Marlin Fishing in Florida: A Beginners Guide

Studying Time: 7 minutes

With incredible fishing grounds all throughout the state, Florida is already a fantastic place for any angler. From Mahi Mahi and Pink Snapper to Tuna and Tarpon, the Sunshine State has virtually each essential sport fish on supply. However Marlin fishing in Florida is a very particular form of journey.

An aerial view of the Florida Keys

Well-known for his or her dimension, energy, and spectacular fights, Marlins are usually not simple to reel in. However when you land your catch, you’ll have a narrative that you simply’ll inform for years to come back. Learn on to search out out which species of Marlin you’ll find in Florida and the way to get your palms on them.

Florida Marlin Species

There are two species of Marlin in Florida – White and Blue Marlin. However hold an eye fixed out for the Roundscale Spearfish that appears just like White Marlin, too. You may distinguish them by their distinct particular person scales. The scales of a White Marlin are much less noticeable.

White Marlin

White Marlins are the smaller of the 2 species and the smallest of all of the Marlins on the planet. They develop to a most size of about 9 ft and might weigh as much as 180 kilos – so not that small! Nevertheless, the common dimension vary is between 50 and 83 inches and females are normally bigger than males. White Marlins are principally solitary and solely get collectively in small colleges once they’re feeding. They like waters which can be over 100 ft deep however come to the floor to feed.

An angler holding an atlantic white marlin in the water

If you happen to’ve by no means fished for Marlin earlier than, White Marlin is an effective species to start out with. They’re not as large as their family, however bear in mind that they’ll nonetheless put up a robust combat. You’ll see them spectacularly leap out of the water to attempt to escape your hook.

The place can you discover White Marlin in Florida? Just about wherever the water is deep sufficient. White Marlin reside in each the Atlantic and the Gulf, so it’s only a matter of discovering them. Simply notice that you simply may simply should go a bit additional out on the water in some locations.

Blue Marlin

If you happen to’re seeking to choose an even bigger combat, Blue Marlin fishing in Florida is for you! The bigger females can attain spectacular sizes of 16 ft in size from invoice to tail and there are reported weights of as much as a panoramic 1,810 kilos. The largest Blue Marlin weighed below IGFA requirements was 1,402 kilos, so nonetheless a really hefty catch! Even an average-sized specimen of 250 to 400 kilos goes to be a exercise to reel in.

A Blue Marlin leaping out of the water

A combat with a Blue Marlin is usually very aggressive. They’re recognized to leap out of the water and so they’ll shake their head violently. This makes for a fantastic present, however can even tire you and them out in a short time. So be sure to’re ready and relaxation between the bites.

As with White Marlin, you may catch Blue Marlin wherever off the coast of Florida at depths of 250 ft or extra. Typically, the most effective fishing spots for Blue Marlin in Florida are alongside the 100-fathom curve and, in fact, within the Florida Keys. However let’s get into the main points of the place precisely to fish for each Blue and White Marlin in Florida.

Prime Spots for Marlin Fishing in Florida

As we talked about earlier, each Marlin species reside within the Atlantic Ocean in addition to the Gulf of Mexico. This implies that you could head out to fish for Marlin from any location alongside the coast of Florida. Essentially the most profitable spots are drop-offs on the ocean flooring, since they provide feeding grounds for a wide range of fish. As some places are nearer to good fishing grounds than others, we’ve put collectively a listing of the highest spots for you.

An aerial view of a harbor in the Florida Keys
  • Destin: There is no such thing as a technique to write about fishing in Florida with out mentioning Destin. Often called the world’s luckiest fishing village, the city is the closest port to the 100-fathom curve – a 600 foot drop off alongside the coast of the Gulf. If you happen to’re heading out from right here, you’ll have the quickest entry to deep-sea fishing and massive sport species. The Marlin season lasts from Could to October, so that you’ll have loads of time to plan your go to.
  • St. Augustine: South of Jacksonville, St. Augustine is a good place to move out into the Gulf Stream or fish alongside the “Rolldown” – a ledge within the ocean flooring about 50 miles offshore. April, Could, and September are the most effective months for a go to right here, although the one months with out recorded Marlin catches are solely December and January.
  • Palm Seaside: Simply north of Miami, this coastal city lies on the southern finish of an space referred to as “Sailfish Alley.” Migrating Spearfish are funneled alongside the coast between Fort Pierce and Palm Seaside. Heat Gulf Stream waters come near the shore in Palm Seaside, bringing the Marlin with them. Fishing is sweet for many of the 12 months, however the excessive season is from April via July.
  • Key West: After all, we will’t neglect the Keys – Key West particularly, the place the place Hemingway wrote about fishing for Blue Marlin. Simply 20 miles south of right here lies Wooden’s Wall. An underwater cliff with incredible fishing – not just for Marlin, however for Mahi Mahi and different large sport as nicely. Your probabilities of catching a Blue Marlin listed below are greatest round April to July, whereas White Marlins are extra lively between June and August.

