Woofing the Tropics – Mark Bargenquast & Justin Duggan
Bargy on the TD Woofer
The new Daiwa TD Woofer has certainly taken top shelf in my tackle box. After testing a few woofers down in Hervey Bay and getting good results on threadfin salmon, flathead and Barra it was time to try this new exciting lure in tropical Queensland, and where better than Weipa on the western side of cape York.
I finally had a day off from the daily grind of saltwater guiding and decided to go for a fish with Justin Duggan who was guiding with me. With limited time we only had a short session fishing the woofers over deep rock bars and suffered some numerous wipe outs from some really good fish. Fingermark, Pikey Bream, Estuary Cod, Trevally , Queenfish and a small jack all were taken on the lures in quick time.
On the run back to the ramp, we noticed a school of longtail tuna busting up on baitfish, the nearest rod was still rigged with a battle scarred woofer so I thought why not, a quick cast and bingo, a longtail on the woofer!
This is one versatile lure, slow roll gives it a tight shimmy, a fast crank makes the woofer look like a startled herring and it can be sunk down deep and hopped over structure for barra, jacks and even down south for big jewies and snapper I reckon it would be a hit!
With an amazing finish and colour range this lure is a must have for me. I’ll certainly be fishing with the woofer for some time to come!
Justin and Bargies Tips for TD woofer fishing
– Be in tune with the woofers vibration, you will feel it on slow or fast movements through braided line and graphite rods. No vibration simply means the lure is fouled or you have too much slack. Avoid monofilament line or fibreglass rods, they do no service to these great lures.
– It is important to recognise when the woofer has reached a required depth. You can use a count matched with your sounder and a vertical drop of the lure to gauge the sink rate and then just adjust your countdown as the depth changes. Alternatively using a brighter braid like J Braid and a small amount of slack on the water will allow you to identify when the lure hits bottom.
– Although Woofers are good on bait cast gear we preferred working them with spin outfits in the 7’6” length. Spinning outfits are far easier to feed line back on the drop due to the weight of the woofers. Be quick to engage the bail arm when sinking lures, they get smacked on the drop a lot!
– Vary lifts and drops from short and sharp to long and slow and everything in between until you find what the fish want. These lures work wonderfully in conjunction with a good sounder and keeping a keen eye on it.
You want that woofer in the fish’s face.
– when fishing areas with snaggy bottom structure we make the first couple of inches of the lift a little slow to avoid burying the hooks deep into unwanted structure, this makes recovery of the lure easier if caught up.
– We mostly cast lures up-current and worked them back toward the boat. This allows better depth and presents the lure naturally as most predators face into the current.
– Be meticulous about keeping minimum slack line between the rod tip and the lure as the lure drops. We like a tiny bit of slack to allow the lure to free fall but most our hits come on the drop so you need minimal slack to set the hook.
– The Saqsas hooks supplied with the woofers are incredibly sharp and strong. When fishing for larger critters like the long tail tuna and queenfish we fished lighter drags but would suggest upgrading to heavier trebles when fishing above 4-5kg outfits.
– Tie direct to your woofer do not use loop knots as they cause fouling.
– We used shorter fluorocarbon leaders of around 1 meter to maintain good contact with the lure, longer leaders can create a “belly” in the line that sags and can miss hook-ups and contact.