JP and Sooty fishing with Atomic Plazos

by Mat Cameron

In the crystal-clear waters of North Queensland’s inland rivers the scenery is beautiful, the fish are plentiful and the fishing can be sensational! However with the incredibly clear water and intelligent fish, it can also be a tough task to tempt them to bite. On a recent trip north I was lucky enough to spend a day exploring the Johnstone River in North Queensland. Armed with an assortment of my favourite bream and bass lures, a few jigheads and a couple of packets of Atomic plazos, the target species were Sooty Grunter and Jungle Perch.

After a long hike through the rainforest we finally reached the river, where we could clearly see many small JP and sooties, however it took quite some time and many lures thrown to finally crack the pattern. Two lures stood tall, the Atomic 2 inch Paddle tail grub (camo tiger colour) and the Atomic 3 inch Fat grub (brown crawdad colour).


Both Plazos were rigged on 1/8th oz jigheads, one an Atomic seeker, the other a Gamakatsu round ball, and both lures had the addition of a single jig-spin blade. The lures would be cast in turbulent water under rapids, around boulder mid river, in timber laydowns and allowed to sink down until contact with the bottom was made. Once on the bottom a simple slow roll retrieve was all that was needed to entice the bites. Often it wouldn’t even get that far and was smashed on the drop!

These feisty freshwater species were very aggressive once we cracked the pattern and fight well above their weight! They are a very worthy light-tackle sportsfish and I look forward to locking horns with them next trip up north.