Berkley have developed a knack of making extremely boring looking lures that work extremely well. It really goes to show that they have a focus and understanding on what the fish are going to be attracted to and aren’t as concerned with what the angler thinks will look really cool. Clearly, at the end of the day, if it catches fish word will get around pretty quickly and that will be its greatest selling point.
Recently we reviewed the Berkley Turtleback Worm, which much like the Fry, is a pretty boring looking soft bait yet highly effective. The Fry is relatively shapeless, has no flashy colours, realistic eyes or anything overly detailed or special….it doesn’t even have a tail that flutters, but it works, it has now consistently worked targeting bream on multiple trips better than anything else, and you can imagine writing for a fishing mag how many soft plastics we have out with us. So what kind of action do you need to impart on the Fry to get bream to hit it? Not a lot, and this is the trick to it. We found success by first of all using really light jig heads and of course really light leader at around 4lb. We were using 1/32 oz Nitro jig heads and we didn’t move to anything heavier.
If you’re fishing more than a metre it’s a slow sink and patience is required, you then need to lift the Fry slowly and gently with slight twitches, in the same way you would a jerk shad but everything smaller and lighter. You want to make it look like it’s struggling to get off the bottom, almost makes it to the surface and then-gives up, almost dies and sinks- this is where the bream will swallow it. You need to watch your line as the bream will suck in the Fry and spit it out pretty quickly, so look for those twitches in your line and be ready to strike. I recommend a hi-vis braid for this reason. It’s slow, finesse, somewhat painstakingly gentle fishing, but it works and the challenge and the multiple captures are worth it. If you look at the environment you’re targeting bream in (black bream down south that is) its muddy, wet, over grown, vegetation and scrub, or muddy farmland that’s boggy and rich in vegetation. The soil on the banks must be full of worms and grub like things that bream would gorge on all day and the Fry with its slow sink aided by its flat paddle tail would perfectly imitate a worm or grub floating around lost in the lake or river. The added advantage of the Gulp scent and its texture will give you that extra few milliseconds to sink the hook!
While using baits like this isn’t for everybody, you will definitely catch a lot fish with the Fry and you’ll catch more than one. I suggest you have a packet or two ready for when all else fails if you’re not willing to place these baits in your top five. I expect that the Fry will work on a multitude of species but you’ll just need to change the retrieve a little from what you’d do when targeting bream.