A Deckhand Secret: Halibut & Rockfish Nectar, Good Enough To Replace Bait

By John Albrich | 08/03/2012

As a fishing guide I don’t always get to enjoy catching fish. In fact, excitement stems from seeing others happy after catching fish on my boat. Regardless of how many fish we catch, or how big they are, nothing is more valuable than seeing my 11-year-old son Conor catch fish, hence the reason behind our annual father/son offshore trip to Ilwaco, Washington.

Conor and I have been fishing together since he was five. We’ve caught at least a dozen species and it strengthens our bond every time. His favorite trip so far extends off the Washington coast with Captain Ed Green on the Pacific Dream. Conor looks forward to this for months.

Ironically, a few weeks ago, the day we were scheduled to fish with Green we also met a new deckhand. I wasn’t concerned though; at least not after I noticed the deckhand walking from angler to angler squirting Pautzke’s Halibut & Rockfish Nectar on everyone’s shrimp flies.


I walked over to the deckhand and made small talk.

“What are you doing with this stuff?” I asked him. He had no idea I was a Pautzke pro staffer. “Don’t we need to tip these shrimp flies with bait? How come there is no bait?”

In my experience, usually when you go out a charter boat they’ll tip the jig with a piece of herring or something to generate scent, but the deckhand told us it wasn’t necessary with the Halibut and Rockfish Nectar.


“Don’t worry,” he said to me. “This is all we use. It’s not as messy and replaces the cost of bait.”

I was more than familiar with Pautzke Nectar, perhaps was just surprised to see it on a boat in the middle of the ocean 22 miles northwest of Ilwaco. We were fishing 400 feet of water for bottomfish, namely yellowtail sea bass, and one of my favorite products, a version of Nectar, was ironically becoming an integral part of our trip. I had no doubt these guys knew what they were doing and Conor would catch plenty of fish.

To see a deckhand with that kind of confidence in a scent it showed me that freshwater guys aren’t the only ones who value Nectar. Consider that we employed 32 ounces of lead to reach 400-foot depths and the scent still worked that far down. This tells me the potency of Halibut & Rockfish Nectar.


In these parts of the Pacific, if you drop lines below 50 fathoms and catch halibut, lingcod or yellow eye, they must be released. Therefore, we’d lower the bait to the bottom and reel it up 10 cranks to decrease the chances of catching those fish. Consequently, we were here to catch sea bass, anyway, which were suspended.

The combination of Halibut & Rockfish Nectar and congregation of sea bass proved to be the recipe we needed for success. We, and everyone on the boat, limited out simply by using shrimp flies doused in the Halibut & Rockfish Nectar. We didn’t have to pay for or deal with the mess of cutting live bait.


Not surprising to me, nonetheless, sea bass weren’t the only species we caught. The Nectar scent had also convinced several other species to bite the small jig. To me, it spoke volumes to the aroma of Nectar. We had silvers hammering the shrimp fly (with no bait and only squirted in Nectar). Lingcod and halibut hopped aboard too (we did release these fish).

It was kind of funny to me, but the deckhand told me once he discovered the Nectar it eliminated him from having to cut herring and anchovy chunks and baiting hooks. All he had to do was squirt them and drop them.

It made my life easier. It made Conor’s life easier. It’s made his life easier. And, it could make yours too.