WHAT A LURE DOES
The types of lure we are specifically discussing are surface running skirted trolling lures. Certainly much of the theory has relevance to other types of lure and other types of fishing. When run behind the boat, trolled, they tend to ‘work’ in a repetitive cycle. A lure that is working properly runs through the following cycle: It comes to the surface, grabs air ‘breathes’, dives down leaving a long bubble trail, ‘smoking’ and when it stops smoking, it comes up for another breath. It should not run under the water without a smoke trail for any length of time, if it does; it is called ‘lazy’. Also, it shouldn’t come out of the water too often, ‘blowing out’ when breathing.
All the different shapes and sizes go through these motions with different aggressions and timing. For example, for many sliced headed lures the cycle is repeated every 15 seconds, some as long as 30 seconds between breaths, Pakula lures are at their best when they breathe every 5 seconds. Some lures come to surface and softly breathe before diving, others explode on the surface like a sonic boom. Some dive as straight as an arrow, others may ‘swim’ off the side or dive in deep consistent arc, others shake their heads or tails as they dive. Smoke trails vary from pencil thin to almost creating their own prop wash. This mainly depends on the shape of the lure head, lure length and trolling speed. How often a lure goes through the working cycle depends on sea conditions, boat speed, lure position, distance, line height, line class and rigging.
SELECTING LURES FOR THE PATTERN
There are several considerations in choosing lures to form a pattern:
Number of Lures
Each line class has a maximum sized lure that can be effectively trolled due to the drag setting and hook size used. There is however no minimum sized lure for any line class. Nor is there any minimum sized lure for any species or size of fish you are chasing.
The chosen set of lures should be compatible with each other in action, vibration and effective trolling speed. The simplest way to do this is run lures that are all similar in type, i.e. all Scoop Faced Chuggers such as many in the Pakula Range, or all Sliced Slant Head Lures. Mixing lures types and brands when your just starting out is really making the sport far more difficult and unsuccessful than it could be. Each lure developer designs their lures to run in specific positions within a pattern at certain speeds. Knowing where this position is just by looking at the lure without a great deal of experience can be quite difficult.
The longer the head and the smaller the face the longer the position ie Long Corner, Long Rigger and Shotgun.
The shorter the head and the wider the face the shorter the position ie Short Corner and Short Rigger.
If a head is both long and has a wide face the more likely it is to work in all positions though because it would have a more aggressive action it is best used in a short position
As previously mentioned it is important to place the more aggressive and active lures closer to the boat. If this simple rule is not followed and you put the larger or more aggressive lures at the tail of the pattern you can set up a 'Blocking Pattern'. Many fish will not go past a larger lure to attack a smaller one
It’s not surprising that there has been an ongoing debate as to the significance of colours of lures to the fish we are trying to catch with them.
With the amount of information in the form of anecdotal evidence and individual catch rates of specific lures and lure colours with reference to the proportion of that colour produced it does seem pretty conclusively that colour is a vital aspect of lure choice. Not only do predators see relevant colours, it would seem that they also have a wider range of colour recognition into ultra violet, luminescence, gamma and possibly infra red wavelengths, as a result Pakula Tackle has included many additives in lure heads and skirts.
For a novice selecting lure colours can be quite daunting. Luckily most blue water bait species are similar throughout the world’s oceans. To make things easier still their colours are to a great extent proportionate to their size, which can be reflected in the lure selection.
Over the years four colour groups have accounted for the highest catch statistics and even more than that these colours would appear to have certain best positions in the spread, these factors add up to make up a central backbone applicable to any blue water lure pattern. I’ve noted the colour groups in specific positions in the pattern as shown in image Fig 9. Pakula Pattern Example.
The largest lure in the pattern is black. As it is run closest to the boat at the position in the most turbulent part of the wash the dark silhouette shows up clearly. In reality most bait species are well camouflaged so regardless of what colour a lure is it will be visible regardless of where it is run and even if it were invisible the vibration that its action puts out would be felt by the fish’s lateral line making it easy for the fish to track down. The main combinations are black over pink, purple, or green. In some patterns you may wish to substitute a very bright florescent colour like a Pink or Orange combination
The next lure in the pattern is the second largest and is a blue combination such as blue and silver over green and gold, blue and silver over pink or blue and pearl white over pink and white
The most successful colour in this position is purple or violet in combinations of blue, pink and black.
Without doubt the best colour for this position is Green preferably Lumo® over green and chartreuse
The fifth lure on the shotgun and any supplementary lures in various other positions are the “try out” lures. This is also where you should run an area’s own particular ‘hot colour’ for example black and red or yellow around tropical reefs, pink in the light tackle fishery in Australia. Any lures you wish to try out in new colours or shapes should be run in the shotgun position