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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04: Predator Profiles
Between The Lines - Ch 01: Profiles
Let us continue to use the same sort of viewpoint on our target species - the predators. These observations are certainly not scientific; rather an attempt at understanding their distribution and obvious physical attributes to better help us improve making decisions on targeting them with appropriate gear and methods.
Specifying a species as a gamefish is misleading, as all fish are gamefish if caught according to the ethics of the sport, and indeed a great many species are recognised by the IGFA as such. Indeed, the majority of fish species are predators as they hunt and feed on living organisms. On the other hand, even the most esteemed species such as marlin can become scavengers when the opportunity arises, so in reality, it is hard to classify the species into definite groups of predators and gamefish.
The job at hand makes this chapter a bit easier as we are concentrating on gamefishing using skirted trolling lures. We will concentrate on the species most sought after using this method. The purpose of these early chapters is to gain an understanding that the many aspects of the sport create a jigsaw puzzle where everything involved is linked to everything else. With an understanding of how to come up with the questions will mean an understanding of the answers will be much clearer.
Once again, we have our zone chart to the right. Let's first look at the inshore grounds because far more potential is there than many realise and they are often overlooked.
This potential is based on the currents - areas that interfere with the flow of water such as reefs and islands, sudden changes in contours, both drop-offs and ridges and temperature differences. The greater the temperature differences over the shorter area the better. However, as each species has a preferred temperature range we will concentrate on temperatures from 18 to 26 degrees centigrade, with the optimum 25 to 26, though often fish will be found either side of what we believe to be their range. We will group all these factors (physical and temperature) together as 'structure'. Of course, there are many more signs and factors that guide towards increasing success, but that will be dealt with later.
The inshore, or shallow grounds hold great potential since the systems of currents, reefs and water interchange are more concentrated. The species found here include mackerel and many other species that are similarly shaped. The fins are small and narrow. The tail is very small and solid. The teeth form a row of razorblades. This shape is built for speed but not for extended periods. It's more of a drag-racer than a four-wheel-drive. The eyes are quite small, a sign that the species feeds more during the day than night. The lateral line is distinct and well defined, an indication that vibration is very important to them.
In fact all the predators we are discussing here have very well defined lateral lines that extend the full length of the body which indicates vibration is universally an important sensory organ. Another appealing and important characteristic that is universal with the predators is the sheer brilliance of the skin. The living fluorescent colours are breathtaking. The ability to change these colours is used for many purposes including camouflage, hunting, herding baitfish into tighter schools, communication with others of the same species and quite likely, mating displays.
Mackerels and similar species are generally found in the currents adjacent to structure. In fact most of the predators can be found in these areas, as this is not only where the food is but where it is easiest to feed on. Most, because this is not the case for blue marlin, spearfish, albacore and several others.
Another sought after species in the inshore zone is the sailfish. It has a massive forked tail relative to its slender body size. Its huge dorsal, used among other things for brilliant colour displays, is to herd baitfish folds neatly into a socket along its back. The large anal fin aids in stability. The huge pectoral fins aid in direction change and stability in gliding through the water. With a long slender bill this fish is designed for speed, in fact it's among the fastest fish we know of, although it is likely that all of the billfish are also amazing speedsters. Most of these fish do migrate and can be found anywhere, but are mainly targeted around the inshore structures discussed previously.
Black marlin are also found in these zones, especially the juveniles. These can be found right in against the shoreline if the currents are cooperative. The huge solid forked tail is designed for acceleration, the rest of the fins are designed for stability and gliding. The pectoral fins are rigid and do not fold in, just like the wings of an aircraft - a sign that this fish spends most of it's time gliding with the currents. It is built for slow steady gliding and short powerful bursts of speed.
The black marlin has the most solid bill of all the billfish species and it is also the most abrasive. The actual purpose of the bill is thought to aid water flow at speed, directional stability and to some extent, as a weapon for feeding, defence and aggression.
The lateral line in juveniles is very well defined, but in adults, becomes embedded in the skin. It's proportionally large eyes is an indication of either nocturnal behaviour, or feeding at depth during daylight hours. This fish is designed to be an ultimate predator. Conserving energy while gliding through the ocean, its sensory organs conveying information from its surroundings and its ability to turn on an incredible burst of speed when necessary.
