Big Game Fishing: Mighty Marlin

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Marlin fishing is at the pinnacle of all sport fishing. With blue, black and striped marlin inhabiting South African waters, there is a festival of great fishing to be had.

The warm, nutrient rich Agulhas Current flows down the east coast of South Africa and brings with it the prospect of excellent marlin fishing.

In this article we look at a variety of interesting facts as well as the different aspects that will improve your chances of landing one of these majestic game fish. Leisure Boating throws out a line to Rob Naysmith to find out about the ins and outs of marlin fishing.

Leisure Boating: What sort of rods would you typically rig your boat with when marlin fishing?

Rob Naysmith: Marlin fight predominantly on the surface, unlike tuna which fight deep and straight down.

The whole style of fishing changes when fishing for marlin in that you are not leaning over the boat pulling straight up, but rather leaning back and pulling towards you.

This means that I convert my boat Jabulani into a different kind of boat where we secure the fighting chair and the outriggers.

The fighting chair is designed to pull across the water instead of straight down. The rods that I use in the fighting chair are longer.

LB: What reels do you mainly use when marlin fishing?

RN: I use Penn International 80s and 50s. The reels I use remain the same but when fishing for marlin, the rods change.

LB: What sort of line do you use for marlin fishing?

RN: I use 80 lbs and 130 lbs monofilament line. In the old days I used to use a Dacron backing but more recently I use a braid backing.

Generally I use Berkley Big Game line as my main line and for tracers I use a high abrasive line because the marlin has a rough bill so you need a tracer that can withstand that.

Lines like Momoi work well as a leader or trace line.

LB: Do you use a specific type of hook for marlin fishing?

RN: I use circle hooks for and they’ve proved to be a winner for me.

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