Rick Huckstepp looks at one of Australia's most versatile lures
Versatility is an attribute not often found in singular lures available to the Australian angler. Sure, there are some that swim fast and slow, with ease. Some have adjustable bibs that allow them to dive deep or shallow as required.
Many do not have the hardware to suit most of the fish they are used to target and others lack some what in their paint style, colour and even quality at times.
One lure that admirably covers a larger spectrum of these situations than most is the "Trembler" from Halco. I have been using this model lure for the last eleven years in a huge variety of fishing situations. In the early years of my professional fishing guide operation in the Northern Territory, the model 70 was instrumental in catching swags of thumper barramundi to ten kilos in the run off flood waters from Adelaide River to Kakadu.
Its jig abilityon bottom and mid water column fish is renown and this culminated in the heavy weight G.T. Jig Deep Troll lure finding its way in to the World's lure fishery.
What might seem a simple operation of free spooling a lure to the bottom is really one that cannot be under estimated.
Species such as kingfish and snapper that lay in wait in the depths have incredible eye sight in clean water. A lure that drifts down slowly with some sort of flutter often fails to excite those predators below. The Trembler dives fast, nose down with a slight tail wag. This allows the lure to get down to the target area quickly with minimal drift away from it caused by tides or boat movement in the wind.
The fluoro red 180 model has proved to be a formidable lure up against yellow fin tuna in Tasmania to more exotic species in Vanuatu such as dog tooth tuna and wahoo. This particular Trembler also made an exceptional teaser when used amongst the billfish pusher type lure spread. It was attacked before any lure and even dead swim baits out the back, received any attention from predators.
Such success amongst the armed baits had me thinking. I removed all hooks and used the body of the Trembler as a teaser for bait switching bill fish over to fly rods. The addition of a rolled up tuna belly flap on a short trace run off the forward hook point improved my fly caught billfish rate even further!
This exceptional versatility amongst a wide range of species can be put down to a number of factors.
Tremblers swim with a head down attitude that leaves both hook sets exposed to the rear of the lure which is the direction of attack from most predators. Maximum steel in the fish gives a better retention rate.
Those that attack head on are on a collision coarse with extra strong treble or double hooks and rings, which are exposed either side of this lure's narrow profile. This design attribute is of paramount importance for the successful hook up and retention of any species of fish in any environment.
The narrow profile allows tremblers of all sizes to be towed at speed with minimal drag in the water. Too much strain on the angler encourages rods to be ignored which reduces the ability to hook up on many species to some extent. It is this head down attitude that also makes the Trembler just as at home chiselling a sandy bottom in Tasmania's flathead fishery, as it is scrounging a muddy creek bed in search mega sized barramundi in the northern parts of Australia.
The hard plastic shell of this lure resist most of the fangs that swim in our oceans. Resisting punctures from the likes of Spanish mackerel, whaler sharks, wahoo, dog tooth tuna, green job fish and mangrove Jacks is all in a days work for the Trembler. With no bib to fall out, break off or bend out of tune, these lures fish on regardless of the harsh treatment they get from target species and others that just happen along.
The rattles inside provide the sonics that attract fish in different environments and is a feature many fishers look for when making their purchase.
The sleek lines that provide minimal drag in the water also cause less wind resistance which make the Tremblers ideal casting lures whether from the boat, rocks or surf.
Whether in the surf for salmon, on the rocks for snapper or mulloway, trolling the tropics or bill fishing the blue waters of the South Pacific, this is one lure that should be on the end of your line performing the job it was designed for ...... catching fish.