Indepth Reviews, Lures, Tackle

Field testing Wilson’s new Zereks

There’s a huge range of soft plastics on the market, and all of their different designs have not come about by accident; rather they are the result of extensive research and development. The one thing I really like about plastics is that they are continually evolving, and a look at the new range of Wilson’s Zereks confirms this fact. Zerek is all about making good lures even better.

Were this jack’s eyes bigger than his belly? This little bloke really nailed the Zerek Flat Shad Pro.

New Zerek Flat Shad Pro series

The original Zerek Flat Shad sported a baitfish-shaped body and active tail that virtually begged a fish to have a bite. I have found them to be extremely effective, especially on ambush predators such as barra, jacks, flathead and cod. Now Zerek has revamped the Flat Shad with a softer and more flexible body material throughout. It’s called the Flat Shad Pro, and it’s part of Zerek’s Professional Craft series of plastics. The newbies are lighter, yet just as dangerous to fish due to the supple body collapsing upon a bite to enable the hook to do its job. These new lures have been designed to be cast on a more lightly-weighted hook, and this reduction in weight gives the tail a slower, more active and enticing action. The Flat Shad Pro can flutter down or be retrieved on the slowest of rolls, with the tail working very enticingly.

This Zerek Live Mullet came through totally unscathed from an encounter with a queenfish taken by Scott Kampe.

For those among us that like to pimp their lures, there’s an attachment loop for an additional stinger hook set into the lead belly weight of Zerek’s weedless worm hook. These lures come in a range of sizes from 3.5-7”, and there are five colours to choose from. I opted for a bright orange/yellow 4.5” model to try out on Granite Belt cod, and I found that the lure, with a deliberately slow retrieve, was deadly on these marble-eyed freshwater marauders. Casting just behind a large rock in a high country stream, I eased the snag-proof Zerek over the rock and watched in amazement as three smaller cod fought over the offering. One naturally hooked up, and I released it after a quick photo. In the saltwater I gave a couple of Flat Shad Pros a swim in the Murray River near Tully, and saw everything from barra through to jacks attacking them.

Zerek Live Mullet series

The concept of a lure closely resembling a fish is an old one. Early offerings made by various companies were moulded to look like fish, but sadly did not swim like one, as they lacked flexibility due to a one-piece rigid construction. They were innovative, but not reliable fish catchers. These days the new Zerek Live Mullet range from their Professional Craft series are as far removed from those early offerings as I am from competing in an Coast Iron Man event. Constructed from a highly durable, high-end TPE material, the Live Mullet is specifically designed to imitate the action of a swimming fish. emember how effective the Zerek Live Shrimp is, due to its very lifelike action and appearance? The same flexibility and realistic appearance is the key with the Zerek Live Mullets, as their segmented construction provides ultra flexibility in the water. Moreover, these segments are held together with Kevlar matting material throughout to ensure that toothy critters don’t give them the chop. They also feature 3D eyes for maximum attraction.

Murray cod find the Zerek Flat Shad Pro hard to resist. This fish nailed the lure the second I started a slow roll retrieve.

Available in a wide range of colours, sizes and weights, the Live Mullet has certainly earned its place in the tackle box. Just like the Pro Series Flat Shad, the Mullet’s action stands out from the crowd. It can be retrieved as fast or as slow as you like without sacrificing that fish-attracting wiggle. I’ve seen these Mullet take quite a few species of fish so far, and without a doubt durability is one of the best things about them. In the freshwater they were good on Murray cod, and son Scott was generous enough to take me out from Mission Beach and show me how effective the Mullet was on a decent-sized queenfish. Despite the attention the queenie gave the lure with its teeth, the Live Mullet came out unmarked. That’s pretty tough!

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