By Darren Weda
I’ve always thought about what my answer would be to that common podcast/interview question “if you could only use one lure for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
For me that would be a really tough one to answer as I do so many different types of fishing, and target so many different species, so a single lure would just not be possible for all of it.
So to make it an easier question to answer, I’ve generalised it down to my favourite style of fishing, which is light tackle estuary fishing. And then the answer is simple!
Soft plastics are by far the most effective and versatile lure you can use in the estuary, and in my opinion the best allrounder is a natural coloured 2.5” minnow like Daiwa’s Bait Junkie Minnow. A packet of these with a handful of different weight jigheads and you are essentially set for every species you will encounter any time of the year.
The ability to be able to fish these soft plastics at any depth, with numerous different retrieves and imitate baitfish, prawns, and worms makes them such a great allrounder.
A few examples of what I mean. You can rig them on really lightly weighted jighwads like 1/28 or even unweighted and burn or twitch them across the surface in summer for whiting and bream.
You can put them on a 1/12th jighead and fish the flats and shallow banks for bream, flathead and whiting.
Then in winter when the bream, bass or estuary perch are deep, you can put them on a 1/6th and fish the deepest schooled up fish you can find.
They can be twitched, hopped off the bottom, slow rolled on the bottom, slow rolled mid water, sink them slowly past submerged structure, and I could go on and on and on!
The other benefit soft plastics have compared to hard baits, is the mouth feel for the fish. Plastics are obviously soft and compress under a fishes mouth, making them feel much more natural and less likely to get rejected quickly straight after the fish has inhaled it and before the hook can find its mark.
They really are a versatile option in both southern and northern estuaries, and a really cheap option, perfect for beginners, kids and expert fishermen alike, and this is why they are one of my favourite lure options and would be my “one lure for the rest of my life” choice.