There’s no greater thrill than catching a blue marlin, no matter what the size. Catching five in a day is very special, and something that can be accomplished on a fairly consistent basis in only a few areas: the seamounts off Costa Rica, in Cape Verde and the Dominican Republic, among others. But there’s always that special place in every big-game angler’s heart for a really large fish. So my answer is they are both equally exciting. The exception would be on those special days like in the Blue Marlin World Cup, where all you want is one big bite.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
As a charter operator, I would rather see us catch five small blues in a day. For charters, action is what makes a good day on the water, regardless of fish size. If the goal was one big bite, it might mean slow-trolling big live baits on structure all day long, round and round we go, bored out of our minds, but knowing that when the bite comes, it will all be worth it. With many of the tournaments now offering substantial prize money in release divisions as well as for the biggest marlin, tournament participants can now choose their strategy even before leaving the dock.
Fishing for a big blue marlin is probably the most exciting challenge any angler can face. I consider it a blessing that I live in Nicaragua and have the opportunity to fish the Pacific waters of Central America, where medium-size blue marlin are plentiful almost year-round. But catching a big marlin is a totally different ballgame. It’s just a whole new level when it comes to the mental and physical preparation you need to hook, fight and release a big marlin. Watching those powerful and aggressive animals pull drag and jump out of the water gives you an incredible adrenaline rush.
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
I would rather release five blue marlin than troll all day for one big fish. A five-marlin day gets more anglers involved, and it’s also more exciting for the crew, including the captain. Releasing them all helps preserve the species, which is a priority for the South Carolina Governor’s Cup tournaments. A big fish is tremendously challenging, but it can be monotonous riding around waiting for that one bite. We fish mostly dink baits, lures and dredges, and this gives us shots at other species as well as marlin. I really feel that this is a much more enjoyable way to fish.