Barramundi are not clean fighters…they don’t charge with just brute strength but often may shake its massive jaws to try to dislodge the hooked lure or even stretch them to break hooks. Leaping out of the surface to smash the lure across the surface of water and if all else fails will open its jagged blades on the side plates of its gill cover to cut the leaders which often are already frayed by its sandy-like lips.
Learn more of our decades long chase of this amazing sportfish School of Fish, Singapore
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.
May 2016 was almost Summer but it was not feeling warm. Fishing in Lake Erie, New York, USA off Niagara was in fact a sub-zero experience for Shawn and myself on our maiden fishing trip together. Our “nuts” were almost frozen but still we persevered as both of us did not want to dampened our spirits and of course this father-in-law/son-in-law trip. The start of the trip was just cold but it soon turned freezing with the fog moving and covering us as we progress in the trip. The bites from the small-mouth bass were thick and we were like taking turns getting hit on our drop-shot rigs and fighting these bass with our light spinning tackles on a 8lb leader. This was trophy season and was indeed a high season but it also mean’t that these larger spawning bass were less interested but only attack as our jigs drift pass their nest or eggs. Known as Smallmouth Bass in comparison to the Largemouth Bass simply because its got a smaller mouth. The upper jaw does not extend past the eye while the largemouth bass has its upper jaw extend past its eyes. Some other differences exist in their dorsal fin as the smallmouth has a shallow notch while the largemouth counterpart has a deep notch on its dorsal fin. There is no dark horizontal band on the body of those smallmouth we were hunting. What a chilling experience but we had a hot soup and fish & chips (haddock) to wrap up of father & son trip!
Over a few decades, we have been fishing off NT, Australia in specifically Barramundi Sportfishing Safaris provided by top guides in the region and in the area of Barramundi. We have had our fair share of hits, hookups, landings, misses and dropoffs of both large and small Barramundis. Fishing in runoffs in Mary River, Shady Camp to remote camps in Manigrada, remote islands in Endyalgout Island and on motherboats in the Groote regions. Continuous fishing pressures from commercial and recreational anglers have made the hunt for the “elusive” metre-sized Barramundi more and more difficult each season. Sometimes, we are faced with high seasons where many boats can congregate in small sections of the productive rivers and creeks. We decided to move away from the madding crowd and fish further into Queensland. We learn that these Barramundis are too found in good numbers and large sizes in this place. So here we are, in an almost Jurassic setting, the quiet waters with the mountain ranges and the Unesco Heritage Rainforest present us with an almost tranquil feel. At last, we don’t see another boat fishing alongside us or beating us to a favourite spot. It did not take long for Bob to hook onto his metre Barramundi, and also noticeably is the coolness of the guide in handling the fish. Instead of the urgency to net the fish, he did not even have a landing net…he was more ready with his camera to take footages for his Barra Basics course but then it is also he has landed almost 2000pcs of Metre-Sized Barramundi for his clients over his entire career as a sportfishing guide. Here’s a glimpse of one of the metre Barramundi. Enjoy!
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!
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.
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!
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