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Marlin Tutorial


Taking The Fish


For reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has spent time at this site, I am not a good source of information about how to subdue and kill a marlin. Hopefully, you've learned enough to understand that the only time you should even be considering taking a marlin is when the fish clearly cannot survive. For those rare instances, I'll share what I know.

I spoke with several people with more experience than I in taking striped marlin. They all agreed that, unlike the larger black and blue marlin, striped marlin are relatively easy to subdue. The key, they felt, was to be prepared and be decisive. Once the decision has been made to take the fish, make sure everyone is ready for their job and has the required equipment unshipped and ready to go.

As for the actual kill, the consensus is that no more than two gaffs are required, and a flying gaff, while useful, isn't really necessary. A single gaff over the fish (ie - from above, rather than below) near the pectoral fins is usually enough to control the fish, while a second gaff can be used to lift the tail out of the water for the attachment of a tail rope (which you should take the time to tie off to a cleat before the fish was gaffed).

After that, it's a matter of securing the fish to the swimstep, if you have one. If you are forced to bring the fish into the cockpit of the boat, be very careful of the bill. In any case, getting the fish out of the water as soon as possible will help avoid problems with sharks.

Stan's Tip

If you are forced to kill a marlin, you'll suddenly find yourself the owner of over 100 pounds of fish. When you run out of friends to give fish to, consider contacting local charity groups. Groups that run soup kitchens or homeless shelters are often thrilled to receive a batch of high-protein food.

Let me reiterate that you should only think of taking a marlin as a last resort. Hopefully, by now you understand that a trophy or prize just isn't enough of a reason to kill one of these special creatures.


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