Moving from Victoria to Western Australia four years ago offered up a whole new world of fishing. A huge range of new locations, species and techniques have been extremely enjoyable and offered some challenges and new ways I’ve had to approach fishing, even for species I’m experienced with such as snapper.
The first thing I did when I got here was hit the local independent tackle stores, where I saw some vast differences between the gear here and back home in Vic. The main difference was the range of jigging gear, ranging from shallow water to ultra-deep that we don’t see in Vic – WA really has a strong grasp on deep-water fishing that is yet to hit Victoria.
One name that caught my eye was Vexed, an innovative brand originating in Western Australia designed by angler and fishing industry stalwart Paul Willis. The brand is focused on slow-pitch jigs and unique and original designs that blend jig heads used for soft plastics with dead bait applications.
When I first saw one of their newer creations, the Bottom Meat, a jig head/bait rig hybrid, I was intrigued by its unique appearance and I must admit I questioned how effective this design would be. I bought a few upon recommendation from Luke at Tackle West here in WA, who vouched for their effectiveness on snapper and other bottom species that anglers target here in Perth.
The Bottom Meat consists of a relatively heavy jig head (available from 20g through to 1kg) painted in bright luminescent patterns adorned with a series of three heavy-gauge hooks that are joined via Kevlar assist cord. The lead hook is a circle hook followed by two Octopus hooks with a lumo plastic skirt hanging over the top.
After using the Bottom Meat in the field I can definitively attest to how effective it is when targeting snapper, and how extremely easy it is to use.
You simply feed a bait over the three hooks such as a strip bait or an octopus/squid tentacle and send it down, easy as that. They work best fished from a drifting boat with the rod in a rod holder out the back and the jig kept around a metre off the bottom. In a heavy drift you will need to keep letting more line out to keep it in the zone. Baits such as squid and tuna fillets are popular, but I’ve found a fillet of something fresh you’ve caught as bycatch on the day works best.
The three hooks allow for a multitude of bait styles and understandably provide an outstanding hook-up rate. These are working very well here on WA snapper and as a Victorian I believe they will work offshore in other states on snapper and even in bays such as Western Port and Port Phillip.
While it may seem strange to a Victorian (and maybe even to a West Australian who isn’t familiar with the Bottom Meat), it’s a highly effective rig that any angler bait fishing the bottom should look into.
Words & Images: Jason Linardos
Distributed by: Vexed Fishing