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Old 08-18-2014, 05:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Newport Beach
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Norto is on a distinguished road
Default "Go To" marlin lures

I'm an Orange County Marlin newbie who wants to start marlin fishing this year. I've trolled for tuna and paddy fished for years, but only casually dragged some marlin lures on the way home. It sounds like this is going to be as good a year as any to try for Striped Marlin. Can you guys give me a good idea of 6 favorite lures? I have a 38' bertram and 4 Zuker 1, 2 and 3.5 lures in dorado, MJG, purple black, and blue/white. Any suggestions to complete a good spread? Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Huntington Beach / Cabo San Lucas
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Thumbs up Re: "Go To" marlin lures


You have a good selection of Zuckers to start. Hard to beat a Zucker 3.5 is black and purple, black and green (MJG) and dorado color, but your blue and shite will catch or just change the skits out. Others I like are Black Bart's Mini 1656 angle nose plunger (short and long corner), Bad Guy for a long rigger lure and a Cabo Prowler as your short rigger bait. If you want to put a long center rigger bait out a Costa Rican Plunger works well. Moldcraft junior wide range are also productive striper lures especially in purple / silver / black or black over green. Pro Soft Lures' "Coasters" (straight runner) in their cyclone, black jack and thunder colors catch a lot of fish for me. The soft head gives with water pressure giving the lure a great subtle action in the water.

You don't need to crazy on color schemes. Easy to change skirts anytime. If they told me I can only fish one color combo, I'd pick black and purple. Day in and day out hard to beat black and purple and or black and green hues for your close baits (best contrast and silhouette as the lure runs in and out of the wake bubbles) and mix it up with an odd ball in a bright color (pinks or orange / red hues) on a lure placed back in the pattern those days when they are biting out of aggression. Stripers predominately feed on mackerel (darker with green hues), sauries / anchovy (blue / white / silver patterns) and squid (orange / brown colors).

Pattern I would suggest is place lures on wave 2, 3, 4, and 5 and 7. Ideally you should be running a pair of Moldcraft 9" squid chains in pink or green made up of six squid per chain spaced one squid length apart with a Moldcraft junior wide range space 3 lure lengths behind the last squid with a select sized ballyhoo hook less inside the wide range. Put the teasers to run outside the two short corner lures back between the 2nd and third wake off your bridge. Easy to set up, just connect a roller to your first eye up the rigger or if you have fiberglass riggers put a glass ring on and run through the rigger.

If you have the crew and pay attention and or are in the "zone", skip the lures all together and just troll the two teaser chains and four select size ballyhoo. Hook up rate on baits should be better than 80 % versus at best 50% on lures depending on the mood of the fish that day and time. Rig the "select" size ballyhoo as swimmers with a 1/2 to 3/4 oz. egg sinkers under their chin Coast Rica "X" rig style and pair with an 8/0 Eagle Claw L2004 circle hook. Snell the circle hook to a 3' length of 60 lb. fluorocarbon crimped to a 150 lb. Spro swivel and 18' of 80 lb. leader to a 2' double line of your main 100 yards of 30 or 40 lb. hi-vis monofilament attached worm knot to 65 lb. yellow Tuff Line braid. The same bait set up is used for live mackerel for pitching to fish raised on the lures or tailers or sleepers you find. West Marine stocks Bionic Bait's ballyhoo now thru New Fishall Bait Company.

Good luck and fish them while they are here.

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Old 08-19-2014, 03:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Newport Beach
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Default Re: "Go To" marlin lures

Dave, Thank you for the insight. I really appreciate the detail. I picked up a couple daisy chains and 2 Moldcraft wide ranges, now I guess I need to just spend some more time on the water. I'll let you know how I do.

Thanks again,

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