Blue Marlin: Engage in the Ultimate Battle

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Beasts like this blue marlin don't just fight - they battle.

Blue marlin aren’t exactly a common catch, but when you put in the long hours and run far, far from port, they do represent the ultimate battle any angler could engage in. You say you’re ready for a serious challenge? Here are a few tips that can help make it happen.

blue marlin

Beasts like this blue marlin don’t just fight – they battle.

  1. If you’re trolling a mixed spread, add in something big – very big. A horse ballyhoo behind a skirt is common, but a big chugger or flat-head is even better. It should be rigged with 10/0 to 12/0 hooks and 500-pound test. Green and blue mackerel patterns are considered by many to be top producers.
  2. When you find a rip, break, or floating structure and see tons of bait and life but aren’t getting lots of strikes, don’t be tempted to move on to greener pastures before giving it a thorough work-over. You sometimes won’t find lots of smaller predators in the area because hey, what fish wants to hang around when there’s a big blue marlin swimming around nearby?
  3. Do lots of zigging and zagging as opposed to trolling in a straight line. Marlin tend to do lots of window shopping and when the lures pass into and out of the wake, they may think their “prey” is trying to get away.
  4. Pull a dredge, and keep a sharp eye on it even when you can barely see the dredge flash now and again. It may seem like you’d never see the fish approach, but a blue marlin is surprisingly visible even 10 or 15 feet down.
  5. Put the small rigs away. If you place a single 30 in the spread, you can bet your bottom dollar that’s the line the marlin will hit, just because. Put out three 50s and three 80s, and yeah, you just KNOW one of the 50s will be the line it attacks. With a 50 at least you have a prayer, but with a 30 and a decent sized blue on the line, the game is probably over before it even begins.

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