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SWEETWATER TACTICS

There are so many great ways to enjoy fishing. It really is up to the individual as to how much they want to put in and experience. It can be extremely physical or very relaxing. It's what you make it. That's why so many people love this pastime... there are endless ways to learn and achieve from it. For me, as a young kid, I have so many memories of being outdoors with my father learning everything he knew, from collecting bait to finding the right places to fish, all that time outdoors set the path for what my passion is for the sport today.

Personally I love any style of fishing, but my favorite way to enjoy this magical pastime would have to be trekking the sweetwater streams. Walking up a sweetwater stream, with crystal clear water flowing, is such a great way to experience the great outdoors! The fresh air and sounds of the bush really take you away to a special place, with not a worry in the world. Except of course for that big jungle perch, mangrove jack, sooty grunter or barramundi that is about to destroy your lure and pump your body with line peeling adrenalin!

Living up here in far north Queensland I feel very privileged to have endless sweetwater to explore and experience. When planning a mission, often I will use Google Maps to come up with a solid game plan to find the untouched areas. If you put in the effort you will reap the rewards! Not all systems up here produce great results but if you keep exploring and searching you will eventually find some great honey holes and when you do the fishing can be off the chain! I have found places deep in the jungle where the jungle perch and sooty grunter will literally eat out of your hand!

Now firstly I'm going to go through some safety gear that should be packed before any sweetwater adventure. A first aid kit is must! There are plenty of small compact ones to choose from or you can make your own up and put it in a watertight container. Take plenty of water and enough food to keep hydrated and the energy levels up. Make sure you have communication with the outside world. Your phone will always have the emergency 000 to dial, even if out of range from networks. I always take a headlamp. It's a great idea to have a lighter or even some waterproof matches. There are so many compact items that will fit in a little backpack that could save your life in case something went wrong. Better to be safe than sorry. Also waterproof your gear!!

By far the most important of all is to let a few people know exactly what system or creek you intend on walking up and what time you plan on being home. Often I will tell a few people and even screen shot the Google map image of the area I intend exploring and send it to them before I go.  Last but not least always try to fish with a buddy. It's the safest way to go while enjoying these beautiful environments.

Now, with all the safety gear sorted, its time to pack some lures and the Tackle Tactics range has everything you need! My favorite ZMan to flick in the sweetwater is the ZMan 4'' StreakZ Curly TailZ. These are the perfect bite-sized presentation that will get the attention of most species that thrive in our tropical waters! Rigged on a light HeadlockZ jighead, I love to burn these weapons across the surface and watch the jungle perch race out to attack them! It's such a fun way to get a bend in the rod. Allowing them to slowly float down into the deeper holes on a lightly weighted HeadlockZ will also see them get smashed! The buoyancy in the ElaZtech material almost brings them to life, making them hard to resist especially with a little bit of added Pro-Cure scent.

When the water is flowing hard a great option is the TT Lures Vortex spinnerbait. This presentation is perfect for keeping direct contact with in fast flowing water. Slip a ZMan 2'' GrubZ on the stinger hook and you have a deadly action that is going to draw attention from any species!

Generally I will use a 1000 size reel with a nice whippy little rod for flicking light presentations. I load up the spool with 5lb braid, with an 8lb fluorocarbon leader. I find 8lb leader will take a beating on rocks and logs all day without too much abrasion. The best thing about this style of fishing is that because the water is crystal clear you get to watch it all happen right before your eyes! Seeing a hungry pack of sooty grunter and jungle perch race out from a snag to your lure is some pretty wild stuff!

Another champion of the sweetwater is the mighty mangrove jack! I absolutely love targeting these little guys in the fresh. They hit hard and fast, so you have to have your 'A' game on! They really test your finesse angling skills and it's amazing how far up the fresh they can be found. One of my favorite places to find them is a good 30km from the salt!

Much like stalking JPs, using the same tactics like working from the shadows, positioning yourself behind structure, keeping a low profile and making as little noise as possible will result in more fish. It's all about getting that cast right into the sweet spot without them knowing you're there. Often I will rig my ZMan lures weedless on the ChinlockZ / SnakelockZ combination. This allows me quick changes of weights and allows me to get deep into their strike zone. All the colors in the range are great with Mood Ring being my go-to choice and often, because jacks are very territorial, a quick switch to Red Shad or Calico Candy will take place to tempt out a territorial strike!

I highly recommend this style of fishing to anyone, it's a great experience and will give you with plenty of great memories. Being outdoors and exploring new areas is what it's all about... get out there and seek the adventure! Remembering, safety first!

I look forward to seeing you out there!

Cheers Jimmy

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017