Prawns, Shrimp, Cherabyn and Yabbies are a staple in the diets of a whole host of inshore, estuarine and freshwater species. The vast distribution of these prey animals enables the shrimp to be deployed in a wide variety of habitats across the country, freshwater lakes, estuarine systems even offshore.
The newly released Zerek Shrimp has hit the ground running, already boasting a wide range of meritorious captures. The prime targets, including but not limited to Barramundi, Mangrove Jacks, King Threadfin Salmon, Blue Threadfin Salmon, Estuary Cod, Golden Snapper, Trevally and Queenfish in the North. While in the South of the country, they have been successful when targeting Bream, Flathead, Snapper, Bass, and Cod.
Available in 3″ and 4″ the colour range of the Shrimps primarily consist of natural imitations, with a couple of proven bite inducing colours thrown in for good measure. These natural presentations enable anglers to target wary fish in clear waters. Which can be the difference between a great day and a donut.
When targeting Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon on shallow, cool, winter flats, saw us deploy these lures when all other offerings were simply spooking the fish. I sincerely doubt we would have had any success with conventional presentations, but time and time again the subtle lures were engulfed by the spooky fish.
When deployed into thick timber snag piles these prawns were smashed on the drop. Being rigged weedless allowed the lure to be casts far further into the snags than any hardbody, this resulted in a lot of fish being hooked that simply would never have seen any other lures. Often hooking the fish was much easier than landing them in this country.
Retrieves on this lure vary, depending on location, bottom construct, fish species and mood. When fishing open areas I found working the lure very slowly along the bottom, periodically flicking upwards sharply to gain the attention of passing fish. This is very similar to the behaviour of a natural prawns in a flight response. Much of the time when casting into tight structure, the lure landing was enough to gain attention of resident fish, and the Shrimp was struck whilst slowly falling through the water column. When fishing rock bars and deeper holding schools of fish, a vertical jigging retrieve was effective. Due to the subtle nature of the lure, proximity to the target was paramount, so fishing the lure directly in the sounder beam became a necessity.
The light weight coming standard on the lure may seem to limit its efficacy in deeper applications, however it is simply a matter of chin rigging an appropriate sized ball sinker to the plastic to facilitate fishing the depths in heavy current. Whilst i did not try the method, the lure would also respond well to drop-shot rigging. The shrimp while appearing to be quite delicate is actually deceptively durable. The weedless rigging often saw the lure be pushed over the hook and up the leader through the water pressure produced by a surging fish. In this situation is was a simple task to push the plastic back down into place on the hook, once it was removed from its often firm lock in the corner of the jaw. The only downside I found during testing was larger fish often distorted the light gauge weedless hook, particularly on heavier casting tackle. After several occurrences the hook was simply replaced and back in action. The versatility and efficacy of this lure ensures its place in the tackle box of anglers across the nation.