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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Saturday 16 April 2011

How to rig Atomic Prongs weedless for Barra and Jack

Atomic lures make a range of 3 and 4 inch 'Prongs' that represent a small prawn. Prongs almost always receive plenty of action on trips into the creeks. One of the things I really like about these soft plastics is the ability to easily rig them in a weedless fashion. Rigged in this way the prong can be cast deep into snaggy cover and worked out without getting caught up. This is ideal when chasing fish back into the mangrove roots. The prongs also have a beautiful little action without the need to be worked fast. They have a tail that paddles and 'feelers' that drift beautifully in the water. These two things combine to provide a lure that can be worked deep and keep there for longer than most other styles.

I usually cast the lure as far into the snags and timber as I dare. Then allow it to sink completely. Once the line stops, I give two quick, short jerks on the rod. This darts the lure up off the bottom just like a fleeing prawn. I then let it sink again and take up any slack before repeating. Most strikes come while the lure is sinking.

To rig the prong weedless you need a packet of Owner Wide Gap worm hooks and some small ball sinkers. I am using the '00' size sinker and it has proven ideal. The small sinker allows the lure to have a slow natural sink rate. But water flow and depth may dictate something bigger.

Begin by tying a loop knot of some description to the hook with the ball sinker contained in the bottom half of the loop.

Next push the point of the hook in through the front of the prong and bring it out under the chin.

Pull the hook through the prong until the eye is just sticking out. Turn the hook over so it points back toward the underside of the plastic.

Push the point of the hook through the belly of the plastic and bring it out as close to centre of the back as you can. It may take a couple of times to get the distance correct. The prong needs to sit straight and true on the hook or it will spin and look unnatural.

Finally, for that extra bit of snag resistance, embed the very tip of the point back into the back of the prong. This will easily pop out when a fish bites down.

Of the Atomic range I have found the 'Guzzlers' to be better than the 'Ripperz'. The Guzzler is a softer plastic and has a scent embedded into it. And as a bonus, they don't dry out and go hard like some other scented lures do. White is my favourite colour, but there are plenty of others in the range. They come in 3in and 4in sizes. The 3in have been dynamite on Bream, Jacks, Flathead and Barramnudi. I have even had 1m+ Barramundi take them. But the 4in is more a bigger fish lure. The 3in is best matched to a 1/0 Owner Wide Gap Plus and the 4in goes well with a 3/0. The '00' ball is fine for both sizes.

The 3in I usually fish on my Stella 1000Fe and 8lb Power Pro. But the 4in I fish on a Chronarch and 30lb. The 4in has plenty of weight to it to cast easily on heavier bait-caster outfits. I have also experimented with the 4in offshore for Nannygai and other bottom fish. They are very successful and readily taken. My best fish offshore was a nice Cobia that took the plastic boat-side after following another fish to the boat. I also think they will be red hot for Fingermark around the headlands.