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Ash Hazell

When I first started chasing bream, I had no real idea about what I was doing. I quickly found some fishing forums to start learning more about my newly chosen sport which was helpful about 1% of the time. I noticed that information about which lures and even which colours to use was easy to find. However, details on how to use these 'sure thing' lures and colours for the best result were not so forthcoming. So, I thought I'd touch on a few things that I've learned along the way and why I think they work.

Most of the time I'll use the TT Tournament Series jigheads in 1/20 to 1/12oz weights, in size #2 for the shallow water I normally fish. A 1/20oz is not quite heavy enough to get tail action on the drop, but some subtle twitching on the way down can be dynamite! I like to rig all standard jigheads fairly 'shallow' in the plastic which does two things. Firstly, it increases the hook gape above the body slightly which can help improve hook up rates. Also, it puts more of the plastic below the hook and because ZMan's ElaZtech material is so buoyant, this de-stabilises the presentation, giving it a more life-like wobble whilst moving through the water, especially with lighter jigheads. The key here is to rig dead straight, otherwise it will spin in the water during your retrieve. (Check out the TT Lures HeadlockZ Finesse designed to lock the ZMan plastic in place on the jighead)

When I'm fishing in areas with a lot of vertical structure like pylons, jetties and bigger snags, I'll often turn to the TT Hidden Weight System (HWS) jigheads. They make the plastic sink slower with the lesser weights, but horizontally which looks more natural as it drifts down alongside or amongst the structure. It also lets you hold the plastic in the strike zone longer. Rigging them is easy through the front but I like to hide as much of the metal as I can in the plastic, so I can cast hard at boat hulls and other structure without making a sound. This rigging technique takes some practice but is well worth learning. The photo of the neon pink GrubZ explains what I mean more effectively than words can. Start by holding the HWS jighead alongside the tail to line up where you'll have to slide the hook in and out.

I have a few ZMan 2.5" GrubZ colours that I find work in most situations. During tournaments or social comps, I usually slide one of these onto my jighead and don't look back. However, with some more recent experimenting, I've found a few colours, that I would normally overlook, have really started to work well for me. It's all about matching the colour to the conditions and environment.

It's no secret that the Motor Oil GrubZ are a favourite amongst WA breamer's and probably elsewhere as well. I'll always tie this on if it's overcast as it manages to catch the light and glow, making it stand out in dim conditions. In contrast, the Black colour creates a very bold silhouette. I've had some recent success using them in amongst the early morning shadows on tree lined banks, putting them between holding fish and the rising sun. Violet Sparkle and Watermelon Red are great dirty water colours. It's no coincidence because the reflective flash in these colours makes them more visible in muddy or algae filled water. The Neon Pink and Copper Penny colours work well in a number of situations from low light to ultra-clear water, where you want something that stands out but keeps the appearance of translucent bait fish or shrimp.

I hope some of this has been helpful, at least to some of you that are new to the sport. You may find that the complete opposite of what I've said is true for yourself but hopefully it gets you thinking and experimenting with new presentations and techniques. Every time I get out on the water I learn new things about fishing and that's a big part of the enjoyment for me. 

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