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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1. Let's Go! Getting There
Between The Lines - Ch: 12 Fighting Fish
All the preparations are done, gear checked, boat set up and ready for action, the theory, exercises, training, team meetings, grinding through manuals and gear testing complete. The old tried and true cliché: "99% of success is achieved before you leave the dock" is quite accurate as the preceding pages show. It is now my pleasure to say "Welcome aboard, now let's go trolling! It's about time and I'm certainly looking forward to this as much as you are!"
With all that's gone before we have a pretty good idea of what, when, how and even who, so the rest is pretty easy. It's about time something was! In the following we'll go through what I'd like to think is a typical day out fishing, during a season when we can reasonably expect some action. The size of the boat or number of crew is not relevant in this discussion as each boat is unique, requiring specific routines.
It is probably around dawn that the crew gathers to load the boat and get underway. Because it's early, and the brain is likely to be in low gear, it's preferable to have a pretty set routine of who puts what on the boat and where it all goes.
The skipper generally arrives at the boat first checking the engine's oil and water, belts and goes on to check boat bilges, safety gear and electronics. (Vid 1)
Once the skipper finishes the checks the gear is loaded: (Vid 2) ice, drinks, food, camera gear etc. The crew then goes through their own checklist of getting out the lures likely to be used. This is the best time to give them a quick once over and sharpen any dull hooks and replace damaged leaders, though the lures, hooks and leaders will be checked again as they are deployed. (Vid 3)
Any tools such as pliers, knives and hook-out guns are put where they are both easily accessible and out of the way and then checked and sprayed with lubricant if needed. Gloves are put somewhere handy, and tags and tagpoles checked and loaded. (Vid 4)
Once the gear that is likely to be used during the trip is checked and positioned any visitors on the boat should be briefed on safety gear and emergency procedures. After this quick tour and discussion spend a little time getting to know the visitors and run them through their role throughout the day and it is just as important they know what you don't want them to do. If they are likely to get sea sick ensure they have taken medication.
All this is generally done before leaving the dock. Once you are underway, waiting for the engines to warm up, it's a good time to check the drags on the reels. (Vid 5)
You can now work out the strike order and get the harness and gimbal belt or the fighting chair and seat harness adjusted for the first angler. By the time all the drags are checked and fighting systems adjusted the engines should be warm and it's time to get out there. As you reach the ocean make a radio call to log on with your local organisation giving them the information they request. (Vid 6) Don't forget to call them if you are extending your time and when you get back in sign off with the same organisation.
It is certainly great to get out there, but it's even better to have a reasonable idea of where you are going. Most destinations are based on various criteria, much of which has been dealt with previously. All in all, the choice of where to go is where you think your best chances are, based on criteria such as examining charts, recent reports, historical areas where the fish regularly show up through various times of the season and SST charts.
There is often some consideration of the weather, enabling you to fish as long as you wish to. For example if the forecast is for southerly winds in the morning and northeast in the afternoon you are certainly going to be more comfortable going to northern grounds and coming home with the wind. Certainly other factors may override this decision, such as, if the grounds to south are known to be holding fish and the northern grounds are currently regarded as barren of life.
Regardless of what you base your decision on where your destination is, you should start scanning for signs of life and possibilities of encountering fish as soon as you leave the harbour. Keep an eye on the sea temperature gauge for any major fluctuations and the depth sounder for signs of life or structure.
Although you may have looked at charts for the area many times before, you may see new kinks on GPS chartplotters using additional charting software such as C-Map (Fig 1) which are worth investigating. If there are any signs worth noting, you may either stop to fish then and there, or plot it for future reference. Of course using your eyes to spot signs on the way to the destination is also critical.
One of the most sought after areas to find is the first major temperature break. (Fig 2) If there are other signs such as baitfish, current lines, hovering or diving birds it is certainly worth further investigation.
The importance of trying to find a likely area worth fishing on the way to the destination cannot be overemphasised. The time you are usually travelling, which is often just after dawn, is one of the best times to fish. If you are travelling any great distance then you may well get to your destination after the best time of the day.
While we are on the subject of best time of the day we might just break away from the main topic to look at some of the factors that contribute to the best times to fish.
Just as any other animal on land or in the sea the ocean predators have a full spectrum of feeding habits from not eating at all, grazing and all out gluttony attacks on anything that comes within range. The periods of active feeding often coincide with certain periods through the season such as moon phases, peaking three to five days either side of the new and full moon. Tide changes also affect feeding with peaks at the tide changes. Changes in weather reflected by significant drops or increases in barometric pressure also signal peak feeding periods. The time of day such as dawn and dusk are also peak periods. Getting as many of these various factors happening at the same time is as important to a successful day's fishing as finding temperature changes and other signs of life.
There are many ways of lining up these various factors, the most important of which is the solunar tables which are a traditional combination of moon phases, tides and often sunrise and sunset. These tables are also available in other formats such as digital watches. By entering your current GPS position they will work out and display the best feeding times of the day.
Having some idea on when the peak feeding times are likely to be, is worth noting as you may be travelling to your destination through one of these periods and miss the bite, or you have planned to get wherever you're going to be there in time to take advantage of the period. If you are travelling to your destination through a non-feeding time and see signs such as temperature changes, current lines, birds etc that are not active, mark the area on the GPS and keep it in reserve as it may well be worth revisiting at the right time if there is more obvious potential than at your proposed destination.
How much effort you put into deciding where to start fishing is up to you. Our standard tournament procedure is to arrive at our proposed fishing area with enough time to get back to any of the areas that may appear to be better choices, which means have twice as much time to get there as needed. If the area looks promising we use the time to mark the best spots in the area or if it is barren we have the time to get back to any of the likely areas we marked on the way out.
The concept that lures are used to cover as much ground as possible is very misleading. Fish are not randomly spread throughout the ocean. As with every other fish species, they are concentrated within quite small areas. Using lures allows you to effectively work over an area that is likely to hold fish.