By Pete Thomas/GrindTv
Rather than toss his empty Gatorade bottles into the trash or recycling bin, Jeff Rogers reuses them in a most imaginative way.
The fishing captain from Hawaii’s Kona Coast fashions them into big-game fishing lures, dresses them up with vinyl strips, and has found this invention—he names each lure “Gator”—to outperform many of his pricey store-bought models.
That became evident Tuesday when a client with Rogers, who skippers the Aloha Kai, landed a 671-pound blue marlin while fishing with one of the Gatorade bottle lures.
“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.”
The short-corner line is in reference to a trolling pattern that involves several lures, which are set out at various lengths behind the stern. The trolling pattern resembles schooling bait fish.
Chris Zelenka was the client who fought the marlin, which savagely struck the Gatorade bottle 10 minutes after it had been in the water.
The marlin tail-walked across the surface, stripped off a half-mile of line, and sounded. Ultimately, however, it was reeled to the surface and delivered to port.“Jeff told them he’d had a really big fish on the same 'lure' a few days before and lost it after a 20-minute fight,” Rizzuto writes. “No worries. Replacements are easy to make with very inexpensive materials from your trash.”
Sophisticated store-bought marlin lures can sell for $100 or more.
Rizzuto explains that big-game anglers throughout the Pacific have a long history of crafting lures from items they've collected, including bones, shells, boar bristles, and beer cans.
It brings to mind a run, in the mid-1990s, on condoms in New Guinea, because fishermen discovered how well they work when made into tuna lures.
When rigged properly and trolled behind boats, the condoms fill with water, become translucent and take on an appearance similar to live squid, a favorite prey of yellowfin tuna.
So it seems that all an angler needs is a little imagination and some basic lure-making skills to turn just about anything into a fish catcher.