Top Teaser Tips

Expert tips to help you maximize your bridge teasers.
Rich Barrett
The captain's job entails much more than driving the boat. A good captain knows what is going on in front of the boat, behind the boat and on the boat at all times. On top of all of that, the captain is also responsible for the bridge teasers, drawing in a hot marlin so the crew can pitch a bait to get bit. A lot can go wrong when it comes to manning the teasers. These tips will help make the captain's life easier when the fish of a lifetime pops up behind the squid chain.
WITHIN REACH: Having your lines exposed under the hardtop and not running through it will make life a lot easier. For example, you may just want to grab the teaser line and give it a quick pull to yank grass off or pull the teaser on the inside of a turn to keep it from tangling. Having the line exposed as opposed to having to go to the reel or the outside of the hardtop to retrieve the line makes it faster and easier. Palm Beach Towers makes a slick piece of hardware to bring the line from your teaser reels to the underside of the hardtop, which makes this chore a piece of cake.
WORK SMARTER: Adding a pulley at the outer edge of the hardtop makes it even easier to pull in the bridge teaser line. I attach my pulley to the ring welded on the edge of the hardtop that was originally designed for the teaser line to run through. It's surprising what a difference this makes when you need to get the teaser in quick.
MORE PULLEYS: Once a boat gets a bite the captain will usually put the billfish on the inside of a turn and make a gentle approach around and towards the fish hoping to hook multiples. To keep lines from crossing, the angler moves to the gunwale closest to the fish while the mate brings down the teaser halyard return line to keep it lower than the rod tip. We lower the long rigger on the inside of the turn and get it over the line tight to the fish and run it back up the rigger to continue trolling while fighting the fish. By having a Harken 40 C fiddle block pulley on that halyard it will make it easier to bring in the teaser when the captain decides to go catch the fish.
NEVER MISS A BITE: As hard as you try, you're not going to see every teaser bite. The captain may be looking ahead, checking the sounder or just miss a fish because of glare. Putting a Black's Outrigger Clip on the teaser line right above the captain's head will make sure he'll know if anything happens. He'll hear the pop and see which clip is hanging free. Now get ready for the bite.
COP A FEEL: If you use Maya Epoch teaser reels or something similar that has an electric retrieve, a good trick is to put a rubber sticky dot next to the auto-retrieve button. When you reach up you'll get used to feeling for the button next to the dot so you don't have to take your eyes off of the action to bring the teasers in.
COLOR CODED: When trolling with bridge teasers and dredges (and sometimes a cockpit teaser), you will inevitably get tangled. To keep track of each teaser, try using different colored lines. We use 400-pound test Smoke Blue on the bridge teasers and clear mono on the dredges. If the lines do tangle, the different colored lines make it much easier to untangle. If you end up cutting one, you'll know that you're about to slice the right line.

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