When I first laid eyes on it I was like..."hummm"? But it’s not really until you get this bait in the water, that you realize its true potential!
The 6" Squid Vicious is a blob with legs! The thing is, the legs themselves are very thin and they all (3 of them) have a curled ends. This makes them swim - and when I say swim I mean like a backward swimming squid or octopus. This makes perfect sense to me as snapper love to eat cuttlefish, squid and octopus.
If you remember back some time ago there was Gulp Squid. It looked just like a squid! That was its problem! Because it was a direct copy of a squid and was made from saltwater Gulp formula, it was quite stiff and lifeless. The only thing it was really ever good for was trolling. The new Squid in the Gulp family mightn’t look precisely like a squid but let me tell you, the fish, they don’t care. As a matter of fact, this is one of the best all-round saltwater soft baits ever invented!!
As lure anglers, after a while you come around to thinking that it’s better to represent, than to directly mimic. Fish are very curious creatures and because of this, if you can tweak the fish’s buttons enough and make them have to give chase then you’re more than half way there.
The other end of the stick tells a different story where the fish can see exactly what it is from where they are and there’s no real need to move anywhere to go check it out! Thing is...if a fish has to move than its going to want to replace that lost energy with something and that something is usually going to be what they’re chasing - so better to make them swim than not!
The Squid Vicious has a great 'all round' appeal. It doesn't directly and individually imitate a squid, cuttlefish or octopus but instead 'represents' all of them at once, making it the perfect soft bait!
Through the testing process of this Gulp soft bait we learnt a few tricks and most of them are involved with the retrieve.
Best retrieve - You can do whatever you like but for the best results I like to cast out as far away from where I am and let your SV hit the bottom. Then draw the rod up from the water to 45 degrees, stop for 1 second and then continue up to 90 degrees.
Drop the rod tip, wind up some slack line and repeat letting the bait re-touch the bottom every time.
This retrieve gives the SV a gliding/swimming type motion in the water much like the real thing would if it were moving through the area. It also helps with not getting the legs tangled around the jig head and leader like what can happen if you aggressively work the rod.
Another trick is to rig the SV on the side. See picture below. This can make your bait track straighter and in some instances (high speeding for kings) will stop it from doing donuts!
Tackle - Unless you intend on pulling the head off your snapper or screwing the drag up with pliers or using rope as line or striking like a crazy person or just being a total goose - you can get away with quite light gear for snapper plasticing!
My favourite jig heads are the Nitro Bulk in 4/0 and the Saltwater Pro 3/0. Obviously it would be silly to tell you what weight I use because it will have no correlation to anything you might do unless you plan on fishing right next to me for the rest of your life! But hook type and size is very, very important!
I would use the Nitro Bulk more often than not, mostly because of the wire gage of the hook. Nearly 80% of my snapper plasticing is done with 6-lb MicroFuse or 8-lb Nanofil and 2000 sized reel like a Revo Premier 20. With this weight of line you need thin steel in your hooks to get good penetration of the point and barb. The Owner hooks in these jig heads give me that and also have fantastic strength.
I'm also a massive fan of the fluoro coloration on these heads! Tip – Get a pair of pliers and gently ‘bite’ the paint off the plastic keeps. The paint makes this area slippery! 2 second fix!!
My favourite rod for this type of fishing is a Venom Copperhead - which has a line class of 3-5kg and is 7' long. What I really like about this rod is not just the huge amount of hidden power in the butt section but is the way that the handle extends out from the butt for better leverage on the fish! And of course when the fish is landed the butt section simply slides back inside its self!!
The Squid Vicious comes in 6 hot snapper catching colours and for my money, Im right into the Pink Shine, New Penny and Orange Tiger....but colours....that’s another story!