Techniques for Catching White Marlin

I usually hear fishermen troll for White Marlin. Can you catch them with a cast instead?

The White Marlin is a high powered, open water fish designed for continuous swimming. It inhabits the Atlantic Ocean from North America down to South America. Although it is a highly prized game fish, almost all that are caught, estimated at ninety nine percent, are caught unintentionally in tuna nets.

The usual method of catching the White Marlin is trolling close to the surface of the water. They are aggressive carnivores so they will take almost any bait as long as it is the right size. The size limitation is due to the fact that the adult has no teeth. The preferred baits are squid, mackerel, herring, mullet, or artificial lures, such as feathered jigs.

Although it is conceivable that a marlin could be caught by casting and retrieving, the odds of it happening are minimal. It is simply unlikely that the fisherman would run across one. Trolling from a boat allows the fisherman to cover enough aquatic real estate to stack the odds in his favor. That being said, casting can be productive IF the fish has already been spotted.

In fact, fly fishing for white marlin is gaining in popularity. When this is the method the angler is using, the best bet is to search for a school of baitfish that a marlin is feeding on. The fly should be presented in the marlin’s line of sight and delivered as softly as possible, as these brutes will spook.

Taking a white marlin on a fly turns into a massive battle between the angler and the fish. Marlin have a reputation for both leaping into the air and diving deep. If you hook one like this, be ready for some sore muscles!

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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