While soft plastic fishing has really gained its traction in estuary and sweet-water lure fishing scenarios (and deservedly so!), I often feel that the humble hard bodied diver gets overlooked all too often when we delve into the arsenal of lures we tend to carry with us on a fishing trip these days.
But lately, and possibly due to my extended time using these lures in our country’s tropical North while guiding, I have found myself really enjoying casting smaller plunge-diving jerk baits in areas when I would typically have always reached for an soft plastic of some description.
One stand out, which thankfully I have a few of, due to it’s almost religious following in Territory Barra fishing circles is the Jackall DD Squirrel 79SP
. This little lure really packs a punch! It continues to impress me with its versatility in our Southern Estuaries and river systems notching up an ever-growing tally of species for me.
Don’t let the smaller size fool you, these lures are designed in Australia, with Barramundi in mind, particularly those big, broad shouldered monsters that inhabit Queensland’s impoundments. This gives you an idea of their build, which is strong, yet very well thought out, as is always the case with Jackall’s Japanese heritage.
The reason I find myself using this lure over soft plastics, where I generally wouldn’t have with a diving hardbody, is the fact that it is designed to dive quickly, and almost vertically, allowing you to target, and fish structure that may be tight to the bank, where an other diving lure will only reach the desired target depth once it has taken several metres to crank down, and out of the zone, rendering it useless in drawing the attention, nevertheless the strike from a shyer predatory species such as Estuary Perch or Bream.
It’s ability to get down into the zone quickly, and stay there (it is a suspending lure) for as long as you like is another ideal attribute to the Squirrel. A tight swimming action really puts out a vibration that seemingly shut-down fish can’t pass up, and with even the smallest tap or shake of the rod, the lure will twitch and pause, hanging in the fish’s face long enough to elicit a strike. This hang time is again due to the Japanese eye to detail, having rigged these lures perfectly with the right sized, and (importantly) weighted rings and trebles to get the lure to sit naturally throughout the entirety of the retrieve.
Casting or trolling, this little go-getter really has made an impact on me, taking barramundi to well over a metre in length, XOS Threadfin Salmon, countless Mangrove Jack (they simply can’t resist these lures!), Fingermark/Golden Snapper, Tripletail, Croc sized Flathead, Estuary perch, Bream, Silver Trevally, Aussie Salmon, Kingfish (i’ve lost a few of these lures to these buggers), more than one Mulloway, Aussie Bass, Yellowbelly and the list will continue to expand I am certain! I’m thinking along the lines of Gorge Country Cod next.
Give them a try, with the versatility they provide you won’t be disappointed.
Check them out here: Jackall DD Squirrel 79P.