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Ryan Dixon

Over the years my passion for lure fishing has grown to the extent that I would buy different lures just because I wanted them in my tackle box and liked what they looked like.  With every purchase my tackle collection grew and so did the amount of brand new lures sitting in my garage that will probably never be used! However there is one lure that gets me excited and when people ask me what my favourite lure is, every time it ends in the same answer and that is the 'ZMan Scented ShrimpZ'.

The ZMan 3" Scented ShrimpZ would have to be the most versatile lure that I've ever used as it can be fished in so many different ways. It can be cast on the surface for bass, fished finesse for bream, drifted into snags for mangrove jack and cod. It can be rigged from the head or from the tail and can be cut down into many different shapes and sizes to suit the type of fish you are targeting. In this article I will show you a few different ways to rig the ShrimpZ for surface fishing, casting at snags and cutting down your ShrimpZ into different shapes and sizes.

Surface ShrimpZ

Topwater fishing is by far my favourite style of fishing as nothing beats the excitement of a fish exploding on a surface offering. ZMan plastics are perfect for fishing the surface as they are naturally buoyant and the ShrimpZ is no exception. Using the correct hook to rig your ShrimpZ on the surface can be the hardest part as it is often hard for the fish to find the hook. My good mate Will Lee came up with a brilliant way of rigging ShrimpZ for the surface when they first came on the market and I find the following rig the most effective way to rig ShrimpZ as it has a very high hook up rate. 

The rig for the 3" or the ZMan 4" Scented ShrimpZ consists of two size 2 Owner Mosquito Hooks tied together with the appropriate size flourocarbon leader, with a length between the two hooks the same size as the ShrimpZ (3" or 4"). Firstly you feed the first hook through the head of the ShrimpZ so that the point of the hook comes out the belly cavity and faces downwards, with the eye of the hook poking just out of the front of the ShrimpZ between the front two feelers. You then feed the second hook through the same hole as the first hook, coming out the stomach cavity, but continuing the length of the ShrimpZ and feeding it into the tail, with the point of the hook coming out the end of the tail and facing upwards. Wind fast with a high rod tip, stop and pause or walk the dog with the ShrimpZ and you'll be amazed how successful your results will be.

Snagless ShrimpZ

Fishing for mangrove jack with lures is becoming more and more popular nowadays and one of the best ways to target them is by slowly presenting a weedless ShrimpZ down into a fallen tree or snag. By rigging your ShrimpZ weedless, it means the point of the hook lies flat along the ShrimpZ back, allowing you to fish it into heavy cover or a snag, without getting hooked on the snag as you would with a normal jighead.

This means being able to fish your ShrimpZ right into where the fish are sitting, waiting to ambush prey, without having to worry about getting snagged. However once you've hooked a fish deep in its snag, good luck getting it into the net! TT lures have the perfect hooks in their range for this style of fishing with the Snagless Weight System (SWS) and the Snake Head jighead. Both hooks are perfect and are built strong to stand up to the toughest of fighters. Also check out the newly released ChinlockZ SWS jighead, featuring a 'chin lock' to secure the super-soft and flexible, 10X Tough ZMan onto the jighead.

Cut-down ShrimpZ.

Chasing bream is the most common type of fishing I do and I find the best way to target them is with a cut-down ZMan ShrimpZ. There are no rules when cutting your ShrimpZ down and I find experimenting is the best way to find your favourite pattern. By simply cutting the head off the ShrimpZ you make the plastic shorter, giving it a chunky appearance. I find is perfect for fishing around rocky reef as it is a good crab imitation.

Another option is cutting the ShrimpZ between the last two legs, giving you an extremely small tail style bait, which is perfect for bream. You can also use the off cut as it still has plenty of legs and the head of the ShrimpZ. By cutting all of the legs off the ShrimpZ you get a slender style bait that can be rigged either from the head or the tail and is an extremely effective bait for a range of species.

As I said, experimenting with your plastics is the best way to come up with new ideas or different imitations and the ZMan ShrimpZ is the perfect plastic as it is very versatile and can be fished for a wide range of species.

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