Catch Livies Jerkshad Review

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    Posted: 03 Mar 2023 at 10:20am
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My interest in softbaiting waxes and wanes as I prefer jigging of one form or another, but the easterlies this summer have kept me in the harbour and my feeling is that bright (or dark!), slow moving softbaits are better in dirty water compared to jigs which require a faster action. 

Aside from Gulp, like most people I've used Zman, but am moving away from the brand due to cost, difficulty in rigging outside of a standard jig head and the nasty, sticky scent that many of their products are covered in. Zman claim the softbaits are impregnated with it. I'm not so sure, covered in it, yes. Regardless, I question it's value. 

I've given Catch Livies Jerkshads a good go this "summer". All the colours I've tried have a good UV reaction and the glow colours really glow in the dark. Perhaps not quite as flexible as Zman, but this makes rigging worm hooks and Bleeder jig heads easier. They have a good range of colours and come in 5 and 7 inch. The 5 inch sit nicely on 3/0 Bleeders and the 7 inch on 5/0.

They do catch fish, but I can't really say if they've put more fish on the deck than Zman. The potential downside is longevity. The Livies are holding up, but looking at the teeth marks, I suspect they won't last quite as long as Zman.  


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2023 at 11:42am
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Just had a couple of weeks in Florida, went to a few fishing shops like Basspro and west marine. Lots of soft plastic lures, gulp sort of just disappeared in with the heaps of another brands. Zman were in all of the shops, about $5us a pack but none of the colours I use. Reels rods and most accessories like tackle bags and braid same price as in NZ$ so cheaper to buy them here.

I still use Zman I have tried another brands like bait Junkie which I find quite jelly in texture and easily pulled off the jig head, they might be better on the new bait Junkie heads. But Zman still do the job for me.

Kevin at Kaveman tackle has a nice range of soft baits, check them out. Well priced.
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Fishing tackle shops in America are something else. Haven't been tempted by Bait Junkies and the fact that they are in the bargain bin at my local shops probably says a lot.
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Interesting chat, guys.
Yes, looking on the US tackle websites and the number of softbait brands is astounding. Such a massive market. Many, such as the Yamamoto and Kaitech are very popular in the bass scene, but don't last very long versus snapper. I brought in some Yamamoto with all kinds of moving tails etc for dragging over the sand in summer, and they got nailed straight away but I went through them faster than Gulps.

Kerry, I definitely agree with you on the pricing thing of rods/reels versus lures (NZ versus US). Z Man are completely overpriced here if you go down the 'Big Mac' type price comparison. Even here v Australia, way cheaper to buy Z Man there. 

MB, you may have noticed that Rob Parker - the famed charter skipper out of Houhora - appears to now have a bit of a deal going with Catch. His customers who mostly appear to be softbait newbies who just drop and drag in 40m are landing some impressive catches on them. He seems to favour the bright orange one (though it wouldn't be bright orange in 40m+). He used to be Z Man, but that supply deal must have ended. He wouldn't use something he wasn't sure would work for his customers - he's got that big snap reputation to uphold.

H&F Whangarei (by the Warehouse etc - not the one in the main street) had Livies on big discount when i was there around Christmas, so I bought a couple of packets to try. i liked the look of the Glowing Gurnard for trying in the Tamaki Strait where the water's quite dirty.

I've seen some good social media content of big snaps on Bait Junkies (in both Aussie and NZ), and have tried them out. They've obviously got some well known guys using them through mates deals. They've work okay for me, but in colours you can't get here. The best movement from that waist cut on their jerk shads is on a fairly fast retrieve - which suits fast moving species such as kingies, or kahawai, not snapper.

I do use different jigheads for Gulp, which don't need big ribs to hold them on, and for the rubber stretchy brands, which do (TT Lures my choice).

My opinion is it seems to be VERY very hard to break into the established NZ market for softbaits - quite a few have tried and failed. Even some with massive overseas marketing power. Rapala had a go and crashed and burned. Now Daiwa. I think that your bargain bin observations say more about the fact that our market is small, and it's very hard to change people's ingrained habits. I know some guys who fish up north who only had one bait on board - tubs of Gulp 5" jerk shads in Nuclear Chicken on 5/8 oz jigheads. They never used anything else (until I came along and outfished them 3 to 1 on Bruised Banana - mind you, i think my heavier jighead in the windy conditions was also a key factor).
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Yeah, it's interesting. I don't for a moment believe soft baits are made of angel wings and fairy dust, or that one brand is very different to another with the exception of Gulp. That said, softbaits which we throw at snapper need to be resilient (obviously, Gulp is famous for not being resilient, but that is a special case) and I do believe UV reactivity and luminosity can be beneficial at times. Funnily enough, Glowing Gurnard is my go to for snapper in the Catch range. Orange in good light which we know is a killer colour for snapper and a strong glow in the dark, what's not to like!

