Fend For Yourself

Fend For Yourself

Fend For Yourself

Some years ago an enterprising captain slipped a dock fender on a rope behind his boat and, lo and behold, a marlin tried to eat it. The revelation caused many to rethink attractors, and the result was the popularity of the unlikely fender teaser. A low-tech alternative to high-priced teasers, it's effective on billfish and tuna and you can make one for about $25. 1) You'll need a fender with molded-in grommets. Other supplies include spray paint, 400-pound leader material and swages, a squid skirt, surf float and two egg sinkers—one large, one small—for chin and optional tail weights.Gary Caputi
Fend For Yourself

Fend For Yourself

2) Start by painting the fender to resemble a small predator common to your locale—for example, green, yellow and black for dolphin; white and black for bonito, etc.Gary Caputi
Fend For Yourself

Fend For Yourself

3) Paint the eyes or make them out of reflective tape. Run the leader through the large sinker and grommet and swage them in position. For the tail, run some leader through the squid skirt and the surf float, then through a small egg sinker and swage the end in a tight loop. Pull the whole thing back into the squid, then crimp it very close to the grommet on the back of the fender.Gary Caputi
Fend For Yourself

Fend For Yourself

4) Finish by crimping on a heavy-duty swivel and a short length of quarter-inch nylon line with a loop spliced in it for the cleat. The rope is softer on the boat's gelcoat and the swivel prevents the leader from twisting. Troll the fender close to the boat, 15 or 20 feet back, and watch the magic happen. Blue marlin have been known to puncture the heavy PVC of the fender, so make a spare.Gary Caputi
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