Dr Paul Garner Fan­tas­tic plas­tics!

These cheap and ef­fec­tive soft lures are easy to rig, and will cover every predator fish­ing sce­nario

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

LURE fish­ing for both fresh­wa­ter and salt­wa­ter preda­tors is boom­ing.

It’s no longer un­usual to see an­glers fish­ing with drop shot gear along canals, or LRF fa­nat­ics among the kiss-me-quick-clad hol­i­day­mak­ers at the sea­side.

While I love all lure fish­ing, hunt­ing pike with ar­ti­fi­cial baits has to be my first love, sim­ply be­cause it is a very ef­fi­cient way of catch­ing big fish from a va­ri­ety of venues. On canals, fast flow­ing rivers, gravel pits or gi­ant reser­voirs, soft plas­tics will catch pike, and rather than play­ing sec­ond fiddle to dead­baits, lures can of­ten outscore the real thing.

As with all baits we have our per­sonal favourites, and when it comes to lures mine have to be soft plas­tics. Not only are they cheap to buy, but they are just so ver­sa­tile – a real Swiss army knife of the lure world.

Most need rig­ging your­self, adding a weighted jig hook and maybe a stinger hook rigged be­hind it to hook more fish. Rig­ging the lures your­self of­fers flex­i­bil­ity, as you can change the weight and the po­si­tion of the hooks to suit the venue of choice.

Most com­pa­nies will also of­fer their best-sell­ing lures ready-rigged, ideal if you are just start­ing out and want a sure-fire bait that will work straight from the packet.


Every lure com­pany of­fers thou­sands of dif­fer­ent lures, so how do you know which ones are right for you? For­tu­nately, with soft plas­tics we can quickly nar­row the choice down.

Size is the most im­por­tant fac­tor. I go for lures in the 5ins-7ins (12cm-18cm) range. They are easy to cast and will catch pike from a few pounds up to record-break­ers.

Ninety per cent of the soft lures I use for pike have a pad­dle tail that im­parts plenty of ac­tion to them. Other styles are mainly de­signed for zan­der and perch.

The big­ger the tail, the wilder the ac­tion, and nor­mally the more the pike will like them!

A big spoon-shaped tail will also tend to make the body of the lure roll from side-to-side. This cer­tainly doesn’t repli­cate the swim­ming ac­tion of a prey fish, but the pike do find it hard to re­sist. Pad­dle tails cre­ate mas­sive amounts of vi­bra­tion, which pike can sense us­ing their lat­eral line from many me­tres away.

The other 10 per cent of my lures are big grubs, with long curly tails that rip­ple en­tic­ingly on the re­trieve. For some rea­son

I carry a range of colours for dif­fer­ent wa­ter con­di­tions. The pad­dle-shaped tails give these lures their vig­or­ous ac­tion.

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