Jet and bullet-style lures work well for a wide variety of game fish, and for several reasons. Because they tend to track in a straight line, they are easy for a marauding billfish or tuna to find (and eat) in the spread. Tuna and wahoo also love jets and bullets because they tend to swim along below the surface.
A favorite tactic of the top marlin captains is to run a jet or bullet lure on either the long rigger or shotgun position: any blues that fade off a teaser or big, aggressive lure closer to the boat are likely to crash a smaller jet or bullet in a going-away bite as they leave the spread. Add any of these to your arsenal and your hook-up ratio will soar.
To read more from out best-lures series, check out the following: Best Teaser Lures for Marlin; Best Tube Lures for Marlin; and Best Plunger Lures for Marlin.
Aloha Deep Six Bullet Lure
Aloha’s Deep Six Bullet lure was originally designed for hefty tuna but anglers have reported that the 9-inch attractor is a slayer for marlin. Aloha’s owner, Erik Rusnak, says it’s the most popular bullet lure in the lure-maker’s line. The pointed nose and sharp transition mimics a fleeing flying fish or squid and the distinct rag-doll action is the secret to the lure’s success. It can be used on 30- to 130-pound tackle and is best fished from the short or long rigger positions.
Black Bart Kona ProJet
The ProJet from Black Bart is perfect for targeting any offshore species, using anywhere from 50- to 130-pound tackle, and is a reliable performer in all weather conditions. The stealth-like swimming action and aggressive pop and splash pushes the 14-inch lure to the top of its class. Use it in any location on the spread and rig it with a 10/0 or 11/0 hook.
Coggin Mauna Kea Tado Bullet
Steve Coggin’s Mauna Kea Tado Bullet is derived from a molded Mauna Lea Tado — except that each of these popular bullet lures are a unique hand-crafted shape. Coggin said the lure is best fished from the short outrigger, where he uses it with success off Hawaii. The head is 4 1/2 inches long, attached to a 14-inch skirt.
Crane Lures 4-Hole Jetted Bullet
The 9-inch jet can be used in any position in the spread, according to Brett Crane of Crane Lures. The best spot is on the shotgun, though. The lure weighs 6 ounces, making it stable in all weather conditions.
Iland Lures Express
Island Lures’ Express lure is commonly used as a teaser for billfish behind a squid chain. If fished as a lure, the 10 1/2-inch lure performs best with 220- to 300-pound leader with a horse ballyhoo, trolled at 7 to 8 knots. It’s versatile enough to fit in any spot in the spread and is a proven fish-raiser.
Koya Straight Bullet
With an old-school design, the Koya Straight Bullet pulls inspiration from hand-made lure makers like Joe Yee, Henry Chee and Chester Kita. The 8-inch lure can be customized for different color combinations and are best suited for 30- to 130-pound tackle pulled from the long or short rigger positions.
Marlin Magic Big Blue Mega Jet Bullet
Marlin Parker’s Big Blue Mega Jet Bullets are great attractors for big tuna and marlin. Flow-through jet holes create the desired bubble trail. The 13-inch lure is best run on the long rigger or the shotgun position, although Parker himself said he sometimes runs them on the short rigger or short corner spots. “These bullets make up 40 to 50 percent of my total catches during the year,” he says, noting that he only uses them during the winter and spring seasons in his home waters off Kona, Hawaii.
Marlinstar Triple Threat Bullet
Previously known as the Double T Bullet, the Triple Threat Bullet has a three-skirt step design to customize color combinations. The bullet lure can be trolled using up to 800-pound-test leader, making it an excellent option for larger fish. The 13-inch lure is best used from the short or long rigger.
Melton Cherry Jet
One of four jet lures from Melton, the Cherry Jet design comes in three sizes: small (3/4-inch diameter, 20- to 80-pound tackle), medium (7/8-inch diameter, 30- to 130-pound tackle) and large (1-inch diameter, 50-pound tackle and up). It catches the attention of marlin and tuna with its tuned sonic resonance and thick bubble stream. Canyon Runner used the lure to win $236,000 in the 2012 White Marlin Open. The lure fishes best in clear water or far back in the spread at 5 to 8 knots, so fish it from the shotgun or long rigger positions.
Pakula Paua Jet Bullet
With a wide-faced shape, expert lure-maker Peter Pakula’s creation can handle a nasty wind — and fits in a lot of different spots in the spread. Pakula says they’re not position critical lures, “though they are mainly run in clear water.” The shotgun position is ideal for the lure, which comes in two sizes (9 1/4 inches and 7 1/4 inches). The Paua Jet Bullet attracts all pelagic species — and does so at any trolling speed.