Anglers are usually easygoing. They have to be, given the amount of time they need to patiently while away as they wait for the fish to take the bait. Despite their calm attitude however, all anglers have one secret yearning, to score the biggest catch of the day, and it does not come any bigger than the marlin. There are several highly prestigious sports fishing competitions that take place around the world, where anglers battle it out for days in an attempt to reel in one of the world’s most challenging fishing catches.
As the first million-dollar prize winner of the 2003 Bisbee Black and Blue tournament in Mexico, Brady Bunte can attest to how tough marlin are to snare, even when you have the best boat and latest fishing equipment. Here, Brady Bunte offers a few tips to less experienced anglers also looking to score that prize catch.
Organization of your gear is important when you are fishing. Brady Bunte notes that many who switch from inland to offshore fishing find crimping a better alternative to using knots when securing heavy monofilament lines. There are different sizes of sleeves to go with the monofilament, so it pays to have a labeled system that allows you to quickly pick out the correct size. Some anglers make use of old pill bottles labeled at the top to quickly pick out what they need.
Many anglers like Brady Bunte who enter sport-fishing events, will hire or buy high-end boats to take them out. These kinds of boats are typically well maintained, and part of the value comes from the quality but delicate surfaces that are found throughout. When you have equipment like pliers you use for crimping, you need to ensure they will not scratch these surfaces. A simple trick is to sheath them in an oven mitt before setting them down.
When setting lures, Brady Bunte recommends putting out a selection of sizes. Have extra large and large lures closer to the boat, and smaller lures further beyond. This is because when you are fishing for marlin in productive waters, you may not always find them hungry. Small bait may be pursued by the fish as a snack, so mix it up for maximum potential.
For those who like to sharpen their hooks a bit more, it is a good idea to use a black sharpie to coat this and the rest of the hook. Not only does it camouflage the hook underwater, Brady Bunte has found it is useful in providing a barrier that prevents rust from developing.
Live bait is usually less popular in offshore fishing because their use limits the speeds at which the boat can travel, but in some cases and areas live bait has been proven to produce better results of a larger catch. Brady Bunte has however noticed that anglers can still score a prize catch if they situate themselves in calm waters teeming with marlin. This is where local knowledge comes in handy in identifying hot spots.
Brady Bunte has observed that there are very many pointy objects to be found on board a fishing boat. From stick gaffs to billfish tags, it can be very easy to find yourself on the wrong end of a sharp tip. A simple trick many apply is using a tennis ball to secure the sharp end. Cut a slit long enough to allow the tip easily through when you squeeze the ball without pulling out a tag.
In fishing, it pays to understand the mentality of your prey. For instance, Brady Bunte has found that striped marlin tend to be far more easily annoyed than their larger blue marlin cousins. This weakness can be used against them. He has found that using bait without hooks allows the angler to pull out the bait from the mouth of the marlin. Many will keep following this elusive bait, while getting angrier at each successive failed attempt. When it is has thrashed about, frustrated and exhausted, you can then hook it and look forward to quick reel in.