Marlin Fishing

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Believe it or not, that is me. I caught this fish on the Little G in route to Cabo on a nine day trip. I was the helmsman every night for a nine hour shift. I still had the strength to wrestle this monster on the boat to land my first Marlin. It was a very memorable trip and I can PERSONALLY recommend the Little G, Multi Day Trips, into Mexican Waters. These trips run way later than the Socal Fishing season, and the further south you go, the more Marlin you will find. Dorado too. They seem to like to run together. In this video you see the nicest fish I ever caught.

They are common in the waters off San Diego, but during the fall and early winter months we see them on the surface relatively often. If we do, we make a B-LINE at FLANK speed directly for it and throw out the marlin rigs or the biggest piece of live bait we have. Also, on the way out and the way home we are trolling a giant Marlin lure at 12 knots behind the boat, just in case we get lucky!

Hooking a Marlin while fishing off the coast of San Diego or Mexico would be one of the most memorable events in an anglers career. Marlin are incredibly fast swimmers, strong and with great stamina, and will probably be the biggest fish you have ever hooked. Swimming at up to 50 miles per hour, the Striped Marlin is among the top three fastest fish in the world. You would be very surprised out how fast you can run out of line with a Blue Marlin hookup... no matter what the test of the line, it has great speed, and weight and strength to back it up.

Once you get one on the line you will find out just how hard this fish can fight. Assuming you hold on long enough to get it to the surface you will witness airborne tactics designed to throw your hook, as the fish will angrily shake its head while in the air. It is the fight of your life.

We make memories
that you can keep!

On September 4th this giant blue Marlin was caught on the middle banks outside of San Diego, Ca. The fish was caught on the troll at 12 knots with a Marlin lure being towed behind the boat. It was a blind strike, no visual, no meter mark.

The ensuing battle lasted more than 2 hours with the vessel Atun finally coming out on top.

Captain Clinton Dunn

Deckhand Mark Terry

36 Miles due west of Point Loma

How we Fish for Marlin

Fishing for Marlin With Artificial Lures

We often travel for many hours at a speed of about 12 knots. At that time we are running large, heavy, fast running Marlin lures. The sole reason we run these larger lures, is in the hopes that we will visually spot or sonar mark the fish and guide our lure to him. This tactic seems to be the most productive, although many would argue the point. Marlin, including striped marlin, are typically caught on or near the surface of the water. They are known to feed on surface-dwelling fish such as mackerel and flying fish, and they also use their speed and agility to chase down their prey. However, it's important to note that marlin can also be caught at depths. Some anglers use deep-diving lures and trolling at deeper depths to target Marlin. Additionally, Marlin can also be caught while they are feeding on schools of baitfish that are suspended at mid-depths of the water column. So, Marlin are not exclusively caught on the surface, but are mostly targeted near the surface.

Fishing for Marlin with Live Bait

You should use live bait only when the fishing where fish congregate, such as underwater ridges, banks, and shelves. Live bait can be a good alternative to artificial lures if you’re within visual range and you have the confidence to cast accurately to land within visual range of the fish when it hits the water. If you hit your mark, you will be hooked up. The Marlin has excellent vision and even if you get close, the fish will make a strait line for your bait, and allow you to see his fin as he swims the final distance to his target.

Use the Best Quality Tackle

Our vessels provide ONLY the best quality, highly maintained, Marlin-ready gear. New line, new drag, correct rigging, proper lures, and the knowledge to use them effectively, to PUT YOUR MARLIN on the deck!

Blue Marlin

The Blue Marlin tends to dive deeper and tire quicker than other Marlin. However, it is a powerful and aggressive fighter that can run hard and long, leaping high in the air in amazing displays of acrobatics.

Females can weigh up to four times the amount of males, which rarely exceed 300 lb. Some experts consider Blue Marlin living in the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans to be two distinct species, although this point of view is contended. It does seem to be the case that Marlin in the Pacific ocean tend to be larger than those in the Atlantic, though.

How to Recognize Blue Marlin

The telltale signs of a Blue Marlin are as follows:

  • A pointed front dorsal fin that is never as high as the maximum body depth (read, the hairdo is never longer than the fish is fat).

  • Pectoral (side) fins aren’t rigid, but can be folded back against the body.

  • A cobalt blue back that fades to white. It made have pale blue stripes that always fade after death.

  • The overall body shape is cylindrical.

The best time to catch blue marlin is typically during the summer months, when the water is warmer. Blue marlins can be found off the coast of San Diego, specifically in the waters surrounding the Coronado Islands, the Nine Mile Bank, and the ridge that runs from La Jolla to the Mexican border.

There are several methods for catching blue marlin off the coast of San Diego, including trolling, live bait fishing, and lure casting.

  • Trolling: This method involves towing several lures or baits behind a moving boat in hopes of attracting a marlin. This is a popular method for catching blue marlin as it covers a large area quickly.

  • Live bait fishing: This method involves using live bait such as squid, mackerel, or sardines to attract marlin. Live bait is often used in conjunction with trolling, with the live bait being placed behind the boat on a separate line.

  • Lure casting: This method involves casting artificial lures such as jigs or plugs in hopes of attracting a marlin. This method is typically used when marlins are not actively feeding.

Striped Marlin

‘Stripes’ are found in the Pacific and Indian oceans, usually in colder waters than Black or Blue Marlin. They migrate by season, moving towards the equator in the winter and away from it in the warm season.

Famous for their fighting ability, Striped Marlin have a reputation of spending more time in the air than in the water once they’ve been hooked. They are known for long runs and tail walks, as well as ‘greyhounding’ across the surface in a series of leaps and bounds.

How to Recognize a Striped Marlin:

The signature traits of a Striped Marlin are as follows:

  • A pointed dorsal fin that can be taller than its body depth.

  • Visible pale blue stripes that remain even after death.

  • A thinner, more compressed body shape.

  • Flexible, pointed pectoral fins.

Marlin fishing in San Diego has a long history, dating back to the early 20th century. The first known marlin caught in San Diego was a striped marlin in 1902. Since then, sportfishing for marlin in the area has become increasingly popular, with anglers targeting both blue and striped marlin.

Standing Records

In terms of current standing records, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recognizes the following as the all-tackle world records for marlin caught in San Diego:

  • Blue marlin: 1,376 lb (623 kg), caught by angler Paul Wiederhold in 1982

Striped marlin: 181 lb (82 kg), caught by angler Michael A. Lamm in 2000

  • It's important to note that these records may be broken over time, and for more updated information you should check the official website of IGFA.

Striped Marlin Summer 2020, Easter B

Captain Trevor, of the vessel Easter B, nails the second big marline of the year. the first being a blue marlin caught earlier this year.

The best time to target these fish being during the summer and fall months. These fish are known for their agility and power, making them a challenging catch for any angler. The most common method for catching striped marlin off the shore of San Diego is by trolling with artificial lures or live bait, but casting lures and live baiting are also effective methods. To increase your chances of catching a striped marlin, it is recommended to use heavy tackle and a strong leader, as these fish are known to put up a tough fight. Additionally, it is best to fish during the early morning or late evening when the water is cooler, as this is when striped marlin are most active.