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One Fine Fish #5: DUO Blazin` Gold

We received a radical new lure not long ago. It had curious fins just rear of the belly section and felt like it weighed quite abit. That lure turned out to be DUO’s latest take on the heavy weight minnow for saltwater use. The next available trip out was just the right chance to give it a shot.
We love our coastal offshore fishing. Shallow waters interspersed with reefy outcrops and a myriad of species available to target. We jig, cast and pop in these waters and have a great time every time. This trip would be no different.

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We set off at day break to catch the early morning bite and arrive an hour and 30 nautical miles later at a reefy ridge to find actively feeding birds and fish. These areas are not spared by the commercial fishermen and the guys already there are working themselves into a frenzy. The Captain positions us along the shallow reef edge where the big boats aren’t able to reach and we start casting.

Naturally the Rough Trail Blazin’ is the first lure I slip through the split ring attached to my swivel. This is the most secure way of rigging for tough saltwater fishing and minimises the chance of failure by a fair margin. Curious to see how it’d worked I run it a couple of times close to the boat to sus out the best form and speed of retrieve.

Strong and wide are the first words to come to mind. Nice. It sinks at a great rate, given that its 40gm heavy. But the wide wobble and distinct action felt through the rod tip is what really excites me. Time to cast.

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The fish are holding in the deeper edges of the reef edge, closer to the commercial boats. But we try nonetheless. A few tentative casts to learn the terrain of the reefs and we get the confidence to work the lures a little deeper, covering more water. The beauty of these sinking minnows is the ability to work different water columns and find fish that are otherwise unreachable.

So we count down a couple of seconds, just allowing the lure to drop below an active bait ball as we drift past. The reefy terrain below is mighty unforgiving so you want to be well off the bottom. Ripped through the bait school with lots of twitching, the lure comes to life. But as quickly as it animates, it all comes to a halt as the lure is belted. And missed!

No stopping, we continue with the twitches and cranks. Another hit. Another miss. And then it comes tight! There was obviously a pack of hungry speedsters trying their hardest to refrain the lure from getting back to the boat. This is lure casting at its zenith!

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They fish hangs deep and the rod transmits strong head shakes as we try to stop it from reefing us. It doesn’t display the typical long fast runs of your typical pelagics. Instead, it is stubborn and also displays its strengths with a few strong bursts. We keep calm, not wanting to lose this precious first fish on the DUO Blazin’ lure. And boy do we get a pleasant surprise when we first see colour.

Rising from the depths was a fish with silver flanks and tiger-like stripes. A Golden Trevally! Wow! While not uncommon on small jigs, you almost never catch them on hard body lures. At least not around these parts. Not the biggest of specimens, but a trophy of sorts nonetheless. Much care was taken not to lose it boatside and when we got hold of the flapping tail the sense of elation was hard to describe. It was a great capture on the Rough Trail Blazin’s debut for us and one we’ll remember for a while.

Confidence instilled, I am able to work the Blazin’ with relative ease all because it does most of the work itself. In between multiple hits from over-enthusiastic Long Toms that are treated like pests around here, we score another trophy in the form of a nice Coral Trout pulled within close vicinity of another harassed bait school.

?Coral dwellers by instinct, these tough fish will let down their guard occasionally when there’s an easy feed higher up in the water column. When hooked they showcase unmatched strength when trying to get back to the sanctuary of the nearest coral bommie, and they usually win. To get one in amongst a bait school was a total surprise and a lucky shot indeed. But it also summed up the effectiveness of the new DUO Rough Trail Blazin’ lure.

The lone Blazin’ lure didn’t last much longer though. In the cut and thrust world of the saltwater speedster where Mackeral, Barracuda and Long Toms lay wait with their sharpened fangs, lure losses are inevitable and this story ended no differently. So until the much awaited stocks arrive on our shores, we wait.

Darren Chong

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