Walk into any tackle shop and you’ll see that big game skirted trolling lures are now available in a bewildering range of shapes, designs and materials. From metal heads to resin heads, jets, cups, slants, bullets and plungers, the selection process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a number of leading lure manufacturers offer pre-assembled trolling lure packs designed for specific species. These packs encompass a wide variety of price points and variations and provide the average offshore angler numerous benefits over purchasing individual lures.
Some of the most popular pre-assembled trolling lure packs you will see across Florida are tuna and dolphin packs. These sets come in a variety of sizes, colors, head shapes and materials. From small feather sets to hand-poured custom aerospace resin sets, anglers have many options to choose from. The best packs come professionally rigged with stainless steel hooks, high-quality leader material, crimps and chaffing gear and are ready to run anytime you need them—a huge advantage for blue water anglers who don’t have the necessary tools, terminal gear, time or knowledge to properly rig their own trolling lures.
A ready to fish lure pack containing different head patterns allows you to fill any open space in the spread easily and efficiently.
If you are on the hunt for action, running a full spread of artificial lures is a great way to increase your trolling speed and cover more ground. You can also mix artificial lures within your dead bait spread as this allows you to offer a wider variety of choices. Mix up the colors in the spread and if a certain pattern outperforms all others, then reach into your set and add more of the same to the spread.
Trolling lure packs usually come with a selection of the best heads and proven color patterns for the target species. For example, the Bost Tuna/Dolphin Pack shown above contains jet heads, a cup, a Kona slant, and a bullet. The jet heads emit an amazing smoke trail that game fish home in on from far and wide and are effective in a wide variety of sea conditions. Cup faced lures trap air, create an enticing bubble trail, and run best off the short rigger and in the prop wash. Slant head lures swim and dance and are also ideal rigger baits, but not the best choice for use in rough water. Lastly, the weighted bullet runs perfect way back behind the boat. A ready to fish lure pack containing different head patterns allows you to fill any open space in the spread easily and efficiently.
A wahoo pack is another great buy. These kits usually come with four bullet shaped lures, four trolling leads and four shock leaders, in either 30 to 50 lb. class or 80 to 130 lb. class. With one pack you are ready to high-speed troll for one of the fastest fish in the ocean. Weights ranging from 24 to 48 oz. allow anglers to troll four lines simultaneously at different distances and depths. This will enable you to make turns at a high rate of speed without tangling the lines. Shock leaders are used to help absorb the energy when a blistering fast wahoo hits a lure trolled at over 15 knots.
Another great option is a rigged marlin pack. Fishing locally you may only get a few shots at marlin in your lifetime, so professionally rigged lures are a must. Any weak link in terminal tackle or rigging technique can be costly. Most marlin packs come with a selection of the best lures from that particular manufacturer. Much like a dolphin pack, you can troll a full spread of marlin lures or mix them with your natural bait spread. Marlin regularly hunt dolphin and tuna, so filling a spread with lures from various packs increases your odds exponentially.
Pre-assembled trolling lure packs are a must on any offshore boat. The ease of use and ability to change lures in the spread at any time makes them extremely convenient. Buying lures pre-rigged from a reputable manufacturer also ensures that when the opportunity at a great fish arises, your terminal connections will stand up to the challenge.
While a select number of lure manufacturers will customize lure packs, most packs are sold as is, meaning you get what’s included in the pack. For most weekend warriors this is perfectly fine, but for specialists who fine-tune their trolling spreads with particular style and size lures in specific positions, and those who are extremely meticulous about their rigging methods, this may be problematic. Purchase price is also a disadvantage, as you are forced to dish out enough up front to cover the cost of four or six fully rigged lures versus purchasing one at a time.
Still, if you can see past these minor inconveniences, for those outfitting a new boat or just looking to put some blood on the deck and meat in the box, pre-assembled trolling lure packs are a great option. Much thought goes into the pack to ensure your time trolling is spent catching and not fishing.