Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 1

Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic - Part 1

Part one – Why plastic?

Delving into the complex world of lure fishing has always been something that I have steered away from, which is strange as I’ve always been an inpatient angler, often roving around a small river, trying to locate fish and make it happen, as opposed to sitting tight and waiting for the fish to come to me.

In this new series I’m going to initially reason why lures will start to feature in my world of angling, before progressing into what’s needed to get started, what lures are best for what species, when and where to use them and hopefully come the end not only will I be a better lure angler myself, but more importantly helped other onto the lure fishing ladder.

So where does lure fishing fit in with my fishing and why have my thoughts started to change direction?

Everyone looks forward to summer, but for me July and August are almost throw away months, have been for years and with the banks becoming more and more overcrowded each year I’m almost inclined to hang the rods up. Unfortunately the urge to get my angling fix gets the better of me, yet when I do head out I often return home disappointed with the results, usually due to not being able to fish effectively due to the crowds.

Decoy Angling - Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic

Time for a change?

Summer just gone was meant to be the changing point, yet the inflatable boat that was hoped to be used to find some respite was unexpectedly damaged. A bass trip that was also planned was cancelled due to the pandemic and a family holiday, when I was fully equipped failed to free up much time to go and explore. Next summer will be different, and those busy, often non-productive months will be spent sight feeding for chub even retrieving a lure through the surf or from the boat for bass, even mullet!

Decoy Angling - Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic

Out of bait

Another reason for becoming a more competent lure angler is when fishing from the inflatable, often the live bait supply runs out due to being on fish, or at worst can’t be caught on the day. Having to motor in, pack up and head home prematurely isn’t fun, so by packing some lures, at least these can be cast around, a new technique perfected and hopefully a few extra fish landed.

Catching my eye

One of the reasons for joining Decoy Angling was to grow with an innovative company, one that would compliment this directional switch and for their impressive selection of Crankbaits, Swimbaits and Soft Plastic lures. I will cover the very basics in rods/reels etc as well as techniques involved later as if like me it’s all very confusing and quite easy not to know where to start in the beginning, but for now let’s look at Decoy’s range of Soft Plastics.

The Soft Plastic range consists of three types, Shad, VIB and Grub Tail Lures. Grub Tail Lures are brilliant for Drop-Shotting and VIB great for Jigging and with around thirty variations of colour, varying from bright garish to drab and dull you will be spoilt for choose especially taking into consideration they come in various sizes and weights as well as, in most cases available in packs of three making them a really cost effective addition to everyone’s lure collection. The Shad variety is the one that I’ve been playing around with when predator fishing in the boat and there are eight in the range, ranging again from bright garish ones to those that ‘match-the-hatch’ so to speak  initiating natural fish such as pike or perch. These, in most cases, range in length between 120mm, which are great for perch and zander, to 180mm, better for pike, and another great point is when scrolling over each lure on the website it shows the weight of each lure which will help those that are reading more advanced articles of lure fishing.   

Decoy Angling - Blog 018 | Plastic Fantastic

Personally my favourite is the 120mm, 13g Pike Shad when casting around in the clear weir pools of the river Thames. Anything bigger and its usually hit by a pike, great if that’s what you are after but I’d rather try and avoid these and target the zander and perch if possible.  

If you’re looking to get into Soft Plastic Lure Fishing then my advice is don’t think bright and big is always best, yes you will catch on these but the smaller duller styles will in most cases out fish these, you just have to think about what the predators are feeding on and try and match this as well as getting the lure to work in the same manor, easier said than done! What I would suggest is to get a variety of sizes, styles and colours, keep switching when you are out and soon a favourite or two will shine above the others.

Part two, coming very soon will cover the components needed and how to mount Shad Lures as well as the basics in retrieving these. 

Tight Lines,


About Duncan Charman:

As a capable and talented angler, Duncan is widely regarded as one of the most successful all-round anglers in the UK with personal bests including a 31lb pike, 16lb 5oz barbel and 140lb catfish alongside breaking two separate British Records (silver bream and pumpkinseed). 

In the public eye, Duncan is an Ambassador to the Angling Trust, a regular writer for the biggest magazines in both the United Kingdom and Europe (Anglers's Mail, Blinker etc) and has also made appearances on Sky Sports’ Tight Lines. Duncan is also an author having written his own book - Evolution of an Angler.

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