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Sounds of nature?
BENEFIT: On a steady retrieve, Spaddler
makes gurgling and slapping sounds as it swims towards you. It
sounds like a small creature in trouble. You won't hear the sound of the
in-built rattle as the body rolls from side to side, but it's a subtle addition
to the menu of sounds served up for lurking fish. Whether the sounds of
a Spaddler are familiar to a predatory fish or not, they are bound to attract
Tony Schultz won the 2002 SEQTAR "One Lure" Invitational Tournament
And here's a fine Australian
bass! he caught at Wivenhoe Dam.
When to fish Spaddlers
Early morning, late afternoon and through the night are the classic times
to work surface lures in freshwater. Insect activity is highest and predatory
fish are actively searching for food in shallow water; bright sunlight drives
Time of year is also a factor in freshwater. The warmer months will produce
the best surface action for species like bass, Murray cod and jungle perch.
If you're chasing bream in the saltwater, surface luring can be a year round
proposition. As a rule of thumb, fish the snags and banks in the upper estuary
systems in the summer and oyster leases closer to the river mouths in winter.
The periods of slack water around the tide changes are best. At high tide,
you can work Spaddlers over shallow oyster leases that are death to diving
lures! But you can still be in deep trouble if you hook a feisty bream that
runs for cover, whatever the lure.
Where to fish Spaddlers
Look for places where there is cover close to the surface or the river bank.
These kinds of lures usually work best when cast close to cover that harbours
fish near the surface: overhanging branches and foliage; streamside trees
that have toppled into the water; shallow weedbads or boulder patches; overhanging
and undercut banks; oyster leases; the tips of large snags that stir the surface
in currents; edges of reed beds.
Imagine where you'd hang out if you were a fish. That's often a good place
tp start prospecting with surface lures during the low light hours
of the day.
Sometimes, surface lures will produce results far from cover. When there's
a disturbance on the water indicating predators hassling bait fish near the
surface, it's worth walking a Spaddler across the top. It's small size is
unlikely to spook feeding predators.
The 'black' theory
OPINION: It's often said in the fishing media
that black is a great colour for surface lures because it gives a strong
silhouette against the night sky. It's arguable that the colour of a lure
is irrelavent in these conditions. Hold a light coloured lure up to the
night sky, on a river, away from man made lights, to see for yourself.
A silhouette is a silhouette!
Regardless, black will always be a popular colour because it imitates
crickets and black cicadas. Coupled with Spaddler's luminous bib, it is
a potent fish attractor.
BENEFIT: Spaddlers have finesse! This can
be a great advantage when fish are wary. Spaddlers don't blunder in there
and spook the fish. They land with a soft splash, like an insect falling
from overhanging vegetation.
TIP: The Australian bass is a very surface
oriented predator. During the warmer months when insects are prevalent,
bass are suckers for a small, imitative surface lure. In the brackish reaches,
Spaddlers can draw strikes at those times of the month when prawns are running
and being harrassed from below.
TIP: Attach small lures to your line with
a loop knot in the leader. This will give maximum performance. If you use
a wire snap, the action could be degraded. A large wire snap may even sink
TIE A LOOP KNOT: Click thumbnail to see large image.
When it comes
to finding barramundi in impoundments, Neil Schultz is a pioneer and expert.
He has supported Australian-made lures for years and favours Spoonbills
for impoundment work. This is a Lake Awoonga
barra caught in a shallow bay.