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We love using these versatile lures on our estuary charters, along with metal blades.

Our favourite blades are Ecogear ZX40’s and Strike Pro Cyber Vibes, and we have a number of favourite hardbody and surface lures. Zx40’s imitate little prawns or shrimps very well, while cyber vibes are a good bait fish profile. 

The focus of this article however is soft vibes. One of the best in the market is the Samaki range. The range of colours and sizes is extensive and impressive, and the components are tournament quality.


Samaki thumper tail range, they also come in a fork tail range. The new colours closely mimic bait fish, and the originals are proven fish slayers

The action these lures portray in the water is another reason they work so well. Brad and I are very fussy about the vibes we use, and have tried just about every commercially available brand. We avoid lures that spin on the drop, and ones that have a “clunky” or thick vibration action. 

The vibes we like to use sink fast and naturally, and have a clean, sharp vibration when flicked up and down vertically, and the results show in variety, number and size of fish caught, as well as squid.

Samaki soft vibes tick all the boxes for us and the colour range is dynamic, including some uv enhanced models which tend to work well on cloudy days, in lower light, and water more than four metres deep.

The first time I used the squid uv colour in the Gold Coast broadwater we caught squid, flathead, flounder, and lots of winter whiting. One colour I especially like in clear water is white bait, just a deadly lure!


A mid range combo with a 7 foot long 2-4kg rod and 2500 size reel with 6 lb braid and a metre of 10 lb fluorocarbon leader is sufficient to use the 70mm vibes. 

Obviously you would go up in gear and line size when using the bigger vibes and chasing fish such as mangrove jacks and bigger mulloway.

There are several main techniques that catch fish. One is casting at areas like sandbank and weed bed edges while stationary on a boat, kayak, or landbased. Cast the lure out into the tide, let it sink, then lift the rod about 50cm quite slowly, then drop the rod again to let the lure sink to the bottom, wind up the slack then repeat. Keep moving and casting in different places until you get a bite.

Here is a good video demonstrating:

The other way to use them is while drifting. We call it teabagging when the water is four metres or deeper and twerking when fishing shallower in sand flat areas

A similar method to teabagging blades, ideally we are looking for a drift speed of no more than 0.9 knots and no slower than 0.6 knots. The lure must be bouncing along the bottom to get results. This method works for three reasons:

Firstly you are covering the ground and finding fish, secondly you are presenting the bait in a natural way in the rhythm of the tides, thirdly you are making the fish chase or a potential feed gets away from them.

Drop your lure to the bottom while checking depth on the fish finder. Wind up the slack then commence a single, short lift and drop of the rod. Quite slowly when there’s not much tidal flow, and a bit faster when the tide is running harder. As always with fishing- no run no fun.

Fish will grab the lure on the drop so be ready to lift to set the hook. If you don’t get bites in 5-10 minutes keep moving until you see bait on the fish finder.

Good areas to try: river bends, long flats with corrigated sandy bottom, deeper channels, drop offs next to banks, areas parallel to channel markers, deeper holes further up rivers, under bridges. These all produce fish, especially around depth changes.


Lure colour selection is a vital part of fishing success. Generally on clearer days, clearer water, and when the sun is up, use translucent non uv colours. Nothing too flashy.

On cloudy days, dirtier water, early morning, use UV colours and try the more flashy and darker colours. 

If conditions are in between the above try everything and find what works.

Smear a small drop of Sax scent goldprawn on your blades and vibes every 15 minutes, works a treat for better hook up rate.


See this link for more of our estuary fishing tips:

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Copyright C.Ansell 2020

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