Rocky's Six Best Game Fishing Lures
Mike Stevens interviewed Rocky Carosi on his 35" charter boat Saltshaker. These are his six top lures and ones he recommends to Tasmanian gamefishers. Rocky runs professional charters out of St Helens and for bookings can be contacted on 63 763 083.
Boone Chrome Jet
Boone Chrome Jets come in different styles of head. This chrome head has holes in the font, which means water shoots through the holes and leaves a small bubble trail out the back. It has a small amount of tinsel and a plastic/vinyl skirt. The colour is pink/white with a touch of yellow. It is a colour that will catch all the tunas including striped tuna, albacore and yellowfin, but is exceptional on albacore. It is rigged with 150 to 200lb leader of about 1.5 to 1.8 meters long connected to a wind on leader system we use.
Black Magic - French Tickler
This is a good lure for all tunas. This incorporates some dark colouring of purple and black with pink and glitter top. It is a straight running lure that imitates the small bait fish. I run this lure in a variety of positions from close in on the transom to well back. It works best for me on the edge of the prop wash. Because this is a small lure, it is best to run in close on windy days, as it will blow about. It comes in different sizes and colours. This one is rigged with a single 7/0 hook.
Lively Lures - Mack Bait
This is a 5 inch, bibless minnow lure and is one we have had quite a deal of success with. I like the blue/silver best, but at times we also use the purple/silver. On some days these work really well because they run a couple of meters of water under the surface. This is great on windy days and you can run up to four of these without fear of tangling. They are also good when you just want to get down to a bit of reluctant fish. These lures also come in 4, 5, 6 and 7 inch models. Small albacore sometimes bulk at the 5 inch model and the 4 inch will often work better. I make some changes to these when I get them. Firstly, I take the front and rear trebles off, and replace just the rear hooks with YoZuri stainless doubles. I then bind these with waxed thread to stop them spreading.
Meridian - Saltshaker
This is a pusher style surface running lure with holes that create an excellent bubble trail. It is ideally suited to bigger fish which includes large albacore, yellowfin and striped marlin. Generally I run them off the outriggers , but they can be run on the short flat lines. They behave well in the water and don't jump out too much. The one pictured is my favorite and is an 8 inch, pink with black/ purple. The leader id rigged with 350lb mono about 2 meters long. I rig this with two hooks joined to the main leader with a small stainless steel shackle. These lures come in different sizes, from your small 5 inch ideal for your albacore trolling, through to your large 10 to 12 inch models aimed at the larger pelagics.
Pakula Lumo Sprocket
Lumo green in colour, I consider this one of the best and all Tasmanian game fishers should have one or two of these in their collections. Fish from albacore to yellowfin and striped marlin will all take this lure. Our best results have been when this lure is run on the short outrigger or one of the corner flat lines. This particular lure is an 8 inch model with a soft head. It is rigged with two stainless steel 8/0 hooks where the second hook is half exposed below the bottom of the skirt.
This is a twelve inch soft head lure, which is my favorite for striped marlin. I t will catch other fish, but when I put it on I am only after marlin. It has a soft head, which means the marlin can take it in its mouth and it feels soft like a baitfish. The fish is then likely to let it go than a hard head lure. I rig this with two 10/0 hooks, but it could easily be rigged with a single 11/0 or 12/0 hook. Run off the long outrigger this is essential for anyone chasing marlin.
Tips for gamefishers
Make sure you Match hooks and traces to suit the lures. For example if you rig small lures with say 400lb leader the action of the lure will be adversely affected.
Ensure the crimps you use are suited to the leader. Buy good rigging tools. They are cheap compared to a lost of fish. I mostly use a Flemish eye at the leader end which gives some added protection.
Check the leader regularly - especially on metal and chrome heads. Often you will find they chaff and wear away the leader. If there are couta about they can also do considerable damage to the terminal tackle and leaders. A day on the water is not cheap. These tips can make the difference landed or lost fish. Checking your gear and replacing suspect items is essential.
I hope these few lures and tips help you catch a few fish and good luck on the water.