Justin Willmer

GOAT fishing with ZMan

AFTER catching my first fish on a soft plastic about 35 years ago, I have been hooked and have fished many styles, types and colours of plastics, learning to rig and fish them a stack of different ways over the years. Soft plastics are relatively inexpensive, look real, feel real and with a squirt of scent they even smell and …

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Winter tactics for tackling toothy tailor

AS daylight hours get shorter, the temperature falls and cool breezes blow in from the west, tailor anglers begin to gear up to take on schools of the aggressive feeding and hard fighting tailor that invade our beaches, headlands, river mouths and estuaries. Large groups of anglers have been found standing shoulder to shoulder on beaches and headlands, while clusters …

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Fishing after the rain

AFTER receiving a call from my folks that they were coming to stay and fish on the weekend, I checked the water conditions and as expected it resembled coffee. We received considerable rainfall down the east coast of Australia recently and this could mean that anglers would be faced with dirty water for a few weeks. All is not lost …

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Prepare for Plan B

IT has often been said “It’s called fishing, not catching,” especially after a session that wasn’t overly productive… or even worse, a dreaded donut, zilch, zip, nothing. Over the years, I’ve managed to avoid donut days by having a Plan B – and often even a C, D and E – just in case the chosen technique, location or species …

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Introducing kids to fishing

ASK a bunch of anglers how they got into fishing and you’ll probably find many have the same response – catching a bream land-based with family or friends. This scenario was probably my entry into fishing too. I have been lucky enough to help a bunch of kids catch their first fish land-based in the decades that have followed. In …

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Simple snapper starters

SNAPPER have been a target species for me recently, with a few showing up in local rivers and estuaries. In winter our focus is deeper structure, with 4” plastics such as the Z-Man 4” StreakZ Curly TailZ or 4” Scented Jerk ShadZ fished on 3/8 or 1/2oz 3/0 or 4/0 jig heads getting the bites and fish landed to around …

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Soft plastics tricks for bream

I AM happy to target any species that will eat my lures, and bream on light spin gear can be both fun and challenging. When a big bream eats your soft plastic and switches on the afterburners, it’s cool to watch the line cut through the water and feel your inner ninja switch on as you employ some crazy rod …

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Summer species and techniques

WITH the warmer weather many anglers turn their attention to mangrove jack. In fact, for many it becomes a seasonal obsession. Much is written about mangrove jack during warmer months, so I thought I would cover a few other favourite fish that can be caught in the systems I frequent, while also covering the areas that attract these species and …

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Weedless soft plastics guide

THE weather is warming and we’re starting to see more bass, barramundi and mangrove jack photos popping up on social media. Many of the photos feature a soft plastic and a weedless jig head locked firmly in the jaw hinge of the fish, making it difficult for it to throw or dislodge the jig head during the fight. weedless soft …

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Deep edge flathead fishing fun

RECENTLY, while taking advantage of the good weather and fishing local rivers and estuaries with soft plastics, we encountered a neap tide or two. A neap tide occurs just after the first or third quarters of the moon, when there is least difference between high and low water, and anglers often use the phrase ‘no run, no fun’ because the …

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