I really enjoy my soft plastic fishing, and I would have to say it is one of my favourite forms of fishing. It’s uncomplicated, no mess, no fuss and it’s active. I leave a light rod and a handful of soft plastics in my car all the time – it’s something you can do for 10 minutes on your way home from work without too much preparation or clean up.
I’ve experimented with a lot of different plastics over the years in varied forms, shapes and sizes, and while most will catch fish from time to time, there are some stand out performers which seem to get more action than others. I’ve been using Squidgie Whip Baits for over a year now, and they have become my go-to plastic in a lot of fishing scenarios.
Their stick-bait style body gives them great casting distance, but the paddle tail gives them an inbuilt action which stick-baits generally lack. The paddle tail slows the sinking speed too, and offers a slower enticing drop. Because they are available in 5 different sizes and 6 colour variations, it offers a wide range of plastics for differing situations.
Down here in SA I used the 125mm model this past summer to good effect on our migrating southern Bluefin schools. Matched with a 30g Weapon Jig Head they cast really well, and gave them enough weight to sink a few metres before starting the retrieve. The strike on a plastic by a +20kg Bluefin is fantastic. As well as the bluefin in our offshore waters, we’ve also managed some nice silver trevally in the mid to upper water column over some of our larger reef systems, and some tasty red snapper from the bottom.
Whip Baits have proven themselves to be equally as effective in shallow waters on a range of inshore species too. Lately we’ve been heading out into our local National Park and walking some shallow beaches casting plastics around patches of scattered rock and weed. While our target species has been flathead, we’ve also scored some nice salmon and plenty of herring as bycatch. The 80mm Whip Bait has been a perfect size for this inshore work, and when matched to a 3gm finesse head, it offers a natural and slow-sinking presentation. We’ve got some lovely southern bluespot flathead lately on these lures, with some of the bigger flathead of the season falling victim to these effective plastics.
Whip Baits are a super-effective plastic in the tropical waters of the north too, and on a recent trip to Melville Island I used the 125mm model over rubbly bottom in 20m of water for coral trout and golden snapper, and the smaller 100mm model in nearby creeks and estuary systems for smaller goldens (fingermark), barra and even a few jacks.
Fishing plastics became our preferred method during a few sessions where we had a snag hard up against the shoreline and the hard body lures weren’t running deep enough. In this situation the plastics could drop a metre or two before beginning the retrieve. We managed a few nice jacks from hard against the timber which we wouldn’t have been able to access without a sinking lure. And given they’re quite cheap in comparison to a lot of sinking hard body lures, you don’t mind losing the occasional plastic in the timber – it’s a small sacrifice to pay to get your lure down to where the fish are.
Whip Baits have become a confident plastic in my arsenal of lures, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other species fall to these effective plastics over the next 12months.