The art of deception in fishing is a delicate balance of skill and the use of quality imitations. Deceiving a fish with an artificial presentation is not an easy thing, the better the imitationthe easier it is to deceive the fish. When it comes to hardbodied lures there are many ‘strike factors’ that can draw fish to attacking a lure – it could be the swimming action, the body shape, the rattle etc. New lure varieties that have been released over the years like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastics have their own unique strike factors.
New lures demand attention, anglers and fish alike react to advances in technology so it is no surprise that the introduction of LED technology in Australia is going to be making a stir with native fish this season. This technology make the lures substantially different to all other lures that swim past a natives nose, it isn’t just a fancy new paint design it is a red LED light that flashes in the face of fish as it swims past. Balista is an Australian company releasing a range of lures featuring their new LED technology. They offer a range of models that target Murray Cod and Yellowbelly to Barramundi plus other freshwater and saltwater species.
The idea behind the technology is that the ‘blood red’ flashing LED portrays the lure as a bleeding baitfish, with red being a predatory color the flashing light can draw strikes from inactive fish. Murray Cod have an extremely territorial nature, they can exert aggression towards fish that enter their territory, whilst testing these LED lures there has been a number of Murray Cod caught through the gills and eye which shows that they haven’t necessarily been feeding on the fish but have actually been hitting the lure with the side of their head to get the lure out of their territory.
The flashing light has an annoyance factor about it, one of the oldest theories about Murray Cod is that if you put enough casts in front of an old greenback, he may smash your lure out of frustration from repeated intrusions, the flashing LED can induce strikes in a similar way. If you have ever seen a flashing light you will know that they get your attention, and you also wouldn’t want to have one sitting next to you at your desk, it would get annoying rather quickly.
So sending a few casts past a native with this technology can certainly draw a frustrated strike. The lures circuit is completed upon entering water, which means you cast the lure into the water, the lure starts flashing automatically and away you go. The flashing light can be difficult to see in direct sunlight, once it dives more than a couple of meters into the water it becomes a lot more visible, especially to fish who live off their sensitive vision.
Flash em’ all day long
The packaging says the batteries last more than 120 hours, I placed the lure in a pot of water to see just how long they last for. The lure was still flashing 12 days later, which considering how much time any one lure might spend in the water over a trip means that it is going to be very difficult to run one out of battery. The batteries are not replaceable but through time on the water I have yet to be able to run one out of battery.One could come to the conclusion that the LED will only be effective at night or in darker conditions,the LED is definitely more visible in these conditions there is no doubt about that.
Fish can be very finicky when it comes to striking a lure – it could be the flick of the rod or a pause in the retrieve that can make the difference, so even on a sunny day fish still notice the ‘blood red’ flash which can provoke strikes when nothing else will.As we have all experienced there are slow days where it doesn’t seem to matter what you try the fish just will not bite. Your favorite lure, your trademark retrieve, on any other day there would be fish been landed.
One thing about fishing is that there is no technique that can get every fish in a stretch of water to bite every time. What I have noticed is that although the LED won’t tempt every fish every time on those slow days it can be the difference between catching a couple of fish and catching nothing. Which may not sound like such a great result but when the pickings are slim catching a couple of fish can be so satisfying.After a fresh rain it is a great time to wet a line as the barometric pressure is usually on the way up and the rivers begin to rise washing in an abundance of food which gets the fish feeding.
One of the biggest dilemmas about fishing overly murky water is that it can be difficult for fish to locate a lure. They can hear it coming, they can sense the vibrations of the lure but finding its exact location can still be a challenge, that is where the LED comes into its own and provides a whole new option to murky water fishing. All the models have a loud rattle in them so the fish can still hear the lure coming but they can now visually see the lure flash as it swims past their nose.
With the well needed rains this Spring it has brought the Yellowbelly on the chew, and with all the impoundments filling up it should be a bumper fishing season. Keep an eye out for Balista’s LED lures, something different could be the key to landing a whopper this season.