|Lazer Lures phenomenal growth as Australia's most popular metal baitfish lure has been the result of the contribution of talents by many people.|
When spinning, alter speed of retrieve to give the impression of the lure being a wounded bait fish and the predator fish thinking an easy catch. If trolling move rod forward and back, also alter the depth and speed. Try jigging by allowing lure to sink to bottom, raise rod quickly then let drop back again. Lure fishing is action fishing!
Vertical spinning beside large navigation markers leading into most Australian ports will yield fish.
This average school mackerel is a common target for Queensland anglers using vertical spinning techniques and lazers.
Mention spinning and most lure fishermen immediately envisage lures working in a horizontal plane. Vertical presentations are usually regarded as the realm of jigging. Vertical spinning is a technique that is a hybrid of traditional, horizontal spinning techniques and deep water jigging. The origins of this technique are uncertain but it first gained attention twenty years ago in central Queensland being used to catch big Spanish mackerel on offshore reefs. The lures for those Spaniards were fairly hefty chunks of metal up to 100 grams or so.
Since the vertical spinning concept became widely known it has been adapted to an host of different species in locations right around the country. Both tropical and temperate target species have proven responsive to this method of spinning. In Queensland this method has been very successfully adapted for use on most of the mackerel species , especially Spanish and school mackerel. It is also deadly on many of the trevally clan, commonly seen are giants, goldens, bludgers and bigeyes. Other tropical species that find vertical spinning to their liking include some of the better sportfish targets including queenfish, amberjack and cobia.
In more southern climes likely captures can be any of the traditional spinning targets like tailor, salmon, silver trevally and of course the most esteemed of them all the yellowtail kingfish. All of the listed species as well as numerous other incidentals have been caught on Lazers in varying sizes.Vertical spinning is a shallow offshore waters technique most often used in depths from about 15metres to 30 metres. Anywhere that predatory fish hunt is a likely location for a spot of vertical spinning. Around the rocky shoreline of the southern coast where the bottom drops away steeply and around rocky islands are top spots for kingfish and silver trevally. The drop offs around reef complexes are excellent places to score Spanish mackerel, giant and bludger trevally and where there is a strong tidal flow, queenfish as well. Queenies seem to revel in fast moving water.
The mechanics of the technique are not rocket science. Select your lure according to the depth of water, current flow and likely species. I most often use either 35gm, 50gm or 70gm lazers for species ranging from kingfish and trevally to amberjack, mackerel, queenfish, etc. Once the boat is in position slightly up current of the target area the lazer is dropped to the bottom in freefall. As soon as the lure touches down the retrieve is commenced, as fast as you can wind the reel handle. Don't worry, you cannot possibly wind so fast that a pelagic predator will be unable to catch that lazer. Species including school mackerel, and amberjack will often hit the lure as soon as it starts moving up from the bottom. Others like queenfish, spotted mackerel and, in some situations, yellowtail kingfish tend to hit the lure much closer to the surface, sometimes in full view of the angler. Fast retrieves give the appearance of a fleeing baitfish, triggering the chase response in most predators. Whilst jigging lazers will catch many reef species. This high-speed vertical spinning however is aimed purely at pelagic hunters.
Equipment needs to be sturdy to cope with the rigors of prolonged tussles with what are often large, fast swimming fish. Large threadline reels built for saltwater use or high speed overheads should be mounted on rods that will take a knock without damage like the venerable Ugly Stik range. It is common when fish like amberjack or kingfish hit the lazer for them to pull the rod down so violently that it hits the gunwale. No room for thin walled high modulus graphite here. Likewise the lures themselves need to be able to take a hard knock and extreme punishment. In almost 20 years of using lazers to catch thousands of sport and gamefish I've never had one fail. Hook eyelets and towing eyelets simply do not pull out of these tooth proof lures. Lure colour can make the world of difference on fussy fish. Different species have different colour preferences so it pays to carry a range in the tackle box. Mackerel often favour silver/chrome, or pearl but we've had great success with the red head model. Amberjack have shown a preference for pink and some of the trevallies often climb all over green.
