EXPLOSIVE FLATS FISHING
Well, it’s always exciting when you get to test a new lure and there’s nothing more rewarding than catching a fish on one. Berkley have just released two new profiles to their ever-expanding range of PowerBait plastics. The 2022 lineup includes the PowerBait Fan Tail Shrimp, PowerBait Craw, new size additions to the Fork Tail Minnow and new colour additions across more of the range, and let me tell you, they are the bomb!
I’ve been testing two of the new shapes for the last couple of months and really liked what I’ve experienced so far, with some great results coming from my local estuary. The first trip with the new PowerBait, I set out on the shallow sandbanks targeting flathead with the Fan Tail Shrimp and what an explosive session it was.
Only a few days before I found a good patch of fish in a shallow area in the system I planned to fish. Going for a walk at low tide is often how I locate fish such as flathead, as their lays in the sand are obvious and easy to spot. You can see which direction they were laying and it’s often easy to read the water and why they were there. After taking in a good visual of the area, I return to the same spot on the high tide, usually throwing a few surface lures about.
This time my plan was different, I was going to cast The Fan Tail Shrimp which has a unique almost flat shape to it with a segmented tail which allows it to glide over shallow sandbars and weed beds and with a gentle hop creates an action that that flathead can’t resist!
One method I used, was to rig the Shrimp almost weightless and make a cast up onto the sand high and dry and slowly role the lure back into the water’s edge where I saw the flathead lays, nailing a few in some unbelievably shallow water. These spots are normally too shallow for a traditional plastic or hard body lure to work, but the lightly weighted Shrimp looked too good to pass up. The Fan Tail Shrimp also worked well in deeper water with a jigging action normally used with Minnows and Jerkshads.
What I was most impressed with, was the way the Fan Tail Shrimp swims. Quite often I grab a lure and cast it into a pool or some clear water to study it’s action, so that’s exactly what I did. The Fan Tail Shrimp with its segmented fan tail gives it an irresistible prawn like action that accounted for many estuary species including bream, mulloway, flathead, and bass. The Fan Tail Shrimp comes in three sizes – 2, 3 and 4” as well as 6 proven colours to suit all water and lighting conditions.
After a successful session using the Fan Tail Shrimp, it was time to bring out the Craw. The Craw is available in two sizes – 2.5 & 3.5” with six great colours to choose from.
This little crayfish imitation lure held its own and worked a treat on the bream and bass. I found the design of the Craw is suited to be worked with a finesse approach, by going light, and working slow. With pressure control surfaces on its pincers that give it a unique action, along with its mad crayfish profile, I found it to be the perfect lure especially in a ‘go light to get the bite’ situation.
When casting the Craw around bridge pylons, oyster racks, timber snags and over the top of weed beds for bream and bass higher up in the estuary system, I’d cast at the snag or structure and let it sink with the occasional twitch and pause. The Craws little pincers do all the work, giving it an almost lifelike action replicating a crayfish or saltwater yabbie.
Both the PowerBait Fan Tail Shrimp and the PowerBait Craw have made a permanent spot in my lure collection, and I can’t wait to see what other species eat them, especially when I make my annual pilgrimage up north.
By Brian Perry – Berkley Pro Team