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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2. Working the Destination
Between The Lines - Ch: 12 Fighting Fish
As we arrive at the destination the boat slows to the trolling speed that was predetermined during the lure setting exercises in the harbour, then it's riggers down, rods put in their trolling position and lures attached. (Vid 01) This should be done with the boat tracking on a straight course, down sea or quartering the sea for comfort and safety if possible while the gear is set, as the crew will be handling the lures and leaders with sharp hooks attached. The lures are deployed in a set order to minimise lines crossing over and tangling and to stop sharp hook blades coming into contact with lines of other rods. This is accomplished by setting the longest rods first then the next longest and so on until you get to the closest which is usually the short corner. As the lures are deployed each lure goes through a final check of hook points and hook angles in the skirt, leaders, snaps and the line fed through the fingers to check knots, doubles and the line for nicks or abrasion.
As the lures are set the drags are put on the preset drag setting previously decided and marked. The ratchets are then put on. The teasers are then positioned relative to the lure pattern. In most cases the teasers are 10 to 20-feet closer to the boat than the lures they are associated with. If fishing rough conditions the teasers may be set closer to the boat to minimise tangles and if only one is being used it may be set on the opposite side of the boat to the lure run on the short corner.
With experience and some boat set-ups the lures may be deployed in any order if there is little chance of tangling or damaging lines. Once the pattern is set it is checked for lure positions and tweaked if needed, and then a final check that ratchets are on and drags set in the right position. As the crew have practiced these scenarios the lures should be set and tuned quickly. The speed of setting lures is important, especially if you have spotted signs you wish to work while cruising to a destination, as the boat cannot easily be manoeuvred through this period without a high risk of crossing and tangling lines and the longer the setting takes the further you may be from the area you wish to concentrate.
One of the most consistent occurrences in areas that hold fish is current. The first priority is work out which way it is going and its speed either by looking at the wash, noticing how the boat handles or simply using the difference between speed through the water and SOG, (Speed Over Ground) on the electronics. If the SOG is higher than the speed (speed through the water) then you are going with the current. (Fig 01) If the speed is higher than the SOG you are going against the current. (Fig 2)
As we are trying to imitate a wounded baitfish with a set of lures, direction of presentation is relevant. As a wounded baitfish is unlikely to swim up current, we plan the trolling route either side on and down current. (Fig 3) The key is to note the angle of the sun especially in the early morning and late afternoon when the angle is low. Most predators find it difficult to attack into the direction of the sun, rather using it to hide their approach. With this in mind you are best either running with the sun at the side or behind the boat. Once the direction of presentation is established, the next priority is to find the fish. (Fig 4) We have certainly dealt with all the signs, systems, the way the currents work, sounders and what to look for and this is what we now put into practice. The more pieces of the puzzle you can get together in one place the better, and quite some time is spent looking for this El Dorado of fishing spots.
Each time you hit a likely spot and do not raise a fish on the first pass, go into ‘attack mode' going around to go over the spot in the direction of presentation previously established. Vary the angle of attack and go over the spot several times. (Fig 5) The longer you stay in the area, the more likely the area is to produce. It is important to remember that there are bite times and you may well be in the right place but at the wrong time. So keep all these spots in mind and mark them on the GPS as you come across them.
If the area is promising, you should gather a number of GPS marks in a rather small area. Once you have done this and decide to go back through them, zoom the GPS to a small area so that you can travel across the marks more accurately. (Fig 6)
As the bite time gets closer, and you come across bait schools, zoom the sounder into as small an area as possible to highlight the bait school and to see if there are any likely predators lurking around the school. (Fig 7) In many situations when the predators are feeding they will separate small balls of bait from the main school as they are then far easier to attack. (Fig 8) Predators are rarely found in the middle of large bait schools. All this translates into the most effective way of catching fish when there are large bait schools. Remain along the edge and work the areas away from the main schools looking for those separated bait balls. (Fig 9) Of course the depth of the bait schools is relevant when using lures, with the most advantageous being bait schools between 25 fathoms and the surface. By leaving your sounder at a range of around 25 fathoms with the gain as high as possible, you will have a much higher definition that will likely show individual predators.
Birds are probably one of the best ‘markers'. Their behaviour, body language and antics are all easily read. If they are hovering high and obviously not excited, there is likely to be a bait school deep that is at the time either maintaining its depth or going deeper. If the bird is high and obviously excited, flapping its wings and squawking, the bait school is deep but it is likely it is under attack and heading for the surface. If this is the case, the bird will either hover or circle closer and closer to the surface as the bait comes up. Timing your pass of the area to coincide with the bait hitting the surface is one of the best tactics you can employ. It certainly takes time and observation to learn how to interpret what the birds are doing, but it's important to note the amount of birds is not relevant; in fact a single bird often gives the best signs and results. (Vid 2) Once the fish have been feeding for a while - which can be shown by large numbers of birds having time to gather - the fish are often hard to pull away from the feeding pattern they have locked into. Rather than stay with the large school, once again look for the smaller schools that have broken away.
The way the larger fish feed on the bait is essentially random. They are opportunistic and will attack any way they can to get a feed. However there are some general characteristic behaviour that should be considered. The fish will spend quite some time working the bait into a nervous ball of flashing light. It is important to let the fish complete this task without spooking or splitting up the fish and bait with a premature run through or past them with the lures.
As the predators begin the attack get into position for the run which should be alongside, not through the school. As the feeding starts, wounded baitfish will drift down current. Invariably part of the feeding tactics of the predators will be to double back to take advantage of the easy pickings. This is the main area and time in which to concentrate your trolling runs.
It would certainly be heaven on earth to find the above scenario consistently. More often than not most of the day is spent searching and hoping as you zigzag down current in likely areas and reposition for the runs by heading straight into the current. Often you'll get a strike out of nowhere without any of the signs we have discussed being noticed. If the strike results in hook-up, all the better. For the current topic note that you may well have found where the fish are. As with all other forms of fishing, once you have found where one fish is you have likely found quite a few. As soon as you get a strike, mark the position on the GPS and work the area thoroughly, positioning the boat to make the runs in the most appropriate direction of down current with the sun behind you. Here it is very important to understand that lures are a great way of effectively working a small area, not for ploughing on endlessly in a straight line. Once you do get ‘blind' strike try and find the signs associated with it.
It is all really very easy... follow the signs that lead to find the fish, be there at the right time and stay there and present your lures in a manner that is likely to be most desirable to the fish. It is actually quite hard to make it more complicated than that. The thrilling part is that other factors are involved that make it more of a challenge. There are countless scenarios once you start thinking about factors such as the combinations of sea conditions, mood of the fish, angle of the sun, direction of the current and speed, height of the sea, direction of the wind sea and swell and where the temperature breaks are and which way they are running. This doesn't even include structure, bait and other signs. It's almost like a three dimensional chess game where everything interacts and is continually changing. All this is not as complicated as it may seem, as once you realise that many things are interacting, you can work out how to best deal with the situation at hand.