What reels?

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
2,045
1,249
62
Escondido, CA
Name
jeff meeker
Boat
26 Blackman Billfisher
Pakula probably doesn't sell direct to the consumer; probably have to go through Williamson Tackle or better yet JDs Big Game Tackle in Newport Beach I'm sure he can get what you want
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
As above, I think you will need to find a US distributor, but there are bound to be some. Peter P puts up a lot of videos about how to run his lures etc so worth checking those out. He has quite specific ideas about to get the best from his lures.

For your smaller fish I would also consider checking out the Pakula light gauge hooks. Some guys here have been using them with great success in improving their hookups, but the hooks are marginal for strength when we have our larger fish on the leader. Probably not such an issue for you guys. I think that the Pakula Medium Lumo Sprocket is probably the number one used lure here in NZ, Although there is a local guy (Bonze Lures) who has been making some excellent lures and getting good market share. Zukers and to a lesser extent Moldcraft get some good transom space here. The Zuker 5.5 in purple/black will be found on many boats, and probably nearly all charter boats. Then we have a sprinkling of Barts, ilanders and a bunch of US lures.

My personal favourite lures here are a Legend Lures Merlin resin head in green/gold skirts, and a NZ made Hooker Lures All American head with Bleeding Mackeral super bubbler skirts. The All American is a pretty good head that will run in most conditions and even run a little slower if needed. I have it rigged in a couple of colours. Legend Lures unfortunately went out of production as Capt Roddy moved on from lure making. A shame as he made some excellent lures. Very creative guy who caught a lot of very big Marlin and had some fun naming all his lures (check out the names if can). Fortunately one of my crew was the NZ distributor and we should run out of years before running out of lures. Hooker have a good website and sell direct. Have no idea how your Marlin might react to what works in NZ. Our main Marlin food species here are Skipjack Tuna, Jack Mackeral, Saury, flying fish, and squid. We tend to change lure colours a bit as the season goes on and the key food sources change.
 
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DavyJones

Well-Known "Member"
May 2, 2012
54
19
Southern Cal. USA
Name
Mike.
Boat
-------
In general, dark colors work here in So. Cal. Mean Joe Green and some shade and combo of purple and black follow a lot of boats around. The old Seven Strand Mackerel Clone accounts for it's share of fish every year. Bleeding Mackerel, Dorado/Mahi Mahi and combo colors with some pink in them all get tossed over the transom at one time or another. And people will buy skirts from local tackle stores and craft colors combos that their "fish sense" tells them should work.

I think that everyone drags jigs around but I think the real marlin snipers with big boats and lots of eyeballs to keep watch drag dredges and squid chains and then drop back a live mackie or dead pitch bait when a fish comes in and I'm pretty sure that more fish are caught that way then on jigs.

As for marlin food, the coast has been just over stuffed with all kinds of food. Like anchovies. It's been a problem. For the last four years we have had historic fishing for big Bluefin tuna. Each year they have been getting bigger and bigger and they along with Yellowfin, Dorado, and yellowtail will focus on the little things and ignore our larger baits big enough to hide a big hook and line in. We also have major tonnage of mackerel, sardines, and local market squid. We call the squid "Candy Bait" because everything on this coast loves it. We also have Sauries and Flying fish. Not as many flying fish as we used to though. I'm told that they like to attach their eggs to our local kelp forests. But we have been in a warm water cycle for five years now and our kelp likes colder water and much of our kelp forests have been thinned out.

For us, kelp forests means floating kelp patties to fish. Dorado love to patrol around them as do yellowtail and tuna and even marlin. But you can pull up to a patty and see clouds and clouds of micro-mackies in it's shadow and on your fish finder and again the fish get so over stuffed with food it gets real hard to coax something into biting.

But all this food is what brings the fish to us so we can't complain too much. So we just persevere and catch what we can when they want to bite. That's fishing.

DavyJones.
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
Over here we sometimes also have issues with too much bait making getting the Marlin to take a lure hard. What we do is find where the fish are and then slow troll (1 - 2knts) bridle rigged baits (usually Skipjack Tuna) around the bait schools. One on the surface and one on a down rigger is typical. That will normally pull fish more effectively than lures if there is a lot of bait around. Tuna tubes to keep the Skippies alive are really common here. I have 4 built into my transom.
 

