Author: Bullbuster Team
When the Bullbuster Team purchased the domain for "Big Game Fishing The World" we thought, there is no way that this could be true. This was once a legends website. Well, it turned out to be true and today we have restored some of the works of legendary Capt. Norm Isaac's. We take no credit for what you are about to read but instead insist on honoring a legend who helped shaped our sport.
INSIDE BIG GAME FISHING, HAWAII with Capt. Norm Isaacs
If you never watched this iconic fishing show growing up, watch the video below posted by " Paul Sige" to see what it was all about!
The Search For The Perfect Marlin Lure (Pt. 2)
"Fishing, like life, its results and satisfaction or bull- $%@# as to why there are no results and satisfaction".
|It seems that we spend a lot of time trying to out think something that doesn't think. Given what the scientists tells us about the capacity of a marlin's brain, there isn't much room in there for much of anything except eating and making little marlin, and there's fairly little contemplation about the latter. The reproductive process is totally instinctive. The female sprays eggs out into the ocean and the male sprays sperm. Somewhere out there the two get together and the result is baby marlin. |
I might have oversimplified the process a little, but, at best, it's a pretty loose operation and not something a marlin spends a lot of time thinking about. Rather than trying to appeal to a marlin's sex drive, fishermen have found titillating its appetite or tweaking its temper more conducive to generating the much sought after bite.
Marlin, A Mercurial Predator
It's been my observation that there is a huge amount of difference between the levels of a marlin's aggressiveness. From everything in sight needs to eaten, or at least beat up a little to I could care less about anything.
Unfortunately, the dreaded I could care less attitude is all too frequent. Much of the time, however, marlin are somewhere in the middle. If they run across food that looks good enough (to them not us), or if something has an action that brings out their pugnaciousness, an attack is likely. An attack, however, doesn't always mean that it's trying to eat the target, although that's often the case.
Learn How To Make Your Own Marlin Lures
Frequently, a billfish will just slap a lure or bait around, sometimes for quite awhile, and never try to actually put it's mouth on it. In these cases, if there is a thought involved, it's probably something like, This isn't food; it's competition for food. And, in any case, it needs to be killed. There is nothing so frustrating as those cycles when marlin are in that billing mode.
"We forget those 17 straight strikes with no hookups and once again we are legends in our minds and heroes of the world of marlin fishing"
They scuff up a mile of leader and ugly up one beautiful lure after another and seldom get hooked the notorious Goodyear hook syndrome. So, not to be outfoxed, we switch to live bait. Sometimes this works, but then sometimes we get no strikes at all. Once again, we have managed to leap successfully from the frying pan into the fire.
Fortunately, sooner or later the cycle changes. The marlin start trying to eat everything instead of just billing everything. Our hookup-to-strike ratio soars. We forget those 17 straight strikes with no hookups and once again we are legends in our own minds and heroes of the world of marlin fishing.
It makes no difference if we use live bait or lures. For a while anyway, we can do no wrong.
"What looks great to us doesn't necessarily look so hot to the fish. "
Most of us have learned to enjoy it while it lasts, which is never, ever long enough. During the majority of the time, which is between the extremes, we spend hours and hours, and days and days, boring holes in the ocean trying to figure out which lure works most consistently, at which speed.
Various hook rigs and skirting combinations are considered, as well as colors and lure positions in the patterns - and these are just some variables.
Find Out How To Make Your Own Tuna Tubes
Although, someone not involved in the sport might not believe it, out of this hodge podge of possibilities, after a while, those who pay attention actually come up with some combinations that produce more consistently than others under normal conditions. Until we find a talking marlin, we can only judge by results. What looks great to us doesn't necessarily look so hot to the fish.
""Mr. Wonderfuls" come and go... They're the rage for a while... three months later they're at the bottom of the lure drawer. "
I have had (and I know many of you have, too) a really productive lure that got consistently nailed. Like all good lures, it ended up on the bottom of the ocean. Then I tried to replace it with an identical lure - identical to me maybe, but the fish didn't agree. A million trolling miles later, the replacement still didn't have the first scratch.
""Mr. Reliables" might get pulled out of the pattern for a day or two, or even a week, but before long they sneak back out. "
Obviously, the fish saw a difference that I didn't. During the process of filming ESPN's INSIDE BIG GAME FISHING, I've had the privilege of being aboard some of the most productive charter boats in the world. No two of these boats were the same. The array of lures used and ways of presenting them were vastly different. There were also a lot of similarities and a few lures that repeatedly seemed to pop up at some point during the course of a day. Most of the standbys get very little attention, mainly because they're old standbys.
"Mr. Wonderfuls" come and go. They're the rage for a while and everybody has to have one, but three months later they're at the bottom of the lure drawer. The old standbys and "Mr. Reliables" might get pulled out of the pattern for a day or two, or even a week, but before long they sneak back out.
"Reportedly, the first lure-caught grander in Australia was on a purple sotfhead that was "lure-knapped" from Kona."
There are also lures that one captain swears by and that I see on some other boats, but no one else can seem to get a strike on. So what are these lures that over and over find there way into the patterns of so many very productive boats?
The medium-sized to smallish chrome jet lures with either the pointed or rounded shapes. Fancy looking ? No. Impressive action? No. Expensive? No. Fish catchers that are present on virtually every boat? DEFINITELY!
The Marlin Magic or Gary Eoff Ahi-P, another wonderfully "neck-down lure", works as well on monster marlin (as proved by Capt. Jerome Judd on the JUN KEN PO early in 1996 with his 1,100 plus pounder) as it does on tuna and mahi mahi. The Moldcraft wide range purple softhead, again, all-purpose, all-species, any speed, any position - is another no-brainer that gets hit, doesn't eat leaders and isn't really expensive.
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Reportedly, the first lure-caught grander in Australia was on a purple sotfhead that was "lure-knapped" from Kona. The short corner favorite still seems to be Joe Yee's Super Plunger. It has a well deserved worldwide reputation for raising big fish. I'm hardly ever on a boat that doesn't have one ready to go.
There is another lure that I don't know the official name of - if it has one. It's a resin lure made on the west coast by Steve Coggin and the head is about 2 inches long above the skirts. It has a bevel with a center hole and four jets. I've had good luck on the Coggin, but there are at least a half-dozen manufacturers that turn out lures that are virtually identical and would probably work just as well.
The favored color combination is a blue and silver inset with blue, silver and pink skirts. Whatever the lure is called, it has made believers out of a bunch of us here in Hawaii, myself included. It has a high hookup-to-strike ratio and everything seems to eat it.
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These, by no means, are the only lures that work and nobody pulls all of these lures all of the time. In fact, some very productive boats pull none of them - ever. But, an overwhelming percentage of the high producing boats that I've been on, are pulling one or some of them a lot of the time.
There are a lot of good lures out there. Capt. Bill Ross's Big Blue and Marlin Magic's Smoky Joe catch a lot of fish, as do Norm Tepper's Holy Smoker and Honolulu's Bert Mitsuo lures. The list could go on forever. The lures that I mentioned are just some of the ones that have earned their place through proven performance.
The equipment used in this sport is ever evolving. New stuff - some good, some otherwise, hits the market every day. Through trial and error, every offshore fisherman settles on the lures that work best for him or her. The only indisputable test is results. One of my favorite quotes is "Fishing, like life, is results and satisfaction or bull- $%@# as to why there are no results and satisfaction".
Tight Lines . . . . . Norm.
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