This season has seen a fantastic run of school sized Tuna on the inshore grounds of Sth West Victoria (anything from 2 to 10km offshore) since as early as February. Like inshore fish often are when compared to their shelf dwelling brethren, the fish have often been regarded as finicky, getting a trolling spread anywhere near them can be very difficult. It really has been the season of the stickbait and many anglers now are cottoning on to how fun, and effective this technique can be.
The Daiwa Overthere Skipping has been a very effective stickbait style lure in this situation. Even though the fish are often on small baits, usually best replicated by a small metal lure or soft plastic, these fickle tuna do like to run down and smash a cast stick bait, even when they have been ignoring trolled diving lures of a similar profile in size. The Daiwa overthere skipping is a great lure for this. A lure that casts well is always an important factor when chasing surface feeding pelagics for a couple of significant reasons. The longer the cast, the longer the retrieve, the more time a fish has to intercept it. There’s nothing worse than running out of room as a speeding tuna veers away at the last minute, as your lure reaches the boat before they catch up to the lure. Also the closer you need to get the boat to the fish to get a cast in, the more likely you are to spook the school.
Many smaller stick baits require a refit in hardware before you begin throwing them at things like tuna. This is not a problem for the overthere skipping. The hooks on 130 in particular are quite heavy gauge and very strong for a stick bait of this size and profile, and were awesome early in the season. As the season wore on the 110 came into its own. I was always unsure how the hooks would go on a fish like a SBT but they have been fine. I’ve been using the 110 with 40lb leader and 30lb J-braid, off a 4000 size sol and finding that working a treat. If you fished them super hard on heavier gear you may have an issue with the hooks, but there is only so hard you can pull on this gear and the more important thing is being a) able to cast a long way and b) having the stealth factor of the lighter leader/smaller lure. About 1.5 to 2m of leader and an FG knot (do yourself a favour and learn to tie it) and you have an awesome combination to cast at those fast moving bust ups.