Its the south island east coast salmon fisher here.
I spoke to you and said I was keen to trailer my boat to Tutukaka , Northland, NZ.
Well after 24hrs of driving we made it to Toots. I was there for just under a month but only had 9 or so days on the water due to big seas and terrible weather. I followed exactly what you told me to in your chat session and in your videos. For the 9 days we had 2 hook ups and caught and released 2 striped marlin. For a rank beginner I was stoked. many thanks.
Please make sure Peter reads this. Took my witch doctor and the rest of the lures I purchased from you and ran them as recommended. I was very critical about their exact position. My wife and I along with my captain fished no more than 30 miles from La Paz, BCS. We fished very hard and steady and in 8 days had recorded these results which can be verified by photos. We raised 20+ stripe marlin. Coming into the spread in 1-4 at a time with several double hookups. We eventually were able to catch and release 17. More importantly in an area that has not been friendly over the past 5 years. In addition we raised about 12-15 blue marlin. We hooked and brought to the boat 8. Smallest estimated weight of 125 lbs and the largest was a measured weight of 441 lbs., which was tail wrapped and died prior to betting it in. All others were successfully releases with no injuries to them or us. Most were in about 250 lbs with two others being big at an estimated of over 350 and the other slightly larger at possibly 400. We ran all of the lures, colors and position as you recommended. We did include the Mexican Patrolero out of respect for my captain who was in the state of shock when after 3 days it did not get a hit. It was being run in the shotgun position and even I was surprised. My wife didn't care...she was reading her book and only responded when summoned to clear lines and the witchdoctor. We also won a small tournament that included 8 pangas and had a blast. Never have we done this good. I just wanted to let you know that the lures worked flawlessly and out performed everything else. I have no less than 100 lures on the boat and only used 7. I will be ordering the shredder today if for no other reason than I don't have one. This is not a fishing story and if you would like some photos of the lumo sprocket on the big blue send me your email address. People were actually following us around and I even have photos of that. Thanks so much. Take care. 3MJ
Whoever receives this please forward it to Peter.
I have been fishing the Sea of Cortez between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas for the past 15-20 years. I currently own a 58 Donzi sports fisher. I don’t claim to be an expert like yourself but have caught my share of marlin. I have good fishing equipment, wear good sun glasses and cheap clothing.
For the past 6 years I have taken my two youngest grandsons fishing to Mexico. Just grandpa and two grandsons…no one else allowed. It’s obviously a highlight I love, as do they. Now that they are 12 and 13 years old they are able to help with the fishing.
I have never written to anyone regarding their product either pro or con. I am sending you this letter in hopes it puts a smile on your face knowing that you contributed to a grandpa and two grandkids having a very successful annual fishing trip using your lures and suggestions.
My boat is loaded down with the standard fishing equipment i.e. rods, reels, fishing line, lures, teasers, dredges, and other must have necessary equipment. (My wife of 45 years just doesn’t understand…but has given up)
I’m not sure how, but one day while using the internet I came across a film of you explaining the “Witch Doctor”. (I am a huge fan of teasers). I also liked the way you made up your hooks. Simple, yet very practical. Not sure I fully understand the 60 degree offset of the hooks but I’ll figure it out. I of course ordered the Witch Doctor directly from you rather than a copycat version, along with a host of other much needed equipment. My wife had to help me as I have never placed an on line order in my life.
About a week or so later your stuff arrived and I packed it up and headed south to my boat with both grandsons. Hurricane Blanca was passing through and so the ports were closed and we kept busy with preparation until they opened on Tuesday.
Overall fishing was slow so we headed south. On June 11, while fishing near the south end of Island Cerralvo, with the Witch Doctor and other lures of yours, along with two proven teasers and the infamous Mexican Petrolero lure that is probably number one in our collection. My Captain and I witnessed two stripe Marlin come into the pattern and come between the witch Doctor and the rear of the boat. They circled the Witch Doctor as if trying to figure it out! Reminded me of curious porpoise. It was obvious to anyone and everyone that they were checking out the Witch Doctor!!! One of the marlin eventually hit on your famous green lumo sprokett. My Mexican Captain was in complete shock and his feelings were hurt as the marlin had bypassed his Mexican Petrolero. On June 12 this exact same thing happened once again! The marlin did not appear to be attacking the Witch Doctor but only curious…..again they passed up the infamous Mexican Petrolero for the green lumo sprokett. ( side note…not the same two marlin). Obviously the witch doctor drew them into the pattern. Fortunately for them we are a catch and release gang.
In all my years, I have never seen marlin so curious about anything. Thank you.
Since I have purchased the Witch Doctor and other stuff from you I have noticed similar products being sold elsewhere. Before passing away my Dad told me the best form of flattery is to be copied. However, It does become upsetting at times to see others make a profit from something you have developed and sincerely believe in. Some people will buy the copied version and maybe it is good. I don’t know and I don’t care…I’ll pay the extra to support the right people.
Just thought I would let you know.
