Sunday, September 6, 2009

Striped marlin are fun to catch as they can hit all your lures at once

Hawaiian Name: a'u

While you can catch striped marlin year round, the winter months are the best time in Hawaii to catch stripers, which are relatively small compared to Pacific Blues. Stripers are on average about 25-125 pounds, however they can get up to 200 pounds, and while the average striped marlins are smaller, they are also fun to catch and multiple strikes on your lines are common when trolling, as schools of striped marlin like to attack all at once! While stripers are essentially lone hunters like the Blues, stripers will travel in male/female pairs or even in schools.

Marlins have scales, fins on the belly, and a rounded spear which set them apart from swordfish which have no scales; stripers also have the most pronounced vertical line markings, hence their name. The spear of the marlin is sometimes used as a weapon for defense as well as for capturing food, usually by stunning its prey by slashing sideways with the spear, rather than impaling the fish like one might expect.

Striped marlins eat mostly fish, while rounding out their diet with crab, squid and shrimp; believed to spawn in the Pacific Northwest and migrate as juveniles, they have been known to travel up to 30 miles in a day.

Most striped marlins are caught trolling lures. When the conditions are conducive, (stripers usually need to be seen visually first) live baiting can be great fun. After setting your live bait: ahi (tuna) or aku (skipjack tuna) and letting it swim, most captains then troll the boat at slow speeds in order to create a conflict between the live bait and the marlin. The live bait starts getting anxious when the strike is impending. *This is where the experience of your Captain and crew comes in. Feel free to call us on our toll free # @ 1-888-841-9155 to get our recommendations.

Marlins open their mouths wide and can engulf the entire fish bait, so the hook needs to be set in 3-12 seconds. * Different Captains believe in different counts, some say 3-5 seconds or the fish and lure are history- the fights is less enjoyable, and the death rate goes up for the marlin; while other Captains contend you need to count to at least 10 seconds after the initial strike.

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