Big lure Big Barramundi

With the closed season coming to an end, there is no better time for anglers to get out on the water and chase that trophy barramundi. With an excellent start to the monsoon season thanks to Cyclone Owen and the continued protection of breeding stocks thanks to the Net Free Zones, barramundi numbers along the east coast are looking super healthy which is great news for all fishermen. Personally, I am very much looking forward to throwing a few soft plastics at the barra again as I am well and truly sick of them teasing me on the Humminbird side imager the last three months!

When it comes to chasing big barramundi, it’s hard to go past using big lures. If you have ever caught a big barra, you will know just how big that bucket mouth is and why they have an appetite to suit. For this reason, larger barra will prefer to feed on larger sized baitfish often over the 20cm mark, especially during the warmer months when their appetite driven by warmer waters is ferocious.

Whilst size of lure is important because it matches the hatch, it is also important because of the clarity of water found in creeks and rivers this time of year. Many rivers and creeks are heavily affected by rainfall thanks to the monsoon making them very dirty with limited visibility thanks to run off sediment. This immediately makes it difficult for lure fishermen who are relying on visual presentation and barramundi physically seeing their lures. Therefore, a lure which has a large presentation in the water will be more easily seen which automatically increases your chances of fish interaction and success. Coupled with this, you want a lure which can be worked at super slow speeds. Barramundi, even when they are at their hungriest, love a slow rolled lure which can be worked at super slow speeds with maximum action, especially large paddle tail or fish presentations. Being able to fish your lure slowly also adds to added visibility under the water.webz2

When it comes to fishing for barra using large soft plastic baits, its hard to go past the latest innovation from Zerek and Wilson – the Live Swimbait. The Zerek Live Swim Bait is essentially modelled on the Live Mullet which was released last year. There are a few differences between the two with the most noticeable being size. The Live Swim Bait is a massive soft plastic swim bait coming in at a whopping 8 inches long and weighs around 70 grams making it one very large presentation. Don’t go throwing this softy around on your ten-pound gear as it is far too long and heavy and will require a strong rod and line class to be able to cast and retrieve.

The Live Swimbait has been modelled on your typical jointed body fish profile swim bait which utilises the same segmented thermoplastic Kevlar webbing technology used on the ever popular Zerek Live Shrimp plastic. This jointed body allows the soft plastic to move with amazing snake-like movement through the water at an incredibly slow speed and retrieve. It also has a very slow sink rate, especially in salt water which allows the angler to pause the big plastic on retrieve for a short time and it won’t sink like a stone. This is very useful when barra roll or shadow your lure. Having the ability to start and stop the retrieve can be what brings on the strike.

Not only has the Live Swim Bait got the size and action to fool a big barra it also has the build. The main body of the plastic has a one-piece wire frame which connects the tow point to the hook and optional hangers which means it can hold up to the demands of the biggest barra you can hook. This is the downfall of many soft plastics when it comes to big barra fishing as jig heads can bend and break under the strain of trophy metre plus fish.webz3

The Kevlar webbing and overall plastic is also super tough and won’t fall apart or melt like many soft plastics.

What I also love about the Live Swim bait is the options it provides to anglers. Straight out of the packet you will find it swims high in the water column which is perfect for working over weed beds or snags or if you are chasing that early morning or late surface bite. However, under the chin of the soft plastic you will find a small hanger point where you can add Mustad Fastach Football Weights also sold by Wilson to make the Live Swim Bait swim deeper. Being able to get your soft plastic to swim to the perfect depth is crucial especially when you are targeting barra which will often sit on a snag or piece of structure mid water. Using this weight system, you don’t have to compromise your speed or style of retrieve to achieve this desired depth. You can even troll the Live Swim Bait and set trolling depths using the weight system as well.

There are also other hang points, and even tow points above the lure which allows you to fish it like a vibe which everyone knows are super effective on barramundi.

Talking to many impoundment anglers fishing these lures from Faust to Tinaroo the slow roll and size of the lure has been smashing the barra left right and centre and there is little doubt they will have the same effect in the salt as well.

The Zerek Live Swim Bait comes in 12 different colours and my personal favourite include the Bronzed Cherry and the Min Min colour. I prefer to use brighter colours especially when the water is dirty. I have found that utilising a straight slow retrieve is super effective with slow pauses. If you are a southern angler, the Swim Bait has also been proven to be very effective on fish such as Mulloway and Murray Cod.

If you are after a big plastic to throw at big barra, then look no further than the Zerek Live Swim Bait. It’s a big visible lure which has the action and build to bring your big barra dreams to reality. webz5