Blue Marlin – Greatest Big Game Fish in the World
For many, the Blue Marlin is considered the Holy Grail of sport fishing. While there are many worthy contenders to the throne – Bluefin Tuna, Sailfish, Swordfish and Tarpon are but a few that come to mind – there is no doubt the Blue Marlin is king of the blue water. Its rare combination of size, strength, stamina and leaping ability are second to none (do you hear that, LeBron James!) In fact, they have been known to leap clear out of the water and into fishing boats. When you hook into one of these giants of the blue you’d better strap yourself in because you’re in for the fight of your life. It’s not uncommon to feel afterwards like you’d been body punched by a professional boxer for 12 rounds. You’re not getting one of these boat-side, if you do at all, in 20 minutes. It can take up to an excess of 3 hours (or more) depending on the size of the fish and your level of experience. So you’d better pack a lunch before you go after one of these majestic brutes!
There’s no denying that the Blue Marlin is special among sport fishermen and big game fish anglers. So prized is the Blue Marlin that the island-nation of the Bahamas made it their national fish and proudly display it on their coat of arms. Ernest Hemingway, an avid sport fisherman, featured the Blue Marlin in his masterpiece The Old Man and the Sea, which depicts the epic struggle between man and fish – and of course, man with himself. It is the ultimate trophy fish, the one that will give you a lifetime of bragging rights.
The Blue Marlin is also the largest of the Billfish, if you didn’t already know, and the only predators it has are mainly Great Whites and we humans. They are a warm water species native to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and are migratory and solitary by nature. The Pacific variant is larger than its Atlantic cousin and females are usually bigger than males. Though Blue Marlin are usually caught in the 200 lb to 400 lb range, there have been many catches exceeding 1800 lbs and 16 ft in length. The official Atlantic Ocean world record for rod and reel catches is 1402 lbs.
Get Ready for the Fight of Your Life
The Blue Marlin itself is a deep sea predator that likes to feed on squid, dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi). Mackerel and even small Tuna. And that long, spear-like bill it sports is not just for show. It is used to attack and injure schools fish. Follow the schools and you will find your Marlin. There are many techniques you can use to catch these trophy Marlin, but trolling with artificial lures, bait/lure combinations and natural baits are some of the most effective. Live bait fishing with Bonito or Mackerel are also very effective.
But you will never know why the Blue Marlin is champion of the oceans until you hook into one. Then get ready to rumble! From the moment it takes your bait to when you mercifully reel it in (if you are lucky enough) you are in for a long, grueling battle. And all the while you are feeling the rush of adrenaline and a sense of exhilaration that no drug can ever provide. You will feel the ebb and flow of the battle – one minute convinced of certain victory, only to be followed by that sinking feeling of doubt as your fish makes spectacular long runs, deep dives and acrobatic moves that leave you mesmerized by a blur of cobalt blue.
Finally, after 2 hours and near exhaustion from battling a stubborn and angry behemoth – and with arms, back and body too numb to any longer feel anything – you reel in your trophy. Maybe like the old man in Hemingway’s book, you soak in a moment of triumph. But you will never forget that you were in a fight with a worthy opponent – the greatest big game fish in the world, the Blue Marlin.