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Noob softbaiter tips

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    Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 8:26pm
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I’ve decided to try softbaiting and went out for the first time on the weekend with no bait and just took the softbaits, came home with 0 fish, I only have a 12ft Tinny and was wondering what do you look for when looking for areas to softbait, I usually launch half moon bay but also fish maraetai and whangaparoa. Any tips I could do and look for with my next trip?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote funandfunction Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 8:44pm
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Assuming you've bought a soft bait rod and reel and are using braid and a 15 or 20lb fluro leader ( it never ceases to amaze me the number of people I've met who say something like " yeah I tried soft baiting once but didn't have any success" and then on questioning, I've found they're using a boat rod and mono!!).

Soft baiting is very much hunting .....so the best tip is to fish where there is some fish.... seems obvious but a decent sonar really helps to identify some decent sign to drift over. The sonar and plotter go hand in hand so you can identify the best part of a drift and then motor back up wind to repeat it or vary the starting point of a drift to change the drift line.... allow for changing tide etc. If you find one part of a drift really produces then you can mark it with a way point and make it easy to go back and repeat it.

Drifting at speeds between 0.4Kn and about 0.8 Kn works well and if you're seeing drift speeds over a knot , then definitely need to slow down the boat with a drogue. Also the parachute type drogues work a lot better than the cone shaped ones.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 8:46pm
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Hi Brad, not from Auckland but my field tester caught 7 snapper from 9 casts out of kawakawa bay last thursday evening in 4-6m of water. Fish will be coming in closer soon so you should do ok.
What weight heads and type of sbait you using?
www.kavemantackle.co.nz
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bradov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 8:59pm
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I have 3 sizes I think at the moment I know I have a 1/2oz 5/8oz and 1oz. I’m actually using your kaveman softbaits
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 9:11pm
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Unlike bait fishing you need to find the fish. With bait the fish are more likely to find you. Right place, right time is very important for softbaits & lures.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2017 at 9:38pm
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As a rough rule of thumb
2-10m 1/4oz
11-18m 3/8oz
19-25m 1/2oz
these can vary depending on the speed of drift 0.4-0.5knt is ideal as far as I'm concerned.
Lightest weight you can get away with & still stay in contact & know when you hit the bottom.
Generally find a slow action & not being afraid to let it sit for a bit when it hits the bottom work best for me.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote pjc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2017 at 3:19am
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do not give up,i am the same,going for a 2nd hunt this saturday and just swapped out the mono for braid,realized last time that was part of the problem but did get a fish,it has merits.no mess.
The boss said "see you tomorrow" didnt know he liked fishing.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2017 at 5:43am
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Watch line at all times fish don't wait till bait hits the bottom. Leave a bit of a belly at least in the line as your bait descends any fish that grabs the softie they can tear off or sometimes they just stay there with the bait in their gob. Strike then!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Garry 23041 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2017 at 3:53pm
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It's a slow lift with little wrist movements and then drop again.
Have someone show you.
I have been using them exclusively for about 12 years but recently went mostly to micros.
There is a learning curve and you will get better if you stick with it.
Imagine you are down the bottom with your lure and keep your minds eye on the lure as you move the rod to create movement at the lure that mimics an injured fish.
Try some close to the boat so you can see the movement although it's kinda hard at the surface you will see how it's supposed to move and feel what your wrist/arm is doing in some basic way.
Cast forward of the drift as far as you can. hopefully you can hit bottom by about 2 ocklock and fish through to about 5 ocklock bringing the lure across the bottom as you slowly work the rod.
Sometimes fish will bite out the back yes but it's good to get the basic arc of softie use down ( my opinion).
Don't stress jig weight. In fact I would start with 5/8 so you can feel it better and not change until you have the action down with that.....
To light to soon may lead to to much disconnect from the jig head in terms of feel..
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Remember when drifting your lure is actually moving - softbaits with wavy tails (zman curly tail as example) dont need much movement of drifting especially if you are moving over half a knot. 
Depends on the day, tide, etc on what works best - experiment with amount of movement - my best days the snapper hit on the drop or without moving it much at all - but when they are picky you might need to give more action.
It is all about the feel which you need to spend time on water to achieve - lighter the weight the better but you need to be observant and watch the braid - any trembles , slight tightening, sudden slackness could all mean fish soa quick lift is needed.
Personally i have found worm hooks better but most people use jig heads - whatever but make sure hooks are razor sharp - check every hour.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CBF-Whk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 8:16am
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One of my biggest problems when I started softbaiting was deciding on when the lure is in the strike zone near the bottom.

The first drop at the start of a drift should be strait down, count how many seconds to the bottom. Then when you come to cast ahead you start your count in your head when the lure splashes down, I like to have a 8-12 second count to allow for "hang time" to keep the lure in the strike zone 25-100cm off bottom. After a while it becomes second nature knowing the time it takes to get to the bottom.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 9:13am
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I was going to say that micro jigs are easier to fish. Don't worry, same tackle, just need to buy some of Kaveman's excellent jigs for $6. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Foxtrot Oscar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 9:19am
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Some great advice here, thanks chaps. As a (still) noob softbaiter I find judging the bottom is the hardest thing to master, so CBF's post is very useful.

Also, judging when to change baits, colours and weights. (Any tips here?)

Sometimes drifting isn't possible - One boat I'm lucky enough to crew on likes to anchor in the Rangitoto Channel, A-buoy, Noises area so the other guys can fish with smelly baits.  So I migrate to the bow and cast up-wind, up-current and let the softy come back towards me while I work it. It's harder work and I have to retrieve and re-cast before the bait goes under the boat or catches the anchor rope.  The current flow in the channel is quite fast I find. 
It's not ideal but I still catch a few fish.

Because it can be deeper there, I'm adding jigging to my arsenal. (research phase at this stage while I acquire the tackle). 

PJC: You do need braid and a softy rod. You're right about the 'no mess' and that's the big attraction for me.  (Same goes for the jigs).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 10:35am
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softbaiting at anchor is not the best John but if you are doing that way, use softbaits with lots of action eg paddletails and curly tails and use a slightly heavier jig head than normal so it gets the softbait tail working fast
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Foxtrot Oscar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 10:51am
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Thanks Kev. Yes, I would drift if I could but 'not my boat' and I'm outnumbered by smelly fisho's.

I 'see' what you're saying about action & tails so will give that a try next Sat. 

My Lightbulb jigheads max-out at 3/4oz. I was given a couple of 1 oz heads but I lost one on a snag. It seemed 'heavy' on the softbait rod.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 1:02pm
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3/4 oz is ok at anchor John, just the heavier head goes down faster so gives the paddletails and curly tails more action
Kingies especially love them
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Foxtrot Oscar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 1:08pm
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Roger! Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bradov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2017 at 7:37am
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Ok so went out for a 2 hour session yesterday to see what happens in motuhie channel

Came home with two 45cm snaps

Was wondering do you cast out against the current and work the lure back towards the boat or cast out with the current and pull back against the current, yesterday I was casting with the current and retrieving against the current and getting ****loads of bites. When I tried casting and retrieving with the current nothing picked it up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Foxtrot Oscar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2017 at 9:19am
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Good fish! The buzz for me was catching my first fish and the proof that 'it' works. And now you know that it does. 

Were you anchored or drifting?

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bradov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2017 at 9:28am
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Definetly a buzz finding out it works lol even my mrs was buzzing with the bites we were getting when working the softys

I was drifting but the sea anchor slowed the drift down major like lucky if we moved 100m in that two hours
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