Ever since I started targeting Sooty Grunter (Sooties), they’ve always had me coming back for “the one that got away”. The simple truth is that these fish have a knack for finding the weak link in your tackle and exposing it. And if there is no weak link, they’ll make one. Whether it’s hooks, lures or line, Sooties will find a way to bend, break and snap all three if given half a chance. You could go and completely overpower the fish on 30lb gear but where’s the fun in that? In my opinion, I find it’s the most enjoyable when you go as light as you dare… I decided to stick with the usual 5lb setup and really see what it could do.
The last time I targeted a trophy sooty, I made sure everything was in check; line, leader, drag, knots, casting distance, guides and most importantly – lure choice.
The river was up and flowing REALLY fast so I needed a lure that could dive to a reasonable depth, handle fast current but still have plenty of vibration and movement to attract fish. You’d be stupid to go past the Realis Crank M65 8A. This crankbait ticks all the criteria and suited the situation perfectly – deep diving, a huge bib, flashy colours, heaps of vibration and enough weight to punch through the wind and rain.
But before I began casting, I needed to upgrade the trebles and split rings, so I switched in some 50lb rings and hooks. I wasn’t taking any chances. I was out for a PB.
Without doubt, the fishing was challenging and the wind and rain began to set in. it wasn’t looking good at all. I made a long cast to a small eddy, gave a few big twitches and BANG! A solid hit but nothing too exciting. I set the hooks hard, making sure this fish wasn’t going anywhere.
Ha! Man was I wrong. As soon as this thing hit the rapids it got a whole lot bigger. And using the current to its full advantage, it set course for the sky, leaping right out of the water! As it got closer, it thought it would be a good idea to do a figure 8 between my legs then head for the current again.
Despite all of this effort to break free, the Realis Crank M65 8A didn’t show any signs of wear and tear at all. Amazing!
As soon as I held it up, I knew I had broken my PB and a quick measure on the brag mat confirmed my suspicion. HAPPY DAYS! One things for sure, if you want to catch big Sooties with confidence and reliability, the Realis M65 8A is a must have. Its solid build and glossy finish make it a fancy piece of fish catching hardware. I have no doubt that any other crank of similar size would’ve certainly failed under the stress that sooty was giving me. I know exactly what lure I’m using next time I want to upgrade that PB – Realis M65 8A
See you out there!