To appeal to larger blue and black marlin, many anglers prefer to fish with lures representing a more substantial baitfish. As Matt Gross discovered, the Zacatak Cracker is a jumbo sized lure with a wild action that is sure to grab attention. For that reason, it also excels as a teaser…
Like most things in fishing, fads come and go. The popularity of a given lure type, be it large, small, or anywhere in-between, fluctuates over time. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the quest for the biggest marlin, and this is usually accompanied by lures that many of us would run as teasers.
The Zacatak Cracker fits squarely in this category. It’s a lure that big blues and blacks should swim through a pattern to eat.The inspiration for the Cracker was two fold. Originally it was designed to offer an alternative to the cupped-face predator lures in the Zacatak range. It was also the first in a series of lures to be used as a teasing lure for big marlin.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Cracker is the generally unconventional head shape, with an aggressive slant to the face. It has a long head with a pronounced shoulder, narrowing to a smaller neck where the skirts are attached. The head is made from resin so popular among many lure-makers today. And the Cracker is more than a handful at 16 inches long.
I once took a photograph of the Cracker working in the short-flat position. It looked like a shallow-running torpedo, and when the picture was enlarged you could see a large bubble cloaking the head, which helped to create the lure’s unusual smoke trail. Rather than the trail of dense, small bubbles generated by some lures, the Cracker has a rather turbulent wash. The other interesting point about the Cracker is that it kicks up a rooster-tail that at times sprays a metre high. It will also dive to simulate the appearance of a feeding tuna. The angle of the cut face is responsible for these deep-diving and surface-slashing attributes. That angle also allows the Cracker to swim well off-line, unlike the track of a typical straight running lure.
In terms of this big lure’s performance, we were surprised to see that it would run at 12 knots before finally succumbing to momentum and the drag of that aggressive cut face. At normal troll speeds this lure works well sitting at the base of the wake, but in our opinion is better placed in the long-flat position. (Zacatak’s other extra large lures would arguably be more effective in the short-flat position.)
Ideally the minimum tackle required for the Cracker is 37kg, so that the ability to sink the hook will not be compromised. Leaders should be at least 400lb mono. As mentioned earlier, the Cracker also makes a very good teaser and is an effective subsurface addition to other attractors. When the Cracker was run as a teaser off Port Stephens, NSW, it was smashed at the back of the boat by a big blue marlin. The fish was so intent on keeping the hook-less lure that it almost broke the stout teaser rod. On that same day, the angler was at the transom watching the lure when another big blue came charging into the spread. It missed the Cracker, but then a mako shark instantly slammed it. Perhaps the blue marlin saw the competition and decided that caution was a better alternative!
The Zacatak stable of lures has been crafted with the aid of digital machining to ensure that the tolerances in the moulds are extremely fine. The edges of the lures’ face are sharp, ensuring that they produce optimum performance. Each lure is hand poured. The Cracker is a big lure for big fish. Whether you run it with hooks or as a teaser, just make sure that it is attached to a heavy line, otherwise you are unlikely to have it at the end of the day!
You can browse the Zacatak Lures Cracker range here.
Author: Matt Gross - Published in BlueWater Magazine (Issue 68)
Reposted by Zacatak Lures with permission