Surface teasers draw fish in close and spark the action.
Offshore teasers are designed to attract big game to the boat, where anglers pitch-bait or tease them onto a flat-line bait. If the fish fades back, there’s a chance of it striking one of the baits staggered farther back, but that’s just one reason for setting up teasers to bring the show up close.
Teasers create the illusion of action behind the boat in the prop wash, such as a feeding frenzy. Fish holding deep or hunting in the upper part of the water column sense the boat and lock in on the prop wash and your strategically placed teasers.
The rule-of-thumb starting point for teasers and daisy chains is to place them in clean water just outside the prop wash, about 25 feet back, pulled off the teaser lines on the outriggers, and tweak from there as the situation demands.
The water behind the boat is your canvas, and teasers are your paint and brushes. The game fish grade your artistry. Below, these five no-nonsense teasers excel at raising more sailfish, white, blue and striped marlin, tuna and dolphin.
The standard squid daisy chain is a mainstay when trolling for sailfish and white marlin, and works like a Pied Piper for holding school dolphin near the boat. We’ve plucked dolphin one right after another by pitching lures and cut baits behind this teaser. Deploy daisy chains off teaser rings on the outriggers, and line them up to run 20 to 30 feet behind the boat, in the clean water outside the prop wash. 1 Versions of the squid daisy chain range from traditional in-line models to dual-dimensional ones that swim as well as flop. “Many of the top pro boats still use traditional pink or green squid,” says Frank Johnson III of Mold Craft Lures. “The trend is toward more colors. We offer countless colors for our squid and lures, but sometimes it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. “I’ve always been a proponent of adding a different color squid at the end of the chain — the weak-link illusion, if you will,” he says. 2“Some pros add a larger lead squid, like our 18-incher, to our 9-inch squid chain. This holds the nose of the chain down when they’re trolled short and from a high angle. It creates more commotion too.” 3
DUPED: Bluefin tuna inspects the teasers from below.
2 WEAKEST-LINK CONFIGURATION 1 BASIC SQUID DAISY-CHAIN TEASER 3 ALPHA SQUID SETUP