I recently wrote a two-part article about GT fishing which includes rod and reel selection and also lures. I’ve since been receiving a lot of emails from beginner GT fishing anglers asking what lures should they buy for their upcoming GT trip. Although I’m not a GT fishing expert, I have guided and fished with oh so many fishos from all over the world allowing me to witness stuff like super expensive lures get smashed and busted off on reef, cheap plastic stickbaits catching the most GT on a trip, Napalms getting sharked, so on and so forth. Based on my personal experience, I have narrowed down my list of recommended lures to about 30-ish.
Reading about 30 lure recommendations would take up too much of your precious time and will only add to your current lure buying confusion, so I’ve pulled out all of my remaining hair to further narrow down my list to 10! No, they are not magical lures that will pull fish up from a desert, but these lures are probably my go to recommended lures for those who are just starting out in the GT fishing world. I may get a lot of flack from my friends who make and sell lures that are not on my list but I am ready to accept some ass whooping from my mates just to give you “MY” honest 10 must have lures in your lure bag to start off your GT fishing journey.
Crack open a beer, sit back and try to enjoy and, not kill me, by the end of this article.
The Cubera poppers are one of the best value wooden poppers in the market. I always recommend those wanting to venture into the popping mania to get some of these as they are extremely fun and easy to work! Value doesn’t mean that quality has to suffer. They have through wire construction with an NT belly swivel for piece of mind when hooked up. They are not the most durable lures though. Once the surface coat gets damaged down into the wood, they get waterlogged or they absorb water each time in use, causing them to sink, which you don’t want to happen when you are aiming for maximum surface disturbance. Despite the paint’s durability issue, I still recommend these bad boys all the time. Go get some now!
Alright, the Skipjack is from the same manufacturer and have the same paint durability and water absorption issues but still a great lure for beginners. The Skipjack is a more versatile lure as you can chug it and create a great bubble trail, and also burned fast like a pencil popper to imitate fleeing baitfish. And due to its streamlined shape, they cast really well, making you look like you know what you are doing most of the time.
“Hey, hold up! These guys aren’t cheap! Why are you recommending these to beginners?” Yes, these guys are quite expensive but gosh do they swim nice. Not as expensive as the Napalms, but they have a similar profile and swimming action. The Urpekari is a floating-diving popper that leaves an S-shaped bubble trail behind it every time you make a nice long pull and sweep. Hand made these bad boys are, without any automation involved. Amegari prides themselves of the build quality, focusing on performance AND durability. You get your money’s worth I promise. Only downside after price is that they are always out of stock. Send me an email if you wish to sell me yours.
Alright! Here we go. More value lures! These bad boys are not only some of the most affordable lures out there but they are very beginner friendly as well! You’ll get your stickbait sweeping technique perfected in no time after a couple of days using this lure. A nice solid pull and sweep will cause its head to dip (thus the name) and glide side to side. It is also a great casting lure as the wizards at Shimano have balanced this lure really well. Get a bunch of these and keep them in stock. If they are good enough for Fukui-san, they are good enough for me.
5 GT Ice Cream (Cone or Needle nose)
Another great value lure in the list and one of the most beginner friendly and most effective lures ever made. The original GT ice creams in white are made of Teflon and are extremely durable. I’ve had mine for almost a decade now and have caught heaps of fish with it. The material used is slippery, making the fish’s teeth slide off allowing for a better hookset. Durability is not an issue, castability is unbeatable and action is great! The needle nose version can be worked a couple of ways. A fast retrieve will make it skip on the surface imitating a garfish or flying fish, while a slower retrieve with a high rod tip will make its nose move in a side to side action. Needle nose is more suited to calmer conditions while the cone shaped ones are for the choppier days. A steady slow retrieve for the cones are the best way to work them. Being a bit fatter in profile, they offer a bigger surface disturbance thus its use in the chop.
Not as value driven but these bad boys accounts for some of the best days of GT fishing I’ve ever personally witnessed. Similar to the GT Ice Cream, it is a fast surface skipping lure which imitates a fleeing baitfish. It is significantly bigger than GT ice creams therefore attracting bigger fish! Orion lures are made with a very durable material and last really long, even after years of abuse from hooks and teeth, all those battle scars won’t affect their swimming action. Great, long casting lure and worth having more than 1 of these in your lure bag.
The unique pinched head shape of the GT harrier makes working them super easy. They almost automatically swim without the need for any added rod movements. A nice slow retrieve will make it dance side to side, seducing Geets of all sizes. Durability is a concern as they get hit by Geets so much, causing them to break. I’ve seen the wires in them pulled out from the body by a landed GT. Durability issues aside, I can’t say anymore good things about them. They are really good lures.
Not really the best for beginners but this article is about “must have” lures in your GT bag! And Hammerhead poppers are a definite must have, even though my weak arms can’t last 5 casts using them. Hammerheads come in a lot of cup sizes but the commonly used sizes are the C, D and E cups. C being the smallest of the three makes it the “easiest” to work. They are one of the best handmade Japanese poppers out there! You can work them by doing a regular blooping pop with a sideways pull creating a great sounding bloop plus a big bubble trail, or keep the rod butt in the gimbal and pop with an upwards stroke, the latter will create a splashing pop with a smaller bubble trail. A definite must have as they are big fish catchers.
Yep, another expensive lure in the list but a must have for versatility. Big fish won’t be surface feeding all the time. Usually, sinking plugs are the way to go as bigger fish usually roam around deeper reef sections and drop-offs. The Deep Seductress is a very fast sinking lure and it flutters on the drop with its nose down, imitating a dying baitfish, so get ready to get hit on the drop! Sweeping them creates a wide swimming action while a steady retrieve creates a tight s-swimming action. Mix up your retrieve techniques as they can be worked in multiple ways.
10 Blaze Garage Saththa & Kimitsu (TIED!)
Poor excuse but I couldn’t leave one out without the other. The Saththa is the easier to work from the pair but makes a big enough surface presence when popped.
The Kimitsu will be the louder of the two and takes a bit more effort to make it pop well. Both cast really well and are extremely well made. Through wire construction plus an NT belly swivel to top it off. Up to you to decide which one to get but for starters, I’d get the Saththa for ease of use.
So, there you have it folks, my 10 must have lures for your next Vanuatu fishing GT trip. This might change tomorrow but these are my 10 current must haves. Let me know what you guys think about the lures listed above. Have you used any of them? How do you feel about them? Send me an email if you think my list is a bunch of bull, or if you want to recommend other fishing lures to review.