Discussion in 'Fishing Chit Chat' started by Fred Archer, Jul 23, 2009.

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  1. Fred Archer



    For many years down in Cabo the pangeros (panga captains) and a secretive group of old gringo skiff drivers have used the following lure when specifically targeting wahoo and also when they are running from place to place in areas that might contain them and catching plenty of wahoo and other fish while doing it. The plain and true truth is, I knew old, retired guys down there who caught and in spite of it being against the law, sold enough wahoo to the better seafood restaurants fishing this way to actually pay all of their living expenses. This lure is the least expensive of them all; a 3-6” squid will cost you a buck or two apiece, the egg sinker maybe twenty five cents and the hook and wire maybe sixty cents, for a cost of maybe three bucks apiece. Now that’s inexpensive! You can get a bit fancier with the rigging and that will cost you more and be even better, but the rig is still easy to make and is inexpensive.


    One of the beauties of The Poor Boy is that you can troll it on much lighter tackle than any of the other wahoo lures that we have discussed so far in this book, but here too there are limits to how light you can go. One of the reasons for that is that some mighty big wahoo and other species will nail this little sucker too and you need to be able to put enough hurt on a big one to keep him from spooling you. Those other factors - all of the other fish that jump on this little puppy – matter to anyone who isn’t a dumb-ass. The first marlin, sail, big tuna, or monster dorado that hits it – and they do and will – will make a believer out of you.


    That first big fish will also humble you if you’re fishing with Girl Scout tackle...please, if that happens, do not tell me about it! I hate to hear about that kind of shit after I’ve forewarned you that it was going to happen and you proceeded to ignore that warning, so please, spare me, okay? Instead, follow my advice and send me a swell picture of that big fish (don’t forget a “thank you”) and the lure and you with a big, shit-eating grin on your face and maybe I’ll make you a book, magazine, or at the very least, an Internet star!
    A big tuna or any of those other fish are constant possibilities and if there are any jack crevalle around, they go insane for fast moving little baits and if you know that fish, you know that you need some gear with some “mean” to it to beat them up and get rid of them in a reasonable amount of time so you can go back after “the good stuff”. Big skipjacks and a lot of other fish that latch onto Poor Boys will also take too much time to screw around with on girls’ gear if your focus is on wahoo. Remember, feeding periods are infrequent and short, so you better know when they are going to happen and then not waste time dicking around with species that you aren’t really after, like the toro’s. And of course, there are those other gorilla’s...but I’ve already warned you about them, right? Hello? Right?


    The minimum tackle that I would personally troll would be 50#, but thirty will get the job done if the reel has enough capacity, which I would call 400 yards and I would feel better with 500. Select quality reels with good drags. The brand is up to you. When it comes to reels, I buy American made ones only nowadays and that’s all there is to it.


    Unlike the bigger lures that we have discussed so far, which have big, strong hooks that act as much like mouth gaffs as they do hooks (I really like that!), “Men and Boys” have smaller hooks that you can pull hard on, but not excessively hard or you might pull hooks on a few fish. And you could straighten the standard stainless steel hook (not if it is one of those Hays Stainless models, though) by pulling too hard. That will not happen with the forged, non-stainless models that we rig our “Boys” with, so you can pull hard on them, just don’t pull hard enough that you pull the hook. I strongly suggest that you rig your “Boys” likewise.
    Now, don’t get all nutso about this and go babying wahoos and other fish hooked on “Men and Boys”. Fishing the correct drag settings for thirty and fifty pound test should not present a problem and the only fish that will pull hooks will be ones that were so poorly hooked in the first place that they would have been lost no matter how light the drag pressure. Just don’t go loading a little reel up with 80-130# Spectra, jacking the drag up to thirty-five pounds and putting that kind of pressure on the smaller hooks used here. And if you’re a drag animal like I happen to be, rig up or buy one of our Poor Boy FatBoy squid high speed rigs with the cedar plug hook in it...that hook is truly bad assed and you can honk on it real hard.


    Naturally, that will be along the canyons, reefs, points, humps, other key bottom structures that wahoo find attractive, along with offshore current and temperature breaks, etc, places that we have already discussed in detail. Remember, you cannot catch fish where they aren’t, whether you’re fishing with the best lure in the world, dynamite, or nets. Know how and where to hunt for wahoo before you even start trying to fish for them. We have already covered those details in this book. Be sure to use that priceless knowledge.


