What Is A Stickbait?
Well, here’s the web’s answer… “Stickbait — a hard or soft lure that is generally long and slender and designed to emulate a baitfish.”
But, there’s more to it than that. Many of us have fished with poppers before and to some good effect, but the common answer is they attract kingfish, but they don’t often hook up.
Well, the crafty Japanese fisher’s have developed a type of ‘popper’ that runs on or just bellow the surface, called a stick bait. It does emulate a baitfish, or rather a baitfish in distress.
There has been a lot of hype recently about the effectiveness of stickbaits and from our experience, if there are kingfish around they are deadly!
Stickbaits come in many different shapes, sizes & weights and a very wide range of prices. The ones that are considered the very best (Carpenter, Hammerhead and Orion to name a few) retail at anything from $120 to $350. Thankfully they’re not lost as often as jigs, so they tend to last a bit longer and for that price you’d be thankful!
Stickbaits are not generally a simple cast and retrieve lure. There is a need for the angler to impart a little action to get them working really well. Interestingly the most expensive stickbaits often need the most skill, but do provide the ultimate action. Some brands produce ‘entry’ models for new users. The Tailwalk by ‘Gunz’ and the Alive range are such entry level lures ($50-$75) and have great, easy to use actions for newbie’s.
It’s not just kingfish that will be taken on Stickbaits. We got a 15lb snapper taken on the surface on a NZ made ‘Cannibal’ stickbait in 20 meters of Water. Many kiwi anglers are now experimenting with these great lures and it’ll only be a matter of time before a marlin is landed on one!
The best idea is to purchase a stickbait, try casting it in likely spots (around reef wash or around work-ups) and see what happens – you never know how easy it might be!
By Derrick Paull