As an avid fisherman I’m always looking for new ways to increase my catch rates, I went about rigorously testing a variety of different coloured LED’s at James Cook University to see if there was any correlation between flashing LED lights and increased feeding activity from fish. Jamie Seymour from JCU in Cairns and I put the technology through its paces, what we found was fascinating. In every experiment we did the Barramundi would always attack the red LED light, it was glaringly obvious that the Barra were fascinated by the red light. Replicating this technology inside high quality lures is just as important. An LED light inside a poor quality lure is still a poor quality lure. If you can find a Balista lure that matches the hatch on a given day then you well on your way to catching more fish than your mate.Field testing
Over the years we have spent thousands of hours refining our LED technology and building a core range of products. In this time we've had countless sessions where the LED has made a noticeable difference in our fishing, an example was fishing with a guide in North Queensland with a friend of mine. My friend was keeping me company on a sales trip and had only ever fished a hand full of times, myself and the guide were fishing with non LED lures, the fishing was quiet. As the sun started to set the LED light was now noticeably brighter, my friend proceeded to catch a dozen fish including Barra, Mangrove Jack, Flathead amongst other species whilst the guide and I looked at each other speechless, we were getting our backsides handed to us. That was one of the first of many sessions that I've seen the LED impact our fishing results in a big way. Since those early days many of our customers have written in with tales of catching quality fish when their mates and their other lures aren't producing.
I've found the LED to produce 3 different types of sessions:
- A huge response to the LED, as mentioned above the light dominates all other offerings.
- An engaging response to the LED where you would receive 6 bites and your mate would receive 3 bites.
- A moderate response to the LED where you would receive 5 bites and your mate would receive 4 bites. Responses 2 and 3 are most common, you can expect response 2 an engaging response when you coincide with the prime times to use the LED such as dirty water, fishing down deep, overcast conditions, dawn/dusk and after dark. You can expect response 3 on bright sunny days when you're fishing in the top 3 foot of the water column, naturally the LED is less bright in this situation. You can expect response 1 a huge response to the LED when you least expect it, if you put the time in using this technology you will experience sessions like this yourself.
Dirty water – this is the primary reason we’ve found anglers purchase Balista to increase visibility and attraction in dirty water. In just one foot of water the vibrancy of the LED increases substantially, even on a bright day.
Dawn/dusk – that cross over period between light and darkness is another prime time to use the LED, in lowlight conditions such as dawn and dusk the LED is noticeably brighter you will notice in a spike in bites on your Balista lures.
Overcast conditions – it works the same way as dawn and dusk, as outside light drops away the LED is more visible and more effective. Those gloomy days are a great time to be throwing Balista.
Fished down deep – every metre deeper the lure is fished the brighter the LED is. If you’re throwing models like the Juggernaut lipless crankbaits given these are sinking lures they can be fished in 10-20 metres of water, even on a bright day the LED will be bright at that depth.
After dark – this requires a specific Balista lure for night fishing that is called ‘after dark’. This is a flashing red LED that is significantly reduced, the standard Balista’s still produce fish at night we’ve found the after dark colour to offer a more consistent bite. In darkness the LED light stands out attracting feeding fish to the lure, the subtle LED of the after dark makes all the difference in getting more bites. Click here to read an article on fishing results with the after dark.
The LED is water activated, to turn on cast the lure out into the water and the LED will activate, when you retrieve the lure from the water it will turn off automatically. You will get between 120 – 250 hours of battery life (the larger lures can fit a bigger battery) or an average of 3-5 years of regular use out of your lure before it will go flat. You cannot replace the batteries, we’ve sealed the batteries inside as that gives the lure a lot more overall strength. To maintain the LED when storing ensure that the lure has its own storage compartment, if stored with other lures the hooks can tangle and activate the LED running it flat. Its also important to ensure the storage compartment is dry, if it is wet that can also activate the LED.
Every Balista lure features our LED technology, selecting the right lure to suit your fishing is essential to get the most out of the LED. To get a run down on which models to use on each species you can view our species guide.