A sounder is an essential item in a lot of subtropical locations where fish are thinly distributed enough to make pinpoint boat positioning necessary for success. To quote a well known ex football player, "its no use fishing where the fish ain't". Once fish are tracing on the sounder screen the lures can go over the side with a good chance of success. Maintain contact with the lure while it is sinking. School mackerel have a nasty habit of hitting lazers while they are fluttering downwards. That might sound OK but, if you have slack line while the lure sinks you will often be bitten off before you know you've had a strike.
Luckily there are plenty of permanent fish attracting areas where those without a sounder can still score with some regularity. Most of the large bays and harbours around our coastline have at least a few navigation markers that will attract fish. Substantial structures close to deep water are often the best with those huge pylon types being reliable in many areas. Particularly attracted to these channel markers are kingfish, amberjack, school mackerel and several species of trevally.
Whether you fish Sydney Harbour, Port Phillip Bay, Moreton Bay, Townsville Harbour, Weipa, Darwin Harbour or any other major port you'll find plenty of action by vertical spinning with lazers.
This amberjack like many of its cousins found a fast moving lazer irresistible.
Longtails and Lazers
Sight fishing to any species is favoured by a great majority of sportfishermen right around Australia. From trout to marlin, seeing the fish before the cast is made adds in indelible something extra to the thrill of the chase. In near offshore waters and the countless large bays around the coastline the various members of the tuna clan, along with the small mackerels constitute the bulk of the sightfishing opportunities. Of the various tuna species available none enjoys the same status among sportfishermen as the enigmatic longtail. Previously known as the northern bluefin tuna the longtail is a relatively common fish most often seen from 6 to 20 kilos but growing in excess of 35kg. High speed spinning to schools of breaking longtails is sheer bliss for many die hard sportfishermen and consists basically of casting metal, baitfish profiles on big threadline outfits.
There is no better lure on the market for spinning longtails than the superb 50gm Lazer from Javelin Lures. Sold in a wide array of colours the Lazer can be used to tempt longtails no matter what part of the country you are fishing and regardless of what the tuna are eating. The longtail's diet is cosmopolitan and ranges from tiny transparent "eyes" to garfish, anchovies, pilchards and flying fish. It is a simple matter of changing lure colour to match the mood of the fish as they will behave differently depending on what their food source is on the day. Very successful colours for longtails in Queensland waters are chrome with silver tape, blue with silver tape and blue with red tape. All those colours in the 50gm Lazer produce fish when other brands fail to score especially when the tuna are flighty, feeding on the run as they do so often.
Anglers in WA and the NT have reported success on the same colours as well as all white Lazers in both 50gm and 35gm sizes. Different locations seem to favour different colour combinations so it pays to have a range of colours in the tackle box to meet any demand, especially when travelling or fishing new waters.
To find your longtails you'll need to use your eyes well. Watch for birds feeding and for the splashes made by the feeding tuna themselves. As visually exciting as is spinning for longtails, it is also tactically challenging, especially in hard fished waters. The accepted approach is from upwind with, one hopes, the fish feeding towards the boat. There are times when the fish will feed with the wind, usually when the wind and tide are in opposition and the tide is the stronger influence. Those times require a slight change of tactic and the boat is idled to within casting range. Whichever approach is required on the day, the boat is kicked into neutral once the school is within casting range, that is a long way when throwing 50gm Lazers. Don't, I repeat don't turn the motor off, the sudden absence of motor noise at close range will often spook the fish.
Longtails will often sound within seconds of the boat coming within range so have rods ready with bail arms tripped ready to make the cast before the fish are within range, seconds count. Aim your cast to run along the front edge of the feeding school, allowing for the time the lure will be in flight. Newcomers often cast at the fish forgetting that in the four or five second it takes for the lure to cover the distance in the air, the fish have moved twenty or thirty metres. Close the bail arm just before the lure splashes down. This will help remove the belly from the line created by the arcing flight path of the lure. As soon as the lure hits the water start winding like crazy, you cannot wind too quickly for tuna.
If all goes well you'll soon be hooked to one of the hardest fighting inshore sportfish in the country. A ten kilo longtail on six kg tackle can take from 30 minutes to an hour to land on spin tackle. These are tough fish worthy of any angler's skills. The next time you see those birds wheeling and feeding on the horizon, race over and toss a 50gm Lazer into them, you'll be glad you did.
