Pakula 'Trip Teaser'
by Peter Pakula - September 2012
In this advanced series of articles, we will be exploring concepts rather than just telling you to do something one way or another. In exploring the concepts we'll be dealing mainly with how to come up with your own questions and the processes involved in getting your own answers.
The basic premise that whatever you know now will most likely at some stage be proven wrong or at least a better way of doing things will become available, and that it would be best if you're the one who does that!
There are some out there who are achieving success rates on lures that many discount as fairy tales as they are way beyond average and perceived normal results. Most of these systems are not complex and are not hard to emulate. This series is based on trying to share so that others can also achieve better results.
The articles are long-winded, yet still do not cover every aspect. Hopefully, they offer an insight into the thinking and some ways to improve results.
These articles are offered free of charge in the hope that you'll support Pakula Tackle products as result of your added success.
The Development Process
The development of the 'Trip Teaser' is like many other innovations, is the assembly of systems and methods that are already in use in various types of fishing.
Dean Butler, on a bait and switch session, used a deep swimming mullet as a teaser with great results in raising fish to the surface teasers. Dean also uses the deep mullet teaser when targeting big game fish on a fly. Fishing in Townsville with Mutta, Rolley Newton and Mick Winterton, a rigged mullet was used as a teaser deployed on a down-rigger. This also proved to be a very effective way of raising fish to the surface teasers so the fish could be cast with either fly or bait.
- It's a common observation that when catching a game fish of just about any species there are often other fish with the hooked one.
- Predatory fish are often in packs or schools and are rarely alone.
- When trolling, the surface there are often schools of fish showing on the sounder that do not result in raising or hooking fish to the lures and baits.
- Baits rigged and trolled deep are often mangled without knowing that the bait is no longer effective.
- With systems that involve using hooked baits deep either using lead weighted baits, down-riggers etc there is a high percentage of missed bites and other fish rarely come to the surface baits.
- When drifting baits are set at different depths and distances from the boat to avoid tangles. More often than not when fish are hooked.
- When using Mullet as a deep teaser the size of the Mullet is much bigger than the surface teasers and baits that are set or used to 'switch' the fish.
- Most boats in Australia at least, don't have down-riggers.
There are quite a few observations of predators balling bait-fish that will do their best to ball bait without letting any individuals escape. If any do escape they are hunted down with considerable aggression. Once the ball of bait is forced to the surface the fish are not that specific and do not seem to leave the ball of bait to hunt down individuals as they did while balling the bait up to the surface. Hence trying to target the predators before they reach the surface is ideal.
- Use a team with little game fishing experience to test basic concept and system when lots of other boats are around.
This was done by Ethan Farrell in the 2012 Townsville Tournament fishing the novice team "Yanmar' who places 2nd against some of Australia's top crews with this comment:14 September 2012 Ethan Farrell "your down-rigger idea was awesome!"
- Develop a large profile lure with minimal drag to be used as a teaser at depth.
This was achieved using hollow PCV plumbing connectors which have a step down to accommodate the skirts.
These also achieved the large profile that was wanted. For maximum visibility, I suggest the new UV2 and Lumo Pakula colours: Lumo Green. Lumo White, Clear Crystal, Blue Crystal and Illusion. It's a good idea to match one of the outrigger or shotgun lure colours.
The heads are bridled so that they will troll on centre. The lure that is shown used 200lb leader so it could be seen easily in the photos and to test worst case scenario. Drag is a major issue, the lighter the leader, the deeper the rig will dive. To minimise lure spin you could keel the bridle by putting a sinker on the lower bridle arm, but note that the drag on the sinker will reduce the depth the rig will achieve.
- Trip mechanism. So that when tripped the teaser comes to the surface bringing one and often more fish up from the depths to the surface lures or baits.
- Using a standard down-rigger set-up has it's problems, apart from the fact that few smaller boats and boats with a small crew rarely use them if they have them at all.
- When the bait or lure does come to the surface they are often hard to see if you are in a small boat or on the deck.
- There's also the handicap that once the bait trips from the down-rigger you have two separate items to pull in and clear once you have a hookup.
- By using a planer, everything is on one line. When a fish hits the teaser lure the system trips it's highly visible as the planners skips and splashes on the surface.
- The planners chosen are like the SeaStriker Planer. Website and good information on using planers: http://www.seastriker.com/styled-14/index.html
Putting it Together
The tow line and leader used are important factors. The thinner the tow line the deeper the teaser will run, but the harder it will be on your hands if you are pulling it in by hand which may be the case when you first try the system.
Certainly using the planer and teaser on a down-rigger is ideal as the wire or braid is the thinnest possible. A minimum breaking strain for the towline is 200lb. Another option is using an Alvey Deep Sea Winch.
An easy set-up is using Venetian blind cord as shown below, but the thickness of the Venetian blind cord will reduce the depth considerably compared to a thin 200lb braid or wire used on a down-rigger.
If the trip teaser is to be manually retrieved then please use heavy duty gloves to protect your hands.
Please read the guide about using planers on the Seastriker site http://www.seastriker.com/styled-8/files/high-speed-planer-guide-2.pdf
Using the Pakula Trip Teaser
The idea of the system is to tease individual and multiple fish to the surface. For this to give optimal results the trip teaser should hit the surface within the range of other lures so they are easy for the raised fish to see and then attack.
To position the teaser, without setting the planer, drop it back so that the trip lure sits level with the outrigger lures.
Depending on the system you are using either mark the distance or tie the line off on the cleat before retrieving the planer to set it so that it dives.
Hopefully, the trip lure will attract some predators, get hit and bring one or more back to the surface in amongst your other lures or baits. What you do next is up to you. I suggest do nothing for quite a while. More than likely the fish will get attracted to the hooked lures as they have a more enticing action and are a better 'eating size' than the trip lure.
In the situation where the fish is locked onto the trip lure and won't leave it then an option is to place either a bait or a lure next to the trip lure and retrieve the trip lure to get it out of the water. The fish should take the hooked bait or lure.
I hope you have found this article thought provoking enough to give the system or variation a try next time your out bill fishing.
Update 12 February 2013
Since the original tests, the Trip Teaser has been simplified using standard Pakula Lures up to size 40 ie 14"
Update 30 July 2014
The introduction of the range of Shredder Lures has enabled larger lures to be trolled on the trip teaser. More information on Shredder's HERE