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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I guess i have had my head in the proverbial sand for the last few years and completely missed the whole soft plastics revolution (or so it seems). I am still happily using baits ie prawns and worms to catch the usual bream, whiting, dart, taylor, flathead in the estuary systems in the sunshine coast area (mainly maroochy river), but I dont seem to be catching alot...

My questions are.. do soft plastics really live up to the reputation i am seeing on fishing shows etc? are they easy to learn to use? are they really catching the big fish? have i missed the mark completely? :?

sorry its a bit long winded.. any help is appreciated.
 

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G'day Steve. give it a go...you'll be pleasantly surprised.

i tried soft plastics years ago and didn't catch a bloody thing so wrote them off as a 'gimmick'. However the new breed of SP's (especially the Berkely range) produces fish for me on every trip. Flatties, tailor and bream are the main species that I've caught with them , but i've also hooked whiting, kingfish, aussie salmon and snapper as well.

It all depends on what you want to target, but most fish will scoff a SP that swims or flutters past their nose.

I'd recommend the Berkely range (3" Minnow in various colours) as the best 'allround' SP's - as these can be flicked around structure, fished along the bottom or in midwater, skimmed across the surface or trolled all with good results. The Gulp sandworms are also becoming a favorite for flatties, bream and whiting as well.

When you consider a pack of SP's costs $7-$9 and they last you for a few trips, the cost is no different fom other forms of bait.

Anyway, good luck with it...hope you enjoy the new challenge.
 

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Just remember steve-o the fish don't know if they are berkely or crapley cheapo plastics.
In Merimbula this year i got more flatty cast from the lake shores near the fishpen on cheap plain black mr twister's.
Sometimes it does make a difference to have scent in the lure , more a gimmick to me though.

Although i am experimenting with my own pours of late with the addition of table salt to add some tatse.mmmm mmm yum.
 

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I agree Pete, but also firmly believe that beginners are better off using something with a bit of scent until they get a feel for the technique, once you start to catch fish consistently you can start to use what ever plastic you want.
The gulps are still my main selection, but I also use cheapys off ebay and have caught fish on quite a range of different types.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice guys, taking the missus for a fish this weekend so i think ill give em a try!

one last question... do they work at night? or only the scented ones?
 

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Steevo.

I mostly have used the Berkey 3 inch minnow range with pumpkin seed giving me best success. I fished the other day starting with the trusty pilchard with no success, i switched to plastics and got instant success.

As soon as i cast out i let out a bit of line and wait for the plastic to slowly drop to the bottom, this is the time i find most active fish to take the plastic. having a littleslack line out allows the fish to swallow enough plastic and part of the hook for you to strike. If you haven't had a strike by the time it hits the bottom i jig and wind my plastics so it scouts juts above the bottom. The biggest mistake some anglers make when first starting is to strike when they get a touch on the plastic. Its very important to let the fish swim abit and try to swallow the plastic and the exposed part of the hook. Flathead plastic fishing is different as your best to bounce the plastic along the bottom near or over a channel to attract there attention.

I dont beleive scent play a major part, its more the technique and presentation thats most important to my mind.

Hope this helps?

Milt,
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
occy said:
They work at night OK mate, but not in the snow. Still haven't heard the story about that shot on your avitar mate.
just a cool pic i found on the net occy, but given the chance id give it a try.. next time i go to double island i want to try one out in the dunes though. i rekon that will be alot of fun!

going fishing either tonight or tomorrow afternoon, ill let you guys know how i go with the plastics.. but thanks for all the tips. atleast now ive got an idea of how to use them best..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
stopped in a BCF las night and picked up some berkley pumpkin seed 3" minnows, i also tried to get the eco sx-40 and sx-48 but they dont stock them yet.. :cry:

i didnt realise the minnows dont have hooks in them already.. is there a correct way to put them on the hook? i am assuming i feed the hook through and have the tip come out through the "belly" and point towards the "nose" of the minnow..
 

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here is a couple of basic ones i use.

No1, the basic lead head jig rig, can hook up on weeds
No2, Manns minow, these are rigged flat, opposite to the bekely (no1)weedless
No3, unweighted worm, worm hook (weedless)
no4 unweighted through head of lure only (mainly used for droppshotting)

All the baits about can be rigged any one of these ways ,they are just to show the techniques i use to rig them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info Peterj,

ok.. went fishing just of the bank of the river saturday night and yesterday with the berkley minnows, rigging them the way peter suggested and just casting and slowly retrieving after letting them drop to the bottom.. obsolutely no luck at all.. this is most probably due to my lack of experience however..

so alternating between live yabbies, fresh prawns and the sp's i was really only getting interest on the yabbies and prawns but i will reserve my judgement untill i can actually go fishing with someone who knows how to use them..

results of the day were poor to say the least though... managed to get a large bream (atleast 40cm) on the line which bit off the hook 3 feet from shore :evil: but not before my mate that i was fishing with saw it.. so i guess it wasnt a total loss

thanks for all the help guys, im looking forward to trying the sx-40's etc as soon as someone on the sunshine coast has them in stock but ill be leaving the sp's untill i know a little more about them..

shore fishing is driving me crazy... I WANT MY KAYAK! :lol:
 

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Shame you didn't get on to any fish, sometimes i have days like that and I switch to bait and usually come home with some fish. Other days well if the fish aren't hungry there's not much you can do.

I haven't yet fished for bream using plastics but I'd imagine its the same as targetting there cousins "pinky snapper"???

Milt,
 

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Milt under princess pier the plastics seem to be hit as they float down, you have to be on the ball as thats usually when your line is slack.
 

