THE OBJECTIVE of all forms of fishing is catching fish, it is therefore logical that the single most important thing to achieve this goal is finding them. No matter how good your boat, crew and gear are, even if youve got lots of Pakula Lures, if you dont find the fish you wont catch any.There are a few points that may help you find your targets. Firstly the most important thing to look for is baitfish either by spotting birds working or using your sounder.. The main areas to concentrate on are areas such as reefs, drop-offs, current lines, water temperature changes, ocean bed contours such as the continental shelf and tidal trenches at river or bay mouths. The most significant of these is temperature change, the greater the change of temperature range the better. The actual temperature itself is not really relevant nor is the colour of the water. In fact there is far more life and food in green and so called murky water than there is in the cobalt blue. However it is psychologically difficult to fish in other than clear cobalt blue water. Once you find your bait and have seen signs of or hooked your target species then you should stay in that vicinity. Experienced skippers scale down their GPS plotters to three miles or less and stay in that area for the rest of the session. There are some other important factors : you get a better hook up trolling with or across the current and sea than you will going against it. On certain days you will find that all your strikes will come when you are trolling in the same direction.
SETTING DRAGS: When setting drags, the speed at which you pull your line off the reel is very critical. The faster you pull the line the more load you place on the scales. You will be quite surprised how much the scales vary depending on the speed of the pull. To get a realistic drag setting on your reel at a third the breaking strain of the line, pull the scales relatively slowly.
LURE LEADERS: The lighter the leader the better your lure works, plus the less visible the leader is to the fish. Huge game fish are not more stupid than little fish, yet when you fish for little fish you try and use a light leader. Lures may work well using a leader of 300lbs but will catch more if you use 200lb and still more using 150lb. Using heavy leaders will save the loss of many fish, mainly because you hook less . A leader should be at least as long as the fish you expect to catch. The reason trolling lures are designed to slide up the leader is so that when the fish shakes its head or jumps, the lure slips to the other end of the leader and cannot be used as a pendulum to throw the hooks. The shorter the leader the better. With a 10 foot leader you can also tag or gaff a fish straight off the rod tip without anyone tracing the fish. Very often the hooks are pulled, and the fish lost as soon as the trace is grabbed. If the fish is acting stubborn at the side of the boat the angler can grab the double and hold on while lifting the rod to get the fish within range of either tag or gaff. As long as the rod is bent the double line is extremely difficult to break.
SETTING UP A LURE PATTERN is quite easy if you follow a few logical steps. It is the boat itself, the motors noise, prop wash and turbulence that does most of the attracting. If the boat scared the fish what would they be doing behind it?. Keeping this in mind, set the spread of lures from just behind the boat to where the prop wash white water or turbulence ends. Depending on the boat this distance varies considerably. On a single diesel it is very short and on an outboard very long relative to the size of the boat. As the boat does most of the attracting we try and enhance this with the selection of lures. The closer they are to the boat the larger and, or more aggressive the lure should be, as the spread gets towards the end of the pattern the lures should get smaller and less aggressive, towards the shot gun position which would be the smallest and least active lure in the spread. By spreading the lures in this manner the fish will be drawn through the whole spread and have a greater selection to chose from.
SELECTING LURE COLOURS can be quite daunting. We stock 50 colours that give you 2,500 possible colour combinations. To make things a little easier we have listed both specific lure positions and colours throughout this catalogue. If you follow these guides you will note that there is a common thread throughout. The long rigger lure is green, the short rigger purple, the long corner blue and the short corner is ScadTM, black or purple. This set of colours matches the most common baitfish colours found in all game fishing areas around the world. You will also see that these colours range from very bright to very dark, giving maximum variation in their silhouettes. As with all fishing, every area has its own particular hot colour for example black and red or yellow around tropical reefs, pink in the light tackle fishery in Australia. Blue and pink in Hawaii. Indeed you should add this colour to your pattern, but we strongly suggest you leave the main pattern alone and use the extra colours on extra lures in positions such as the shot gun or around the main spread.One thing you may not notice is the luminous and fluorescent additives in Pakula Skirts that make them totally irresistible.
POSITIONING YOUR LURES within a trolling pattern needs a little attention. With lures that have a symmetrical head shape such as all Pakula Lures, the positioning of the hooks control which way up the lure runs in the water. If you run a two hook rig at the recommended 60 degrees angle by placing two points of the hook in the dark side of the skirt will ensure that the dark side rides upwards. The hooks will not spin within the skirt and they will maintain this position.
TUNING YOUR LURES once you set the distance it is quite simply a matter of running the lure on the lower third of its closest pressure wave. In this position the lure will work well with as little leader dragging in the water as possible. The lure is also in the best position for a fish to grab it easily. If a lure blows out of the water often you can simply wind the lure towards you, down towards the bottom of the pressure wave. If it still keeps blowing out will you have to drop it back or slow the boat down.
THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT to remember is the one on the end of your hook! Remember to check the points and edges are still sharp. Cutting down the barbs also helps the hook up rate, particularly on light tackle.
TROLLING LURES ON ULTRA LIGHT TACKLE is very intricate. Everything must be carefully set up and checked. Drags should be set with the scales pulled relatively slowly. The hooks must be razor sharp and the barbs almost non existent. The hooks may even be oiled to aid penetration. The release on clips and rubber bands should be checked for release pressure and smoothness.
THE BENEFITS OF USING THE HEAVIER LINE CLASSES, apart from being easier to set hooks, is that you can use a greater variety of lure sizes. It is quite important to try and match the size of the baitfish that are being fed on, like matching the hatch when fly fishing for Trout. The lighter line classes limit the maximum sized lure you can run, however you can certainly run a couple of small lures on heavy tackle.
OUTRIGGERS on a boat are more than just somewhere to hang your capture flags. In a perfect world all trolling lines should be at the same angle as they leave the rod tips and outriggers. To set up your rigger lines you should have them set so they do this as closely as possible. This would mean that the line on the long rigger would come off its top and somewhere down from that on the short rigger. For example the hardest boats to set lures from have extra long riggers and run bent butts in angled rod holders so they run flat. This set up gives they greatest variation of angles. This set up generally results in the flat lines not working aggressively enough and the rigger lures continuously blowing out.On the subject of outriggers, it does not seem to matter what kind of release system you use, such as clips or rubber bands or whether you use tag lines or not. The governing factor of hook ups on rigger lines is how crisp the release is. To stiffen your riggers you can run stays from their tips to the bow of your boat.