by George Poveromo

Make your own durable, castable "peanut"—a tiny tube lure that brings nonstop action on the cheap.
By George Poveromo


Inspiration struck as i tinkered with my tackle one afternoon. Just a few days earlier, I had enjoyed great light-tackle sport with school dolphin, catching them on bucktails. But the fish quickly destroyed the lures and grew wise to the succession of colors we pitched to them, eventually forcing us to switch to ballyhoo chunks and finally live bait to keep the bite going.


What I needed was a lure that would be as effective as a bucktail, yet more durable. I recalled pitching tube lures to big barracuda over the patch reefs of the Florida Keys, and was amazed at how rugged that surgical tubing was, even after a day in the toothy maw of 'cuda after 'cuda. On a whim, I matched some tubing with a fish-tested bucktail and cut a four-inch length to mimic the profile. To equal the heft that provides the superior casting distance of the bucktail, I stuck an egg sinker into one end of the tube.

The "peanut" was born.


Peanut Gets Shelled
What I found on the next several dolphin outings, and over the ensuing years, was quite impressive. The Poveromo Peanut—as my friends had affectionately dubbed my creation—cast far enough to reach the dolphin without having to bring the boat too close—just like a bucktail—and when reeled in quickly, the lure had a super fleeing-type action that drove fish mad. The peanut held up after many battles with only minor scuffing—I just had to touch up the hooks with a hone to keep them sharp after tangling with a few fish.

Because the tube material comes in solid colors, including yellow, blood red, orange, green, chartreuse, opaque and black, I can fashion a variety of lures to keep the dolphin interested for quite awhile. In addition, there is no paint to chip or dressing to fall off its simple, durable tubular body.


The materials cost hardly anything, so the biggest investment was the time it took to make the lures (see "Soup to Nuts," page 40). Best of all, the peanut catches a wide variety of gamefish—both inshore and offshore. Over the years it has caught Spanish and cero mackerel, bluefish, jack crevalle, bonito, blackfin tuna and even a seatrout. Although we have used it primarily for school dolphin, larger versions entice bigger game, such as cobia, striped bass, barracuda and amberjack.

A LITTLE NUTS: The peanut packs a wallop.
Photo: George Poveromo


Action and Enticement
Depending on the target species and angling situation, I have found that the lure responds to different retrieves with enticing actions. To get the most out of my handiwork, I use the peanut in one of three ways:

Casting: For school dolphin, I prefer casting the peanut far out, then holding the rod above my head and reeling as quickly as I can. The high rod angle and speedy retrieve combine with the flat face of the lure to create attention-getting splashes as the peanut skips across the surface—just like a fleeing fish. Dolphin see this and come charging after it, striking aggressively.


Once the dolphin cool down on that retrieve, I'll cast the lure far out, let it sink for several seconds and then retrieve it rapidly beneath the surface. I'll hold the rod parallel to the water and frequently jig the peanut as I reel. The peanut tracks straight, lunging forward with each jig. This action will fire up the fish again, and will even incite strikes from those fish that were wary of the fast-moving retrieve on the surface. In addition to dolphin, I have also taken bluefish, mackerel and jacks this way.


Jigging: Another productive tactic is to jig the peanut. Cast it out and let it sink for a minute or so. Then begin a steady, moderate retrieve, highlighted by sharp lifts and drops of the rod, which provides a vertical, darting movement.

To get even more action on the jig, let the lure sink, then wind up the slack, pausing as you jerk the rod tip up. Reel quickly as you drop the rod, repeating the process all the way back to the surface—giving the lure plenty of motion. Use this retrieve to find dolphin suspending in the water column, and you may also discover it attracts amberjack, cobia, barracuda and even grouper and snapper, if you fish it right off the bottom.


Trolling: The peanut also can be trolled for small tuna and bonito that are schooled up and feeding at the surface. These spooky fish are often too far away to reach with a cast.


A way around that is to pay out 200 to 300 yards of line, to give the fish a wide berth, and troll a small spread of peanuts past the leading edge of a school. The little tube lure resembles the small bait closely enough to produce strikes, while the far-off boat seems to draw no notice.


I often place a peanut in my trolling spread—it seems to find school dolphin anytime and the swivel prevents line twist. The next time you're looking for a lure to do it all, try a Poveromo Peanut. Its range of colors and actions will catch a variety of gamefish. And it certainly will have no problem going the distance.


Soup to Nuts
Use this step-by-step guide to make your own peanut.

WHAT YOU NEED: four-inch section of surgical tubing, egg sinker to fit snugly in tube, eight-inch length of 200-pound-test No. 12 wire, 3/0 long-shank hook, barrel swivel and indelible marker.
Photo: Illustration: Pete Sucheski


1 Add a drop of reel oil to the egg sinker and twist it into a four-inch section of tube. Hint: Put the sinker against the floor and push on the tube until it slides in.


2 Make a cut in the tube with the point of a knife, about three-quarters of the way back.


3 Slide the No. 12 wire through the eye of the sinker and out the small incision in the body. Use a haywire to twist a 3/0, long-shank hook to the wire.


4 Pull the wire and hook back up into the body and make sure the twist abuts the sinker. Check for binding by holding the lure head and pulling on the wire. The lure's head should absorb the strain. If the hook pulls tight against the body, lengthen the incision in front of the bend to relieve the pressure.


5 Finish by trimming excess leader wire and haywire-twisting the swivel to the leader. Draw eyes and gill slits. Experiment with other markings, or cut the trailing edge of the tube into flaps for added action.
— G.P