With so much written about blade lures recently, I was keen to find out which fish react well to these lures in the tropics. I was inspired after an article I read in a Far North Queensland fishing publication that spoke about barra eating tiny blades. Unfortunately the article was poorly written, didn’t make a great deal of sense and was borderline far fetched. Nevertheless, I was inspired and knew that the queenies and trevally would love them.
During a hot mangrove jack and barra bite, the shallow running bibbed lures were replaced with blades – not a single touch. Barracuda, trevally and pikey bream loved them but jacks and barra were’nt so keen. Not to worry, it was only my first try.
My next mission was to try blades out on queenfish. These things love anything that swims and shiny, vibrating bait fish profiles were bound to get smashed.
With a mate and his wife up from Brisbane, we tossed blades at structure in the middle of the day and had a ball. I managed to put a dent in my blade collection as big queenfish love to run straight back under structure but the fish that we landed were great sport.
The bigger TT ½ oz Switchblades were perfect for the job and surprisingly, purple went off.
The popularity of blade lures is largely due to bream anglers down south, so I was eager to see how well they went on northern pikey bream. I had plenty of success flicking them in the creeks but was actually chasing barra and jacks and catching bream as a by-catch.
It was time to attempt to target them on open sand flats, where the blades proved deadly!
I found that working them with a slow retrieve spooked more fish than I hooked but when I slowed down to the point that the lure was dragging the bottom the bream couldn’t resist.
Because of the tow point being in the middle of the lure’s back, they get dragged over the sand sideways, which resembles a crab walking along the sand. Natural colours in either 1/8oz or 1/6oz were the go; even my three-year-old landed a nice bream with the crab technique.
Taking the sand flats fishing a step further, I grabbed a mate and headed out into the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. From the beach, we were able to sight cast at cruising fish; while we enjoyed a little success it was very frustrating. Barracuda loved them but ‘cudas are viewed as the toad fish of the north. Schools of giant herring and queenfish turned their noses up at them, even though the queenies in the river loved them.
It was the golden trevally of the open flats that had our rods buckled. Goldens cruise the flats looking for bait fish and crabs so it was no surprise that they jumped all over the blades.
It’s early days in my blade fishing exploits but there’s no doubt these lures are a great option for many fish in the north. Upgrading the trebles affects the lures’ action; as blades are all about strong vibration, using lighter tackle has been a better option.
You win some and lose some but having a huge queenfish giving you curry on 6kg tackle is great fun!
Read more from Mark Ward in Reports.