Along with the sailfish and swordfish, blue marlin form the “big three”, blue water giants that are at the pinnacle of fishing adventures that the coast Florida offers. These giants of the deep sea can tip the scales at 1000 pounds. This said, you’re more likely to catch one in the range of 150-600 pounds. If you hook one, be prepared for a war of attrition with these jumping torpedoes. It can take between 45 minutes to six hours before you can reel one in. There’s no mistaking a blue marlin for any other fish as it turns tail and swims with its shoulder above the water, quickly unspooling the reel and testing the rod’s strength. You reel like you’ve never done before, because if you don’t there’s always a chance that the fish might just shake off the hook.
It is one of life’s pleasant surprises when you’re trolling the ocean with no specific game fish in mind, only dimly hoping that that a blue marlin would be cool…and then it happens. Blue marlin can be baited with live bait like bonito, rigged bait like large ballyhoo and bonito, and artificial lures. Lures, most popularly used in Hawaii, work nicely. Big lures that jump the surface of the water and leave behind a trail of bubbles attract these fish. Bait, though, gets them in bigger numbers. The summer season is the best time of the year to go marlin fishing. And it’s a good thing; these daytime hunters are invariably caught during daytime hours. With more sunlight hours during summer, there are more chances to catch this blue and black backed fighter when you are out there offshore Florida fishing.
In the Florida Keys, the area known as The Humps, site of underwater mountains that rise from a 1000 feet above the ocean floor, is the place where blue marlins love to be. These seamounts create an upwelling that brings up waters that are rich in nutrients. Fish such as pomfret and mackerel come to feed and are followed by their hunter – the blue marlin.