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How to fish for Black Marlin

Live bait accounts for most of the Black Marlin hook ups. Hook ups with dead bait are common also but not usually as effective. Baits used are Mackerel, small Tuna, Cuttlefish, and squid. When trolling lures for Black Marlin color selection is very important. Proper selection and occasional changes can mean the difference between screaming reels and not getting into the fighting chair at all. Remain flexible, if the colors you have out aren't working, change them out, one at a time letting a little time pass between one change and another. Some patterns and colors to try are Dorado patterns, black and blues (skipjacks), and yellow bellied, pink and blue feathers. 
Next, set your lures out in the proper positions using the wake waves as your guide. Run your stinger (the center of the spread) back to the sixth swell in the center of the wakes "vee." Your long rigger should be placed back at the fifth swell, the short at the fourth. Use your corners too. Set the long corner to the third swell and the short corner to the second. Adjust each lure so that it is on the front side of the swell its positioned on, trust me, it makes a great deal of difference.
Pay attention to the "smoke" trail of each lure. Each should leave a long trail and should break the surface well without leaving the water completely. That spray of water coming off the head of the lure is the single greatest factor in causing a reaction strike so ensure that each lure is running right. Erratic smoke trails and high pops out of the water usually indicate a fouled lure so bring those in, correct the problem and reposition. 
While playing the waiting game, keep a look out for tails and fins and have at least one, preferably two, bait rigs at the ready. When a strike occurs, be ready to cast bait back to where the strike took place. Missed strikes happen, but when they do, don't give up on that fish! An effective method of enticing a second strike is to free spool the struck line for a ten count, switch back to striking pressure and crank, crank, crank!! The drop mimics injured prey waiting to be eaten. Cranking after a ten count looks like a recovering fish fleeing for life. Both actions drive a hungry marlin wild.


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