Bass on Metal
Step one, find a school of bass.
Step two, drop a Lazer over the side and hang on. This superb somerset bass was fooled by a 35 gram green Lazer.
Big-water bass have adopted different habits from those in the natural riverine environment.
Where stream dwelling bass are regularly encountered in water of only a couple of metres in depth, lake bass often mass at great depth.
Depths in excess of about seven metres preclude the use of traditional diving plugs so anglers have adopted strategies involving the use of sinking lures. Lures need to get down very quickly to effectively fish these deep schooling bass. Metal jigs have proven to be ideal for this task and none is more effective than the small Lazers. The 25 and 35 gram Lazers are superb lures for jigging bass in deep water lakes.
Jigging for bass involves a few distinct exercises. The first is finding the fish. Unlike looking for bass in the shallows we can't simply toss lures at snags, rocks or weed beds when fishing the depths. To find deep water bass we need to use a quality sounder to search suitable depths along the sunken stream channels. Most lakes will hold schools of bass in similar areas. Usually the schools will be suspending between six and nine metres below the surface in water at least ten metres in depth. In large lakes like Somerset, Wivenhoe and Glenbawn the fish will sometimes suspend at the same 6-9m depths over very deep water, up to thirty metres in depth.
Once the fish are found the fun can begin. Jigs, especially fairly heavy, fast sinking jigs like the Lazers are best fished on plug gear. Overhead reels make the descent easier to control than a fixed spool spinning reel. Bass will often hit a Lazer on the drop so we need to have the lure under control while it is falling. Thumbing the spool to slightly slow the lure's sink rate will keep everything tight so that any touch from a fish is easily felt.
If a hit is felt on the drop, lock your thumb onto the spool and engage the gears. You then know without a doubt that the Lazer is at the same depth as the fish. It is fairly common to see anglers unfamiliar with freshwater jigging working their lures far too vigorously. Remember that we aren't chasing kingies in fifty fathoms so there is no need to work the rod in huge arcs nor at high speed.
This handsome bass hit a 15 gram red Lazer in BP Dam. Note the type of tackle that is ideal for bass jigging.
Moderate upward sweeps of the rod to lift the lure about 80 to 90cm will impart quite enough movement to the Lazer to entice a strike. Dropping the rod tip too quickly on the down stoke will cause even greater problems. If the tip is lowered faster than the Lazer sinks slack will form in the line and strikes will be missed. It is also possible for the lure to tangle in the slack line, fouling the hooks.
Once a fish is hooked it will often trigger others in the school to feed. While fish are being hooked a school of bass will often follow them and stay with a drifting boat for as long as it is in deep enough water. If you allow the boat to drift into the shallows the school may depart. The basic style remains the same whether the fish are on the bottom or suspended over deep water and needs to be varied little from lake to lake. In some areas it is a good tactic to stop the Lazer regularly while it is being dropped to the bottom. This pause regularly triggers strikes when a continuous descent goes unharassed. One theory is that a pause allows fish that are following the Lazer a chance to position themselves for the strike. Another is that the lure appears more vulnerable as if it is tiring, making it easy prey. Whatever the reasons, schooling bass certainly respond well to jigged lures. Personal favourites are the 25 and 35 gram models in any colour as long as it is green.
Fish these on medium plug gear consisting of a fairly stiff rod between 1.65 and 2.1m with a matching overhead reel. Light GSP lines like 8lb Platypus Super Braid or 12lb Bionic Braid are ideal as they give unsurpassed contact with the Lazer regardless of the depth being fished.
Remember, there is no better lure for jigging Aussie bass than the Aussie made Lazer.
Fishing for Tailor
The 25 gram Lazer is ideal for spinning tailor in estuaries or from a boat.
This is part of a catch of quality tailor taken in the surf on Main Beach on the Lazer 50gm.
Spinning a shallow, low tide gutter on Bribie Island with 35gm Lazers fished on the standard sidecast outfit worked very well.