Small disclaimer, I genuinely believe that a microjig will out-fish softies when fished side-by-side most of the time, but under some circumstances softies take the prize!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2023 at 8:41pm
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I think the most important thing is fishing confidently and competently with your chosen method.

Jigs look deadly in the right hands in the right place, with the right gear, for sure. 

A type of lure i'm very interested in - which the Aussies use a heck of a lot, but seem to have had very little impact here - are soft vibes. They seem to use them everywhere from say 15m to 60-70m, using different weights according to depth. And they work very well on fish which are similar to snapper, such as red emperor, fingermark etc fished fairly vertically. They use them interchangeably with jigs in the 60-80g weights.
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Vibes have caught my eye too, but the hook position looks like a nightmare for snagging up, plus I wonder how resilient they are to snapper teeth.
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I tried vides not a fan of the hooks, micro jigs work better for me.

I am keen to try slow pitch jigs but I have enough fishing setups now. I do have one of the older tcurve 50 to 150gram jig rods I might have a go at slow pitch with.
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Originally posted by MB MB wrote:

Vibes have caught my eye too, but the hook position looks like a nightmare for snagging up, plus I wonder how resilient they are to snapper teeth.

I know what you're saying re the teeth, but some of the fish they get in Aussie - e.g. the coral trout, seem to have some decent gnashers and i haven't seen them destroy a vibe.
They fish a lot over foul/coral reefy territory, and don't appear to snag up more than with a jig. I might have to buy one of the Nomad ones next time I order some softbaits from Anglers warehouse, just to have a sneaky go with.

I reckon in 20m+ over sand, for example, they could be pretty successful. I know they probably won't hands down out-fish other methods, but it might be fun to give one a go.
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

I tried vides not a fan of the hooks, micro jigs work better for me.

I am keen to try slow pitch jigs but I have enough fishing setups now. I do have one of the older tcurve 50 to 150gram jig rods I might have a go at slow pitch with.

I've have an old T-Curve too, 100-200g. I've put a decent size reel on it and plan to use it for deep water (100+ metre) slow and slow pitch jigging.
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Originally posted by The Tamure Kid The Tamure Kid wrote:

Originally posted by MB MB wrote:

Vibes have caught my eye too, but the hook position looks like a nightmare for snagging up, plus I wonder how resilient they are to snapper teeth.

I know what you're saying re the teeth, but some of the fish they get in Aussie - e.g. the coral trout, seem to have some decent gnashers and i haven't seen them destroy a vibe.
They fish a lot over foul/coral reefy territory, and don't appear to snag up more than with a jig. I might have to buy one of the Nomad ones next time I order some softbaits from Anglers warehouse, just to have a sneaky go with.

I reckon in 20m+ over sand, for example, they could be pretty successful. I know they probably won't hands down out-fish other methods, but it might be fun to give one a go.

Let us know how you get on with them Thumbs Up
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

I tried vides not a fan of the hooks, micro jigs work better for me.

I am keen to try slow pitch jigs but I have enough fishing setups now. I do have one of the older tcurve 50 to 150gram jig rods I might have a go at slow pitch with.

Of all the jigging methods, the slow pitch seems to be the most complicated - if you believe the articles and vids. I can see how a flipping and fluttering lure would really appeal to snaps under work ups etc.What doesn't appeal to me is what I understand is the recommended method (once you hook up) of simply winding straight off the reel with little or no rod intervention. I would find that bizarre.
I was on a charter once in the middle of the Gulf, and one of the customers was into slow pitch - he had the gloves, mega expensive rod that bent like a noodle, dramatic multi-part lifts and swerves of the rod, etc. I thought we were going to see a master class, but even though he caught a few, that trip the good old inchiku jigs were by far the most successful lure. 
They hardly seem to be used these days...


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Originally posted by The Tamure Kid The Tamure Kid wrote:

Of all the jigging methods, the slow pitch seems to be the most complicated - if you believe the articles and vids. I can see how a flipping and fluttering lure would really appeal to snaps under work ups etc.What doesn't appeal to me is what I understand is the recommended method (once you hook up) of simply winding straight off the reel with little or no rod intervention. I would find that bizarre.

Rods are pretty soft, so the reel is going to do most of the work. Not so different from slow jigging with an OA Bender or similar rod.


Originally posted by The Tamure Kid The Tamure Kid wrote:

...good old inchiku jigs were by far the most successful lure. 
They hardly seem to be used these days...

They definitely seem to have gone out of fashion. Lost ground to sliders/kabura. At one point, I was only using inchiku to the exclusion of all other methods and caught my fair share of fish. I doubt snapper lure preferences have changed that much over recent years! As ever, I don't think the lure matters half as much as putting it in front of the snapper's nose. For slow jigging, I'm going back to Lucanus jigs as they are much more amenable to quick changes.  
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I agree I think all of the older types of lures still catch fish it’s just your preference to the type of lure that changes. It also comes down to where and what depth, I still fish SBs in the firth around the 8mtr, micro jigs work fine in this depth as well but I do catch bigger fish on the SBs. I fish 10 to 20 gram micros around whangaparoa in 20to 30 mtr and have better results than SBs and then when I move out to the 40 mtr mark I move to sliders. I use a 500mm loop tied with a spider’s hitch on my trace on my slider setup so I can quickly change the head weight.

