With the growing fishing pressure on impoundment lakes along the east coast of Queensland, catching barramundi is getting more and more difficult. However, using more finesse techniques such as small suspending jerkbaits can get an extra bite or two through the day when it gets tough. One of my favorites, which is a relatively new lure to the market, is the Samaki Redic DS80.
Over the past two years I have put these lures to the test through the ABT Barramundi Tour and learnt a lot about how to fish these smaller than usual barramundi lures in various conditions. In tournament situations you are faced with heavily pressured fish due to the amount of pre-fishing that is done in the days leading up to the events. Due to this, I have learnt the different ways to catch more fish and bigger than average fish when these bites get tough. With the help of Garmin Panoptix Livescope, I have been able to study both the characteristics of the Redic and the way these shut-down fish react to them.
This lure took Samaki years of development to get right, and it has managed to create a perfectly suspending lure with the right terminal tackle. Being such a small lure used for brutal Australian natives, the first factor you need is strong, sharp hooks. Out of the box, one of the first features you notice on the Samaki Redic are the super-sharp, four-times strength, circle-style hooks. These are designed perfectly for impoundment barramundi in that they are so sharp you don’t miss fish that are short-swiping the lure, and it doesn’t take much pressure to get the hooks stuck in the fish. The curved tip on the treble hooks is similar to circle hooks, so they hook up right in the corner of the jaw or right next to the tongue of the fish when it sucks the lure down in its bony mouth. This circle-style hook shape also helps to stop the fish from jumping off during the fight.
The DS80 Redic is seen as quite a small lure for these huge impoundment fish, so you must run the correct equipment to use it to its full potential. It’s quite easy to adjust the depth range of the lure with different leader materials such as fluorocarbon and monofilament. Out of the box, the lure runs at an average depth of about ten feet. When I’m faced with shut-down fish that are sitting deeper than usual, I change to a 50lb fluorocarbon leader, and with this you can push this lure to 15ft and still have a suspending lure, giving the fish something they haven’t seen before. Fluorocarbon leader is a sinking material, so on a long cast it will slowly sink your braid. With short, sharp twitches and long pauses in between, you can give the fluorocarbon leader material a chance to pull your main line deeper, which allows your lure to run further down in the water column yet still suspend. On the other hand, when you need to fish the Redic on a shallow flat, changing to a 50lb monofilament leader will help the lure track at a more consistent depth due to its floating characteristics.
Another key component is your rod and reel outfit. It is crucial to have a long, lightweight rod that’s going to help you effortlessly cast this lure. I run a Samaki C12 Medium Heavy, seven-foot baitcast combo paired with a good-quality 200-size casting reel. These lightweight, long rods load up throughout most of the rod with heavy fish, which helps with landing the fish. Using heavier grade rods tend to pull and bend hooks out of fish. When using such small lures for giant barramundi, it’s key to give the fish the time it needs to come in. Extremely tight drags and locking your thumb on the spool usually ends up in fish biting through the leader or even bending hooks. Even with the strongest gear, these giant fish are just unstoppable. When fishing timber and tree lines, a commonly known technique of landing barra is called free-spooling. Once these fish go through the trees, your best option is to let your spool go completely slack and the fish will often slow down or sit in the one spot. This gives you time to untangle your line through the trees then get back into them once free.
When the Samaki Redic is fished with a few of these tricks, you often see larger, older fish being caught on them. This lure has an incredible fish-catching ability and I have seen many metre-plus fish caught on these lures. If you haven’t tried the Samaki Redic range, give them a go – they have a huge selection of sizes, depths and colours for all species around Australia.
Words & Images: Tommy Woodray
Distributed By: Bluefish Imports