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Lockdown list: your top 3 softbaits

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2020 at 8:40pm
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Sure do. Thanks for putting up your list.

There have been thousands of words written about lure colours and how depth affects colour; and what fish actually see with their eyes and in the water versus what humans see holding a lure in their hands.

I always like the look of lures with two tones of contrast in the colouring - I just think most natural prey items are not one single colour. Fish such as jack mackerel would have many colours under water, and flash when they are wounded and twitching.

I'm not sure how to explain the success of Motor Oil or the likes of Atomic Sunrise, other than the UV and the way they stand out to fish.

As Troutzilla says, chartreuse is a legendary colour in salt lures and some classic freshwater flies. Even though nothing in nature seems to match it. 

And as you allude to, vibration and movement must play a part too.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2020 at 10:32pm
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I thought paddle tails might be more popular. Any comments?
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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: 28 Mar 2020 at 11:54pm
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Good question, MB. They pop up a bit in the picks, but jerk shads or grubs seem more popular.

I use them, but normally not my first choice.

One cause might be that Gulp, which appears to have really driven the original growth of softbaiting here and still has a big share of the market, doesn't do any paddle tails in the Alive stinky juice range. So people started out with jerk shads or grubs and stuck with what they know.

Another factor may be that Z Man doesn't do the Bruised Banana in 5" Paddlerz, or the Atomic Sunrise in either of the Paddlerz sizes; and the NZ distributor doesn't bring in a Motor Oil paddle tail at all (overseas you can get them in 4"). So that's 3 of the really popular colours and you have to go shad if you want 5" or larger.

And see Muppet's comment above. He's one of the experts, and reckons shads are best on the drop (the dead baitfish twitch when falling slowly on a light jighead). Paddle tails need more weight to get the tail wagging on the drop, and if you're fishing shallow, that can mean snags.

Paddle tails are very, very popular in Australia though, particularly in the estuary stuff up north where they cast into structure and do a rolling retrieve, rather than fish on the drop. They use 'weedless' weighted worm hooks a lot for that reason.
They have heaps of brands that we don't have due to the size of their market and most seem to focus on 4-5" paddle tails. I reckon a 4" paddle tail would be the biggest seller over the Tasman.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 7:13am
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Jerk Shads are better for me because they get down faster in shallow water.

I always regarded paddle tails as needing a heavier jig head and deeper water to get the tail wiggling on the way down. So they have chance to use the design given. As TK rightly pointed out.

In the same manner I like grubs when dragging softies. I did all this years ago when fishing two rods and it used to snag me a lot more fish but I decided one rod would rule from about a few years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 9:05am
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You've touched on another good point, Dan. Many Kiwi softbaiters lob ahead (rather than full on cast) and bounce/drag along the sand, so rightly love their grub tails for the long wiggly tail action bumping on the bottom.
Whereas the cast ahead and fish the drop brigade targeting big fish in 3-12m reefy territory normally use shads.

Maybe paddle tails get a bit lost in between those two styles - but clearly work in the hands of guys/gals who know how to fish them well, as per the lists above.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 10:03am
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I saw loads of big snapper on the covers on fishing mags with paddle tails hanging out their gobs. This was years ago at the start of the SB trend so naturally copied.

I was having next to zero success on them no matter where I tried. So the switch to shads was made and the second rod did 6 inch gulp grubs. My catches through spring were insane to the point when I retired the second rod.

Looking back now I realize the front page paddletail catches had two things going for them. One was they were mainly experts who get out a lot or actual product distributers who get out a lot more than me.
The other thing was a lot were up north where the snapper are highly predatory.


My changes were made to make my fishing as successful as possible in the short windows I have. And I think I have the right mix.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 11:27am
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Again, good call mate. I'm enjoying this thread.

I've still got some of those mags, and many of the pics were taken on Berkeley product testing missions on Assassin out at the Mokes etc. The Berkley Powerbaits at that stage had quite a few paddle tail models, before the Gulp Alive juice versions started to dominate.The Aussies used heavy-ish jigheads dropping down the wash into pretty deep water, and also did a bit of elevator rigs in deeper water which are great with paddle tails (Paul Senior started bringing in the 6" Z Man Swimmerz and nailing fish in workups on his Cyclops rigs). Again, lots of big fish pics for NZ Fishing News.
That method seems to have mostly disappeared in favour of various kabura and inchiku jigs now, out in the gulf.

And an article I read recently talked about how the Australians (who were coming over to introduce Berkeley here) used a much faster, more aggressive retrieve - as per my comment earlier, that's what they were used to back home for their salt water species.

The big predator snapper sure went for them.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 11:42am
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I had a word with some expert guys at a kayak meet up once years ago about all the monster snapper they caught. I was a complete newbie to fishing from the kayak.

I asked how many in the Auckland region.
None was the answer.

Now I knew that was not entirely right as I also met a few guys and one lady from the Hibiscus kayak Club who did well. And bumping into them at car parks, quite often most did not fare well it was the old adage the top guys knew what was what.

