The world of saltwater stickbaits is vast and varies in price and quality, from poorly built models that are best left in a bargain bin through to hand-made lures that can cost more than $200. A stickbait needs good design for it to swim well and be effective, and while they may look simple, getting it right so it swims with an enticing action is something many stickbaits on the market don’t quite achieve. You also don’t want a lure that requires too much input from the angler to get a good action – getting a stickbait to swim well isn’t the easiest thing to master, but neither should it be hard or tedious.
I was recently sent the the Yo-Zuri 3D Twitchbait to review, which has what I believe are all the right attributes of a great stickbait. First off is the holographic internal mirror finish. It’s unique to Yo-Zuri and an amazing design – not only is it highly scratch-resistant but provides realism and a heap of flash to grab the attention of fish near and far. There are some great colours in the range that imitate natural baitfish species.
The Twitchbait comes in four sizes from 70mm to 130mm. The smaller sizes of 70mm and 90mm would be well suited to smaller flats in the estuaries or freshwater, while the bigger sizes of 110mm and 130mm are great offshore in the saltwater. I used the lure on offshore flats, where they were very well suited. I also think the lure would perform well when cast at bait balls and busting fish such as tuna or mackerel. The Twitchbait also has an inbuilt ball bearing that gives it a nice knock as it swims, attracting fish with sound.
The Twitchbait is a slow-sinking stickbait in a small baitfish profile. This creates a great side-to-side, wobbling action that attracts a range of fish. With the standard hooks on the stickbait it is a very slow sink, almost suspending, so you can get the odd surface pop and bubble trail off the lure if you’re working it aggressively. The standard hooks on the lure are a little on the light side for heavy offshore stickbaiting and are more suited to light flats fishing. I retro-fitted the Twitchbait with heavier gauge hooks and it still fished well. Once the hooks are upgraded, the lure sinks faster and it becomes much harder to slash the lure on the surface and create a bubble trail mid-retrieve, although the sub-surface wobble remains strong.
Its castability is great and at 130mm the size is perfect for a big range of fish species, and the sub-surface action appeals to a range of reef species. Due to this I chose to cast the lures over the reef flats of the Great Barrier Reef for the review. Straight away I was impressed with the action and the fish weren’t far away, either. Coral trout, mackerel, cod and giant trevally happily climbed all over the twitch bait without hesitation. I was using the 130mm size on the reef flats as I was targeting bigger reef fish to GTs. Running the standard hooks was OK for a fish or two on a PE 5 combo but then the trebles needed changing. I fished the lure on 50lb braid and 100lb leader, and the castability and action were great. The lure works well on a constant wind or retrieve, but for me the best results came from long sweeps with the rod before winding up the slack and sweeping again. These sweeps excite the fish as the lure darts around quickly. The pauses as you wind up the line give the fish a perfect chance to inhale the lure as it sits.
The Twitchbait has a highly durable build and handled some really nice fish with ease. Retailing at around $25, the Twitchbait offers excellent bang for buck that’s not going to break the bank. The lures are a great option for anyone getting into stickbaiting or anyone fishing dangerous areas of structure where losing lures is a given. Overall performance was outstanding for the price and managed to bring plenty of nice fish onboard.