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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01: Hook Points
Between The Lines - Ch05: Rigging
At the time of writing no manufacturer had as yet released a dedicated hook for use in skirted trolling lures. We must do our best with what is readily available for the task. Put simply, this task is to get a hook point through an often very tough jaw, so that the hook holds on the bend (Fig 1) and not just on the point and barb. Following are some of the considerations in hook choice. We will deal first with hook material, of which there are three major categories.
The first material is chemically-sharpened high carbon steel. It is quite useless when applied for trolling hooks as the hooks are designed to be sharpened by use of an electrical current. When hooks travel through the water and over the earth's magnetic field an electrical current is generated that continually eats at the hook, including the point. This will result in the point literally falling off, often within a very short period of time. To use these kinds of hooks, a waterproof coating must be applied to protect the hook from the electrical current. That said, coating these hooks is worth the effort and expense, as many in this group are the best available for light tackle trolling.
The second category is steel hooks with various plating such as zinc and cadmium. They are cheap and easy to sharpen, but hard to maintain as sharpening exposes the steel to corrosion, resulting in rust. There are many ways of reducing corrosion such as coating the points with grease, felt tip pen ink and the like. The greatest advantage is that these hooks are the strongest, and the greatest disadvantage is the high maintenance.
The final category is stainless steel. Stainless hooks are the easiest to sharpen and maintain, and although the most expensive, are the preferred choice for most trolling rigs.
It is open to debate as to which hook material is best for the fish's mortality. Chemically-sharpened hooks will corrode the quickest, but the electrical charge it generates may well interfere with the fish finding and capturing food. Steel hooks and their coating may eventually result in the fish dying of blood poisoning. Stainless does not cause poisoning, nor will it corrode. What is important in hook choice is to ensure the hook does not interfere too much with the fish feeding. Most hooks used in lure rigs fall out quickly once there is no pressure from the line.
The factors involved in getting a hook into and through a jaw is the level of pressure applied to a hook point to get it to penetrate. Thus, line class and drag setting are an integral part of how much force is applied to the point.
Hook thickness (Fig 2) is an aspect of this. Logically, the thinner the hook the easier it is for it to penetrate. Depending on the material, the thinner the hook the lighter it is, so the lure action will be less restricted. Again, depending on the material of the hook, the thinner it is, the weaker the hook and the more likely it is to flex and bend under pressure. Of course, this only becomes a concern if you do hook up and certainly finer hooks will give up the fight more often. When using light and ultra-light tackle, thinner gauge hooks are preferable for a good hook-up rate, but may flex and bend under excessive load, so often the fish must be tagged or gaffed off the rod tip, or only light pressure is applied to the leader to bring the fish to the boat. Essentially two gauges of hook thickness will cover most situations. Rather than specify line class we'll specify drag settings as this is a more accurate guide. On drag settings less than eight kilograms fine wire hooks can be used. Any drag set over eight kilos and the standard hook gauge will do the job.
Hook length (Fig 3) and the overall shape of the hook is another consideration. Essentially, the longer the shank, the more stable the hook is, and the easier it is to set. Instability that may be caused by shorter hook shanks can be overcome by turning the point in so that it faces the eye of the hook. The result is the force applied to the eye of the hook is directly in line with the point. In fact, regardless of hook length, the more the point of the hook is in line with the eye of the hook, the easier it is to set the hook.
The restriction here is in many cases if you were to have a hook of this shape, the gape of the hook would be too small to go around the fish's jawbone without using a very large hook. Even though there are a great many types (fig 4) of points offered in hooks that may be used for trolling, we still end up with the compromise of using hooks with points that are turned in slightly. Fig 5)
Straight point hooks are often used as they have maximum gape for deeper penetration, but due to their shape, are best used in stiff rigs which effectively lengthen the shank. This results in the pull coming a distance away from the point which helps in getting this shape hook to penetrate. Unfortunately the stiff rigs do restrict lures that are designed to have any type of head-shaking action such as all Pakula Lures.
The actual point and barb of the hook is critical in length, angle and shape. Within a short time from now this will not be a consideration as new, very sharp hooks with correct barbs will be available straight out of the box. Even now most of the hooks we use on light drags are chemically sharpened.
At this point in time however, most hooks used on medium and heavy drag settings still need an element of surgery to get the best out of them. Preparing a hook point involves shaping the point initially with a coarse cut with either a grinder or file. Using a grinder takes a great deal of experience to get the angles right without overheating the hook and destroying the temper of the metal. Using a file is much easier for a beginner.
The desired shape is a fine barb with a tapered point. There are two main types of point. (Fig 6) The cone point is certainly the stronger, but it does take longer to sharpen each hook. Unfortunately once the hook point is damaged resharpening results in a shorter thicker point that is harder to set than a finer point.
The other main type of point is the blade, which has cutting edges on the barb and top of the point. The longer and finer the point the easier it is to penetrate, however, too fine a point will fold under pressure. Often to increase strength a slight angle is put on the tip of the point.
With a bit of experience sharpening a hook using a file called a "Flat Bustard Second Cut" can be done quite quickly and can result in a well-cut point. (Vid 1) If a vice is used to hold the hook while sharpening, rubber or wooden blocks should be used to hold the hook, as metal jaws may crack and weaken the metal of the hook. Note that for heavier line classes the end of the point is angled to strengthen it. (Fig 7) The hook point can then be polished with finer cut files and hones. Although finishing is often left until after the hooks are rigged as they can be damaged.
Vid 1: Sharpening Hooks
The minimum hook size is determined by the size of the lure head. The hook gape should be able to fit around the lure head. (Fig 8) This idea is based on allowing at least half of the gape of the hook free to penetrate deeply into a fish's jaw. (Fig 9)
Once again there needs to be a compromise, as the smaller the hook the less inhibited (Fig 10) the lure action, the larger the hook the less shots you get.
However, with the lighter gauge hooks you can use larger hook sizes without affecting lure action to a great extent. Disproportionately large hooks are often necessary on tiny lures such as the Uzi, as rather large fish readily strike them. The larger hook size is needed to get around the large jaw bones for a successful hook-up rate. (Fig 11)
The best way to ensure you've made acceptable choices regarding tackle of all forms, including hook size, shape and point is to test it. (Vid 2) Note the video only shows a test on a certain way of sharpening heavy-tackle hooks. We have found that the fine-gauge hooks set at 2.5 kilos, and our medium hooks set at four kilos. It really is up to you to test your own tackle.
It is regretful the marlin died during its fight. Had the angler and crew more knowledge as contained within these pages it is more likely the outcome would have been a tagged fish set free in good condition.