As October begins, the first signs of fall can be seen all around us: fallen leaves, pumpkin patches, a tree awash in orange against a crisp blue sky. But there’s another indicator of the changing season hiding just out of sight — cruising at a whopping 50 miles per hour in search of warmer waters down the coast.
In case you haven’t realized, we’re talking about a fish: the blue marlin, to be exact! According to Sportfishing Mag, this one-of-a-kind species tops the list of anglers’ favorite game fish — and it’s easy to see why. Even “smaller” blue marlin are a thrill to catch — while larger ones can grow to 16 feet and nearly 2,000 pounds. (You can only hope that the one on the end of your line is, well, a little more manageable.)
Blue marlin are known for being very migratory, too, which means anglers all along the coast can try their hand at landing a monster catch, depending on the time of year. Just read on to learn more about the blue marlin’s journey down the East Coast, and why fall is a great time to reel one in!
The Waning New England Summer
Many tourists bid farewell to the beach towns on Cape Cod, Long Island, and the like after Labor Day — and so, too, does the blue marlin! While it’s a popular catch in these parts during the long, lazy days of summer, the blue marlin moves to balmier latitudes at the end of the season.
But interestingly, the blue marlin doesn’t just move south as the year goes on — it also modifies its diving behavior, generally opting to stick closer to the surface in fall and winter. This makes sense, because diving into the cold depths on an already brisk day would be a lot for a cold-averse fish to deal with. (After all, would you want to go swimming in the middle of December?) Conversely, staying near the top of the water column gives the blue marlin its best chance of staying warm — and of course, finding food. So you’ll want to keep this in mind and modify your angling approach accordingly!
Heading For Warmer Waters
This time of year is when Southern anglers shine — because the blue marlin are biting like never before. Sunshine State boaters can’t go wrong with a trip down to Key West and the Florida Straits, a hot spot for marlin once fished by author Ernest Hemingway.
If you’re coming from the north and don’t want to trek that far down, though, don’t worry — there are plenty of bites happening up and down the coast. In fact, the state record (a 1,135- pound fish) was caught in Jupiter in 2021!
A Marlin’s Journey
Swimming down the entire East Coast is a journey enough, right? Well, some blue marlin have swam even farther than that! As Marlin Magazine reports, one tagged blue marlin in 2011 traveled from San Juan, Puerto Rico all the way to West Africa in just 120 days.
Tips For Landing The Catch
After so much marlin talk, you’re probably jumping at the bit to catch one of your own. Because the blue marlin is such a speedy swimmer, trolling is often recommended to keep up with its breakneck pace. And this is a premium catch, so you’ll want to use premium bait — aka, live is best in this case.
Like the ocean’s mightiest swimmers, your Blackfin Boat can take you on some pretty amazing adventures! We hope today’s guide helps you track down your best catch yet — and most importantly, enjoy the ride there.
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