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Steve-o, keep trying with the soft plastics. I had tried them a bit and never had any success except sometimes the tails of the grubs would go missing. Then, after reading LizardWizard's posts and some other folk on this forum, I got interested in the sandworm things. Then, in the Macleay River, when the locals were not getting much, I caught a nice flathead in about 2 minutes on the plastic worm. Sometimes I have not caught anything on bait, then caught a flathead on a sp worm, other times, only bait got me something. I have a lot more to learn about sps, but they are fun and I know you will eventually start getting fish this way. It is different and for me won't stop me using bait but it adds another dimension to explore.
 

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Yeah , i ve used em like that too . I was having no luck this year at merimbula cast retieving etc. I walked to the beach and just threw the lure in and bang, a couple of small whiting and a salmon, somethimes fishing them like bait works just fine.
They were the sandy coloured sand worm the same happened on the red ones too . i lost heaps that way ,fishing just before the breakerswith the casting rod.
 

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Peter and others,

Thats what i find in deeper water with the pinkies, they hit as the plastic slowly flutters down to the bottom I alway allow a bit of slack line out to allow the fish to swallow enough plastic to almost hook itself.

When fishing for bream in shallower snaggy water, what tactics do you employ?

Milt,
 

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I have found ,now that ive taken notice that the lures are gettin nailed on the downard drop. Even when drifting for flatty they seem to hit as the lure goes down.
 

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I know this is an older thread but I thought I'd put my two cents in. I'm still a relative novice on plastics so take my advice with a grain of salt, on the bright side all the things you are and will go through are fresh to me and I wont gloss over them. Further this is a distilation of all the great advice kindly given to me at a stage when I was about to chuck the mongrels in.

shayne"I hate soft plastics" d Tips For SP Novices

1. Throw them where the fish are, they won't magically produce fish in areas that haven't been productive before. In fact start in a spot that you are confident in already.

2. Choice of rod and reel isn't the most important thing, although a specifically designed outfit is nice particularly when casting for long periods and besides it's a great excuse to go and buy more tackle. You should be able to pick up a 2-4kg dropshot rod or the like for around $80.00 on special. Use an egg beater to increase your casting options.

3. Line selection is important get some 6lb fireline or similar in a bright colour. Also buy flurocarbon leader eg Vanish in 8-10lb, this material is almost invisible in water and will increase your chances of a hit, it also takes abrasion from structure and teeth better than braid style lines. The braid will give you the feedback needed to fish sp's.

3b. Learn to tie a Uni Knot, not only can you use it to tie your jig head on leaving a loop to improve the action, tying a Uni to Uni knot will allow you to join your leader to braid with a great deal of confidence in the connection strength.

4. Windy days suck, don't bother with them at the start.

5.Important, if you can, go fishing with someone who knows what they are doing. This is the best way to learn. If you don't know anyone, don't soldier on alone post a request for help and organise to meet one of the members for a fishing trip.

6. Beg, borrow, steal a copy of one of the instructional dvd's on how to sp,
squidgeys do a good one and adam mad dog royter on burkley does an excellent one showing and explaining the basics. Just remember these dvd's are aimed at promoting their own systems and take the information accordingly.

6b. Learn the flathead song as I suspect it annoys Canoodle. :lol:

7. Bream are one of the hardest fish to catch on sp's. Flathead are the easiest followed by pike and then snapper. Most peoples first fish on sp's are flathead. If you dont know how to target flatties nows the time to do some research.

8. Jighead and plastic selection. This could be pages long, so to keep it simple just look at flatties to start. For a beginner buy some 1/16th and 1/8th oz heads with 1/0 hooks. This will suit most plastic sizes and will be heavy enough to kick up the bottom nicely in retrieve and allow better feel while you are working out whats what. Look for placcies in 2-3" sizes, particularly grub and shad tails as these have their own inbuilt swimming motion. This is important because when your technique is crap they will attract fish in spite of you. Stick baits or minnow baits are great but ignore the expert in the tackle shop who has been throwing them for years and tell them you want inbuilt action. Usually they either don't know and are just parroting info learnt by rote or are so far advanced they've forgotten what its like for a beginner and the selection advice doesn't help a newby out. In saying this listen to the advice on colour selection for your area.

Without pushing one brand, try the gulp 3" grub tail minnow as a starting point. Pumpkin seed in this set up goes good with flathead and unfortunately also toadfish. The gulp was a good starting point because I could keep telling myself"it's still just bait, I'm good with bait, it'll be OK"
Have a look at the trip reports and make a note of what works.
I've also had some success with atomic shad tails in varying colours. As I said there is a million choices and trial and error will tell you what works at what time and where.

9. As hard as this is, everyone was right less is better, don't try and work them like a hb chasing barra in the NT. Small flicks of your rod tip are best and the dvds show it better than someone writing about it.

10. Don't give up, all it takes is your first capture to get you addicted.

I hope this is some help to someone starting out as I found it very tough and frustrating. Now it is slowly coming together the rewards are tremendous and as I posted somewhere else learning to be proficient with soft plastics is only the first part of my plan to get my fat arse on a kayak before the end of the year.
 

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mate i have heard that a lot of the time when it comes to a persons first few sessions of plastic fishing they may not even get a touch... and then one day magically pull a few from no where... fortunately si wasnt one of those people and got fish on the first time trying them out P just keep trying and you will get your fish... i recommended using gulps to start off with... they are the easiest plastic to catch fish on... and anything will eat them...

troy
 

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Shayned, that is some excellent advice and good tips that SP virgins should take note of.

Well written mate.
 
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