Find out how one angler landed a big marlin while using a homemade Gatorade bottle lure.
When most of us finish a bottle of Gatorade, its next destination is usually the trash or a recycling bin. However, you may change what you do with that Gatorade bottle next time after hearing what one angler did with his spare drink bottles.
Considering that many commercial tuna lures run in the $100 range, the fact that an empty plastic bottle can outperform them is astounding. To make the lure, Jeff Rogers adds colorful vinyl strips to the bottles before attaching hooks. Rogers, a charter captain with The Charter Desk out of Hawaii, understandably gets a lot of strange looks from clients when he breaks out his homemade lures during fishing trips.
According to Jim Rizzuto of FishTrack, “When he deploys this lure, his parties are usually skeptical. But he reassures them that fish do hit it and the strikers are almost always marlin weighing 300 pounds or more. That’s why he always sets it out on the short-corner line, the big-fish spot in the pattern.”
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It didn’t take long before Chris Zelenka, the client who landed the 671-pound marlin, was in the fishing fight of his life. Only 10 minutes after casting the Gatorade bottle lure, Zelenka found himself hooked into the massive fish, which proceeded to launch into an epic tail-walking run. After a coordinated dance between angler, captain and fish, the fight finally ended in success — after approximately 30 minutes.
The secret behind the success of the Gatorade bottle lure is the massive surface disruption it causes while being trolled behind the boat. The disturbance attracts and entices large blue marlin to viciously strike the lure and usually wind up hooked.
Crafting lures from discarded materials isn’t a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but with the widespread availability of commercial lures, the activity has become less popular. However, the success of the Gatorade bottle lure proves that a little ingenuity can go a long way in the fishing world.
Next time you are preparing to throw something in the trash, take a moment and ponder the lure-making possibilities it may possess. Perhaps you will start catching more fish on your own homemade lures the next time you hit the water.