These new sliders from shimano work great and are very easy to change.

https://fish.shimano.com/en-NZ/product/lures/saltwater/a155f00000cqpumqah.html
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Interesting comments above.

I really rate the ability of the baitjunkies.  Fishing side by side I have found the baitjunkies get more fish than zman - both 7 inch jerkshads.

The major downsides are that after a few fish they slide off the jighead easier and they are no where near as durable.

So I mostly just use them now in shallow water where I am retrieving and casting a lot and can reset the lure.

For deeper water softbaiting 30m to 70m I use the zman as they stay on the hook better and hold up more to the fish.

Just my comments.  

I need to keep an eye out for the baitjunkies in the bargain bins and stock up while I can then.
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Originally posted by riga riga wrote:

Interesting comments above.

I really rate the ability of the baitjunkies.  Fishing side by side I have found the baitjunkies get more fish than zman - both 7 inch jerkshads.

The major downsides are that after a few fish they slide off the jighead easier and they are no where near as durable.

So I mostly just use them now in shallow water where I am retrieving and casting a lot and can reset the lure.

For deeper water softbaiting 30m to 70m I use the zman as they stay on the hook better and hold up more to the fish.

Just my comments.  

I need to keep an eye out for the baitjunkies in the bargain bins and stock up while I can then.
have you tried the new bait Junkie jig heads

https://www.marine-deals.co.nz/tackle-jig-heads/daiwa-baitjunkie-2x-jig-head-1-qty-6?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIl8iW_tjI_QIVmQsrCh0erAzdEAQYHiABEgI-YvD_BwE
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Originally posted by riga riga wrote:

Interesting comments above.

I really rate the ability of the baitjunkies.  Fishing side by side I have found the baitjunkies get more fish than zman - both 7 inch jerkshads.

The major downsides are that after a few fish they slide off the jighead easier and they are no where near as durable.

So I mostly just use them now in shallow water where I am retrieving and casting a lot and can reset the lure.

For deeper water softbaiting 30m to 70m I use the zman as they stay on the hook better and hold up more to the fish.

Just my comments.  

I need to keep an eye out for the baitjunkies in the bargain bins and stock up while I can then.


You could give the Hunting & Fishing stores in Whangarei a call. Both Okara Park and McCoy & Thomas have them discounted. They might even do a bigger discount for a bulk order. 
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

It also comes down to where and what depth, I still fish SBs in the firth around the 8mtr, micro jigs work fine in this depth as well but I do catch bigger fish on the SBs. I fish 10 to 20 gram micros around whangaparoa in 20to 30 mtr and have better results than SBs and then when I move out to the 40 mtr mark I move to sliders.

That's close to my formula! 


Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

These new sliders from shimano work great and are very easy to change.

https://fish.shimano.com/en-NZ/product/lures/saltwater/a155f00000cqpumqah.html

Thanks for that, I had seen them. I was doing something similar with these years ago and after talking to the owner of the company, so were a lot of people in Aussie! 

https://www.marine-deals.co.nz/klik-sinkers-quick-change-ball-sinkers-lumo?q=klik&h=2

Unfortunately, the lumo element is very weak and can get flicked off the line if the fight is frenetic. Next generation seem better from that perspective though. 

Since I fish slow pitch jigs from the same rod, I do need something that's clip on/off. 
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

Originally posted by riga riga wrote:

Interesting comments above.

I really rate the ability of the baitjunkies.  Fishing side by side I have found the baitjunkies get more fish than zman - both 7 inch jerkshads.

The major downsides are that after a few fish they slide off the jighead easier and they are no where near as durable.

So I mostly just use them now in shallow water where I am retrieving and casting a lot and can reset the lure.

For deeper water softbaiting 30m to 70m I use the zman as they stay on the hook better and hold up more to the fish.

Just my comments.  

I need to keep an eye out for the baitjunkies in the bargain bins and stock up while I can then.
have you tried the new bait Junkie jig heads

https://www.marine-deals.co.nz/tackle-jig-heads/daiwa-baitjunkie-2x-jig-head-1-qty-6?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIl8iW_tjI_QIVmQsrCh0erAzdEAQYHiABEgI-YvD_BwE

No I haven't yet but intend to buy some when I next make a tackle order.
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

. I fish 10 to 20 gram micros around whangaparoa in 20to 30 mtr
off topic here
would a lightweight softbait rod work a micro of that weight correctly or is it better to get a proper micro jig rod that's rated in that range of jig weight
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