Sam Mossman – Lures – Part Three

Heres “Part Three” of Sam Mossman’s “Lures”

There are many ways to fish a lure and many different types of retrieve which can be used

Surface fishing
Floating lures, either poppers or sliders, are used for this type of fishing. These lures have flat, angled or concave faces and create a disturbance when worked across the surface with sideways sweeps of the rod. The idea is to imitate an injured or fleeing fish thrashing across the surface. This type of lure fishing has not been used much in this country but could be successful on kahawai, kingfish, and the like. The best part of using these lures is the often spectacular surface strike.

Subsurface, high speed
In this method the lure is retrieved at break-neck pace after being allowed to sink a little. High-speed lures are generally long and slender and have little action, such as the “arrow” types. A reel with a high gear ratio is required here, at least 5:1. This method of lure fishing is aimed at fast swimming predators such as kingfish and members of the tuna family, which are sometimes not fooled by slower retrieves.

Subsurface, medium speed
Here a lure is cast and allowed to sink for various amounts of time before being retrieved. If there are no fish near the surface, deeper levels can be probed. Lures used for this type of retrieve have a medium action and this can be added to by using the rod. Many types of lures are useful with this method: various types of chromed kahawai spinners, stingsildas, the “iron/maverick” patterns, tobies, jensen pirks, some Mr Twister patterns, and Rapala diving minnow types (both floating divers for shallow water and sinking divers for deeper water). These last types have the advantage of staying below the surface until right under the rod tip.

Many species may be caught by this method. In addition to kahawai, barracouta, kingfish, trevally, and both blue and jack mackerel, I have caught quite a number of snapper with this method when fishing deep over reefs and broken ground.

Subsurface, slow retrieve
This type of retrieve, carried out just above the bottom, can yield some interesting species. Besides kahawai, the occasional trevally, jack mackerel, snapper, blue cod and John dory can be added to the list as certainties, and many other bottom-feeding species are possibilities. One particularly effective retrieve pattern is the draw retrieve. The lure is pumped toward the angler with a lift of the rod, then allowed to settle as the rod is dropped back down and the slack line wound up. If the bottom is not too broken, the lure can be bounced along in little spurts. Mr Twisters fished in this way are particularly attractive to John dory. Lures for this type of fishing should have an enticing slow-speed action. Here the soft plastic lures come into their own, along with buck tail jigs. The smaller sizes of kahawai spinners, stingsildas, etc., are also useful.

There are two methods of lure fishing which are called jigging. With both methods the lure is dropped to the bottom, but it is worked in different ways. One method is by lifting the lure with the rod and letting it flutter down again, either at the bottom or in mid water. The other method is pumping or winding the lure quickly back to the surface. The first system uses the same type of lures as the slow retrieve and catches similar species. In addition, gurnard can be picked up on the bottom, blue maomao in mid water on tiny silver spinners or small
plastics, and on the bottom, in deeper water, groper can be caught on larger lures like irons/mavericks. Plastic or squid can also be useful for this type of fishing. If a fish grabs the lure on the sink, it is often hard to detect. The only sign is that the weight does not come back on the line after the lure is dropped back down. The second type of jigging is a method used mostly for kingfish. Large lures like irons/mavericks, pirks, etc, are used and must be worked fast and hard with the rod for the kings to maintain interest and strike. If the lure is slowed down, the kings will turn away. In some areas, kingfish will follow hooked fish to the boat. I keep a rod rigged with a lure handy and drop it past them as the hooked fish is removed from the water. Most times the kings will follow the fluttering lure down and strike as it is wound rapidly back towards the surface. Kingfish larger than twelve to fifteen kilograms don’t often take lures but are more interested in live bait.

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