DavyJones

Well-Known "Member"
May 2, 2012
54
19
Southern Cal. USA
Name
Mike.
Boat
-------
It's common for people to spot sleepers, tailers and fish crashing bait on the surface and then run over and toss a live mackerel at them but as far as I know, slow trolling a live bait isn't practiced very often. Here in southern cal, mackerel is by far the dominant live bait for marlin. And any boat big enough to mount one has a serious bait tank big enough to hold dozens of mackerel or hundreds of anchovies, sardines, and squid which we use to catch everything else on this coast.

Serious marlin fisherman on this coast with even medium small boats like mine often mount two bait tanks. A big one in the stern area and a small one on the bow big enough for just a couple of live baits. A rod holder is mounted on the tank or near by and a rigged bait is left swimming in the tank for instant deployment.

DavyJones.
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
Tossing baits into a group of Marlin working a bait school (meatball) does get done here, but it isn't a common technique as we don't tend to see many schools getting worked at the surface. Does happen though.
I run 3 bait tanks, but the center one will keep enough bait alive for most purposes on it's own. We do use our Jack Mackeral as pitch baits for tease and switch, but not so often as troll baits as they are not very large here. We have a mackeral type fish here we call Koheru. They are in between Jack Mac and Skipjack size so we use them when we can get them. We do get a lot of Pilchard schools here as well but they don't always overlap with the marlin in territory.
Pilchard & squid are the two most common baits for cut bait fishing here, but there are numerous others as well. We do see schools of anchovies at certain times but few people catch them. Mackeral would be the most prolific bait and we see them both inshore in the harbours and in huge schools offshore.
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
Quick look at the Pakula website no longer shows any US dealers. I guess there are stores in Aus/NZ etc that might ship to you. He makes some great lures and has for a long time so strange that there is no US dealer shown.
Maybe check out Squidnation. I think they are US based.
 

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
2,045
1,249
62
Escondido, CA
Name
jeff meeker
Boat
26 Blackman Billfisher
An update for ya Jeff. I stopped by Melton yesterday and Jason told me that they no longer carry Pakula products.
That's a shame but I'll tell you that Pakula line was pretty pricey and probalby didn't turn over for them very often; but IMHO I don't think they outperformed the $15-$25 Zuker 3.5s on a daily basis in our waters.
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
Daughter is off to the US in a few days. Might need to get her to grab me some Zukers. 3.5's are around US$60 each here. 5.5 in Black/Purple would be one of the more productive lures here. Have caught fish on the short corner and the shotgun on that lure. Will run in most positions, but the short corner is our normal home for it. The only Pakula I run a lot is the medium sprocket in Lumo. That is a crazy good lure down here.
 

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
2,045
1,249
62
Escondido, CA
Name
jeff meeker
Boat
26 Blackman Billfisher
Yes the Lumo Sprocket works up here too especially in warm water years.
And yes that P&B 5.5 lives on my starboard short corner as well and the 2 years we had water in the 80 degree range I was going through 1-2 of those each week on Wahoo!
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
Ouch. Only Wahoo I have ever caught was in Barbados. I think there have been 2 caught in NZ waters, but not something I have ever seen here. Would love to have them though. Great eating. I have only lost 3 or 4 lures in the past 30 years to fish. No toothy stuff takes lures here other than the occasional lure munching Mako but that is a rare occurrence, Very occasionally a Thresher might have a go at a lure. Had one that would have been maybe 500lb try to smack the baby Ilander I had on shotgun one day. Amazing how they flick their tails around to smack the lures. Fortunately after 5 attempts he gave up. Makos love our live baits though, and they are a common catch here. Have seen them up to 1000lbs but most are closer to 250lb - 300lb. I like playing the really big boys right up until the point where we have them at the boat and have to unhook them. Scary business! The 250lbers are a pain if they are around in numbers. Hooked a small one trolling at 15knts one day. Experimenting to see what lures could swim OK at what speeds and a metal head Legend Unicorn went off. Everyone thought it was just weed on the lure until we slowed and the Mako started pulling.
 

bays90

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 17, 2010
639
184
Kailua-Kona HI USA
Name
Chris
Boat
46' Viking, Mi Novia, Quepos, Costa Rica
Davey Jones and Doghouse have you set up pretty well, we have dropped down to nothing bigger than 30 pound, even when fishing for blue marlin at the FAD's in Costa Rica, and we pounded the hell out of the stripeys last year on the finger bank and Mag Bay using 30# Avet LX single speed reels. You can catch big fish with them as well, our biggest is 450-500 blue we hooked while fishing for sailfish. As a novice maybe up your mono to 50# Momoi Diamond for 100 yard topshot, and the rest 65# braid, that will give you all of the line you need. Always remember to check and set your drags. I use up to 1/3 breaking strength at strike. Biggest lesson we have learned is make sure you bump up your rod size, our sail fishing stuff we started to use was 15-30 rods are great, but when we starting catching marlin on them we had issues with not enough backbone on them when had them dug in below the boat move their heads up. So we beefed up to 30-50 and that has helped tremendously.
 