Pakula lure wow and wow again. Love using these skirt. The take the reel spinning. The fight wow
Hey mate I'm Michael Lassen from the SCGFC and I joined half way through the season and I have a pakula addiction. There the only skirts I run in my spread. The quality and results are incredible. My total for this season finished on total from when i joined last season: blacks: 21 sails: 6 Dolly's: 12 spainards: 11 yellow fin : 8 wahoo; 4 and 90% of that was on your skirts. The boys are teaching me a bit of live baiting these days and I'm really keen to keep improving my fishing. But just letting you know how great your skirts are and really impressed with your product. I got first billfish for the club this season and I'm going to enter my first tournament in October. If around you should come up.
Adam Voss - Fiji
Bula to the Pakula team. I think you have done a great job with the new web site. I have just made another on line order and it is a much improved experience. Again well done and keep up the great tackle and service.
Kevin Harrison - Texas
I'm new to fishing the Gulf of Mexico, been a bay fisherman. A friend of mine asked a friend of his, who has won tournaments all over the world, what kind of lures I should use. He said the only lure I need is the Lumo Sprocket head. Sure enough the first time I went out, I muddled around trying to figure out what I was doing and they worked great. Thanks again, Kevin
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by Peter Pakula
This article deals mainly with effective methods of separating multiple lures and trolled baits in a pattern both vertically and horizontally. Not only does this system result in a wider spread but also offers the ability to enhance a lure or bait presentation by using outriggers to enhance their action.
The concept of outriggers shouldn't be over complicated, they are merely a tool that enables both vertical and horizontal separation of lure or bait presentations using release mechanisms that are are variable and often adjustable.
The advantages of outriggers are
a) They get lures / baits outside the boat's wash into clear water, increasing the spread of lures / baits, allowing more lures / baits to be trolled and cover more area of water.
b) Due to the height of the outriggers, the increase in the angle gets lures / baits to work 'harder' if they are run in close to the transom, and also work harder if they are put further back. For example, in the sketch below the lure off the outrigger is at the same angle to the water as the flat line.
c) Outriggers minimise tangling as the rigger lines are higher and further back, so that the flat lines can easily run under the rigger lines, and due to the wider spread, there is less chance of tangling in turns or in windy conditions.
There essentially two main systems used
1: Light Release, Drop Back System
Many anglers prefer using a drop back when using lures / baits and baits and in many cases when using baits the outriggers are used to control the amount of drop back via the use of clips, pegs and rubber bands there may be added line fed behind the boat to increase length of the drop back as shown below. In these systems the release is as light as possible, only just enough to hold the lure or bait in position. The system in theory allows the fish time to turn and swallow the bait before any pressure is applied to hook the fish.
2: Direct Release
The system involves applying hook-up pressure as soon as possible. Outriggers can have a major drawback. On a strike, you can end up with an awful lot of slack line which might be enough to allow the fish to spit the lure. To help eliminate this problem, tag lines have been developed and commonly used with lures. A tag line is merely a length of solid line one end of which is attached to the outrigger running line. The other end is attached to the trolling line via some form of release mechanism, usually a rubber band.
Below are some sketches that illustrate the system
The sketch below shows a lure being trolled off a flat line 148 feet behind the boat. On the strike, there is no slack line.
Below shows the lure still 148 feet behind the boat, but now the line goes through the outrigger. It now takes 184 feet of line to put the lure in this same position. When a fish takes the lure, the line comes out of the outrigger and for some time, there is 36 feet of slack line which may give the fish time to drop the lure. When a fish takes the lure in it's mouth the pressure the fish exerts on the lure and the roughness of its jaw make pulling the lure and the hooks through its mouth to hook the fish is unlikely. The fish is generally hooked when it first opens its mouth allowing the lure / bait and hooks to slide enough to hook the fish. If this happens when there is no pressure on the line the hooks may well not hit their target.
The solution is the tag line as shown below. A tag line is merely a length of solid line one end of which is attached to the outrigger running line. The other end is attached to the trolling line via some form of release mechanism, usually a rubber band. The lure is once again 148 feet behind the boat, but the same position as the lure that went through the outrigger before, but it now needs only 152 feet of line, thus giving only 4 feet of slack line on the strike. Note that the longer the tag line the less drop back, but the greater the chance of tangles when the boat turns and the more chance of line twisting around the release mechanisms as explained further on. Note that measurements vary on outrigger position, height and length. It's easy enough to do the exercise on the set up you are using.
Setting up the Tag Line
The tag line is connected to the running line of the outrigger, or directly to the out rigger. The tag line should be quite strong, at least twice the breaking stain of the line class used, in most cases nylon of over 300lb is used, though when trolling small lures lighter ones that will not sag may be preferable i.e. when using light tackle 100lb taglines are sufficient.
The length of the tag line is not critical, but it should be long enough to reach the tip of the rod you are going to attach the line to. As mentioned earlier the longer the tag line the less drop back, though the longer they are the more problems come into play. A practical length is the distance from the tip of the outrigger to the middle of the transom of the boat. This allows the tag line to be used on any rod on that side of the boat.
