Marlin U How-To: Dropping Back and Marking Lines

Your weekly fishing tip, straight from the pros.

marlin new

marlin new

Scott Kerrigan

When fishing with the bait-and-switch method, it’s imperative that the angler gets to the rod before the bite, so he can drop the bait back into the fish’s mouth in perfect free-spool once the fish eats. Believe it or not, if you are fishing on a larger boat with long outriggers, the captain can actually help the angler make a smoother drop back.

When fishing with bait, I routinely help out our anglers by turning to the side that’s getting the bite. With my triple spreader outriggers and power steering, I can drop the bait back an easy five feet before the angler even gets to the rod — if I see the bite first.

Also, I keep getting mates that don’t know how to take a marker pen and mark the lines once they get the baits in the proper positions. Marking the lines sure helps anglers onboard get the baits back out in the right spot in a quick manner.

As an added bonus, if the baits are backed out in the right spot, they will not get tangled during turns.

I also don’t like to have to search the spread looking for the bait; if they mark the lines, the baits are always in the right spot. When a fish comes up on a bait that’s in the right spot, I can tell the angler what bait the fish is on so he can get to the right rod faster. Marking lines also helps when you have swimmers out way long that you can’t really see.

Marking lines also allows both the crew and anglers to get the lines back out faster after a successful release. The faster the baits go out, the faster I can make a turn and get on the baitball or structure I am working, and that lets me cut off the other fellows trying to get on my spot.

In short, if you ask me one more freaking time if the bait is in the wrong spot … I’m going to kill you! Mark it!

— George Sawley
Fort Lauderdale, Florida