Over the last few months I've been blessed to travel to some pretty amazing fishing destinations and along the way there is one lure that has been in my tackle bag the whole time. The Squidgie whip bait has fast become my favourite soft plastic on the market, the design of the whip bait is a cross between a jerk shad and paddle tail style. With its small paddle tail I believe it draws in fish that would otherwise pass up the offering of just a jerk shad style lure. Everything from pelagic like tuna down to bream and flathead will happily smash the whip bait and the range of sizes and colours give you a lure for every occasion.
Pelagics :: If your chasing fish like tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Dolphin fish or Queenies there is a few different techniques to try. A medium to heavy jig head to assist with the casting distance and a flat out retrieve should stir up some speedsters but if that's not working a slightly lighter head like a 1/2 or 3/4oz and a medium paced roll through a bait school is hard for any long tail tuna to resist. The 7ft 20lb black Terez and a 5000 sustain loaded with 20lb braid is the perfect and affordable outfit to harass some bait schools for some speedsters.
Reefies :: Both northern and southern varieties of reef fish love whip baits when correctly worked, from coral trout to snapper the same technique works. The size of the lure also plays a major roll for example the larger sizes work well over the reef for coral trout but if you down size you tend to catch a lot more red throat emperor. Casting your lure and letting it sink with the lightest weighted jig head as possibly practical you then rip it up with a series of 3 winds then 3 rod lifts. After this hold your rod on a 45 degree angle with the line tight, the lure will swim down to the bottom with the small paddle tail working its magic. Be ready to strike because 95% of the hits will come on the drop. Light leader, jig heads and mainline will add to the action of the lure and give you the best chance at fooling some quality fish. The Spheros sw and Renium range of reels are perfect for this type of fishing along with the 3 zero rods weighted between 10 to 20lb.
Estuaries :: Fishing estuaries is all about finding the bait to find the fish. Flathead, bream, trevally, jacks, mulloway and more school in areas where bait passes through at different stages of the tide so matching the hatch is key to success. The whip bait perfectly resembles baitfish such as whiting, mullet and whitebait, which seem to be the mainstay in most estuaries. A few different retrieves work well one is a simple slow roll close to the bottom where a heavier jig head helps another is a slow hop across the bottom with a wind and small rod tip lift every second, a heavier jig head helps for this retrieve once again. The final retrieve I have found to work is three winds with a rod tip twitch every wind and then pause with the rod on a 45-degree angle to the sky. The lure will swim to the bottom toward you and this is when you will get a strike. Light tackle in the river makes things more enjoyable, 4to 10lb braid a 2-4kg rod like the 3 zero range and a 2000 reel like the Stradic are perfect for harassing some fish in your local estuaries.
The whip bait is an incredibly versatile lure that shouldn't be over looked by any keen fisho. They are a reasonably tough lure that doesn't get chewed up and perfectly matches the hatch in almost all fishing circumstance. Everything from bream to tuna will smash them so get into your local tackle store and give them a go.