Soft baits are easy to use, easy to transport, all-round, any conditions, any time of year lures. Basically, you cannot go fishing without them! Trough this article, I will try and give you a few tips as to how I choose and use soft baits. All the tackle and kit I will be talking about, you can find it in the Pezon and Michel 2014 catalogue by clicking here: English 2014 Pezon catalogue
A meter + pike pike caught in 15m of water on a soft bait (Fera Gunki Speed Gun on a G’Verti 18g jig head)
Back to basics, the Gunki soft bait range:
All the Gunki soft baits have a real identity and unique features. However, they all have similarities that characterize them as a family.A lateral line separating the two facets which, depending on the movement of the lure or the position of the sun, will produce a flash effect, indicating the presence of a potential prey to predatory fish. The whole range is infused with aniseed, and for difficult conditions, on the back of the lure, is an attractant pocket which can be filled with gel or liquid to give off a long lasting scent trail. On the head of the lure, the eye signal is amplified by a 3D effect.
4 shads, a finess, a grub and a frog declined in a multitude of colours and sizes makes one very numerous family!
A nice perch caught on a Gunki Roller Gun and G’Slide jig head.
The shads (Speed Gun, Roller Gun, Sweep Gun and Gubby Shad): each one has a specific swimming action and creates a different vibration. With such a wide range of actions, vibrations, colors and sizes it means that there’s always one that will do the job. Which one to use, well that’s up to the fish to decide!
The Still Gun, a finess soft bait, with its discreet V tail is the lure when minimalistic vibrations are the flavour of the day. It’s THE lure to be used drop-shot or shaky style.
The grub, or rather “our dear” Grubby Gun is a curly tailed grub, that is by far one of my favorite lures, simply because I have caught so many fish in so many different ways and places!
The new Grubby Frog is not just a delicacy for French fish, but the ultimate shallow water and weedy margin lure. You can also rig it on a jig head when the fish go deeper!
Zander caught vertical style in 7m of water (Mat Fire Tiger Gunki Sweep Gun on a G’Verti 18g jig head)
After the basics, time to fish:
Fishing with soft baits is easy; all you need to do is cast and retrieve, varying or not the speed you fish at. Ok it’s not that simple but here are a few tips to make it easier:
To fish the surface: Rig your lure on a texan style hook, ideal to fish weedy shallows in search of pike and bass lying in ambush.
To go a bit deeper or further: use a texan style hook weighted, either on the shank or add a weight (bullet shaped) in front of it. This will enable you to go and get those fish no matter how deep they try to hide in the cover.
A pike caught subsurface Texan style (13cm Gunki Grubby Gun + Fix’Flash W blade)
With a jig head: probably the most known soft bait fishing technique, choose the right weight (cf. recap bellow), rig your lure, cast and fish!
Vertical style, from a boat, float tube, quay, bridge…You let the lure sink to the bottom, and then basically keep it suspended 10cm from the bottom. The animation being created by you moving on the water or along the bank.
Strait retrieve, you cast the lure where you want to fish, or just past that zone, let it sink to the desired depth and begin to reel.
Up and down style, you cast the lure where you want to fish, or just past that zone, let it sink to the desired depth and begin to reel with up and down animations or speed variations, making the lure “jump” along the bottom for example.
Jig head weights Fishing conditions
3 to 5gr Less than 2m depth, no current
5 to 7gr Less than 2m depth, strong current and/or wind
5 to 10gr 3 to 5m depth, light current
10 to 15gr 3 to 5m depth, strong current and/or wind
15 to 20gr 5 to 10-12m depth, no current
17 to 25gr 5 to 10-12m depth, strong current and/or wind
The importance of jig head shapes: different shapes for different uses
It is not just to look pretty that there are 5 different jig heads in the Gunki range, but because each head is adapted to certain lures and certain conditions.
The G’Round, classical round styled jig head, it is an ‘all-rounder’ that hardly has any influence on your lures’ action.
The G’Slide, its aero and hydrodynamic shape gets it through even the strongest currents or just that bit faster to the bottom, no matter how deep.
The G’Foot, vibration magnifier thanks to its rugby ball shape, increases the natural rolling action of your lure.
The G’Verti, stabilizes and literally ‘sticks’ your lure to the bottom.
The G’Fish, perfectly balanced and natural looking, it is ideal for difficult fish after life like rigs.
A pike caught on a Gunki Grubby Shad rigged on a 4gr G’Foot Guard jig head
Multiply different types of bite triggering signals:
There is loads of Gunki styled paraphernalia you can use to customize your lure, not just to make them look better, but to catch even more fish!
The Gunki Fix’Flash blades that you can screw into the lure, the G’Fish Flash jig heads… don’t just add vibrations and visual effects but can also be used to slow your lure. Perfect when fishing is difficult and the fish seem lazy!
Pike caught on a 10cm Gunki Grubby Gun + G’Fish Flash jig head
And yes, size matters…
Well it does when fishing! You need to adapt the size of the lure you use to what is been eaten where you’re fishing. For example, if the predators are hitting the small fry, it’s time to fish ‘finess’ style. Select a light action rod like the Pandora Perch Seduction, a small reel, ultra thin braid (I like the Pezon 6/°° Finess Braid), 2 meters of 17/°° Ice Fluorocarbon as leader, a handful of light jig heads and different small soft baits (Roller Gun, Still Gun and Grubby Shad in 6 cm are my favorites) and you’re ready to set some hooks! Fish the margins, overhangs, banks…cast let your rig sink to bottom and slowly retrieve, alternating stops and accelerations. Perch will be the most likely to intercept your lure, but beware, pike and zanders will not be far behind! This is many competitors’ choice technique to try and win the day.
There’s always a perch to be caught finess style!
Most times the predators will fall for 5 to 12cm long lure, but sometimes you just have to seriously upscale! If the fish are after bigger prey, that means it is big bait time and, for that, there’s the Pike Addict series of soft baits!
The size lure used does not equal the size fish caught, but rather the size fish being eaten by the fish you’re trying to catch!
If there is only one thing to remember when fishing, it is to have FUN! I’m certain that you’ll find a lure, hard or soft in the Gunki range that will be just the one you need to have an unforgettable day fishing!
Hope to meet you soon on or beside the water