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THE WESTERN RIVERS

Dave Brace

There has been no shortage of incredible fishing stories being told from the western rivers, situated in the southeast corner of Queensland, since the opening of the Murray cod season back in December. It hasn't just been Murray cod that many touring anglers and locals have been targeting, in fact there has been some outstanding catches of golden perch (Yellowbelly) to mammoth proportions, which pull line off a reel just as effortlessly as the iconic Murray cod.

Equipped with three models in the TT Lures spinnerbait range; the Vortex, Striker and the Tornado, in various weights and colours, it was decided to put our own spin on luring a few of these western river fish. Upon launching early, to witness the sunrise, we were pleasantly greeted by the sun's rays streaming through the lifting fog. This created a perfect backdrop to some memorable early morning fishing sessions.

Anticipations of luring these fish were high and time passed quickly whilst fishing in the company of and sharing these awesome times with great mates. At day's end, the camp fire was lit and the camp oven cook ups, along with good long yarns surpassed all expectations and were a fitting end to long days on the water. Whilst lying in our swags, staring at the sky and gazing at the stars between the branches of the cascading river gums, thoughts about the prospects of luring that big fish the next day were very exciting.

The Vortex Range

The Vortex range is more designed and suited for targeting smaller freshwater species such as Australian bass, however this particular lure was ideal for finessing a few of these larger fish, the Murray cod, to strike the lure closer to the surface. golden perch (yellowbelly) really took a liking to this smaller framed lure as well. However the fishing was heightened and more exhilarating when watching bow waves from unsuspecting Murray cod grow larger and larger behind the lure, before feeling that solid hit we all know these fish are renowned for.

There's no better sight and sound to an angler, than seeing and hearing line screaming of a reel as the fish cuts through the top layers of the water. The business end of the Vortex range, have chemically sharpened hooks which ensured the penetration of the hook upon the fish striking the lure and withstood the abuse and punishment these larger fish applied. The Vortex comes in weights from 1/4oz to 3/4oz. We opted for casting 3/8oz weighted lures in the Vortex range as they seemed to be quite an effective medium to allow longer casts, yet were still able to be finessed higher in the water column on the retrieval.

The Striker Range

Not to be outdone, the Striker range, which also comes in various weights, found itself in its fair share of battles, including numerous encounters with fish holding strong amongst the log jammed snags. Being TT Lures medium range spinnerbait, the lure is most definitely suited for targeting golden perch (yellowbelly) and Murray cod. Armed with heavier gauge wire and hooks than the Vortex range, these spinnerbaits gave us the confidence needed to cast these lures deeper into the lay down snags.

By allowing the lure to flutter and free fall between underlying branches deeper in the water column, before commencing a slow rolling retrieval pattern, numerous fish fell victim to the Striker and this extremely effective technique. With a twisted wire frame, creating a loop for the tow point and a slender profiled jig, the Striker is easily recognizable. The attached tandem blades, of a small Colorado blade matched with a larger Willow blade also creates a sleek profile. This enables the lure to be retrieved at a higher speed when needed, yet it still creates the vibration required through the water to attract any nearby Murray cod or golden perch.

The Tornado Range

TT Lures 'no nonsense' Tornado range of spinnerbaits exudes toughness. This lure has clearly been designed and constructed to take any abuse that larger ambush predators such as big Murray cod and barramundi can dish out when hooked. These lures are constructed using a heavy duty wire frame and equipped with a heavy gauge chemically sharpened hook and fitted with quality double silicone skirts to increase profile size and water movement. As with the Vortex and Striker range, good quality hardware such as ball bearing swivels, and gold and nickel plated blades are fitted as standard, with no compromise on quality. This also ensures that TT Lures spinnerbaits helicopter on the drop, attracting fish and triggering strikes even when sinking.

For slower retrieval patterns, twin Colorado blades are also available in the Tornado range for those looking for maximum vibration. The Tornado spinnerbait did not disappoint and found its way into some awkward predicaments that ended with joyous grins on a few faces. It lured some nice sized golden perch and Murray cod that engulfed the spinnerbait upon the strike. The Tornado's double skirt truly adds bulkiness to the lure and whilst fishing these lures in a variety of colours, the silhouette of the purple colours in this water clearly was a favourite. Weighted at 1/2oz, this lure is very effective using a variety of retrieves.

Murray cod are one of Australia's iconic inland freshwater sports fish and can grow in excess of 1.2 metres in length. A variety of surface and deeper diving hard bodied lures can also be used to attract these fish; however putting a spin on these western rivers using the TT Lures range of spinnerbaits certainly equaled the quality of the fish they lured, with the advantage of being extremely snag resistant. This range of spinnerbaits will cater for all the needs of anglers targeting these western river fish and you can't go past the confidence that these lures provide, especially in terms of quality components that provide optimum vibrational qualities to attract any fish.

With the sun setting upon our last day we made tracks home eastward, staring at the ute's long shadow on the black track, while thoughts wandered to a return visit to this magical place. Our heads were filled with images of more quality times to be had camping and fishing on these western rivers in the very near future.

Cheers Dave Brace

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017