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!
This Fishing Lesson is a session of ~6 hours specialty-guided package, designed specifically for a child to learn correctly the “Art of Sport Fishing”. Our experts will provide guidance and use of our premium equipment to get him or her in sync with the specific sport fishing techniques required to kick-start them right into this lifetime sport.
Our instructors will illustrate with practical lessons from choosing fishing setup to learning how to cast the all-important bait-casting setup and also the all-time spinning tackle which is widely used. To make it also interesting, the session is an actual practical fishing session that will allow him or her to start fishing. They will learn to setup, cast, lure techniques, strike, hook-up, fight, land and handle the fish correctly. The instructors will always be at hand to educate the participant the A to Z of this sport. This is an intensive course to cover all aspects to groom them to acquire the right set of sport fishing skills and etiquette. With the techniques learnt, your child will be able to perform well in future fishing endeavors.
All the hassle of setting up is left to us. Lessons are conducted in safe location in our Singapore fishing parks. All you have to do is turn up or arrange our pickup service. In taking such lessons, your child can by-pass weeks or months of unsuccessful or frustrating outings and get right on with catching fish. We also offer you valuable advice on what to buy as soon as you are keen to take up the sport.
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!
No matter how long you have been fishing and whether it is our intention to release our catch in the first place, losing a big fish or any fish can lead to some agony. In this video, Bob was casting with light 6-12lb G.Loomis/Shimano Alderbaraen tackle with 10lb braid on 40lb Flourocarbon leader…not expecting a metre Barramundi while casting into the shallow mud flats. Often you can get surprises as these predators too move in with the baitfish to feed on them on a low tide. No matter what it provided us with a shot of adrenaline on a wet day, armed with his camera, our guide was more into taking photos for his Barramundi lessons. Here is then the lesson…not to thumb the line unless you know it is the last resort. Often the excitement leads the angler to exert more thumb pressure on the spool far greater than the specified strength of the line. Anyway, its about fair fight and in this particular instant it is 1 up for the Barras!
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!
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