There is no doubt that the tailor is one of the most sought after local recreational fish species. Each winter and spring there is swing in anglers' attention to the tailor as they undertake their annual spawning migration up the east coast to the northern end of Fraser Island. Fishing for these amenable fish is undertaking a slowly paced evolution. Most anglers targeting tailor a couple of decades ago used garfish for bait. The availability of WA or blue pilchards changed anglers' habits and these soft, oily baitfish became the basis of most tailor techniques.
The use of pilchards is still popular today but with the decreasing numbers of pilchards available for harvest and their increasing use as a food fish is having a couple of effects. They are becoming both more expensive and a less attractive option for environmentally conscious anglers. We know that the unchecked harvest of pilchards will certainly have detrimental effects upon the predatory angling species, like tailor.
There is, fortunately, another technique for angling tailor that doesn't rely on the harvest of any baitfish. Spinning for tailor has had a strong following amongst sporting anglers for at least forty years. This form of fishing for tailor is possibly the most practical and is certainly very effective. Practical because one doesn't have to carry huge amounts of bait and lures don't need to be kept on ice or away from thieving gulls. It is a very wise practice to carry a few tailor lures when chasing other species like bream, dart or mulloway to enable an angler to take advantage of an unexpected appearance of a school of tailor. Effective because unlike bait there is no delay between landing a fish and making the next cast into a feeding school. Also if a fish throws the hook while being played the lure resumes fishing immediately, no wasted time retrieving to re-bait.
Spinning for tailor doesn't differ greatly from bait fishing for them. Retrieve speeds are faster but apart from that spinning can be used to good effect in the same areas and conditions where anglers fish bait. The most effective lure type for tailor spinning is the humble metal jig. Of the plethora of metal lures on the market none is more successful than the Queensland made Lazer.
One of the best of the Lazer range for tailor is the 25 gram model, being heavy enough for comfortable casting, yet small enough to appeal to fish that may be feeding on diminutive forage like anchovies. If the tailor are accompanied by fussy feeders like bonito, or small tuna it may be a wise move to try the smaller 15 or even 10 gram Lazers to score a mixed bag. Alternatively when casting from the shore to distant gutters a change up to the 35 or 50 gram models may be necessary to achieve the required distance. While fishing the surf beaches of Bribie Island this winter local lure tossers have been very successful with Lazers from 25 to 50 grams and, although it surprises many, have consistently outfished anglers using WA pilchards.
Anglers fishing breakwalls often use heavy 35 and 50gm Lazers to reach distant schools of tailor.
As previously mentioned the locations for spinning are the same as for bait fishing, close gutters in the surf and rocky headlands or breakwalls are all prime tailor spots. Simply cast across the gutter and make a medium paced retrieve. If you see fish following the lure without taking, increasing the retrieve speed should make the difference.
When searching for fish spread your casts across the reachable water so no two fall in the same spot. Covering the water in this manner is a far more effective search pattern than working the same area repeatedly. This method of working casts around the clock face is applicable to both beach and rock fishing.
Casting Lazers for tailor from the rocks or beach will produce plenty of action. Give it a try this season and see for yourself.
Lazer Lures – Tarpon and other species - Fishing Article by GARY ‘OBY’ O’BRYAN
So you’ve done your weeks work and you feel like goin fishing on the weekend. You live in South East Qld on the Gold Coast, so the Broadwater and Seaway is your day plan. Its good to have an idea of what you’re going to target, but also leave your options open to several species. By this I mean be ready to ‘target’ several species. Personally I use 90-95% of lures and live and cut baits the other 5-10% of the time. I enjoy the more active style of fishing and observing what’s going on around me and below. Obviously a good decent sounder is required for the latter, and a keen eye for the first, and most of all an understanding of what species are most abundant at present, and local knowledge on where. This comes down to reading local articles in magazines, the paper, mates, tv reports and tackle stores. And if you’re a keen angler, this just happens from passion anyway.