    To troll the Poor Boy, let out a lot of line while you are scooting along at anywhere from 12-20 knots. Then, let out more line. The object is to get Poor Boy way, way back there, where it spends all or almost all of its time under water.


    Here’s all there is to it as far as how to rig a Poor Boy high speed wahoo lure. It is simple and inexpensive to make. I keep the leaders very short, only eighteen inches long on these lures. Don’t forget the little teaser that isn’t shown in this drawing!


    Here’s a trick that none of the pangeros and no one else but my wahoo catching buds I know of does, but they sure as heck should, because it does exactly what the headline says – it increases the effectiveness of a Poor Boy by at least fivefold. The secret is to cut a little, two and three quarter or three inch squid down to 1 ½ to 2” long, load it with a little, 1/16 ounce egg sinker and run it on the wire leader eight to ten inches in front of the FatBoy Squid. (We had an all-black Baby FatBoy Squid made, a rare color when it come to lures or skirts, but we got it done because I believe to my core that black is the best, most visible color of them all for any and all gamefish and now that we have it, it is the only color that I am going to fish with when it comes to the smaller squids.) If you do this trick with the little teaser squid in front of the armed one, you will have created one of those “predator chasing and about to catch prey” scenarios that attract and turn on fish far, far better than a single lure, no matter whether it’s being trolled fast, slow, or in between.


    I’m no artist, so these drawings take a helluva lot of time and work for me to do. Please remember, you are getting the knowledge about them and how to make and use them for free here. That knowledge is actually one of my products that I make my living from – for free here. The drawing is pretty self-explanatory, I hope. Secure the small egg sinker by crushing it (that won’t hurt the single strand wire) or by crimping a very small brass crimp behind it. By all means, if you’re going to troll a Poor Boy, be sure to rig it this way because it means a helluva lot more fish!


    That’s exactly what this pair of little rascals does. A single Poor Boy will catch feeding wahoos, but remember, feeding periods are short and there are usually only a few in a 24 hour day. And remember, more than half of those tides that trigger feeding periods happen at times when people aren’t fishing – at night. The rest of the time a little Poor Boy or any other lure speeding across the top all by its lonesome won’t get bit much because it represents a meal and the fish aren’t hungry. However, when they look up and see a little predator closing in on a tiny bait that is desperately trying to escape, the aggression, extremely competitive, and even territorial aspects of a wahoo’s makeup ignite and he comes blasting up to annihilate and kill that brazen little competitor. The results are sometimes spectacular and this is a technique that sometimes gets wahoos that see this little chase going on and go for the lure so excited that they “skyrocket” it, like (if you know the fish), king mackerel do.


    Hang on when this happens (hang on at all times, of course. Any wahoo strike is a vicious, hard, fast one), because more often than not, that wahoo has the Poor Boy in his mouth and is getting hooked, or is hooked as he is going up. There will be hell to pay once he gets back in the water and that is not a good time for the person holding the rod to have it in one hand, or with a relaxed grip while pointing back at that airborne tiger, saying “holy shit! Looka that!”. You know why that is, right? If you love your tackle, hang onto it, or else!


    The advantages offered by “Poor” lures go far beyond mere economics, although there is certainly nothing wrong with saving money on lures or anything else. The first advantage does follow economic lines when it comes to lure skirts getting chewed up and frazzled. Replacement squids cost a lot less money than returning a conventional lure to the factory for re-skirting. It is far better to buy the components and do the work yourself. And as I have already pointed out, it also saves the angler time if he chooses to re-rig destroyed skirts himself. With The Poor Man that we discussed earlier and Poor Boy, all that it takes is popping the chewed-up squid off and popping another one on...simple and cheap!
    The same applies to changing colors, a major and pretty much expensive, permanent project with a factory-made lure, but a simple, fast piece of cake with the squids that the Poor Lures are rigged with. Looked at one way, every leader that you make for, say 6” FatBoy Squids is a bit over a buck away from becoming any one of the dozen different squid colors that we offer, or any other 6” squid color available elsewhere. (Lightnin’ Squids cost more, but the great flash that they emit makes them worth it as far as I’m concerned.)