Interestingly stomach content analysis show black marlin often feed on very small food items. It must pick these out individually as the structure of the gill systems are not designed to sift out these small items.
Due to the highly migrational nature of the black marlin, they can be found in many of the zones throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. However, they are mainly found near shore and major reef structures. Many game and sports anglers ignore these places as they are considered too close to the shore to hunt large gamefish.
Black marlin tend to congregate in year classes and size in various areas at different times of the year with the younger, smaller ones showing up first.
A great sign of tropical influence in the waters you are fishing is the presence of dolphin fish or mahi mahi. They are found in any clean warm oceanic water all around the world. Juveniles up to say, 75cm, are generally found inshore, while the giants (up to 2 metres or more) are usually found over the shelf in waters deeper than 100 fathoms. They are one of the fastest growing fish in the oceans and have a high fecundity, that is, they produce an enormous number of eggs during their lifetime. They are known best for adopting any floating object as a base. The more growth such as barnacles and weed the more chance mahi mahi have adopted it.
These fish are without doubt the most beautiful fish we encounter with iridescent rainbow colours of great intensity. Built to eat, they have massive fins and streamlined shape. Mahi mahi are school fish that cooperate in balling up baitfish and massacring them. They are very powerful for their size as they spend much of their time fining in the currents on the prowl for food. They also seem to be highly intelligent as it is often hard to catch many from a school without changing tactics.
As we venture past the more common depths where black marlin are encountered we come to the striped marlin areas of offshore and ocean. Striped marlin are most commonly found in depths of 80 to 100 fathoms, although will often sweep into closer water on the edge of major eddies when water conditions and bait concentrations are right. These are the coldest water marlin with fish often found in temperatures less than 17 degrees centigrade. These fish are very slender with oversized fins. They are highly competitive pack fish, rarely found alone, and will aggressively compete with each other for food. As they are found in the greatest range of temperatures, they have the greatest variety of food species, although as with the other species of marlin, food size is often very small.
Once we get out into the deep blue oceanic zone, the depths beyond 100 fathoms we find the most powerful species such as the yellowfin tuna. This is an open ocean predator found along the leading edges of oceanic currents. It is built for strength and speed with power and stamina enough to prove a very tough opponent. We often talk of the ratio of fish weight to line class, and this is one where the results are often not very high. Even a fish that equals line class is considered good going, whereas the equivalent effort with a black marlin would mean a fish weighing at least five times the line class. Yellowfin are all muscle. Yellowfin are also a school fish, though the larger ones are often found solo or in small groups, possibly as they are the only ones remaining out of a larger school.
As with the other pack or school fish they may be found in the closer shallower zones if oceanic currents and eddies are pushed in.
The main quarry of the deep blue for game anglers is the blue marlin. These are the toughest of all marlin, and are incredibly spectacular oceanic predators. They have large powerful fins, big eyes and their physical build is streamlined and muscular.
The blue marlin is one of the few species with a double lateral line so it can pick up harmonic vibrations at great distances. Rarely are they found in water less than 100 fathoms.
All these and the other predators inhabit the currents, along the edges where food is most plentiful and easiest to hunt. Many other species that inhabit the same waters are also worth considering.
Important factors to note are that often many species of predators will be found in the same area feeding on the same bait species. Bait species are not specific food for individual predator species. All predators are opportunistic feeders, eating for the most part whatever they can easily catch. The size of food varies from minute to as much as 20 percent of the predator's weight. Often they will let other species do most of the work in balling up bait, while they hang back and wait for the wounded bait to drift into their range. Certainly, the major prize for any predator is finding wounded prey that is easily caught and eaten.
Each of the species that we hunt certainly has a water temperature range that it prefers. However, you will find that you can catch them outside this range. In all cases difference in water temperature over a given distance, for example, 18 degrees to 22 degrees in two miles - is far more important than the actual temperature. Information as to specific temperatures can also be misleading as very few boats have calibrated gauges that read correctly on a specific or range of temperatures.