A nice flathead
Tarpon Fishing with Lazer Lures
At the present moment there is such a big following of the soft plastic style of fishing, which is very effective when practiced and perfected and I’ve done my fair share on a large host of species. But these days to broaden my fun, I’ve been bringing back metal slicers and jigs into the daily equation, experiencing more faster and erratic deeper presentations to spice it up. Heading out early morning to a spot where Taylor are around doesn’t take too long to get connected when casting and spinning back with 25gm Lazers, or trolling them around till you spot them, or they just start jumping on while looking. 3 knots on average on a good cast back behind the boat does the trick. But also while you’re trolling around, keep an eye on the sounder for deeper fish. Once a good showing is found, simply wind in your Lazer, idle the motor, and free spool down in amongst the showing of fish, once your lure bumps bottom, quickly shut the bail, keep a tight line and give the metal Lazer a couple of erratic jigs up, say 1-2 & 1-2-3. Lower again but keep a tight line on the way back down to feel a distinct bump! If so, strike firm & quickly, if not keep repeating this momentum and technique while drifting along with the tide. It’s amazing what can connect to these small profile metal jigs. Straight up you could be connected to just about anything that swims. Taylor, trevally, tarpon, mackerel, bream, flathead, mangrove jacks, cod, and moses perch all can’t say no. Even squid grab them and if you’re quick to slow down and retrieve gently they can be boated. If so, grab a squid jig and get a few more. Why not!
Back to jigging, if you lose the showing of fish on your sounder (arches, lines etc), go back to where they were first seen and repeat. Generally speaking, a Graphite rod, braided lines and good trace line is the go. I use for most of my fun a 7’ T-Curve 2-5kg with 10lb fireline and 15lb Vanish trace. Marry that rod to a 2500 Shimano Symetre or Stradic and your setup will be spot on and will start to feel like a direct telephone line down to your lure: ‘Go on, say hello – dare ya!!” Really you can damn near feel the fish looking at your lure.
Tarpon caught on Lazer Lure in Southport Seaway
To target Tarpon in the Seaway, many guys I know, and talking with others, all seem like they’re hard to get connected with, as Tarpon are fussy to all sorts of presentations. Fairdinkum, they just absolutely love a Lazer 20gm slug down deep near the bottom, or just up a meter or two jigged in that erratic 1-2 or 1-2-3 up, and tight line down/lower just slow enough to feel in contact with the lure and to stop if fowling up. If you get a bump on the way back down, once again strike briskly and just firm, not right off. The 20gm Lazer slug is the same profile size as the 10gm but fatter and is good in water 30-40ft deep, for more feel, less flutter. Find out where they’ve been active or hangin around (local knowledge). Along the south wall is a good place to try in 30-40ft but develop the technique of free spooling the slug straight down quickly till hits bottom, then bail over and drift along in the tide with your motor idling so you can idle forward or back from the rocks to keep you side on to the tide in required depth and productive zone. While jigging, practice is the best key to learning how not to snag the hard and rocky bits as you drift along. At no stage let the lure drag along the bottom, simply know where the bottom is by often letting the metal touch down briefly then straight back to jig up 1-2. Slow back down, just keep it going like that. When hooked they can be left down deepish for a while to tire them a bit and slowly worked up, but at any stage can scream off and up clearing the water and throwing the lure off – they’re experts at, believe me!. When Tarpon do head up quick, wind like hell to try and beat them to the top or else slack line, metal lure, head shakes and cartwheels spells – ‘see ya later’. Good luck around this spot.
Mangrove Jack caught on Lazer Lure in Southport Seaway
Also be ready for Trevally of all species, and also good Mangrove Jacks along here doing the same thing with 25gm Lazers and such sizes. I’ve landed plenty along these walls with this technique around 1-2 kg and quite a few better pushing 3-4kg. But Tarpon, they’re not. If it feels like something different, it usually is, so give it your best shot.
Another mention while using the 20gm slug amongst the Tarpon is quite often along these walls, smallish Mac Tuna and the like, burst the surface around you so you and ya mate keep a sharp eye on what’s going on around you. If so wind that slug up fast and cast to them on the edges and wind good and proper – bang! Straight on to another worthy speedy ‘never say die’ fight. Now if its getting busy in the Seaway and a bit messy , head off to the Broadwater to the next spot for a session on the rubbers to relax a little, but keep that other rod and Lazer ready all the time for anything!!
You can be anywhere in Australia and use these techniques that I have mentioned, and have great success. Just keep putting yourself where the fish are, keep developing the technique, have faith and confidence in what you’re doing and get that camera ready!!