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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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.