Fish-n-Time

Well-Known "Member"
Jun 17, 2004
90
2
San Diego
Name
Marc
Boat
35’ Cabo Express
Thanks for the info. Sounds like I’ll be fishing lighter line than I thought. Probably will go with 40 top shot and braid for the rest for the trollers.
 

NGSD1

Dreamer
Jun 6, 2012
2,241
750
Tempe San Diego
Name
Nick
Boat
35 Cabo Express
I am a sucker for Black Bart lures. Whenever they do a custom run I get sucked in and have way too many now!

bart custom 1.jpg bart custom 2.jpg
 
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DavyJones

Well-Known "Member"
May 2, 2012
54
19
Southern Cal. USA
Name
Mike.
Boat
-------
I too like Black Bart lures. I buy the heads from Melton Int. when they have them and send back to Black Bart when they don't.

I customize them by skirting them with skirts from local tackle dealers. Two years ago I experimented with using Sharpie markers to color the heads. It worked but you had to reapply the color after every few trips. Last year I tried wet sanding them with 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper to give the ink something to hold on to and the color lasted most of the season.

DavyJones.
 

No Cal Lou

No Cal Lou
Oct 1, 2009
2,394
1,726
Green Valley, Az
Name
Lou Salatich
Boat
none
Aliboy, I've been studying the Pakula website. Peter has some beautiful skirt colors. I Emailed the Pakula website to inquire but it's been days with no answer. Do you know it Pakula sells to the USA? If so, can you supply a link to get me started. And your average day sounds so much like an average day here on this coast. At least for a beginner like me. I know the local marlin snipers with their well trained crews often do a lot better.

Bloody salt noob. If you are really interested in getting into local marlin fishing this year. The internet is just a gold mine of knowledge. As noted above, I consider myself to be very much the beginner but I have spent many hours on the internet plus I have had a lot of help from a local marlin sharp shooter and last year was something of a breakthrough year for me. Between the internet, my sharp shooter friend, and the fish actually responding to my efforts, I learned a lot. PM me and I will share some good websites and videos that you can learn from. Be advised though, I have never used PM on this website before so it may take a while to find and learn how to use it.

DavyJones.
Pakula lures really do not have the colors that the most effective in So. Calif
 

No Cal Lou

No Cal Lou
Oct 1, 2009
2,394
1,726
Green Valley, Az
Name
Lou Salatich
Boat
none
Thanks for the info. Sounds like I’ll be fishing lighter line than I thought. Probably will go with 40 top shot and braid for the rest for the trollers.
NO NO NO!!!

One typically use crimps the line on marlin lure leaders. Crimpng will weaken you line by around 20 percent if done properly. I never use less than 250# leaders on my marlin lures. And that is on lures 10" and smaller.
 

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
2,045
1,249
62
Escondido, CA
Name
jeff meeker
Boat
26 Blackman Billfisher
NO NO NO!!!

One typically use crimps the line on marlin lure leaders. Crimpng will weaken you line by around 20 percent if done properly. I never use less than 250# leaders on my marlin lures. And that is on lures 10" and smaller.
If you're fishing Baja I don't think the deckies will let you fish with anything less than 250; when they see my selection of 3.5s & 5.5s they will cut the 250 leaders off my 5.5s and put them of the 3.5s. But for SoCal 250# is overkill most use 130-150#.
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
148
211
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
It can be surprisingly easy to pop a 250lb leader on an angry fish at the boat. I like the slightly heavier leaders so you can shorten the fight times with extra pressure boatside and release the fish before they get too tired. If you are constantly having to dump the leader when the fish plays up at the boat they will often come in needing reviving. At least that is my experience down under.

Leadering a 250lb stripy


My play pit. 4 x tuna tubes built into the transom under the hinged lid and 3 large bait tanks under the floor. One open to the sea and 2 on pumps. Cyril Jordan game chair which works a little different to some others. Reels used are Penn Inter 80W's, Shimano Tiagra 80W's, Penn VSW 70's and Tiagra 50W LRSA's and Penn V30's. Mostly run the 50's, but 80's if there are big Blues around as we sometimes get. 80's are a slaughter on the Stripies so mostly stick with the 50's and use the 30's for pitch baiting to fish under ~250lb or so.
 
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