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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Between The Lines - Ch 08: Training
Using gaffs is certainly not as common as it once was, and may one day become redundant as respect and consideration increases for the creatures of the sea. Even if you think you will never use them, they are still tools worth having on the boat if only for nostalgic reasons, and perhaps there may be cause to use them at some stage. Naturally, if you're going to have them onboard you should know the basics of using them, and as you may have guessed, includes a bit of practice.
The most common gaff is the Fixed Head (Fig 1) which is a hook on the end of a pole and the easiest to use. When using any gaff, gloves with a non-slip grip should be worn as most species will try to surge away.
A good kit would include several gaffs of various head gapes for different sized fish. That is: 4-inch for fish up to 25Kg, 6-inch for fish up to 35kg and 8-inch for fish over that size.
Fixed head gaffs are the easiest to use, as all you have to do is aim the point at the target, which is normally the jaws, head or in the area of the gills on smaller, easily lifted fish, or in the shoulder (Fig 2) of larger fish where there may be cause for concern. Pull it in with enough power to sink the point, which of course should be sharp, and keep lifting in as smooth an action as possible. (Vid 1) Note the action is not a swing at the fish. Just aim, and pull it in and lift. The limitation of the Fixed Pole Gaff is you have to hang onto it and some fish are remarkably powerful for their size, which can result in the gaffman losing the fish and the gaff.
As with any gaff, there must be extreme caution in handling them on a busy, rolling deck. Hold the gaff point high above head height or over the side of the boat. Once a fish is gaffed care is still necessary, as the gaff point is usually aimed at the boat and crew, and severe damage to either may easily occur. Extreme caution is necessary until the gaff is stowed.
The Flying Gaff (Fig 2) is a rope with a gaff hook connected at one end and the boat to the other. If you think of them in those terms, you will find learning to use it is simple. They are used on fish that are likely to be hard to hang onto with a fixed head gaff regardless of the fish's size. Flying gaffs are available in quite small sizes of around 4-inches, but the average size used is 6 and 8-inches. It is much simpler to use small flying head gaffs as they are light and easier to balance. When you learn how to use them, one of 6-inches is ideal.
Points to note with flying gaffs are that the easier the flying gaff head comes out the pole the better. The pole is only a guide to aim the flying gaff head as pulling on the rope is what sets the gaff. As soon as the gaff head is entering the fish, the pole should be removed and discarded as quickly as possible. Do not use the gaff until the other end is tied to the boat, being careful to make sure that wherever it is tied is strong enough to take the enormous pressure the rope may exert.
By far the most important point is to make sure there is no chance of anyone getting caught in between the rope and the gunwale of the boat as severe injury can be caused by the 'squeeze'. As accidents do happen, the gaffman should wear a knife to easily cut the rope in case something goes wrong. The crew should run through the exercise (Vid 2) of using the gaff so they will have a better understanding of where to be and what to do when the action starts.
Learning to use a small flying gaff is a good introduction to the way they work. That said, it is more than likely the fish you will want to use the gaffs on, is that once in a lifetime monster. For that, you need very big, very strong gaffs, most of which are also very heavy. If you are seriously ever going to use a large gaff such as the 10 or 12-inch Top Shot Gaff you will have to practice using them. These gaffs have barbs on the points, as do many others. Once that point is sunk, it will not come out easily. If it is a bad gaff shot, you are stuck with the chance of it ripping out. If you practice, aiming the point and removing the pole there will certainly be fewer problems.
Once you have done the exercises outlined above and are confident in using gaffs, try to increase your ability by using targets within reach but at different depths, say two and five feet, as often your target will not cooperate by staying on the surface next to the boat. One other complication is when you do use the gaffs the target is rarely stationary - the fish may be swimming and the boat should be moving forward. Use the movement to help pull the gaffs in, noting that you may have to control the gaffs against the pressure of the water to either follow the fish or control the gaffs against the water pressure as the boat moves forward.
Although you can have thirty feet of gaff rope according to the rules, loose rope at these times is dangerous. During the exercises work out the maximum length of rope you will need by extending the gaffs as far as you can reach from each of the boat corners, and trim the ropes to that length. Note the rope should be cleated off during the exercises as it should be in action. In the exercises, you may become aware that the best place to tie the ropes off is the base of the game chair. If this is the case, this area may need reinforcing and extra strengthening bars or large plates fitted under the chair base. There should also be a restraint to stop the rope sliding up the chair pole. The ropes should be done up tightly to stop any jerking as they come tight.
On very large fish, several gaffs may be needed. The first is aimed at the shoulder around the back of the gill area to the shoulder under the dorsal and the next in the middle of the fish. Note that there are many good, very strong, smaller gaffs in 6-inch and 8-inch that will hold on a large fish, but certainly the closer you can sink the gaff into the lateral line, the better the chances of holding the fish and not ripping out. With the Top Shot Gaff system, a twin rope system (Fig 4) can be set up as a double precaution against ripping cleats out, but extreme caution is necessary to ensure no-one can be caught between the ropes and that it is not used on fish that are likely to roll.
In all cases, a tail rope is put on the fish as soon as possible which is cleated off to the boat with the tail up tight to the side of the boat to restrain the fish. Handling large fish is dangerous regardless of how much practice you have done. Take care and plan your actions.
We often talk about the quality of fishing tackle, and gaffs are no different. Poor quality gaffs bend easily, they are difficult to get out of the pole and their components corrode, all of which make them quite dangerous to use. If you are seriously ever considering using a gaff, ensure that it is of the highest quality possible.