Over the many, many years of non stop angling it would be fair to write that I have thrown countless numbers of soft plastics around. Almost giving my age away here, I think some of my earliest childhood memories would have to be the now famous ‘Mr Twisters’.
The last decade however has seen the evolvement of soft plastics to a point where we now have an imitation for literally every type of crustacea, worm, grub and every fish profile thinkable. Yes, we are pretty lucky as anglers but what is it that really sets one type of plastic apart from another? Is there one plastic so versatile that you can have complete confidence in catching anything throughout the estuary, freshwater and even those shallower close inshore reefs?. Yes, there is and the answer here is the quite incredible GULP Nemesis.
What Makes the Nemesis So Good?
The Gulp Nemesis brings about three BIG characteristics that make these soft baits both very unique and seriously effective. A combination of a slim body profile, ultra-realistic worm like tail and continual scent release formulates a soft plastic that any angler will desire. In the water the Nemesis has the ability to resemble literally anything from a worm slowly moving along the bottom to a smaller injured fish darting through the water column. Fished lightly utilising a finesse like approach, the action the Nemesis can impart is so amazingly life-like it is one soft plastic that really must be seen to be believed. In lightening quick time the results are speaking for themselves and this has been further highlighted by the huge list of species taken while casting and working these presentations.
Jig head selection
Before thinking about jig head selection it is worth emphasising that your desired result is one whereby you are presenting your Nemesis bait as ‘naturally’ as possible. What this means is not only should they be fished using light braid and lighter leaders but jig head size and weight should always be kept to a minimum which in turn allows for a slow and natural sink rate. Throughout the estuary my preferred hook choice exists in Nitro Bream Pro range where I will commonly select a size 4 or 2 hook in a weight range of 1/50 oz through to say 1/8th oz when using the 3 inch baits. The finer wire and needle sharp hooks are ideal for the Nemesis profiles and have the ability to penetrate tougher mouths (such as those on bream), with ease. If moving up to the larger 4 inch Nemesis baits, a hook size of size 1 or 1/0 will be the better choice and weights of 1/8 oz or even 1/4 oz for larger flathead and trevally in areas of harder current flow will proof ideal.
Scaling up from here again where species such as mangrove jack, jewfish, smaller yellowtail kings or snapper may well be your targets your better hook choice exists in the Berkley ‘Stealth’ range where jig heads have been built on the much stronger ‘Owner’ forged black nickel hooks which are of course chemically sharpened also.
Another deadly method of rigging the Gulp Nemesis baits exists in rigging them ‘weedless’. To those unfamiliar with this method all that is involved is a differing rigging method where the final result is one that gives you a snag proof presentation. It is achieved by simply taking one of the many ‘worm’ style hook patterns which come as either weighted or unweighted hooks. Quite possibly the most user friendly and easiest of hooks to use is the Owner twist lock hook pattern and all an angler need do is twist the small spring into the head of the plastic and line up the hook taking note of where it needs to be fed through the belly section to then ultimately sit flush along the back of your plastic. With a hook point sitting ‘flush’ or just lightly inserted into the plastic, these can be dropped down deep over rocky bottoms or thrown into areas of heavy vegetation or timber. If there is one thing you can be absolutely certain of here, it will be that a Gulp Nemesis twitching in amongst such structure will very quickly gain the attention of any nearby fish.
Gear Selection & Retrieval Types
To deliver smaller 3 inch plastics on ultra light heads there really is a serious need to be casting and working such lures with the correct gear and there is no real room for the word compromise here. A 1-3kg rod that offers genuine sensitivity through its tip section is ideal and over the last five years running I have used the Pflueger Patriarch 1-3kg rod. There is a great reason I have stuck with this rod for 5 years straight and that is that this rod has a very fast and responsive action that is just simply ideal for light lure casting. In combination with a 25 size Pflueger Supreme reel over which I run 3-4lb Crystal Fireline, the sensitivity and feel through this set up is something I could not be without.
Retrieval types can be as simple or as complicated as you desire but to be truthful your retrieve should be based largely around your target species. If there is one thing you take away from reading this is should be that in many instances we are all guilty of working our plastics far to quickly. A slowly sinking soft plastic with a few slight twitches springing it to life looks not only incredibly natural but also stays in the strike zone for a greater period of time. The more finicky of species such as bream or estuary perch will respond far better to this approach. On the flip side, If species such as trevally, Australian salmon or yellowtail kings are your target this may not be so much of an issue as these fish are often excited by a faster moving target.
Whiting are yet another cunning species we can target with the nemesis and the majority of my success has come via a very slow retrieve whereby the nemesis is simply rolled along the bottom. In this instance I have avoided incorporating small hops as I firmly believe the slow roll is superior. Flathead however seem to love a hop and the added disturbance created in the sand is beneficial when targeting these aggressive predators.
The name of the game is to always think about your target species and use retrievals to suit.
If you have not yet thrown a Gulp Nemesis throughout your local estuary or across the inshore reef systems I would strongly advise you put it on your ‘to do’ list. The Gulp Nemesis is one plastic (over more recent years), that I have been genuinely excited about and I am yet to see this soft plastic be rejected by ANY fish. If there was ever a very simple way to increase your own capture rates, it is by grabbing a few packets of the Gulp Nemesis.