NSW South Coast Marlin Enthusiast
Malcolm isn’t on social media much. He’s not sponsored and he doesn’t do any TV. He doesn’t write articles and he doesn’t fish tournaments. What he does do really well is clean up on NSW south coast striped marlin…… and share his knowledge with ALF listeners.
Malcolm’s Top Tips For Marlin Fishing
- A sounder is a key piece of fishing tech for marlin enthusiasts. It’s essential for locating bait schools and monitoring changes of water temperature.
- Like many bluewater anglers, Malcolm usually runs a teaser behind his boat whilst trolling. At the front of the teaser he places a large diving lure with the hooks removed to help get the teaser a little deeper and at the back he runs a large trolling skirt (no hook). The teaser has strips of holographic plastic about 3 ft long to create flash. This increases the profile of the teaser and seems to improve its effectiveness. Remove the teaser from the water when you see a marlin following behind.
- Good sunglasses are a must-have as you’ll often see the marlin coming up behind the lures.
- Finding baitfish is the key to finding marlin, and often baitfish aggregate seafloor structure such as canyons and sea mounts. Gannets working and water temperatures upwards of 21 and preferably 23 degrees are perfect for billfish.
- It’s important to have super sharp hooks, they need to grab and feel like they’re biting when you drag them across your fingernail under even very light pressure. It doesn’t hurt to file down the barb a little, too, making it easier for the hook to penetrate the bony mouth of a billfish.
- Malcolm typically runs 4 lines when trolling for marlin, two outriggers and two from the corners. He runs a teaser down the middle and staggers the distance that the lures run behind the boat. The 12” Pakula will normally run the furthest back, about 50m on the outrigger in clear water. One of the lines from the corner will be around 3/4 the distance of the Pakula, and the other one 4-5m further back.
- A good strategy is to run circles around the bait schools at speeds between 8-10 knots, adjusting to suit the conditions so that you’re not bashing the boat around too much and the lures are working nicely.
Malcolm’s Marlin Fishing Tackle
- Malcolm likes Penn 50SW and 80SW two speed reels and prefers to load them up with 50-80lb nylon line rather than braid, finding the stretch in nylon is important for shock absorption he plaits a double in the nylon and attached a 3.5m length of 200lb Jinkai fluorocarbon wind-on leader gives enough protection without upsetting the action of the lure.
Malcolm’s Best Marlin Fishing Lures
- A 12” Pakula pusher-style trolling lure. Has a nice erratic action and leaves a very nice bubble trail. Malcolm rigs these with two 10/0 hooks and places enough beads on the line above the first hook that the second hook protrudes about an inch or so beneath the end of the skirt.
- JB Lures in Jervis Bay make some awesome trolling lures, too. Malcolm has had great success with the 8” Dingo, which has a slanted head that creates a bit more action than the standard pusher style head. Rigged with two smaller hooks and the back one hanging about half an inch beneath the skirt.
- Malcolm loves a homemade lure that his mate made using a small vegemite jar filled with resin and drilled out, which with a skirt ends up being about 8” in length too.
Mal and I have fished for decades since he first arrived in Gerringong in the 80’s. He’s tough, a not too bossy incredibly experienced captain (he’s a happy larrikin Pirate with pirate mates) who were born in water and never wanted to get out. We were all surfers, but spend our spare time catching and preparing all types of seafood targeting whatever is on! Mal is my mate, my brother with a different mother and we love having the best times partying together. Each year the Mallee Bull, the Fox and the Cow fish together with our other mates, Dekka’s mates for the Tooli Hounds in the Dereck Wishart Memorial Fishing Competition against the Gerringong Hotel Fishing Club. Mate against mate, to raise money for the asthma foundation! Our mate, awesome fisherman Derek Graham Clarke Wishart tragically died after complications from a severe asthma attack at the age of 27 on the 24.1.1991. Since then we have held this competition annual in honour of Derek, Jane and the Wishart family. I’m sure Mal would have loved to, like all of us, have another fish with Dekka! All the mad keen fisherman know that their wives hate that smile, that look, that ecstatic glee and buzz that radiates from your fishing unforgettable moments, but love eating the seafood that you do wonders with! Mal is a legend, no pretence, and we both share so many stories and experiences. Thanks for inviting him on he is a wealth of knowledge and fair dinkum!