    That’s because it is just what the headline says; it’s far easier to fish with than the others that we discussed earlier due to the simple expedient that no bulky, heavy, expensive in-line sinkers are required in front of them. All you have to do with a Poor Boy is run it way to heck and gone out in the back forty and forget about the ones who spend the money on enough Wahoo Kings or other expensive wahoo lures to realistically fish from a color and replacement standpoint, even from the big yacht guy standpoint, and even moreso for the smaller boat people. That’s not to say that some small boat guys don’t troll the expensive stuff, because some do. All that I can say there is, uh, well, I guess I better not say what I’m really thinking – as usual! You figure it out.
    If you are going to go hard core and run up to three Wahoo Kings or one of the other heavy, high speed lures, the simple truth is that you better have some strong, young crew to do the cranking for you when you are checking for weeds, checking a lure after a lure bite or one of those useless bites on the trolling sinker, or whatever. Either that, or maybe have a bunch of trained gorillas that you reward with bananas for doing all that work. Wait a minute! That won’t work because bananas are the ultimate curse on a fishing boat! Hmm, I guess that’s just something that you will have to figure out for yourself if you are going to troll “The Big Head” with “The Big Lead”.


    As mentioned earlier, another advantage is that considerably lighter tackle can be used, including regular stand up rods and smaller, easier-handling reels. Here, the combination of the flex in the lighter rods isn’t harmful, like it is with regular lures. That’s because there is so much line out that the lure and the rod are cushioned by its stretch and the lure doesn’t get jerked around like a regular one on a shorter line.


    Hookup ratios are good too because of the smaller hooks used, but only if you keep them sharp. Pay particular attention to hooks that you have caught wahoos or any kind of fish on, or ones that you missed a fish on. Tough wahoo jaws can have a fast and seriously bad effect on even the best hooks, so always check them after each fish, especially the points. The “chisel point” described and shown earlier is the best way to sharpen a small hook and have it stay strong when it gets bit by wahoos or billfish.
    The bottom line here is that you can do some fast, 12-14 or 15 knots (this is not an exact science and sea conditions and boat size are constantly changing things), or even some all out, high speed fishing, 15-20 knots, if sea conditions permit that, without the hassle of the big lures, sinkers, long leaders and big tackle that are required the other ways we have discussed so far in this book. And you can fish this way off of any kind of vessel, from a big battlewagon, right on down to a small, aluminum skiff.

    And no gorillas or bananas are needed.


    Because of their lack of weight, Poor Men and Boys should not be run from high positions, like off of outriggers and upright rod tips. This is because, in effect, the line functions as the “sinker” that keeps these lures in the water, so they are best fished off of bent butts, flatline clipped down off rods in rod holders, or the way that many panga and other small boat anglers like to do it, with the rod in hand and pointed back at the lure.


    There aren’t many. The first is that you might think that you are limited to surface or near surface wahoos only, but these fish spend a lot of time up top and they have incredible eyesight and are attracted from very deep water by boat wakes and streaking little lures, pretty much the same as the fish that you would catch on the bigger lures (you big, heavy lure guys think about that one for a sec. Then think about the fact that you can buy or make four or five fully rigged and ready “Boys” for the price of just one of those big, expensive mommas and you can run it on “normal” tackle.)

    Another possible negative revolves around the great deal of line that you have streaming behind the boat, which can easily be a hundred yards or maybe more. That is no problem if there are no other boats around, but if there’s traffic, some other boats are going to cut behind you and, never dreaming that you would have lures back that far, cut you off. It is probably best to remove the Poor Boys or at least try to run them in closer in heavy traffic situations.


    The rule here is you want those little squids to stay under the surface, preferably all of the time, so if you are bound and determined to keep running the little rascals in traffic, see how close you can get them and have them run right and go ahead and fish them if it’s close enough to avoid having other boats drive over your lines. You might want to try slowing down a little for this, but high speed advantages start to diminish under fourteen knots or so – why, I don’t know.


    The biggest ones that I have seen the pangeros troll are the 4 ¼” models. Our new Baby FatBoy, 5 ½ to 6”, skinny, hollow squids are even better for this. I am talking our new “Lightnin’ Bolt” models with flash here. As soon as the diameters of bigger squids than these come into play, they want to stay up on the surface, where they are very ineffective. The Baby FatBoy is the biggest squid that I have found to work for this application.


