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Home » Fishing-Tips-Techniques » Freshwater-Fishing » Fishing the 95mm Fish Trap for goldens

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Catching Golden Perch on Zerek Fish Trap 95

By Stephen Booth

The Zerek Fish Trap has proven itself one of the great golden perch lures with multiple tournament wins accredited to its use over the last 24 months.

Additionally, record bag limits were seen and even anglers like me found themselves cashing in on the success of these brilliant soft vibes and the aggressive way golden perch were reacting to them.

The highlights reel for me includes an awesome start to our Freshwater Masters title defence in November 2019 where both Shane Banks and I caught a golden first cast, bagging our limit in just over an hour, and catching over 20 fish in an hour during a ridiculous bite at the end of day 1 at that comp. Needless to say, this lure has quickly become a favourite.

As we approach that amazing spring edge bite, I thought we'd have an in-depth look at how we use these lures and the tackle we use to fish them. It's not quite as simple as chuck it out and wind it in, however it's certainly not that difficult that the average angler can't work out the method fairly quickly.

What to look for

The first thing is to find the fish because there is no use throwing lures to barren banks. To do this we use our sounder and idle along a good-looking stretch of bank searching for golden perch marks on the sounder. Depending on what mode you're operating in, these marks will be small blobs through to distinct dots and slashes just above the bottom of the lake.

Rocky points are an obvious starting point, but even gently sloping grassy banks can be loaded with goldens.

The ability to find fish first is one of the most important ingredients to success.

Once fish are found, idle upwind of the largest concentration, spot lock with your electric or quietly anchor and cast back to the fish. We will usually give any location 10 casts each, meaning the fish see about 20 presentations if you're two up and 30 if you're three up in the boat.

Locating yourself upwind also makes it far easier to cast and usually it will mean you are casting straight downwind and not across wind. This is important because if you cast across the wind, you will create a belly in the line that makes it more difficult to fish the lure properly and then, if a fish eats the lure, set the hooks with conviction.

The retrieve

There are so many retrieves you can use with soft vibes to get a golden to bite and on any given day they will all work. From a simple slow roll through to the most brutal and erratic retrieve you can think of, your retrieves will be eaten at some stage.

My preferred retrieve was taught to me by Nathan Skeers one windy afternoon at Windamere. His crew for the comp included some of the best in the business and they'd developed a very successful technique.

The method is what I call brutal finesse. The aim is to violently shake the lure without moving it very far along the bottom, winding up the slack as the lure settles.

After each violent shake, let the lure sit around on the bottom trying not to be noticed before repeating the harsh shake. This pause can be as short or as long as you like and it pays to chop and change on the pause duration. Generally, I'll be leaving the lure stationary for about 5 seconds.

The idea is to shake the hell out of the lure with minimal forward motion of the lure. If you can imagine the lure having a violent seizure in one spot and then stopping dead, you're getting pretty close to what you want to achieve.

With this method, the bites are distinct cracks on the lure. You are left in absolutely no doubt a fish has committed to eating your lure. I think this is because the bigger profile of the Fish Trap 95 means the lure is not a simple sip and swallow meal, it's a crash-tackle-the-crayfish and smash it's claws off type of bite!

Of course, there are times when a subtler shake of the rod tip will work and times when the slow roll will work, and this can only ever be judged on the day. Sadly, there are also times when they prefer a small metal blade over a big soft vibe, and that's just fishing and being able to adapt.

But I really enjoy the brutal finesse retrieve the most - it's just fun!


The outfit I use for this technique is a 6'10" Bone Drago baitcaster rod matched to a 100 sized ATC Combat baitcaster spooled with 10lb braid and 10lb fluorocarbon leader. My fishing partner Shane Banks uses a Blue Steel Bass Medium baitcaster, but there are plenty of anglers out there who are doing exactly the same with a medium threadline outfit such as a Live Fibre Blade N Tails RLFBT06 matched to a 2500-3000 sized ATC Virtuous reel loaded with 10lb braid.

There is almost no right or wrong with the gear you choose to use, but the rod's tip must be able to be worked hard and have the strength not to fold over and snap on the cast.

I've used all manner of vibes for this technique and the big advantage the Fish Trap has is the fine tail. Any movement at all and this tail starts beating and it's certainly an extra attraction. It gives the dead sticked lure a little 'life' as the lure sits on the bottom and the tail shivers ever so slightly. I like the idea of this and the fish seem to be keen on the idea too.

The Fish Trap comes standard with the amazing Mustad Saltism 4x treble but I much prefer rigging up with assist hooks rather than trebles, just be careful you follow your state's regulations on lure rigs. Yes, you can use trebles, but assist hooks are far more efficient when it comes to hooking fish and then landing them. When a fish strikes the assist hooks swing around all over the place, often snagging themselves on the outside of the fish's mouth, under the chin or on the forehead. If you can imagine the implosion of the golden taking the lure off the bottom, the assist hooks could catch in any number of locations on the way in and on the way out. Assist hooks simply lead to better results.

Lastly, whichever reel you choose to use, smooth drags and even pressures are always recommended. The tiny assist hooks do not like harsh treatment and those hooks on the outside of the mouth can tear out easily with harsh drag setting and jerky fighting techniques. Be smooth and calm and you will see more fights won than lost.

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