The waters surrounding St. Thomas are home
to some of the finest Blue Marlin fishing in the world during the summer
months. If you’ve always wanted to tangle with a Marlin on a fly rod, there’s
no better place to give it a try. So exactly how does one go about trying catching a Marlin on
Rods – First you will need a 9 foot, 15 weight fly rod which should provide
sufficient backbone for handling a Marlin up to about 250lbs. If you should be
lucky enough to hook and land a fish larger than 288 lbs on a 20 lb tippet
you’ll be the new world record holder.
Reels and Fly Lines – Get the largest fly reel you can find, since the
yards of backing it can hold is the real secret to putting a Marlin the boat.
Scientific Anglers now makes a gel spun super braid backing for fly reels that
is 50# test and very small diameter. This is perhaps the best backing ever made
for Marling fishing. It is high visibility yellow and has almost no stretch
allowing you to put maximum pressure on the fish. Most often you will be making
a fairly short cast, so the best fly line is the first 40 feet of a weight
forward 12wt fly line.This is the
section of the line that contains the large shooting taper and is the heaviest
part of the line. This gives you plenty of line to drive the fly and it allows
you to get the maximum amount of backing on the reel.
Flies – One of the best flies for Marlin is a tube fly. These flies are
tied on a hollow tube so you can rig them with the leader and hook size that
best fits the conditions you’re fishing. They also allow you to use a hook that
can stand up to the tremendous power of a really hot Marlin. Tube Poppers and
conventional blue water flies also work well.
Presentation – Here’s where the skill of the captain and crew of the
come into the equation. Once the tackle is in order, the next step is to find
the Marlin and lure them in close to the boat so that the angler can show them
the fly. Artificial lures made of acrylic and plastic (the same kind used when
fishing for marlin with conventional tackle) are rigged without hooks. Rods and
reels in the 30 lb class are used to troll these lures and raise the billfish.
When used in this way, the lures are called teasers. Their function is to
attract the marlin’s attention and get him into a feeding mood. The teasers are
deployed 40 or 60 feet behind the boat, where the crew can keep an eye on them.
When a marlin comes up behind one of the teasers, the others are immediately
pulled from the water. The one teaser that remains in the water becomes the
sole target of the marlin’s attack. The marlin slaps at the lure and tries to
grab it, but the teaser man doesn’t allow this to happen, always keeping the
lure just out of the fish’s reach. The marlin follows the lure up close to the
transom and, on a predetermined signal, the helmsman takes the boat out of
gear, the teaser is yanked out of the water and the angler casts the fly. If
all goes according to plan, the fired-up marlin grabs the fly and the fun
Where To Begin – If what you’ve just read has you all pumped up to go
out and give it a try, I suggest that you contact the experts at Neptune
Fishing in St. Thomas. You won’t find a more knowledgeable staff anywhere when
it comes to blue water fishing. You can reach them at
Many of you have suggested that I give the Marlin on a fly deal a try this
year. When I have a break in my charter schedule I will spend a few days out on
the blue water with different captains and give you a full report on the action
this fall in Flat Our Fishing!