How one can Fish for Marlin


Several trolling rods with a view of the water from the stern of a moving boat

Trolling is normally the best and, subsequently, commonest technique to tempt a Marlin to take your bait. To go after Marlin, you may troll with synthetic lures, particularly when attempting to cowl a big space. Pure bait, like mackerel, bonito, or barracuda, can also be a sensible choice. If the realm that you simply’re fishing in is on the smaller aspect, think about using reside bait like bonito to get your catch.

Establishing your bait and lures for trolling means imitating a faculty of bait fish for the Marlin to chase. You do that by spreading out your lures throughout outriggers on each side of the boat in a staggered method. Often, as much as seven lures are pulled behind the boat to draw the eye of a Marlin.

As soon as the Marlin strikes, the boat will erupt in bustling exercise. You may take the rod to the combating chair, and strap your self in for the duty of reeling within the beast. If you’ve received it to the boat, you’ll normally depart it within the water and launch it from the hook to combat one other day.

Fly Fishing

A fly fisher holding a fly rod in the foreground with a Marlin jumping out of the water in the background

Catching a Marlin on standard deal with is already a difficult process. If you wish to give your self a fair larger problem, why not attempt to hook a Marlin with a fly rod? An achievement like that is normally a crew effort, with everybody on board concerned. You’ll nonetheless be trolling to draw the Marlin to your boat, however with fewer lures.

As quickly because the Marlin has picked a lure to chase, the others are pulled from the water. Then the fish is introduced in shut sufficient to the boat for the angler to rapidly make a forged and exchange the lure that the fish has been chasing with a fly. If all the things has been executed appropriately, the Marlin will strike.

Fly fishing for Marlin includes some heavy lifting, so the deal with should be capable to face up to some severe weight. You’ll almost definitely use a 14 or 15 wt rod, which might take some getting used to, so be sure to get some apply with it when you may. Don’t fear an excessive amount of a couple of nice-looking forged, so long as you will get the fly the place it must be.

Anything I have to know?


A close-up of a Marlin half-pulled out of the water on a fishing line

With the recognition of Marlin fishing in Florida come loads of Billfish tournaments. In January, you’ve the IGFA Light Tackle Open in Palm Seaside Shores. April sees the Northeast Florida Marlin Association Bluewater Tournament in St. Augustine. And in July you may take part within the Key West Marlin Tournament.

These are only a few of the numerous tournaments in which you’ll take a look at your Marlin fishing expertise in opposition to different anglers. And we didn’t even get to say worldwide competitions just like the Blue Marlin World Cup!

Guidelines and Rules

An infographic with the Florida flag and white text underneath that says Florida Marlin fishing regulations – What you need to know on a blue background.

In keeping with the FWC, the each day bag restrict for White and Blue Marlin is one billfish per individual. The minimal size for a Blue Marlin is 99 inches measured from the decrease jaw to the fork of the tail. For White Marlin, the minimal size is 66 inches.

If you happen to’re retaining your catch, you need to report any caught Billfish to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) inside 24 hours. You are able to do so through cellphone or on-line. However have a chat along with your captain first, to keep away from double reviews.

Regardless of this, many captains will strongly advocate the discharge of any caught Marlins to guard their inhabitants. To assist them in that endeavor, be certain that to not exhaust your fish an excessive amount of when combating it, and don’t take it out of the water when you’ve reeled it in. This manner, future generations of anglers will be capable to benefit from the spectacular Marlin fights as nicely.

Marlin Fishing in Florida: An Journey of a Lifetime

An aerial view of the Mid-Bay Bridge with destin on the left, surrounded by green waters full of boats

Combating a Marlin is really a panoramic expertise that conjures up anglers all throughout the globe. And in Florida, you may expertise it from any level alongside the coast. Simply hop on a ship and prepare for the combat of a lifetime.

If you happen to’d prefer to learn extra, take a look at our normal information to Marlin fishing.

Have you ever been fishing for Marlin in Florida? Which approach do you favor? How was it? Inform us about your expertise, or ask any questions you will have within the feedback beneath!

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