.A Shrimp that is fitted with rattles or use with a rattle-float, may do the trick of getting attention. But, don’t play hard to get all the time because the predators may just not give chase.
The slow sinking & slow retrieve is still the most successful way to use the D.O.A Shrimps. Allowing a few seconds to sink the Shrimp Lure and letting it sit on the bottom like an innocent bait still catches the undecided predators. Often these predators may need to do a visual check before advancing towards the lure.
Of course it is of out most importance to fish in areas where you know there are usually some fishes hanging around. With experience, you will soon realise the many strike zones around the lakes, seas, estuaries etc. Slowing retrieving these soft plastic DOA Shrimps/Prawns and allowing it to touch bottom is critical to catch and try to complete the retrieve right up to the bank of the area or boat you are fishing.
I am not saying that you can’t catch fish with quick retrieve of the Shrimp or hard jerk action but simply do what the Shrimp would do and stop playing hard to get! Tight Lines!
Fishing for Golden Snapper or Fingermark Bream…Fingermark or Golden Snapper are highly prized among fishing community for their looks, taste and fighting ability. We just call them fingermark because the dark blotch on the upper flank. Fingermark can grow to around 90 to 100cm and fight astonishingly hard.
Like Mangrove Jack, Red Emperor and Papuan Black Bass, Fingermark is an aggressive, broad shouldered fish with prominent canine teeth. They can smash your lure so hard and has a fearsome reputation. Learning biology of species can be boring and scientific, but reality is, knowing makes the difference between lucky catch and anglers that target them with consistent success. It helps with sustainability of fish species as well.
A slow growing species, Finermarks can live to 30 years and becomes sexual maturity from 6-8 years of age @ over 50cm.
Vulnerability to over fishing…Interestingly less than 10% of of fingermark- golden snapper catches result from commercial fishing. So overfishing is a recreational fishing issue. To preserve stocks, we limit harvest and mortality of golden snapper. Set catch and possession limits. Cease catch and release fishing once possession limit is reached and move elsewhere to target other species.
How to catch golden snapper/fingermark – I like to use the DOA Shad Tails combination with DOA coloured Jig Heads, DOA Shrimps 3” or 4” and DOA Crabs. Trolling & Live baiting works just as well but the ultimate for us is to use our light tackles with our DOA soft plastics. Boat anglers believed its best to fish Fingermarks at night but we’ve had great sessions during daylight hours. But, at the ponds these Fingermarks bite day & night though you need to find them and entice them with your varied retrieval techniques. With the proven lures and catch reports @ School of Fish, Singapore, you will be with an advantage and can fish with the confidence of the shape, action, colours of the lures available @ http://schooloffish.com.sg
The Shad Tails have been used by many in the luring of soft plastics but much has been left to individual anglers to discover and develop techniques that work for the every different situations that come their way. In this video of 1 session, the way to work these DOA Shad Tails can be seen as 1 of slow retrieve with intermittent pauses and being sensitive to hits no matter how light it can be. Take a look at the rigging, the cast, the pauses, the flips and the strikes. Note the tight lines required to maintain tension between fish-hook-line-rod-reel-angler. Tight Lines!
Friday The 13th, 2015…as I arrived the pond to fish, decided to start off with DOA 3″ Shad Tail “STARK NAKED” with DOA Jig Head 1/4oz Red…Here’s part of today’s catch…Snapper
Rigging the DOA soft plastic Shad Tail is easy with the DOA Jig Head because the point of the hook just needs to exit through the “O” on the shoulder of the Shad Tail…making it very easy for beginners or experts. Soon as you get the idea the alignment just becomes natural as you fish with these DOA soft plastics.
The stance we like when fishing is a relaxed one, usually best to sit on a chair near to the edge so that we can work the lure right up to the bank where most predators hunt or just awaits a dumb baitfish. So don’t be an act smart bait fish when luring…just act like we are the dumb baitfish thinking it is safe to swim and get whacked by the predators that lurk in the dark waters. Start thinking like a fish and get on to using these Unfair Advantage DOA lures for your success. Tight Lines!