After launching from Marsden Cove just after 6.00am, we headed for some deep foul off Bream Head in around 50 metres of water.
Not much sign was showing on the main brick, but the smaller bits of foul a hundred or so metres away showed more promise. A quick dummy drift got the drift angle sorted, with the next drift lining the fish sign up perfectly. There was good snapper sign hard on the bottom and some solid marks halfway up, too – and we were soon into fish. Looking good!
I was interested to see Steve use a Black Magic UV charger – the electronic version of Secret Sauce – to ‘fire up’ the Flippers’ lumo stripes and spots, which must have helped given the depth we were fishing. Whatever the reason, a wide variety of species fell to the Flippers’ charms over the course of the day, including: sea perch, blue cod, pigfish, granddaddy hapuku and, unfortunately, ‘couta.
The Flipper jigs are an interesting piece of kit, being quite long and light. The heaviest, at 200g, is 193mm in length. Although available in five weights, 60g up to 200g, we predominantly fished the 80, 100 and 150g models, which were 145–185mm in length respectively.
They looked great in the water, their unique design producing a fluttering zig-zig drop and an erratic retrieve, which obviously proved attractive to our primary target, snapper.
Their colouration and finish are big features and include: Pink and Lumo; Silver-Orange-Lumo; Blue-Lumo; and Black-Silver-Lumo. The pink, blue and silver jigs have an almost reflective scale on their ‘spoon’ side that catches the light while descending. All have lumo stripes or spots.
As you would expect from Black Magic Tackle, a company that started out by selling hooks, the assist hooks and Kevlar traces are good quality. Not even attention from the razor gang or the crunching snapper gnashers made much impact. The assist rigs come in hook sizes of 1–5, depending on the jig’s size.
While the Flipper lures provided the heavy artillery, the Black Magic boys also had other tricks up their sleeves – ones the fish hadn’t seen before.
Black Magic flasher rigs have often been copied, but never beaten. There are some fresh options this summer, and my favourite is the super-lumo colour available in four hook sizes (4/0, 5/0, 6/0 and 8/0). It was the best performer of the flasher rigs on the day.
Flasher rigs are great for inexperienced anglers, especially. Quite often the crew will include ‘part-time’ anglers over the holiday period. It’s a simple matter to set them up with well-weighted BM flasher rigs so they stay in contact with the bottom – and then catch fish. The rigs’ recurve style hooks see the fish attach themselves, without the need for a big strike – just lift and wind.
Included in the latest flasher rigs line-up are some new sizes for the Saury, Pinky, Original and Sunset Snatcher series, while in the Whacker range – rigged on suicide-style hooks – there are additional sizes for the Original, Candy, Firefly and Blinky.
The extended hook range gives anglers a greater choice. If fishing waters that can produce big fish, there are bigger hook options, such as the 8/0. However, if chasing ‘pannies’, there are smaller options, too. All are hand-tied in New Zealand to a high standard using quality components.
A Black Magic product that has not really caught on in New Zealand yet, but is very popular across the ditch, is the Squidly rigs. (Apparently, these rigs are considered ‘deadly’ on flathead, so perhaps they might be a good option for our gurnard?) We caught quite a few snapper on them, and there is a new 9cm size available, as well as a new colour called Candy.
While the Flippers’ unusual appearance initially made me wonder how effective they might be, I was a convert by the session’s end. In addition to producing steadily over the day, when the bite was on, they certainly maximised the opportunities.
I will be adding some Flipper jigs to my lure collection – they made ‘getting out of bed’ more than worthwhile!
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