The advantage of using teasers
When trolling, the boat is the biggest fish attractor in the water. Fish are often curious about the commotion that the boat is making as it moves along. Adding teasers to a simple spread of baits or lures increases the sensory profile of the entire spread, giving fish more targets to attack.
Active teasers close to the boat often trigger aggressive behavior from predators that may not initially be excited by the baits and lures. Baiting these aggressive fish with pitch baits, or by reeling up flat lines to the teasers, affords anglers greater control of the bite and increases hook-up ratios. It is beneficial to understand some basics before you add teasers to your trolling arsenal.
Daisy chains are one of the oldest, simplest and easiest types of teaser to use effectively. The most popular daisy chain is a squid chain consisting of six to ten rubber squid, strung together in line, with spacing dependent upon the size of the squid.
It is also popular to begin the chain with a bird lure, or to crimp a snap swivel to the very end to add a natural bait, or a cupped face artificial lure. The idea is to make your daisy chain look as enticing as possible.
A lure teaser – another basic teaser type – is simply a lure rigged without a hook or hook set. Lures with some size and weight to them are the best choices, because they swim effectively close to the boat. Choose lures that leave a heavy bubble trail and make commotion in the water. Because lure teasers will pull with greater resistance and will take more effort to retrieve, it is recommended that you have some type of manual teaser reel set-up.
Deployment and use: although teasers can be fished anywhere in your spread, start with the basics and fish them close to the boat. A good distance is 30 to 50 feet behind the boat. Having two teasers is best if you have the proper set-up.
If you have outriggers, run your teaser lines through a pulley or glass ring attached to a point on the rigger even with your T-top when the riggers are deployed. This will get your teasers out of the whitewater immediately behind the boat and widen your spread.
If you decide to fish teasers, you must have a plan to take advantage of their use. Always have at least one pitch bait outfit ready to be deployed. When a fish appears on the teaser, drop the pitch bait back to the teaser position while a fellow deckman reels the teaser away from the fish.
If you don’t have a pitch bait outfit, be prepared to reel flat line baits or lures up to the teaser position to take advantage of aggressive behavior.
Effective use of teasers can be a real game-changer and will increase the number of fish you raise and catch.