Meet Debbi and Laurel David, Marlin Expeditions Instructors

Two teaching professionals who take the Marlin Expeditions experience to the next level
A large pacific sailfish goes airborne.
A Pacific sailfish goes airborne off Guatemala. Marlin Expeditions / Hannes Ribbner

Marlin University is now Marlin Expeditions! We travel to the best big-game destinations on Earth, at peak times of the year, and teach the most cutting-edge techniques to catch billfish. Check out our 2024 expeditions.

In terms of deliverables, the one thing Marlin Expeditions guarantees is that you will have full access to some of the most competent and experienced instructors in the industry. This responsibility rests primarily with our core teaching staff, who are not only tournament-winning anglers, captains and mates in their own right, but are also versed in all types of fishing and generally well-rounded. With that in mind, let me introduce two of the most effective instructors we have. While these two are obviously related, they do have completely different personalities and teaching styles. I’ve always believed that the best way to learn (and excel) is to be exposed to as many fishing styles as possible because no one does it exactly the same. Being taught this way allows you to develop and home in on what works best for you in as many bites as possible.

A crew of sport-fishers hold up large dolphinfish while standing in the cockpit of a sport-fishing boat.
Veteran instructor Debbi David (third from left) is a solid producer when it comes to big-game teaching, with a record that speaks for itself. Marlin Expeditions / Out Your Front Door

Debbi David

Co-owner of one of Miami’s most successful charter boats, L&H, Debbi David knows how to instruct, and you can see the results firsthand in her children. She and her husband, world-­renowned Capt. Jimmy David, have produced three of the most diligent, ferocious, and proficient fishing kids in the industry.
Quiet and soft like the sailfish that surreptitiously bites your left long, Deb is a silent hunter until a billfish is behind the left teaser with its fin up. Her eyes are trained to see even the slightest sign of a fish, likely due to her growing up in South Florida, where sneaky sails prowl. “If you watch those baits like you want to catch a fish, then you will see him coming,” Debbi says, “and that is a big advantage as a fisherman.”

Debbi has billfished around the world, from Oregon Inlet, Ocean City, and Hawaii in the US to Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Isla Mujeres, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mag Bay, and the Bahamas, and she continues to compete and be reckoned with. She is seemingly immune to the stresses of the competitive arena, racking up numerous wins along the way. We are so thankful to have her on our team and are sure you’ll love her style, very much enjoy fishing with her, and secretly pray that she’ll show up in your cockpit on tournament day.

Three sport-fishing anglers stand in the cockpit and pose for a photo.
Instructor Laurel David eats, sleeps and breathes fishing, and her infectious optimism trickles down to every one of her students. Marlin Expeditions / Out Your Front Door

Capt. Laurel David

The middle child of Debbi and Jimmy, Laurel also grew up on the east coast of sunny South Florida and has been fishing since before she could walk.

With two salty parents, younger brother Chris, and older brother James, the David family eats, sleeps, and breathes fishing, and Laurel picked up the lifestyle quickly. She holds five world records to her credit as a junior angler, and most recently obtained her 100-Ton Master Merchant Mariner Credential from the US Coast Guard.

Laurel also has fished her way across the oceans from the East Coast of the US, the Bahamas, and Cape Verde to Australia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cabo San Lucas, and Mag Bay, which has helped her to build an arsenal of tips and tricks from all the different fishing techniques around the world. With multiple tournament wins as Top Female, Top Junior and Top Overall Angler, she also brings the liveliness of youth to the table. Excited about what each day will bring, her optimism and teaching style lift up every single accomplishment our participants make.

Learn more about Marlin Expeditions here..

Whether it’s the first ­billfish or the 100th, Laurel has a way of cheering you on to both the personal, and ­ultimately, the team win. “Billfishing is a ­one-of-a-kind experience; there’s an exuberance about it that you just can’t find anywhere else,” Laurel says. “And once you’ve ­experienced it, it will also end up in your dreams.”

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