Unlocking The Seacrets
01: Foreword by Ron Calcutt 1994
In 1993 I went along with Peter Pakula to observe one of the game fishing schools he then conducted in Fiji. He had a mixed bunch of student fishermen aboard, some who had everything to learn, and one who, to me seemed to have nothing to learn. He was sharp, very experienced, and he knew the ins and outs of fishing tackle as well as anybody I had ever fished with.
So why was he there? He'd never caught a marlin, even though he'd tried desperately hard and put in enough trolling hours to have caught half the marlin swimming about off the cast coast of Australia. He was there specifically to learn how to catch that marlin.
We had a bad run on that trip, with the whole fishing area totally shut down. Peter wasn't especially fussed about it. "Don't worry," he told the angler. "You'll go back after this trip, catch your first marlin straight away, and after that, you'll go on catching them and wonder what it was you were doing wrong before."
I don't know that he convinced either of us with that statement, but I did have to admire his confidence. As it turned out, the angler went home, caught his first marlin straight away, and then went m to catch so many he now writes magazine articles on the subject. "Happens all the time," says Peter with a grin. We talk about that trip a lot these days, as we do quite a bit of writing together and are both inclined to be analytical of everything and possessed of an insatiable desire for minute detail.
Peter told me that it was often the very good anglers who found it hardest to make the transition from whatever they were doing to becoming good marlin fishermen "Their fishing systems are so good, and so proven, they don't make the little adjustments they need to make to catch billfish", Pete says. The little adjustments. That's what it always gets down to - the little things. There is never one big, single answer to becoming good at any form of fishing. It's a trade you learn, and like any trade, you have to get every little step of the process right, or the end result is something that looks right but doesn't work.
This book is about little things. Lots and lots of little things. Some even trivial, but you can't overlook any of them. Catching big fish is a matter of putting a complex mosaic of knowledge to work. When you watch someone doing anything really well, the first thing you say is "He makes it look so easy", and it is. But it's only easy after you've done the hard work and learned all of the little secrets.
It is a common fault with top fishermen that they will pass on as much of their knowledge as they can without passing on the stuff that makes all the difference.
This book is a treasury of the little things and put together, they add up to a big pool of knowledge required to be successful. Digest this information, put it to use, and the only thing that will then separate you from the best will be your own instinct for fishing, and no one can help you with that.
Probably one of the most focused people I know, Peter has the unique capacity to be driving his mind at one hundred miles an hour while his body is in relaxation mode. A lot of the special talent of that mind is in the pages that follow. I commend you to read this through cover to cover, then go back and take each page apart for the detail, and compare those details with the way you do things now. Adjust your fishing to accommodate those details, and you too may find yourself with enough captures to write a book, or at least a magazine article.