So there it was for me, a problem that needed a look at, get from zilching to getting nice fish. I started from scratch listening to advice from the tackle shops, looking at maps and reading about the fish and of course the sage advice in the mags and on here.

I guess I branched off a little judging by the gasps from my scenario that I drawn in kayak thread 😂 I do know Pjay would probably like my sketches.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 5:08pm
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you're right about PJay, if it's the same PJ who's written a couple of articles for NZ Fishing News. He was adamant about casting down current, not down wind.

Paul Senior says exactly the same thing in this vid (from a boat, and he's using a sea anchor, but wind v tide and he is casting directly into the wind but down current).
It's a useful summary of soft baiting, i think.

The bit about casting direction is about half way through.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 6:37pm
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Pretty good explanation from Paul the only real difference between us is I like the bail arm open and the line to zoom off the spool.

Dunno if it was just the video but I don’t take attention off the line when the bait is dropping.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 8:23pm
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Haha, thought that myself. I think it's just because he's doing the vid.
His mate Mark Kitteridge watches his line like a hawk in the vids he does for OA. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Bounty Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 8:29pm
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help me understand the last few posts - the summary is;

paddletails not much chop

grub-type - useful on a second rod in a 'dragging' situ perhaps?

shad-style baits are the go to - and should be fished/retrieved into the current, regardless of drift or wind direction?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 9:01pm
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I'm certainly not a pro soft bait angler. I pretty much gave up on them around the time I left Auckland 6 years ago, but most of my fish in Auckland fell to grub tails dragged behind a kayak.

Interesting comments about paddle tails, thanks. Good thread Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 10:30pm
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If I fished deeper water for sure would use paddletails.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 11:25pm
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Originally posted by Bounty Hunter Bounty Hunter wrote:

help me understand the last few posts - the summary is;

paddletails not much chop

grub-type - useful on a second rod in a 'dragging' situ perhaps?

shad-style baits are the go to - and should be fished/retrieved into the current, regardless of drift or wind direction?

Yeah, like Muppet said, I don't think any of us are writing off paddle tails (as you can see from the top 3 lists above, quite a few people rate them highly). See Waynorth's post re the pros of paddle tails. They just need to be pulled through the water, or taken fast to the bottom with a heavier weight, to get the best from their tail design. Fishing with a heavy-ish weight around shallower rocky areas can prove to be expensive.

Yes, grubs seem to be excellent bounced on the bottom with a fairly heavy jighead (Z Mans and Catch Livies are buoyant, so sit face first, tail up - which is ideal over sandy/muddy areas). Many fish are caught by Mr Rod Holder on a dragged grub. Though i have a favourite 5" version which has caught me some nice fish on a single long lift and drop back to the bottom retrieve, and also on winding in. But I've taken note of Muppet's big vote for shads...

And yes, as Muppet (who you probably know is an expert kayak softbaiter) says, casting with the current is ideal. He's got a thread going in the kayak section at the mo with clear diagrams. He focuses on the drop, when the most aggressive fish go after his free falling jerk shads (he leaves his bail arm open until the line shoots off and he clicks into gear).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2020 at 7:43am
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Following on from this, it would help newbies if it was made clear that there are three distinct styles of soft bait fishing and to summarise the advice given above. Broadly speaking, each style works best with a particular pattern of soft bait.

1. Casting ahead and twitching back to boat (shads)
2. Dragging behind boat (grubs)
3. Fishing vertically (paddle tails)

Fair comment?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2020 at 8:04am
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Yeah I would say that.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2020 at 8:07am
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Originally posted by Bounty Hunter Bounty Hunter wrote:

help me understand the last few posts - the summary is;

paddletails not much chop

grub-type - useful on a second rod in a 'dragging' situ perhaps?

shad-style baits are the go to - and should be fished/retrieved into the current, regardless of drift or wind direction?


Yeah on the shads.

If I were to fish deeper more often paddletails would be used more. I have mates who do very well on them to be fair but for me not so much.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2020 at 10:32am
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Originally posted by MightyBoosh MightyBoosh wrote:

Following on from this, it would help newbies if it was made clear that there are three distinct styles of soft bait fishing and to summarise the advice given above. Broadly speaking, each style works best with a particular pattern of soft bait.

1. Casting ahead and twitching back to boat (shads)
2. Dragging behind boat (grubs)
3. Fishing vertically (paddle tails)

Fair comment?

That seems a fair generalisation. 
  • I'd add "fishing on the drop" to point one. Some people just fish the drop - cast out, watch the line for takes on the drop, and if they don't get one, they wind in and start again - they don't fish out the cast right back to the boat.
  • I'd add "...or casting and retrieving fairly fast" to point 3. Small paddle tails in baitfish colours are great in workup situations if you're keen on kahawai, or in big sizes they can be cast for kingies as an alternative to hard body lures. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2020 at 10:43am
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I did laugh at Paul saying he did not fish under the boat. Atari style has nailed me lots though I don’t do it much now. The other advantage of kayaks.
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