To make life easier, we incorporate a tag line 'return' into the rigging of the tag line. When the tag line connected to the trolling line is let out, the return rides up the outrigger halyard as the tag line takes up the weight of the lure. After a strike the return slides down the running line automatically pulling in the tag line. The danger of not using a return is that after a strike the tag line is free to whip all over the place with the risk of tangling in the fishing lines, and to pull in the tag line by pulling down the running line takes time and effort. The tag line return simply eliminates these problems.
A return is merely something relatively heavy with a hole in the middle through which you thread both the running line and tag line A 2" inch length of brass with a 3/8 inch hole up the middle is ideal. Round off sharp edges to minimise wear on the cords. Ready made ones such as the chrome one pictured are readily available. Many other items such as multiple glass or stainless rings can also be used. Note should be taken that standard returns may be too heavy for light lures to pull up. The system is based on gravity, the higher the angle of the rigger the more effective the returns will be. If the riggers are straight out at 180 degrees to the boat, returns may not be effective. The greater the height and higher up the outriggers the better they work.
To increase the effectiveness of the return use silicone grease or oil on the nylon halyards to make them slippery.
You may have noticed small balls incorporated in outrigger and tag line rigging. They are made from cork, styrene foam or large wooden beads. Essentially these balls are to stop things jamming, pulling through and for protection as follows:
- Between the rigging and tip of the rigger to stop the rigging getting jammed in the tip. - Beneath the join of the tag line to the outrigger halyards to stop the return jamming. - On the end of the tag line, both to stop the tag line slipping through the return and often a large styrene one is used to slow down the recoil of the tag line after a strike. The distance of the ball from the tip of the outrigger should be at least the length of the outrigger to allow the return to slide all the way down. - At the bottom of the outrigger halyard to stop the return getting scratched on or damaging the pulley through which the outrigger halyard passes.
There are many ways to connect the tag line to the trolling line including clips, snaps and pegs of all sorts. Perhaps the easiest is simply as pictured a length of cord that is connected via a slip knot to a rubber band that is wrapped around the trolling line. Instructions as follows:
It is very important to check the breaking strain of the bands before you use them. Their strength and elasticity vary from brand to brand, batch to batch and exposure to salt and sun will also affect them. Even very thin bands may have a very high breaking strain. Best to check the breaking strain of the bands with a set of spring scales before using them by pulling the scales slowly.
You'll be surprised how strong they are. Note that if you check a band with one end looped over the scales and the other over a cleat and say it breaks at 3kg, then when you put the band on the line and bring both ends back to the tag line it will be two ends at 3kg equaling 6kg. Note that you can have just one end going back to the line in which case the setting would be 3kg.
It's advisable to have a good selection of band lengths and widths so that you can choose the appropriate size to give you the release you wish. I prefer the bands to break at around my strike setting. If you use adjustable clips you should also check their release pressures.
To attach the trolling line to the tag line stretch the band and wind it around the trolling line at least eight times, more of possible, can't have too many.
Next, wind one end back over the other and pass the end of the tag line through both loops of the rubber band if you want double the breaking strain or pass one end of the band through the other and attach only one end to the tag line. Note that if both ends go to the tag line the band will come away on strike, if only one end comes back to the tag line the broken band will most likely remain on the line after strike.
To finish off, simply tie a looped slip knot (as in tying shoelaces). To release the line, you simply pull the tag end and the tag line is free with minimal fumbling with clips or snaps, no fumbling trying to undo tightly twisted bands, or clips while the crew are screaming to get the lines in to go off after a fish on a screaming run.
Tag line and outrigger pointers
- If a rubber band is used it must be wound tightly and with enough turns so that the line cannot slip through it (friction on nylon should be avoided at all costs). - Let enough line out between the rod and tag line to allow the tag line to run in line with the lure. - Keep an eye on the end of the tag line in case the line twists around it. The longer the tag line, the more chance of this twist occurring. - When the boat turns, it creates a belly of line, so make sure it doesn't foul on a rod tip or anything else. - Ensure that the rubber band breaks before any pressure comes on the trolling outfit, as this may well cause bust-offs. One way of ensuring a direct release if you don't have very stiff outriggers is run a stay from the tip of the outrigger to as far forward on the boat as practical as shown in the sketch below.
Outriggers should not just be seen as a way of separating lures in width but also in height. There are many set-ups where an outrigger is mounted on the cabin or bridge where a line (called the shot-gun or whiskey line) is run high and back behind the rest of the lure pattern. Many set-ups use multiple tag lines of the same riggers to add height to corner lures or baits and or run teaser lines.
There are a huge variety of bases, holders and boat configurations. Though quite small boats can be equipped with outriggers they may create problems, since there is more crew work required when a strike occurs there often isn't enough room to move comfortably or safely, (or a big enough crew) for this purpose. In these instances simply using angled rod holders either off the center console, T'top rocket launcher, on a sturdy fiberglass or aluminum roof or on cabin sides can work quite effectively. There are many points in the following that can be incorporated in these simple systems.
Of course if for no other reason outriggers are great for flying those little red flags flags on the way home.