Legendary Bluewater Lure Designer
Peter caught his first fish the same day he took his first steps – and he’s never stopped fishing. Aside from having a string of bluewater tournament successes to his name Peter is one of a small handful of full time, professional trolling lure makers, and his lures have won a string of award, plus catapulted him to the Lure and Fly Hall of Fame!
Peter’s Skirted Trolling Lure Fishing Tips
- Peter has a background in design and production and started his career in the textiles industry but moved into trolling lure design and production decades ago. That background has enabled him to be at the cutting edge of trolling lure design for decades and to innovate and create lures that suited Australian conditions.
- Before he started a lure making business Peter couldn’t hold down a job, and everywhere he worked he took his lure making kit so he could take advantage of quiet times to make some lures.
- In the early days most trolling lures came from Kona, Hawaii where the seas are almost always flat. These lures wouldn’t stay in the water and would tangle. Peter designed cup-faced lures that held their position in the water and didn’t tangle.
- In terms of hard versus soft heads, it makes no difference to the fish. BUT, it makes a difference to production costs because the molds for soft or semi-hard heads last a lot longer.
- Skirted trolling lures are about getting a reaction bite, not so much about matching the food items that gamefish are feeding on. The idea is to get an aggressive strike rather than get a fish to eat the lure.
- If you’re new to skirted trolling lures it’s important to get lures that work together. If you purchase multiple lures from multiple lure makers the odds are that they’ll all work at different speeds and different conditions. It’s worth ringing the lure maker and asking them for a spread of lures that will all work well together.
- There’s no such things as a marlin lure, a tuna lure or a wahoo lure. All lures will catch all species, it’s really just a matter of matching the size of the lure to the size of bait that the gamefish are typically feeding on in a particular location.
- Pakula makes their own hooks, called Dojo Peche Hooks. For many years the recommended rig was a twin hook shackle rig, but over the past 5 years the single hook swivel rig has become the preferred option, with just the eye of the hook and part of the shank hidden in the skirt. This rig runs true and has yielded some spectacular results.
- In terms of lure colours, Peter’s research has indicated that a good fish catching combination is to run a black lure close to the boat, the next closest is a blue lure, then violet, lumo green and finally a variety of colours on the shotgun, furthest from the boat.
- Pukula’s latest range of lures have a fish print on the skirt and a head that is “air-keeled” to make them run straighter and truer than a lead-keeled lure.
- Don’t waste your money buying lures from a lure maker who won’t talk to you about their lures and how to fish them. Price is not necessarily a guide as to the quality of a trolling lure, it’s important to talk to the manufacturer and gauge their level of knowledge.
- Peter uses cup-faced lures 90% of the time and bullet style lures only occasionally. Many people believe that bullet lures are necessary for catching tuna, but it’s really not the case. The main advantage of a bullet is it can be run anywhere on the wave, while cupfaced lures need to run on the lower 1/3 of the pressure wave to keep them from jumping out of the water.
- 3D printed lures are the future of skirted trolling lures because they enable the lure maker to incorporate design features that can’t be achieved by molding.
- The most important thing about skirted lures is that fish don’t eat them, they only need to strike them. Most fish will orientate themselves head into the current, so trolling lures into the current gives them plenty of time to inspect and reject a lure. Trolling lures in a zigzag fashion with the current at around 6.5kn through the water forces the fish to react quickly and strike without thinking.