Having a good bait and using it properly is probably one of the most important part of fishing since fish are not just going to jump into your hands. I can’t say I’m a fishing expert, but I’ve seen people with some pretty terrible bait throughout my limited fishing experience. I am talking about baits that are an insult to a fish’s intelligence. Sometimes I can picture the fish going “You call this bait mate? I know I’m a fish, but you really didn’t put any effort into this. Come on, I can see the hook!”. Yeah, I know, I have a wild imagination.
Okay, I get that there is a huge assortment of baits and it can be difficult to select the right one. There are live and dead baits and then there are the artificial ones that come in a range of different materials, colours, sizes, and so on. But every time you are not sure about something, it’s best to go with the fool-proof option which in this case is soft plastic baits. Thanks to new technology, soft plastic baits are becoming more and more popular on the Australian fishing scene and have proven to be quite effective for anglers targeting a wide range of fish. Up until the late 90s soft plastic baits were so hard to get by, until Squidgy designed a range of soft plastics tweaked for Australian fishermen. The project was so successful that even today people use Squidgies as a generic term for soft plastic baits. But, even though soft plastic baits are extremely productive, you still need to follow certain rules and techniques in order to get the best results.
First of all, you need to select the right lure by considering what it will be used for and where. So find out what your target species is feeding on and whether you are casting in clear shallow water or dirty and deep. Size and colour are the most important factors, but you should also consider the weight of the bait, depending on casting distance.
Next, you should use the bait with the right rod, reel and line. Choosing the wrong ones will decrease your chances of catching the fish and it can be frustrating and exhausting, both physically and mentally. Avoid using cheap gear since it will simply not last and will probably fail you when you need it the most.
You need to cast your bait in the right location to make sure the fish can see it. Casting over various structures or around current lines and bait schools is always a good technique. Also avoid using too much weight to allow the bait to swim down into the strike zone more naturally and seductively.
And finally, retrieve the bait with a natural enticing action. This will significantly increase your chances of catching a fish. Do a little homework on the type of bait you are using and try to imitate its behavior as close as possible.