How to

Go Hard for Reds

Fishing plastics for snapper has boomed in popularity over the past five years. But it now seems that softies aren’t the only lures that reds eat. A quick session fishing reef systems out from Ballina, on the NSW North Coast, earlier this week revealed some interesting developments in the whole catching snapper on artificials story.

I’m planning a full feature article in an upcoming edition of Fisho but thought I’d give you a sneak preview here of what I’m talking about. I spent all day Tuesday on the water with Michael Starkey, who with his father Paul runs Frogleys Offshore, a Ballina-based tackle company which distributes Fuji, Gamakatsu, Megabass and Atomic products.

The top shelf lures from Megabass, a Japanese company known for its ultra realistic patterns and high quality manufacturing processes, are commonly used for bream and bass here in Australia. Most of the Megabass lures were developed in Japan for the large mouth bass market, which is huge in the US and Japan. These are very high quality lures which are deservedly popular on the tournament scene both here and overseas. Being a keen snapper fisho, as well as a champion tournament angler, saw Michael Starkey begin experimenting with Megabass lures over his local reddie grounds.

Results have been impressive. He and Paul have caught some cracking reds, mainly on Megabass lipless crankbaits. Michael’s also designed a new range of lures to be called “Semi Hards”. I got to play around with a couple of prototypes and there’s no doubt that they work really well on snapper (as well as the usual reef suspects like red rock cod and sergeant baker!).

Fishing with Michael and good mate Dan Burgess from Mako sunglasses aboard Paul Starkey’s well-appointed 760 Haines Hunter Patriot with twin 175 E-TECs, saw us snare some nice reds, mainly pannies with a couple of knobby headed specimens thrown in, plus a few fish that were either dropped or blew us away, before heading out wider to chase kings on jigs.

Stay tuned to an upcoming edition of Fisho for more details on these exciting new Semi Hards from Atomic, as well as successful techniques and lure patterns you can use when targeting snapper on hard bodies.


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