Product Review – Catch Beta Bugs – How I Use Them

Lure fishing has quickly become my preferred method of fishing. Over the past couple of years I’ve been playing around with various brands of Inchiku style lures (slow jigs). I’ve been using them in a range of different depths, from as shallow as five metres and as deep as 200 metres. These lures are very adaptable in regards to different methods of use, giving you the ability to target various species of fish in different depths.

A few months ago I came across a brand of Inchiku style lure called Beta Bugs, made by a company called Catch. I’ve been intensively putting these lures to the test over the past three months, on some awesome winter Snapper, this is what I’ve found…

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Testing environment:  I’ve been fishing from a kayak drifting over depths ranging between 15-60 metres. The Jig weights I’ve been using are 60/80/100g.

The Lure Action: The fascinating thing I found about these jigs is how they swim in the water. Because of their shape these jigs have the ability to swim in a fluttering motion giving a great action on descent. However, if you want a fast descent, you can stop the jig from fluttering by giving the line some tension, the jig does have the ability to fall straight down. This is great if you can see sign on the sounder hard on the bottom and you need to get your jig down there fast. I tried some full speed retrieves and have noticed that because of the shape of the jigs they do tend to spin on a fast retrieve. Is this a bad thing? Apparently not, I’ve caught multiple Snapper using this method. . the first time, my thought was – just pure luck.. but three in a row.. well…

In my opinion there is definitely no wrong way of using these jigs. You can do a fast or slow retrieve, slow or fast mechanical jigging motion, or no movement at all or simply pop the rod in the rod holder. All these methods will catch fish. The method I found most successful is mechanical jigging (both slow and fast). Drop the jig straight to the bottom, depending on the depth and how fast you are drifting you may want to cast the jig just ahead of the drift. This will give you the optimum line angle when the jig reaches the bottom. I like to fish these jigs as vertical as possible, especially when fishing on a kayak. This not only gives you a good line angle, but also a better striking position. I tend to jig up to at least half way and then drop the jig back down to the bottom and continue to do the same until the line angle is too far behind the drift. A good number of the bigger fish I have caught on these lures have been well up off the bottom, some as far up as half way. Try different speeds of jigging the lure as every day is different, some days the fish will like slow moving lures, other days fast moving. Don’t restrict yourself to just using one style. I’ve included a short video at the end showing some of the styles I use.

Jig weight to depth ratio: The 60g and 80g jigs I’ve used in depths between 15-60 metres. the 100g I’ve used in 40-60 metres. My general rule of thumb is, if your jig hasn’t reached the bottom by the time it is directly under the kayak/boat, then you need to use a heavier weight. The flip side on that is, try to use the least amount of weight you can get away with. This will give your jig a better action. All these variables will depend on wind and current. It pays to have a couple of weight options to choose from.

Colours: Different colours work well on different days. It pays to have a couple of colours in your arsenal. It might be superstitious on my part but my preferred colours are Orange Assassin and Shady Lady (pink). In the end it comes down to own personal preference. Choose a colour you like and give it a go.

Durability: In the photos below is one of the Catch Beta Bugs I’ve been using for the past three months. This lure (Beta Bug Orange Assassin 80g) has caught well over 30 Snapper. This lure has never been rinsed or washed in fresh water and still is in good nick.

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Assist Hooks: After 3 months they have a little bit of surface rust on them but they are still super sharp. I’ve put decent amount of drag pressure on these hooks while hooked up to big Snapper, they definitely don’t bend out.

Braided Assist Line: The braided line is very strong, no signs of wear after 3 months, and can definitely handle some significant drag pressure.

Octopus Skirts: This is another thing that really impressed me, the octopus skirts on these lures are very durable more so than other lures I have used. This lure has been thrashed over the past months, and is not missing even one tentacle. The assist rig strength is definitely a selling point for me.

The Body: Just a few teeth marks from some hungry Snapper but still in good condition. It hasn’t lost any colour or faded nor has it lost any of its eyes.

Colour And Size Range: Sizes range from 20g – 200g. Six colours available. Check out the Catch Fishing Catalogue for the full range. Some great colours available.  Just click on the link below for more information.

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Tips For These Lures: Fish these lures vertically to get the best action, try different colours, different weights in different depths, look for sign on the sounder and drop them down into it, great for work ups, vary the way you give these lures action for better results, keep in touch with your lure on descent as a good percentage of hookups happen on the drop.

Gear To Use: Overhead or spin, at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference, they both do the job in my opinion, both have their pros and cons (not a subject I’m going to cover). You can pay upwards of $600 for a dedicated slow jigging set, (very nice to fish with I must say) but If you are a fisherman on a budget, a simple soft bait set will do the job.

Braid: I use 10-15lb braid max, the heavier braid you use the more drag it will have in the water, affecting the descent and action of the lure. Buy good quality braid.

Fluorocarbon Trace: 15-30lb – depending on what I’m targeting e.g Kingfish I tend to use a bit heavier trace 30lb, the same goes for targeting Snapper in reef areas. If I’m fishing over sand then I use 20lb.

Genie Clips: Again, this comes down to personal preference, some people don’t like to use these clips and would rather tie a knot. To be honest I have lost a couple of fish to bent clips… but I have landed hundreds with no problem. I find them really helpful for fast lure changes.

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I hope this is helpful information, feel free to leave a comment or a question on my blog. I’ve put together a short video with some underwater footage of the Catch Beta Bugs, a quick view on some of the methods I use to fish these lures, and of course some of the fish I’ve been catching lately on these lures. For more info on Catch Fishing products, visit the website http://www.catchfishing.co.nz, ask for Catch Beta Bugs by name at your local tackle store.

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