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SNAKELOCKZ BASS

Jay Noble

Most anglers have a particular species that they love to target and seem to spend more time chasing, depending on the time of year, conditions or ease of locating a few fish. Then comes the techniques that we choose to target this species, often dependant on the environment that the target species lives in and if you are fishing out of a boat, kayak or are a land based angler.

Like many I love to chase Australian bass, in particular in my local dam. Some of the reasons why include the ability to fish for them all year round, the fact they are a very aggressive feeder, take a range of well presented lures, hit hard and put up a great fight for their size. An added bonus is the locations that you get to discover while on the hunt and Hinze Dam is no exception; a beautiful location with a good range of structure around which to target these very popular sports fish. Ranging from grassy steep banks, rocky waterfalls and the most prominent feature you will find, tall standing and fallen timber lining the deep edges as well as the many points and bays in the dam.

How I have been fishing lately and one of the ways that I love to fish the dam is to hit the water in my kayak. Paddling my way to the location that I have decided to fish, I then get into the thickest timber I can find and start fishing. This style of fishing can be very frustrating at times if you have not prepared your tackle to fish these areas. Further to that, it can become very expensive if you don't set yourself up with a few key items to increase your chances. That's where the TT Lures SnakelockZ jigheads come into their own.

SnakelockZ are an award winning, weedless style of jighead, added to the Tackle Tactics range and they are fast becoming a very popular choice for anyone fishing heavy timber, rock bars and even weed beds. They are built on a chemically sharpened, Mustad heavy duty black nickel worm hook and the stainless steel through-wire head connection has been tested to 75lb. The range of SnakelockZ jigheads have weights and sizes to suit a wide range of applications and the stainless steel wire loop connecting the weight allows head weights to be interchanged, while the 'chin lock' on the hook keeps the plastic in place and swimming straight.

As I mentioned before, the technique that has worked for me in this location is to find the biggest, nastiest trees and snags, and then pepper them with accurate casts into the structure. The advantage that the SnakelockZ has over a standard jighead is its ability to be fished as hard and close to the structure as you can, with minimal chance of snagging. As an added advantage you will find yourself punching casts into areas that you may not have normally fished due to a fear of losing your tackle.

SnakelockZ allow you to cast into the middle of standing timber, as well as sunken trees, letting the plastic sink naturally to the bottom. It can be hopped and worked in and out of the branches of fallen trees as well as slow rolled through lily pads and weeded banks. Plenty of fish will hit a slowly rolled plastic when presented in the right areas.

The design of the SnakelockZ features a free-swinging hook, only hinged at the stainless loop, allowing it to move very freely through structure to avoid fouling up or getting snagged. As well as its weedless design, this freedom of the wire hinge connection to the weight at the front to the hook allows for a great free flowing swimming action with maximum lure movement.

The SnakelockZ can be fished in different ways. Hopping the plastic off the bottom will allow the plastic to work its way up through the water column and naturally flutter back down with a great wobble. If you prefer to use the slow roll (slow wind) technique, then the weedless design will allow you to work the lure very close to the structure with very little resistance.

Areas with heavy cover are often where you will find the fish holding, especially when the sun starts to heat up and there is less shade available for the fish to use as cover. This is a very exciting way to fish, with reaction strikes and normally the battle is over fairly quickly... one way or the other. This style of fishing so close to structure normally requires heavy drag settings to extract these hard fighting fish or they will have you bricked in the timber in no time.

Having the SnakelockZ rigged with a plastic, that mirrors the bait in the area that the fish are feeding on, will always increase your chances of a bite. In saying that, the plastics that I have been rigging for the bass have been the ZMan 3" MinnowZ. There is a huge choice of colours in the range but just to name a few that have been producing for me, Pinfish, Houdini and Space Guppy as well as the more recently released Calico Candy.

These deadly little baitfish profile plastics, rigged on a 1/4oz 3/0 SnakelockZ jighead, have been a real winner. I have also been adding a #3 TT Lures Gold Jig Spinner to this combination to add a little extra flash as well as vibration to attract the fish.

There is something very exciting about taking a new product out fishing or trying a new technique and then there's also the added bonus of the picturesque environments where you get to spend the time putting these new products and techniques to the test in the field. There is something special about getting out on the dam and enjoying the sights and sounds of our great outdoors, while enjoying time away from the daily grind... and hopefully landing a few good fish.

This is by no means a how to target bass in impoundments article, rather a few words about an exciting new product in the Tackle Tactics range and some of the successes that I have had using the SnakelockZ. So get out there and enjoy your time on the water and hopefully you can also crack a few nice fish on the SnakelockZ.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017