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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Lord Of the Lures
Dean Butler profiles Peter Pakula, one of Australia's most innovative and successful Lure Makers from The Fishing World 1998 Great Lure Guide
The biggest fish I ever clapped eyes on was a Pacific blue marlin, estimated by guys who know these things to be more than 550kg or upwards of 1200 pounds. It first reared its massive head behind a spread of Pakula lures way back from the boat, moving in on the long left outrigger. When the skipper yelled, "Big fish on the left" I focused on a dorsal fin that blew me away with its sheer bloody magnitude.
Needless to say, the Pakula Evil Animal is one of my favorite trolling lures when big marlin are the target. That blue leviathan had swooped on it as surely as a cannibal on a missionary. My best fish on one so far is a 237kg blue marlin, and patterns centered around that lure have seen countless fish fooled over the years - not just by me, but by anyone remotely interested in catching billfish on lures. Gold Coast-based Peter Pakula, the creator of the famous range of Pakula trolling lures, is hardly an overnight success story - the bloke's been hard at it for a long time - but his is an inspirational story that should be of interest to fishermen, lure makers and lure users Australia wide.
It wasn't so many years ago that we didn't have a great deal to choose from when it came to buying lures. Up to 90 per cent of that available in most tackle shops was imported stuff, and seldom just what you wanted. A lot of them were overseas fresh- water lures being sold for use in Australian saltwater. With these, connections, components and terminals such as rings and hooks were often weak links that were going to let you down.
As the demand grew for stronger products made for Australian conditions, so did the number of backyard lure makers committed to developing quality products geared for our fishing requirements. These days a good tackle shop will have a huge selection of home grown goodies built both to catch our fish and to last. Some of the operations that are now more than mere cottage industries include Reidy, Lively, Kilialure, PMG Scorpions, Leads and Halco - to name just a few. Most of these guys have couple of things in common - their products are predominantly bibbed or bibless hard-bodied plugs and lures designed for Australian fish and fishermen. Apart from maybe one or two, they are made for sale and use Australia only.
In the evolution of the Aussie-made lure industry, Peter Pakula has always been a progressive and inspired figure, his locally made products recognised and sought after well beyond our shores, wherever big fish are targeted. It's no exaggeration to say that his name has become synonymous with billfish trolling lures. A lot's been written about him over the years, more than any other single Australian angler or lure manufacturer, for the very good reason that his products get results.
If tournament wins are the ultimate gauge for successful lures, Pakula's worldwide triumphs are staggering and too numerous to list. Highlights include all of the major Australian big game competitions and a great many of the leading US tournaments. Pakula lures have accounted for more than $2 million in prize money over the past five years and to top it off they caught the winning fish at the last two Hawaiian International Billfish Tournaments. Pakula himself was a member of the winning team at the 1996 HIBT.
During the past 10 years, Pakula lures have been the only foreign lures sold in Hawaii - a marketing feat akin to selling ice to Eskimos as Hawaii is generally regarded as the birthplace of billfish lures. In recent times, those HIBT wins really made the Big Kahunas take notice, so much so that Pakula's have been named the Official lure for this year's 40th Anniversary HIBT.
In my travels, I've often been asked where Peter has his lures made and I've gotten more than a few surprised looks when I tell people the facts. Pakula lures are all personally built by Peter Pakula, his wife Jo - a very spirited partner in life and business - and son Len in their Runaway Bay home. Here the original garage based factory has gradually spilled ins contents throughout the house, turning it into a sort of wild cross between a spread for belle magazine and an exploded tackle shop. Peter's spectacular array of trophies and tributes just add to the extraordinary atmosphere. Design, manufacturing and the rather eye-catching brand of Pakula marketing all comes together in this proverbial hive of activity, with the trio often working around the clock to produce huge numbers of lures for the world game fishing market. Lure heads are made 100 per cent in house, and the skirts are custom made to order from Sevenstrand in the US.
