Getting Jiggy with it - Learn to fish soft plastics
Getting Jiggy with it.
Learning to fish with soft plastic vibes
Recently, after many moons of fishing soft plastics, I was introduced by a mate (Mark) to the use of soft plastic vibes. Now I had used hard vibes and even metal ones before and while these worked, they where kind of ...Meah... However, I can well and truly attest now to the soft plastic version.
We where fishing shallow reef on a drift in about 10-12 meters of water. Mark was jigging vertically straight off the bottom, catching fish after fish. While none at the time where record breakers, he was catching at least one every 30 seconds. After about 30 minutes of this and about 50 or so fish, I decided there had to be something in this. I dropped down a soft plastic and began to work it in a similiar fashion not 3 ft away from his.
Yes, I caught fish, but no-where near the number and speed. So, I had to give this soft vibe thing a go.
I bummed a vibe from Mark, with all the tact of a cat on a hot tin roof and proceeded to coat it in Rhino Goo. I figured its a soft plastic right and any scent has to be better than no scent. From there things got real interesting, real quick. Before I knew it every reef species seemed to swarm that poor little lure. There was no respite, there was no break, there was just a constant bend in the Shimano Raider.
It even became apparent after that having put on a similar size vibe to his, that the catch scent was making a difference as well. I seemed to be out fishing his previous blistering pace with hookups. The only real difference was the use of scent.
The quality seems to improve also, with some nice cod and grassy sweetlip coming over the side. While no record breakers, we assembled ourselves a respectable feed of reef fish and caught well over a hundred fish easily in a matter of a few hours.
I even managed a large flutefish, which astounded me as its mouth hardly fitted the treble inside.
It was then I began to realise what I had been missing. I had been fishing estuaries for so long and given the number of prawns available at that time of the year, had been using similiar colours. The water clarity was not as good as I had seen it there, but it was pretty good in comparison to closer to the coast. I had not ‘matched the hatch’, there where no prawn out on the reef, well not at that stage anyway. The target food source was clearly smaller fish and the vibe was a natural mullet type colour and with the wiggly jig and drop straight down from the boat the fish could not resist.
The added addition of catch scent was sealing the deal as the fish got in closer, so much so that many fish were caught with the rod in the rod holder and not much else being done.
Just like a high school holiday romance, I became quite attached to that little lure in our short time together. Even to the point of going the extra mile to retrieve it when I snagged it on the reef good and proper. After that many fish however, it is a shadow of its former self, but I reckon it’s still got some life left in it yet.
While we had plenty of fish for a feed each and had had a good day out. It became clearly obvious that ‘getting Jiggy with soft plastic vibes’ is something I intend to do a lot more in the future. Don’t get me wrong, traditional soft plastics rock and will continue to be a staple lure choice for me into the future, but I am ‘digging the vibe’ and can’t wait to unleash these on larger specimens, deeper water and perhaps even hit up my local flathead hides to see how they stack up against my hometown hero softplastics.
The moral of the story really comes back to not being afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Try something new if your old faithfuls fail to fire and be curious to know why.
While I am not a 10% fisherman (you know that catch 90 percent of the fish), I am convinced that learning the skills of observation and being curious to know why something works on one day and not another is essential to growing as an angler. So if you have not already tried getting ‘Jiggy with it’, I highly recommend stretching your comfort zone to give it a whirl.
Till next time, have fun, fish responsibly and remember take only what you need and post the rest to social media.
Check out the range of soft vibe lures in stock.