The weather is warming up and our favourite snag dwellers are starting to stir, shake off the colder winter months and smash up the local herring and poddy mullet population. The ability to entice a bite from snag dwellers, such as flathead, bass, barramundi – impoundment for those chasing them during the closed season – and mangrove jack, often hinges on getting your presentation close enough or deep enough into the structure to attract their attention and draw a strike. fishing snag dwellers
In this article I want to run through some weedless rigging and how to effectively fish the structure that is holding the fish, to maximise your chances of winning the battle. fishing snag dwellers
The weedless rig
For much of our fishing we can rig our plastics on a standard j-hook style jig head and fish without snagging or fouling. Entering the arena of species such as bass, jack and barra though and a casting with a standard jig head could see your presentation snagged or fouled before you’ve even turned the reel handle. Timber, weed, lilies, reeds, overhanging vegetation and snag piles all provide shelter, create breaks in the water flow, attract and hold bait, and provide ambush points for these predators to strike from. fishing snag dwellers
Weedless rigging is actually quite simple, with many anglers finding it easier than having to feed more of the plastic onto a standard jig head. Rigging weedless involves capturing the chin of the soft plastic, by feeding the hook a short distance into the plastic and then popping it out of the underside of the plastic.
The section you have pinned is then slid up into the section of the weedless hook that holds it in place, we measure out where the hook needs to exit the back of the plastic and feed the hook point straight up through the plastic. The plastic will then sit straight on the hook, with the ‘chin’ held in place and the barb and hook point sitting against the top of the plastic to drastically reduce snagging and fouling.
Weedless jig heads
There are a variety of weedless jig heads available, including unweighted, belly weighted and head weighted options and they each allow us to fish different structure and use different techniques. Unweighted – unweighted worm hooks, such as the TT Lures ChinlockZ jig heads, are designed with minimal to no weight and are ideal for fishing plastics across the surface or on a dead slow sink.
These are often the go-to for anglers fishing soft plastic frogs on the surface, over lilies, weed and other structure. Try grabbing your favourite paddle or curl tail and rig it on an unweighted weedless jig head and you may be surprised at the awesome action that it can create on the surface, inspiring some brutal surface strikes, for a wide variety of species. Belly weighted – weedless jig heads with weight added to the belly of the hook, such as the TT Lures ChinlockZ SWS, allow more weight for casting, assist in keeling the plastic on the surface while working the frog feet harder and can also be used to create a slow and natural horizontal sinking action in a variety of soft plastics.