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Releasing Blue Marlin


Before you get to release your first Bahamas Blue Marlin, you need to hook one! Here is a proven means of doing just that. Keep the spread simple and easy to clear, run the right sized lures for the average fish you expect to encounter, pull the lures at the correct speed to generate the proper action, and set your drags right. If you follow these steps you will greatly increase your chances of releasing your trophy Blue Marlin. A simple 5 lure spread works well. See our Blue Marlin Lures page for more details on what to pull. In the Bahamas, you can get away with Penn 70VS reels. This is the perfect all around reel for fishing for the average Bahamas Blue Marlin that goes around 175 to 250 pounds. The lures we've mentioned all seem to work well at around 7.5 to 9 knots, depending on sea conditions. Run 2 long riggers, 2 short riggers, and one lure off the bridge, right in the middle of the spread. Do NOT run the center lure way way back. Billfish will come up on that way way back lure all the time, but you won't catch them. It will be too far back to see, with too much line stretch to get a good hook set. Run that bridge rod in between the long and short riggers, making an "X" type spread. Add two bridge teasers (the largest plugs you can find) and you have an ideal Blue Marlin Spread.

Spool your Penn International 70's with 80 Pound Suffix Line, and set the drags to 30 pounds at strike. When you put your rods in the rod holder, leave them at about 15 pounds. This is sufficient to drive the hook home on the strike, but not too much so that you'll be pulling the hook as the fish makes that first strong run. As you settle into the fight and the fish is constantly pulling (no more jumping or quick pulls), now you can gently ease the drag up as needed. Often you will not need to add any more drag, but if you have a big fish or the fish sounds, you have the drag to use if you need it.

To release the Billfish, get the Marlin swimming with the boat along-side. Have one person holding the leader (and ready to let go if necessary), while another carefully removes the hook. TAKE YOUR TIME....if the fish is very green, just let him all ready have the release one the leader has been grabbed, so no need to yank on the fish real hard, just gently move it into position along-side the boat, for a careful, clean and healthy release. If you can't get the hook out easily, snip the leader as close to the hook as you can and let the fish swim away. If the fish is very tired, swim the fish next to the boat for a few minutes to revive it.


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