Like the world's best rod builders, lure manufacturers who make it in the game who have one thing in common - they do a lot of fishing and they're damned good at it. Pakula builds marlin lures and he catches a lot of marlin, but his skills as a fisherman go well beyond blue water and big fish. He's an accomplished fly caster who's caught everything from thumping big brown and rainbow trout in NZ to the wily golden trevally of the Hervey Bay flats. He's also been a member of the winning visitors 'team at the prestigious NT Barra Classic, his "barra on a stick' trophy taking its place among the slew of billfish awards.
For fun in his home waters, he loves catching big flathead on lures, claiming plenty over the 10 pound mark, and targeting bass in the dams and cobia on the inshore reefs. For the records, he's been actively fishing for most of his life, game fishing for more than half of it.
A laconic personality who's well known for not suffering fools, Pakula has little time for anyone who remarks on his "overnight success" in the bilifish lure game or for those who reckon he's a lucky bastard to have cracked the international market. Like the Thomas Edison line about success being one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration, Pakula has been working non-stop at his craft and its marketing for many years. He started building lures in 1977 and it's been his official business since '87. With all the perspiration though, there can be no taking away from the inspiration. Over the years Pakula has devised and developed many of the things that are today considered standard in the world of lure trolling. just two such inventions include the original "Witchdoctor Teaser" and the "Shackle Rig'. Along the way, he's also been credited with revolutionising small boat game fishing, streamlining mini-game boats that have allowed him to single handedly catch many fine fish up to nearly 400 pounds.
He's also the author of the book Pakula Unlocking the Seacrets and has featured in many videos as well as being a regular on all of the current TV fishing series. Sharing his knowledge and expertise in workshops or Pakula Schools has been a source of ongoing pride, and he'll readily quote with satisfaction the improved results his students recorded during and after the teaching trips he's hosted locally and internationally. Pakula has always led the way in lure development with his choice of shapes, colours and materials. The family tree began with solid coloured soft heads and home made tapered "slap skirts". These lures were great, but the urethane used for the heads proved unsuitable for larger scale production.
The next generation of his lures looked remarkably similar to the previous soft heads but were made of polyester resin, a hard material. The first of these hard heads had hand-cut flat skirts; then, as business increased, Pakula went to Yo-Zuri skirts, which he used until 1995 when YoZuri changed manufacturers, leading to a down-turn in supply and quality. At this time Pakula started working with Sevenstrand USA to create a range of customised skirts to suit his lures. The result is considered state-of-the-art in billfishing circles. In mid 1996 Peter and Jo Pakula wanted to do something special for the company's 1Oth anniversary and came up with the idea of 100 original tinted clear soft heads. If you know anything about trolling lures, you'll realise that this anniversary limited edition went on to become the current Pakula SOFTease range of lures which has taken the world- wide game fishing scene by storm.
I was managing Erskine's Tackle in Cairns when Peter first showed me the SOFTease lures. As usual, quality of workmanship was second to none and I had to squeeze them a few times, amazed at how much they looked like the resin heads but were soft. At that time he was already selling the lures overseas (in fact 70 per cent Pakula's business is offshore) and I was eager to get them on to some of the local Cairns game fishing boats for the 1997 heavy tackle marlin fishing season. The results were simply sensational. The first grander of the season - a fish of 1186 pounds - was taken on a Pakula Lumo Sprocket by Don Gull, aboard Mouna Kea skippered by Captain Dean Beach. It was the biggest fish ever taken in Australia on a lure and turned out to be the biggest marlin for the big fish season.
Bill Billson, renowned skipper of Viking 11, liked the Lumo Sprocket so much he trolled three in his spread for much of the 1997 season. He hooked some huge fish on them, but through some bad luck and shark attacks he only got one back to the boat in one piece. One that was hooked on the Pakula lure but sharked was estimated to be better than 1200 pounds. His best landed of the season weighed 1133 pounds - taken on a Pakula Lumo Sprocket.
The fact speaks for themselves. Twenty years into the game, and the Pakula phenomenon keeps gaining momentum, with constant new developments and international marketing inroads further underlining the accomplishments of this pretty remarkable home grown operation.
If you're just starting out in the quest for billfishon lures, or you've been trying for a while with mixed results, you could do a lot worse than tapping into the Pakula reservoir of knowledge and experience to improve your results.