It is important to know that catching a marlin in Key West is rare, before you attempt to go fishing for them here. These awesome fish have never had abundant populations to begin with and have suffered from over-fishing as well. In Key West, we catch blue marlin and white marlin. Black or striped marlin is even harder to find. You have a higher chance of catching other billfish when fishing for marlin, such as swordfish and sailfish. Anglers are thrilled with the challenge of catching these gigantic and powerful beasts in Key West.
With that disclosure about the rarity of catching marlin in Key West, we can talk about how to do it successfully. Here are three points to remember when targeting these fantastic fish:
- Although marlin can be caught on frozen bait and lures, our Key West fishing charters always use live bait to catch them. The use of live bait increases your chances exponentially, as with other types of billfish. We have found small tuna and skipjacks to be the most tempting to a marlin and the results are much more successful. Having said that, you can combine frozen bait with a skirt. This will keep your bait protected and help attract marlin.
- Your best chance of catching these phenomenal creatures lies in travelling very far offshore. Unfortunately, this is not possible on our shorter fishing charters. Although marlins come close to shore during their migrations, they are never caught there. Try to fish along the edge of the continental shelf, in waters ranging between 600ft and 1 000ft deep. If you can make the trip, then it is probably better to travel into the waters off the Bahamas. We have found marlin fishing to generally be better there. We will gladly take you into the Bahamas from our docks in Key West.
- Marlins are incredibly fast, swimming at nearly 70mph underwater. Your boat is unlikely to be faster than one of the fastest fish in the oceans. It is extremely important to monitor your speed closely when trolling for these fantastic fish. They are very cunning and well aware of their prey’s movements. If your bait looks unnatural, then any marlins in the area will not touch it. We recommend travelling between seven and fifteen knots. If you are too slow, then your bait will attract other fish. It will also look odd in the water. Faster than fifteen knots and your bait will fall apart, appearing even more unnatural in its movements.
Marlins are enormous and they are super powerful. Their fighting spirit has made them an icon for sports fishing in Key West. Known to tow fishing boats across vast distances of the ocean, marlins do not give up easily. These beautiful fish occupy a place high on the ocean’s food chain and have inspired awe in millions of people world-wide. This is largely due to The Old Man and the Sea – a novel written by Ernest Hemingway. The story is about an aged fisherman having to battle a giant marlin on his own, from the tiniest of boats. This challenge is second to none, and sends anglers in Key West on missions to catch them.
Call us today to book your Key West Marlin Fishing Charter and feel the ultimate exhilaration.