The month of May is bordering prime time for blue marlin fishing in the waters around Grand Cayman Island, my home for the last decade. In 2008, this was a month when continuing my quest to catch a blue marlin from my home waters during each month of the year would have seemed like a given — had it not been for my busy work schedule. Of course, I had anticipated these kinds of challenges and more before I even began this pursuit. For the most part, I would be limited throughout the year to fishing on weekends, and only those where I wasn’t traveling and when conditions appeared favorable. My goal was attainable, but over the course of an entire year, it was going to be a tough one to achieve.
Complicating matters further was the fact that, more often than not, I would be fishing by myself or with just one other person (sometimes experienced and at other times not) aboard my relatively small 28-foot Scout center console. I don’t have the bodies to work a typical bait and switch scenario; otherwise, I would. My best chance, then, is to troll lures. The blue marlin in the western Caribbean are generally small (120 to 160 pounds) but very aggressive, so the lures work well. My lures of choice are most often Mold Craft Soft Heads — especially the Wide Range. I seem to get most of my bites on the right short rigger where I run a black-and-red combination. On the left short I usually run a black-and-red Super Chugger. Completing the spread, I tend to run either a purple-and-black or a pink-and-white skirted combination on the long riggers, and on the stinger I troll a Junior Wide Range/ballyhoo combo.
I’ve had good success with single hook lure rigs, particularly since switching to Mustad 7691S hooks in 9/0 and 10/0 sizes. This hook, sometimes called a tuna hook, has more of a curve than the regular J hook and sticks a lot better. In 2007, I was only 4 for 16 in hooking up marlin that took my lures — a poor score. Following the suggestion of Capt. O.B. O’Bryan, I changed to the Mustad hooks and my hookup ratio increased dramatically, as evidenced by my success during the first four months of my pursuit — and a trend that would continue throughout the remainder of the year.
Though finding time to fish in May was pretty tough, all efforts proved successful. With fishing partner Jim Sedgley on board, we caught the biggest blue marlin of the year, to date, on the northeast corner of Twelve Mile Bank. Estimated at 375 pounds, the big fish staged one of the most remarkable aerial displays I have ever witnessed from a blue marlin. Perhaps part of the reason was that Sedgley made quick work of the big fish, bringing it in quickly, where it jumped repeatedly right next to the boat. This was another one of those instances where I wished I had a video crew on board to capture the sensational action. It was a mere 30 minutes between hookup and release of that amazing marlin, after which we hooked another big blue at the other end of the bank later in the day. It too made some great jumps, but came unbuttoned in the process.
I was relieved to have been able to continue my streak of catching a marlin each of the first five months of the year, given my concerns going into May. Adding to the satisfaction was the visions burned into my mind of one of the most memorable battles with a blue marlin that I had ever witnessed. That had me eagerly anticipating June fishing, typically one of the very best times of the year to catch marlin around Grand Cayman Island, and a month where I hoped to pursue my quest in a more flexible and relaxed fashion.
— Guy Harvey
Check this blog next month for my adventures in June, 2008, as I continue my quest to catch a blue marlin every month of the year.
For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear, please visit: www.guyharveysportswear.com
- Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month | February 2010
- Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month | January 2010
- Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month | April 2010
- Intro to Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month Series
- Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month / March 2010