Please find below a model by model run down on the most effective retrieves that we have personally found most effective for all of our lures, for the fish species that we target here in Australia! The below information is all based on our own personal experiences and is in no way intended to be a hard and fast set of rules. This is purely intended as a starting point for those who are relatively new to lure fishing and are trying to learn, or for people who wish to know the most effective retrieves that we have personally found for the lures that we have designed.
CRABS - All Models
Fishing these crabs successfully is really quite easy and almost anybody who can hold a fishing rod can catch fish on these lures no matter their skill level. One of our most commonly used retrieves is detailed below.
Throw your crab into the desired area and allow it to sink all the way to the bottom. When your crab is sinking allow it to sink to the bottom on a slack line so that it sinks as naturally as possible. If your crab is sinking and your line is tight your crab will tend to swing more rather than fall straight down like a naturally sinking crab. So keep your line slack whilst it is sinking and don't be scared to even feed some line out whilst it is free falling to keep it falling as naturally as possible. Once your lure reaches the bottom allow it sit there motionless for anywhere from 5-10 seconds. Once you have let the crab sit for a few seconds begin to start a very slow retrieve by gently shaking your rod tip so that you are literally very subtlety flicking the slack belly of line between your rod tip and the water whilst slowly and I mean SLOWLY winding your reel. By doing this your crab should shuffle its way slowly along the bottom. You should move the crab anywhere from 1 foot up to 10 feet in distance before pausing again for another 5-10 seconds... simply repeat this until your lure is back to your feet. It is super important to keep a close eye on the line between your rod tip and the water for any signs of a bite during your retrieve. Bites can be detected in several different ways from the tiniest little tick in your line, to a solid clunk. Sometimes your rod may even just load up and the line start to peel away from you at lightning speed, and at other times you may just simply lift your rod and feel weight without having felt or seen any signs of a bite prior.
We cannot stress enough how slowly you can fish these lures! Please try to keep in mind when you are fishing these lures that you are trying to represent a terrestrial crab that is crawling slowly along the bottom. Terrestrial crabs never hop up and down, jerk suddenly, or run at break neck speeds when moving along the bottom, so try and keep all of this in mind when you are fishing these and keep your movements as slow and as natural as possible. The more natural your crab looks in the water the more likely it is that it will get eaten!
On some days you may find that shorter pauses are better and on other days longer pauses might be more beneficial... on some days they may like it moved a little faster and on other days a slower retrieve may entice more interest! We highly recommend using the above information as a starting point and mixing up your retrieves on any particular day until you find exactly what is working the best for you. On some days we have even found that a super slow constant retrieve all the way back to the angler without any rod movement or pauses is best, and on other days we have found that almost no movement at all can be your best bet.
35mm CRANKS - Both Shallow & Deep Models
Our cranks are another very easy lure to use and catch fish on. The simplest and most common retrieve for this lure throughout Australia is without doubt a constant slow roll. Basically just cast your lure into the desired area and constantly wind your reel at a relatively slow pace until your lure is back to your feet. This should see your lure swim at a constant speed with a nice tight head and a wide tail action all the way back in. This retrieve works extremely well on yellowfin bream and also on some black bream too.
The most effective retrieve that we have found for the black bream where we live in Tasmania is slightly different! Cast your lure into the desired area and once your lure lands wind your reel handle about 3-5 times just to get your lure to dive under the water. Pause the lure for 3-5 seconds and whilst it is sitting there motionless point you rod directly at your lure and wind up the slack line until your line is tight to your lure. Try not to move the lure whilst doing this! Now that your rod tip is pointing at your lure, the line is tight and your lure has suspended motionless for a few seconds simply draw your rod tip back towards you without winding your reel. Use your rod tip to feel and control your lures speed and action in the water rather than your reel. The slower your rod tip moves the slower your lure will move... the faster the draw of your rod tip obviously the faster your lure will swim. At the end of your draw stop, wind your slack line back up whilst moving your rod tip forward again until it is pointing straight at the lure again, and try to ensure that your lure is again suspending motionless in the water during this entire process. Let the lure suspend motionless again for another 3-5 seconds and then commence another draw with your rod (again not winding your reel at all). Repeat this process all the way back to the angler. Don't be scared to mix this up a bit on certain days too! Maybe longer pauses or shorter pauses, a faster draw speed or maybe a slower draw speed, maybe a shorter length of draw or a longer length of draw, or maybe at times try breaking your draw into 2 or even 3 motions. Just play around until you figure out exactly what is working the best for you on any given day. On some days you might find that adding more of a stabbing/jerking motion with your rod tip can be more effective than a slower controlled draw. Bites can come at any stage of the retrieve! But most commonly they happen during that period that the lure is suspending motionless in the water.
Please use the above information as a starting point and if that is not working for you then start to vary your retrieve slightly until you find what is working the best for you on the day.
The versatility of this lure never ceases to amaze us! It will catch fish in water literally a few inches deep and will fish just as well to depths beyond 10m (33ft) or more if you are patient enough to allow it to sink to those depths. The true beauty though is how easy they are to fish! Simply cast the lure out and allow it to sink to the bottom always keeping a close eye for any signs of bites on the drop. Again just as we recommend with the crab allow your vibe to sink on a slack line so that it falls as naturally as possible through the water column. Falling on a slack line the lure will fall in a straight line and will flutter down to the bottom as opposed to it sinking on a tight line, it will swing slightly back towards your rod tip and the tight line will stop the lure from fluttering to the bottom and will instead simply fall to the bottom with no movement at all (on some occasions this can be a good thing though). Once the lure hits the bottom allow it to sit there motionless for 3-5 seconds keeping your rod tip low and pointing in the general direction of your lure with your line reasonably tight. After a few seconds simply lift your rod straight up causing the lure to hop up of the bottom and then allow it to free fall back to the bottom again where it should sit motionless again for another 3-5 seconds before commencing another hop. Repeat this all the way back to your feet. Don't be frightened to mix up your hops and pauses during the retrieve... short pauses, long pauses, big lifts, small lifts, faster lifts, slower lifts, single hops, double hops, multiple hops, etc. Just continue to experiment until you determine what it is that is working the best for you on that given day.
Stay alert whilst fishing these lures and always keep a close eye on that slack line between your rod tip and the water for any signs of a bite. Bites usually happen either when the lure is sinking either directly after you cast and are waiting for the lure to sink to the bottom, on the free fall back to the bottom after a hop, or when they are sitting motionless on the bottom doing absolutely nothing during a pause. Generally you will visually see that slack piece of line between your rod tip and the water tick, jerk or straighten quickly when a fish bites. So watch carefully and always be ready to set those hooks!