KEYS TO THE NORTH
The one thing Ronnie Coleman will never have, is the flexibility of the new Berkley PowerBait Fan Tail Shrimp. But lightweight is a key to success in the north especially as we approach the cooler months and fish such as barramundi start to become picky with their food.
The first thing I noticed when I tried the Fan Tail Shrimp is the amount of movement you can achieve with the lure, even when rigged with little to no weight at all. Small sharp flicks with the rod tip had the lure spring to life instantly, imitating a real-life shrimp flicking through the water.
A Fan Tail Shrimp rigged weedless looks and performed as well as anything else I’ve used. This is one of my favourite rigging techniques when chasing barra and jacks as the water is often dirty and you can’t always see what you’re throwing at. Having the ability to cast into heavy structure and hover the lure in front of a fish for as long as you can, has its advantages over other plastics that need to be retrieved to get any action out of. I also found rigging the Fan Tail Shrimp on a standard jig head to reach fish sitting in deeper holes was a successful way to target barra in certain areas.
During bigger tides up here in the North, barramundi will use the extra height of water to their advantage and move through drains to gain access to salt flats to feed on mullet and prawns in one to two foot of water. With the bait being trapped until the tide falls, their escape is a lot more predictable making them an easy target for predators as they must pass back through the narrow drains during the fall of the tide when the flats empty. Given that the water is shallow, and the fish are mainly feeding on prawns, it was easy pickings using the Fan Tail Shrimp which perfectly ‘matched the hatch’.
A recent session fishing a drain saw myself and a good mate land well over 40 barramundi ranging from 60cm to 80cm, losing some bigger fish lost due to thrown hooks mid jump. Of course, there were also a few other undesirable fish like giant herring and tarpon who too fancied the look and taste of the Fan Tail Shrimp.
We rigged the 4” Fan Tail Shrimp using unweighted Owner Beast hooks in a 4/0 size and lightly weighted on a 1/8oz Berkley Nitro jighead to work the shallow water effectively. We tried as many colours as we could in the range and found they were all as effective as each other as the water was reasonably clear.
The PowerBait Fan Tail Shrimp is available in three sizes, 2”, 3” & 4” and 6 great colours – Houdini, Pink Glitter, Camo, Cappuccino, Pearl White & Smelt.
They’ve proven themselves to be a winner on the northern species and I know a lot of southern anglers will love these for jew, flathead, bream, bass, golden perch and anything else that eats shrimp. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to new products from Berkley, there is always something for every situation.
By Ryan Tully – Berkley Pro Team