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Home » Fishing-Tips-Techniques » Estuary-Fishing » CASTING THE LIVE FLASH MINNOW WRIGGLY

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Flathead tick a lot of boxes for sporting anglers and also for those wanting to grab themselves a feed. A quick look at flathead shows that they are abundant in almost all estuary systems, they grow to exceptional sizes, they taste absolutely sensational and, most importantly, they can be caught using a heap of different methods.

Throwing plastic and lead around the shallows for flathead is a fascinating pastime that anglers everywhere simply love. Let's take a look at how to do it with one of the best soft plastics in the Zerek range, and the lure responsible for the biggest flathead in the 2021 Gold Coast Flathead Classic, the Zerek Live Flash Minnow Wriggly!


Soft plastic stickbaits, often called jerkbaits or jerk minnows, have been around for many years and there are plenty of different shapes and styles on offer in today's market. But one has a host of features that make it appealing for a number of very important reasons.

The plastic in question is the Zerek Live Flash Minnow Wriggly.

The Live Flash Minnow Wriggly combines a good deal of street appeal as well as an unparalleled acceptance by a range of fish that is simply staggering. With 4 sizes available (70mm, 90mm, 110mm and 130mm), anything from Australian bass, trout and redfin in the fresh through to black jew, tailor, tuna, salmon, bream and flathead in the salt have all succumbed to the allure of this plastic minnow.

The most immediate point of difference with the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly is the foil belly insert. This foil enhances the plastic's colour to give an incredibly lifelike appearance as well as a subtle and very attractive flash when the lure is in use. It does not overpower the plastic, but gives the lure a flash of life when it is worked through snags, weed beds, flats or rocky points.

The other noticeable feature on the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly is the strike trigger eyes. These eyes make the lure look alive and predators hone in on them, exposing themselves to the hook on every strike. But these eyes are a little more special than just stick on eyes, they are incredibly hard to remove from the lure. Unlike a lot of soft plastic lure eyes, the eyes on the Live Flash Minnow stay where they are and keep doing the job they were intended to do.

Hidden in plain sight, but equally important to the entire concept is the material the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly is constructed from; it's ultra-stretchy and durable. This material allows the lure to take an absolute battering at the hands of fish and the environment and also gives the plastic a very natural feel to the predators attacking the lure. It's soft and squishy yet resists the teeth and crushers of fish exceptionally well.

There are other important design elements to the Wriggly that stand it out in the crowd including the ability to squirt coloured scents into the body cavity giving a long lasting scent trail and extra visual appeal, and the tiny ball tail that adds significant movement to the tail in the slightest of current or most gentle of retrieves!

Rigging is simple with either the provided weedless weighted hook or on a standard jig head, and each rigging method will give the angler an opportunity to fish this lure in different ways.

Looking at the supplied weedless hook rig first will see the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly sink horizontally with a slight shimmy. The value of this shimmy on the drop cannot be understated, as this is when most fish will inhale the lure. The shimmy brings the belly foil into play and the subtle flash as the lure shakes down into the depths makes this lure look just like an injured baitfish.

The retrieve is as diverse as your mind can think, however the weedless rig works exceptionally well with a subtle retrieve that sees the lure gently hopped in and around structure. Of course, being weedless, this lure can be fished deep into structure, deep into places few lures dare to tread and fished right into the fish's domain. This method brings about some spectacular bust offs and equally amazing captures.

If fishing weedy areas for flathead, this rigging option is ideal. You can work the lure a little quicker over the top of the weed, then allow it to free fall into gaps and holes or along the face of the weed as you wait for that subtle tick on the line that indicates you've fooled another fish. If you get it wrong and end up in the salad, a quick rip of the rod will free the lure from the weed and clear the weed strands from the lure allowing you to continue fishing, always searching for that next fish.

Of course the designers at Zerek have ensured rigging these plastics weedless is a simple chore with custom designed hook holes already in place so you cannot get this wrong. That's right, the lure already has the locations mapped out for you so every time you rig this plastic weedless, it will swim straight and true. Now that's looking after the angler.

