Glen started his gamefishing career in Melbourne but by the 80s had moved further north to work and fish. A career as a fishing magazine editor and easy access to the offshore scene soon saw him addicted to billfish – and in particular blue marlin. His passion for chasing blues continues to this day.
Glen’s Blue Marlin Fishing Tips
- Glen waypoints every blue marlin bite, whether or not the fish is captured. He has a map on his wall with a pin in it for every bite and finds patterns start to emerge. Sometimes the bite locations correspond to underwater canyons, but other times there are places where fish seem to congregate where there is no obvious feature or reason for them to be there.
- On Glens boat he fishes 4 rods, all with size 50 wide spooled reels loaded with Dacron backing and 150m or so of 80lb mono. Leaders are 250lb minimum.
- These days with reliable boats, VHF radio and better GPS, blue marlin fishing has become much more accessible and is now firmly in the realms of anyone with a decent trailerboat. As a result, the tackle has also progressed, making it more affordable for the everyday angler.
- Blue marlin are an aggressive species that rarely follows lures like striped marlin might, they’ll usually just hit hard. Often they’ll run in the direction the boat is travelling and you’ll see them jumping ahead of the boat. On occasion, they’ll launch them selves following the strike and end up in the boat. They’re the most unpredictable billfish when they’re pumped for of adrenaline.
- If you’re getting started in blue marlin fishing, Glen reckons the best advice is to keep it very simple. Have minimum gear in the water, so you’re not having to retrieve lines and teasers when a fish hits.
- It’s important to keep the fish near the surface, if it gets down deep it can be hard work to get them back and there’s a high chance you’ll lose them. For that reason 37kg is advised so that the brakes can be put on early.
- Glen lives at Coff’s Harbour these days and finds that blue marlin are around all year, although he prefers to fish from September to May when they are at their best. Find where there is bottom structure such as a canyon and use a zig zag trolling pattern from 50 to 500 fathoms (60-80 fathoms is often the most productive).
- If the water is greenish or murky it’s worth heading wider to find the clear, blue water.
- If your sounder can’t find bottom in 200 fathoms it’s worth setting the depth to 40 fathoms and keeping an eye out for bait and marlin, then concentrate on working those areas over thoroughly.
- Expect to cover a lot of miles and “plough the paddock”, working thoroughly to maximise the area covered. You might only get one bite for the day.
- If the current is running at 3 knots it can be very hard fishing. However, from February till April the current can slow down and you’ll find patches of dead water or back eddies and that’s often where you’ll find fish. Upwellings north or south of a canyon or other structure are also hotspots.
- Don’t be afraid to push the drag lever beyond the “strike” setting if you need to slow the fish down and prevent it going deep, especially when using 37kg gear.
- In days gone by it was normal to try and squeeze two 12/0 hooks into a lure, but these days it’s more normal to put a single 10/0 hook into a lure, which makes it easier to get the lure swimming properly and also means there’s no chance of s second hook getting caught in your hand as you’re handling a fish boatside.
- Don’t let the fish get too comfortable, keep changing the angles, get ahead of them, don’t let them get you into a vertical fight situation. Anything you do that upsets the fish will cause it to burn more energy.