Bait and Switch
It’s no secret that one of the most effective ways to target marlin or sailfish is the bait and switch practices. This is simply trolling with many hook less teasers and pitching dead ballyhoo's rigged with circle hooks once you’ve raised a fish. Bait and switch requires a little bit of teamwork and timing, but generally it’s pretty straight forward as long as you keep everything simple. We will run 2 teasers 10-15 yards off the back of the boat, and a long teaser at about 25-30 yards. In addition we will have two lines out with ballyhoo rigged with circle hooks on the outriggers, and one pitching reel out of the water for the flats (center and short area of the boat). The more teasers you add to the equation, the more confusion you bring for both the crew and the fish. When the sail or sails come, all hell breaks loose in a controlled matter.The Captain will have control of at least 1 to 2 teasers and he will call out the position of the fish. For example ‘’Left rigger’’, or ‘’right teaser flats’’ ,etc.
From there the mate (or a guest!) will reel in the teasers as fast as possible while you release the ballyhoo on the way out and make the ‘’switch’’. The boat is moving at about 6 - 7 knots usually so the bait will make the exchange in a hurry. The fish will quickly become hot for the ballyhoo and hit the bait with no convincing needed.
Once you see and feel (free spool when you feel the pull) the sail or marlin take the bait for a 4 to 5 second count with your thumb lightly guiding the line out (please move your thumb back and fourth to avoid line burn), then you will lock the drag to strike, start reeling low and fast with the pole straight down. Remember you are aiming for the corners of the mouth when dealing with Bill Fish and number 7 circle hooks. This is where the softest tissue is, and in order for the circle hook to work properly this is the only way the hook will set. Now the fun begins as you will witness tail walks, and incredible out of water leaps by one of the most impressive game fish on the face of the earth. Please be careful, this type of Sport Fishing is habit forming and extremely addictive. Hints the reason why many of our clients are repeat bookings.