And to add even more spice to the weedless equation, Zerek has a range of Hook Packs that allow the weedless option to take on another level of finesse. This is achieved through the Zerek Hook Packs coming with different weights, giving you weedless options for deeper and shallower water, as well as options for aggressive and subtle retrieves. It's a big plus for anyone wanting to experiment and really get into the nitty gritty of fishing weedless plastics.

Rigged on a standard jig head, the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly is frighteningly good. Whether rigged ultra-light for trout in small mountain streams or bombing it to the depths on an ounce of lead for reefies, the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly brings home the goods.

Fished as a swimbait in shallow water for flathead with a quicker, pulsing retrieve or fished as a more traditional stickbait with a rip, rip pause retrieve, the Wriggly performs spectacularly well. The belly foil adds that extra sparkle and attraction while the soft tail wiggles and jiggles in all sorts of enticing ways, giving the lure the appearance of actually swimming.

For flathead the Wriggly is best rigged on a 1/8oz to 1/2oz jig head depending on the depth you are fishing. Remember the lure needs to hit the bottom when rigged with a jig head so make sure you can reach it.

While you want to hit the bottom, always think about how you are going to fish the rig and use the appropriate weight. If you want subtle, shaky retrieves, go lighter. If you want a more traditional jerkbait retrieve, go a bit heavier.

Size matters too with smaller jig heads being more suitable for the smaller Live Flash Minnow Wrigglies. Hooks sizes down to size 4 are suitable for the 70mm model, while a size 2 works well in the 90mm model. If you are upsizing to the 110mm, think about a 2/0 sized hook and the 130mm model can take a hook size up to 5/0 reasonably easily.

Because of the plastic's nature, you can unrig and re-rig them easily and still keep on fishing, unlike a lot of other plastics that will simply fall apart on you.


Flathead can be found anywhere but the shallows offer a number of features that flathead in particular find very attractive.

Structure is incredibly important and luckily 'structure' comes in many forms.

Ideally you would look for a weed edge, scattered weed clumps, scattered rocks or hard mud clumps that the flathead can lie around and ambush its prey from. I reckon the flatty tries to look like a clump of mud or rock just waiting to slam an unsuspecting baitfish. But structure can also take the form of small gutters and very occasionally snags. Put simply, try to find somewhere that a flathead can disguise itself in and that breaks up the current flow.

Breaking up the current flow is not so important for the flathead, rather, areas of swirling current and eddies are congregation points for bait, and where you find bait in water less than 2m deep, usually you will find flatties dining out on them.

Also keep in mind if you are casting the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly that water depths of less than 3m are ideal. This way you can fish the Wriggly easily and without a heap of weight and, if you wanted to, you can fish right to the bottom with the weedless hook rig supplied.

It always pays to experiment with weight though, especially with the weedless rig as fishing in less than a metre in and around weed will require a lighter weight hook as opposed to fishing a rocky or muddy edge in 2m of water. It's all part of the game.


The Zerek Live Flash Minnow Wriggly has been designed not just for flathead but for almost every fish species found from the highland streams out to the deep reefs off the coast. With four sizes and a number of rigging options, the Live Flash Minnow is virtually a one-stop-shop in regard to soft plastic stckbaits.

Sizes of the Zerek Live Flash Minnow Wriggly include 70mm (8 per pack), 90mm (7 per pack), 110mm (6 per pack) and 130mm (5 per pack) and the Wriggly is available in 8 colours that will cover just about every fishing situation you will find yourself fishing. Whether it's chasing flatties in the estuaries, redfin in the lakes, snapper on the reefs or in the bays, tropical predators on the reefs or pelagics like tailor, tuna and mackerel on the open oceans, the Live Flash Minnow Wriggly from Zerek will be the ideal addition to your tackle pack. In fact there are few fish that will not smash one of these amazing plastics.


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