From my previous articles, you may have gathered that I love targeting Samson fish. The demersal ban gives anglers in the South West of WA a break from the Dhuies and Pinkies to target large Sambos which aggregate in huge schools this time of year, especially around the back of Rottonest Island. These tackle testing fish which can be anywhere from 5kg to 50kg are so much fun to catch and will leave anglers pinned to the railing all day long. They can be targeted in many ways although the most effective way I have found is to use big soft plastics and jigs, when fired up they’ll hit anything from a spanner from the tool shed to a floating stick although for the best results, here’s the gear I would recommend to target these fish.
Soft plastics have become extremely popular for targeting Samson fish and are far cheaper than using jigs. Dropping the plastics to the bottom and winding flat out through the school with Madeye 8″ Flick Sticks is a sure way to get the fish fired up. Madeye paddle prawns, Zman streakz, McArthy’s, or squidgy flick baits are
other popular plastics. Equally as important is choosing the right size jig head, when fishing under 50metres I use a 1.5-3oz TT head lock jig head depending on the current and wind. Between 50-150 large jig heads are a must, between 4oz and 8oz is ideal and jig head size will change according to the condition. For these deeper areas, jigs become a more ideal option and they’ll sink much faster.
There is literally hundreds of jigs on the market and nearly all of them will catch you Sambos, it can be hard to choose between the different shapes and colours at times. I have found blue, silver and white jigs to be the most effective when they are fussy, but that’s rarely ever the case. For under 50m of water jigs under 150 grams are ideal whilst in 60-150 a jig over 200 grams is neccasery. Samson fish can be caught in 200 metres even more and this is where a jig of 250-500 grams is used, but for the sake of not killing your body, try fish for sambos in under 100. My personal favourites include Samaki Choonas, Shimano butterfly jigs and Zetz slow blats, it is also good to stock up on cheap jigs such as the Tekka range which are generally 7-10 bucks each. They will get fish but not hurt the pocket as bad when a 40kg rampaging sambos puts you in a wreck, which is very, very often. Hard body lures such as the Halco max range can also be used by being dropped to the bottom and worked the same as a jig. The 190s would suit the really deep reefs, whilst the 130 and 110s are suitable for shallower spots.
Rods and reels are possibly the most vital part in landing big Sambos, cheap reels and rods are simply not capable of handling the thrashing of Sambo jigging. Whilst Stella’s and Saltigas make everything better, reels such as the Spheros and Saragosas are more than capable and will land just as many fish. I use a 8000 Speheros SW on a daiwa saltist hyper for smaller sized jigs, and a 25000 Saragossa and deep jig 400 for larger jigs and fish. A reel between 6000-25000 sizes are ideal, with 10000 being the most suitable in my opinion. Braided line is a must when jigging sambos, between 50-100lb is ideal, I like using Daiwa J braid or Ocea for jigging. The leader is highly Important as well, 80-200lb black magic or jinkai is a good choice. My personal favourite leader for jigging sambos is the Varivas range. If I’m using an overhead reel, I find my Okuma cedros reel and rod perfect. Reels such as the Shimano torium and tinidads are an excellent option too.
With the demersal ban limiting most option, why not get out there and target the South Wests toughest fish!