Gulf of Mexico Marlin

The central Gulf of Mexico continues to produce big marlin.

March 26, 2013
Stuff of Legends: The Gulf of Mexico maintains its reputation, earned for good reason, as a premier and reliable destination for blue marlin.
Captain Mike Rowell, of Orange Beach, Alabama, prefers purple-and-black Mold Craft Softheads. Learn about his complete trolling spread under the subhead “Rigged Game,” below. Joe Mahler
Mate David Perry, of Pensacola, Florida, likes to run lures off the outriggers an naked ballyhoo on the flatlines. Learn about his complete trolling spread under the subhead “Mixed Spread,” below. Joe Mahler
The Gulf of Mexico blue marlin tackle box: For rods, use 7-foot heavy-action trolling rods with roller guides such as Penn International V Series or Shimano Tallus; 6-foot ­heavy-action stand-up rods with roller guides. Top reels include 50- to 80-pound-class, single or two-speed trolling reels. Heavy line in the 50- to 100-pound class (monofilament or Dacron) is vital. Leader should be 300- to 400-pound nylon or fluorocarbon mono. In the image above, notice top lures such as swimmers, plunger (1) or jet styles (2) in natural colors, and squid daisy chains (3). For baits, use ballyhoo skirted with Ilander lures (4), rigged swimming mullet or Spanish mackerel, bridled live bonito, blackfin or small yellowfin tuna.

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