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
( 0 )
1. Using Your Eyes to Find Fish
Between The Lines - Ch: 11 Finding Fish
Finding fish to catch them may sound rather obvious. The art of finding them is rather more complex. Every conceivable electronic and information system from monthly magazines, weekly papers, radio reports, sounders, radars, radio chatter are all the normal method of gathering intelligence on where to best target your efforts. Realistically, the most important instrument is permanently with you on every trip, your eyes, and those of your crew.
There are add-ons to these valuable instruments that dramatically increase their effectiveness, the first of which is sunglasses. They should be polarised, in a colour that is comfortable to wear all day. The colour largely depends on conditions. In bright sun grey lenses would be best, on a dull cloudy day with low light, contrast enhancement may be needed using amber or yellow lenses. Photochromatic lenses, which lighten and darken according to light levels, are useful as many of the best signs of fish are in low light conditions around dawn and dusk. Lens colour is a personal choice. Make sure that you can wear them all day without getting a headache or eye strain. Comfort and effectiveness can certainly be increased by getting a comfortable frame and wearing a hat to minimise light coming in from the top and sides of the glasses. The frame should also allow as much peripheral vision, which is vision from the sides, as possible.
Apart from sheer comfort and eye protection, sunglasses are used to not just look at the surface and above to find the signs, they are most importantly used for looking through the water for bait and actual fish. They will only achieve this if you learn to focus below the surface. This is best done from as high above the water as possible, say in the boat's bridge or tuna tower. The ability to ‘see the signs' is one of the arts of successful gamefishing.
The other useful add-on for your eyes is binoculars. As they will be used at sea on a boat which is usually moving, a lower magnification is preferable with 7x50mm being around the maximum. There are several models specifically made for offshore use. They are waterproof, rugged and often have an inbuilt compass and or rangefinder that will give a distance and heading to the specific sign. Scanning the water surface and skies are best done from the most stable position in the boat which is generally the rear of the cockpit.
In a good gamefishing team all members are trained in ‘spotting', often dividing up the 360 degrees of ocean into areas that each is responsible for. (Fig 1) The importance of using your eyes in the whole scheme of things cannot be overrated. Without question it is the ability of the crew to ‘spot' that is the difference between success and failure. Often when trolling lures, crews are fixed to watching the hypnotic rhythm of the lures smoking behind the boat, waiting for that adrenaline shot of a dorsal or bill in the pattern. In reality if you want that to happen more often, you should be looking forward to your next hook up, not behind the boat at the lures. The howl of the Shimano Tiagras will leave no doubt that your efforts have paid off!
To many people starting out, the ocean seems a desolate place, much like a desert, even though you are aware of current, eddies, temperatures and bottom structure, it may take a while to realise how obvious the signs are, and how easy it is to interpret them, in part using much of the information from the early chapter ‘Systems'. In fact once you get accustomed to looking for things, the ocean signs will be as clear as neon billboards.
You can certainly compare ‘spotting' to tracking. Once you know what to look for and how to interpret what you are seeing, much like a tracker, you'll be able to navigate the signs.
Some of the signs are quite blatant such as guano covered rocks. (Fig 2) Sea birds perch on rocks, resting and waiting for the action to happen. Often the chosen rocks are on reefs or islands. The side of the rock most covered in guano is either the direction in which the birds can see activity or smell it on the wind.
Also note that the rocks are surrounded by water that is of both different texture and colour which are current lines, the highways of the sea.
There is an infinite variety of current lines, some are evident by a distinct colour change. (Fig 3) Others by calm or rough lanes, possibly with debris such as weed, flotsam or foam caused by wind and friction between the bodies of water moving at different speeds and often in different directions. (Fig 4)
To highlight the importance of these highways we'll look at a working school of yellowfin which is obviously quite easy to spot. (Vid 01) Although when you can examine the scene in detail you can see that one of the reasons fish are there is the current. (Fig 5) This edge of the current is not easily seen at first to the inexperienced eye, but when pointed out it is clearly evident. The way to view it is to analyse what you are looking at by processing the image in your mind to highlight the texture of the water surface.
Much like the highways we are more accustomed to, the highways of the ocean are not always busy. To expect significant activity we need to be closer to the main hub of activity. The signs of a good current are temperature breaks where there is significant difference between the two bodies of water over as short a distance as possible. Other signs are preferable to ensure the current line is worth working for any period of time. The easiest of these to spot is birds. There are many species of oceanic birds that feed on and with schools of fish. There are also many that only eat tiny crustaceans on the surface, not baitfish or fish scraps, and are of no use in helping us find fish.
Each area of the world has its main species of birds that guide us to the fish, often only staying through the best months of the season then migrating onwards. They also have local names making it quite difficult to name them here though they do mainly fall into families of terns, petrels, and frigate birds etc. Most anglers have their favourite such as the ‘Noddy' tern. (Fig 8) These are often common birds that have a distinct behaviour or body language when they spot larger fish, either hovering or dipping in a certain manner that is a sign to those who know what to look for and also a sign of what to ignore. (Vid 2) Even the height of a hovering bird can indicate how deep the fish are feeding. It is often better to stay at some distance from hovering birds, timing your pass to coincide with the fish first hitting the surface rather than pulling your lures over the fish which may drive them deeper.
There are many signs to look for, such as turtles which are generally either near structure or current edges. Active dolphins and porpoises and other marine mammals are also worth investigating. Sweet smelling oil slicks which may be the oil from baitfish being slaughtered below are also quite obvious as you can track them both with sight and smell over quite long distances.
Other signs such as floating objects, either flotsam or man-made anchored Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are also a great sign as they can attract a massive amount of marine life. (Vid 3)
All the signs discussed so far have been rather obvious and should be quite easy to spot. We have partially explained what some of the signs mean and how to interpret them. Experience will show that it is the fleeting glimpses, the tiny ripples, the tip of a dorsal, a fish's bow wave, the flash of silver below the surface, a swirl, an escaping flying fish gliding on the wind, a free jumping marlin at some distance. These are some of the signs that are not obvious or easy to see, and rarely last long enough to get confirmation from other crew members. These are, however, the signs that make the difference.
Just as signs can be positive, they are not necessarily indications of large predators in the area, often small feeding fish behave as if they are in no peril, flicking on the surface or chasing food of their own. At these times it is important to find other signs such as those mentioned earlier to see if it is worth waiting in the area for the ‘bite time' or continue your search.
Without question the ability to ‘spot' is the single most important factor in the success of a gamefishing team, get it right and then the dream of 'fish in the lure spread' has much more chance of coming true.