    Some of our new FatBoy Lightnin’ Bolt Squids. With the flash they vary from 5 ½ to 6” long. The flash adds a lot of attraction to these already attractive squids. I LOVE that black one!


    The new FatBoy or other smaller, hootchie-type squids represent many different types of long, slender baits that are found both inshore and offshore. In fact, to me at least, they are dead ringers for sardinas, anchovies, sauries, baby gars, needlefish, baby wahoo and ballyhoo, all popular fin bait with fishermen and more importantly, fish, around the world. They are hit by the very same broad range of species as the smaller models that we have already discussed and come in handy when the bait is a little bigger and you are doing what you should and are matching the hatch. (And don't tell anybody, but these babies work great at slower speeds on local albies, tunas, and dorados! Spreaderbars work better, but these lures work very well too.)


    No matter how good this one looks, it will work at least five times better with a little teaser squid like the one I showed for the others. Make it the same small 2 ¾” size I showed you earlier, because it not only looks as natural as can be, the little squid offers up almost none of the water resistance that even a bit bigger squid puts out and that will tend to make the lure want to run up on the surface, where you don’t want it – or don’t want it up very much, at least. Some surfacing, but not much, is acceptable and in fact, probably good. The little in-line teaser also breaks up and through a good deal of the weeds that the chasebait would otherwise gather.


    A look at the kind of professional rigging (which is sadly lacking when it comes to some who purport to make quality big game tackle) that we do on the rigs that we use. Like more than a few other things, you will not find these rigs for sale in our website store, but if you’re not into rigging and you’d like to get some from us, please just ask about them and we will provide the details on how to purchase them. And please remember, unlike virtually all of our competitors, we DO NOT sell dealers, mass merchants, or distributors. Our customer base is exclusively you, the fisherman, and so any and all marketing malarkey aside, you buy our products at what would be our wholesale prices, if we sold those people. It would have to be that way for us, just as it is for most of our competition if we sold to the trade...we are about fishermen, most others are about business...there is a big difference, my friends!
    Well, that’s it. All that I have to contribute on the subject of trolling hootchies, especially for wahoo. This works great and I hope that you try it...and I hope that you remember in this day of so-called “spam” and so many so-called “lure manufacturers” and bullshit artists who contribute nothing to and don't support fine sites like this one except to copy the hard work and research done by some honest-to-goodness legitimate manufacturers, writing and teaching this sort of thing is how I work hard to earn a humble living and I am giving it up free here to my fellow members of this fine site, including teaching you exactly how to make these lures on your own and saving you money in the process.

    I wish good fishing and gentle winds for all of you.
  2. txwoody

    What keeps the teaser from sliding down to the main lure?
    Thanks for all the great info.
  3. Fred Archer


    The best way is to tightly swage a small sleeve on the wire leader, as shown. That blue and white one had been fished a lot and had caught several wahoos, a few tunas - both big and small -, some toros (jack crevalle) and a few other species. The teaser never moved through all of that. As long as you swage and don't crimp it, you can put a lot of pressure on the sleeve and it will cling well to the wire and not let the teaser slide down. You can also crush the heck out of a small egg sinker, but the sleeve actually works better.

    It's funny and kind of frustrating...this is a highly effective, easy-to-use, and cheap as dirt method of fishing for wahoo and many other species that very few fishermen know how to do properly, yet you are the first one to comment on or ask a question about it. Congrats on having an open and inquisitive mind and trying to learn about something that can really help you catch more fish.

    And by-the-way, BIG tuna get after and have no problem catching these little rascals both at true high speeds of 18-20 knots and at slower speeds too, plus some humongous wahoos nail it. Be prepared!

    Hope that helps. If there is anything else that I can do, just holler.
  4. Keta

    For my "ignorant sheep farmer friends" and the rest of us that do not know the difference between crimping and swaging.
    Crimping deforms the sleeve by crushing one side, swaging with a hand or bench tool does the job all the way around causing less damage to wire or mono. I also have a crimping tool that crimps in 4 places around the sleeve but it's an electrical tool for crimping uninsulated terminals onto wire and damages mono.

    Crimping Tool

    Swagging Tool
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009