Fingered On 4LB – By James Falkenberg

Have I got a yarn for you guys this month! Well, to be honest, this probably excites me more than you guys, as I got to reap the rewards, but hopefully, you readers at home can take something out of this.

With the weather being nothing short of average every time I tried to go fishing, I was stuck indoors forcing myself to those mundane tasks that need to be done, but not many people enjoy. It was time to clean up my soft vibe boxes and replace their terminal tackle.


So, armed with scissors, split ring pliers, split rings and trebles, I pumped up the tunes on the stereo and got to work. Those vibes that start to get sticky and with the tails that are curling or melting, I just cut the tail off. This has very little (or none) impact of the action of the lure but prevents it melting even further and ruining your favourite soft vibe. It also stops other vibes that may be touching it from melting and becoming sticky also. With a fresh set of Decoy YS-81’s fitted to the lures and some with brand new haircuts, they were now ready for action.


The weather came good, and the tides weren’t bad, so now it was time. With a couple boxes of soft vibes prepped and ready with a renewed lease on life, I headed out to see what trouble I could find. As any fisherman knows, its always worth a sound around some structure and there isn’t any better structure than jetties or wharves. After a few passes, I noticed some good fish sitting under the jetty, so after positioning myself nicely, I quickly attached a soft vibe and sent it down. I must have been feeling very Olympic today as the outfit I was using was a light spin setup spooled with 4lb braid! Yep! 4lb braid! What could possibly go wrong?

It only took a couple of casts before my soft vibe was engulfed midway back to the boat and boom! I was connected to a decent fish. As the 4lb braid started screaming from my 2500 size reel, I was thinking this could be over quicker than the Mundine vs Horne fight with me, unfortunately, being on the canvas, but alas, all was not lost as the fish was making a beeline out to open water. How lucky is that? Well, before I had the opportunity to position the boat out and clear of any structure, the fish decided it was homesick, and before you knew it, we were in hand to hand combat in and around the pylons of the jetty.

After gaining and losing line for what seemed to be an eternity, all of a sudden, I feel the tell-tale signs the fish has snagged me. “That’s it, she is all over now” you would say, but I was determined to try my best to finish this fight in my favour. I quickly opened the spool on the reel to take the pressure off the line as sometimes this can fool the fish into thinking that the crisis is over, and the fish is now free, and more often than not, the fish will swim out the way they came in. On the other hand, though, the fish is now free to take more line, and this can have a detrimental effect obviously, but the way I look at it is, you are already snagged/stuck so what else is there to lose?


After some very theatrical boat maneuvering through the pylons, and me trying desperately to free the fish, it finally came out. I spared no time in moving the boat into open water so I could finish what was turning out to be quite the battle. With a couple more long runs and big head shakes, this fish still had me on my toes as it seemed the only way I was going to lose this fish was from my own doing, so don’t f@#k it up! As the battle was in its closing stages, I began to see colour, I had a couple ideas on what was hooked, but when it finally came to the surface, I must say, I was pretty stoked.

As a quality fingermark broke the surface, I got the landing net ready, but as expected, this chopper had other ideas, and went for one last ditch run just to try and snatch its freedom. As I positioned the net in the water and guided the fish in, it was finally done, the battle was over. I looked into the landing net and staring straight back at me was a fingermark that when put onto the brag mat went 70cm! “Ah man how good was this?!” I was pumped to say the least, as this battle of epic proportions had nearly everything from blistering runs into open water to being stuck fast in amongst the structure, whilst also having to free spool the reel and reposition the boat countless times. After snapping a few pics and cracking open a cold one, I released the fish straight into the esky as it was destined to be eaten that night. You just can’t get any fresher than that!


There are a few little points that can be taken out of this story, and the first one is to pay attention to your gear, in part your lures. I took the time and refurbished my soft vibes with new split rings and trebles and even gave a few a haircut as such. This will hopefully prolong the life of the lures a bit more, and well, if you are like me, you wouldn’t have been using them a lot, as the quality of the terminal tackle was poor. But now they are like brand new. Another point you can use is that when you are connected to a fish, and it snags you, try releasing the pressure off the line by either moving the rod closer to the snag or just opening the spool of the reel. In this situation, there really isn’t anything to lose as you are already snagged, and may lose your gear. Might as well try something. The last point is that you don’t always need heavy gear to land big fish. You do need a quality drag and a steely resolve and the right attitude, but other than that, why not try lighter gear? It makes landing a good fish even greater! Yagotta love that!