Florida, US – Jan Berkowitz recently returned from a week long excursion where he chartered his own boat 100 miles off the coast of Florida with a crew of four in order to fish for blue marlin. Jan has been fishing for blue Marlin for over 30 years, however this was his first solo trip more than 50 miles off shore.
Blue marlin is a large game fish that naturally lives in saltwater. The average weight of the blue marlin ranges from 100 to 500 lbs and Jan Berkowitz was fortunate enough to have caught 3 of these fish ranging from 100-350 lbs. They have an average body length of six to ten feet and can be found mainly in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. “They are well known for their amazing strength, which is only exceeded by the giant blue fin Tuna.” says Jan Berkowitz. “Of the three fish I caught, one in particular gave me a fight that I will remember for the rest of my days.”
As Jan Berkowitz explains, the blue marlin has a pointy nose, dark fins and a white belly; they like tropically warm temperatures and are usually found in deep waters. They are easier to catch on clear days, when the water is clear as well. Jan Berkowitz recommends that you don’t fish right after a storm since the fishing tends to be poor when the water is murky. In the wild the blue marlin feeds on cero, mullet, whole ballyhoo, dolphin, flying fish, bonito, skipjacks, squid, Spanish mackerel and other ocean creatures. “Of course any of these or combinations of, will make an excellent bait.” says Jan Berkowitz. “My blue marlin prefers hooked bait to artificial lures probably because it can smell a potential meal when the bait is natural. The only problem is that you have to catch the bait before you catch the actual fish!” An easy solution to this is to buy the bait frozen from bait companies or your local supermarket. The artificial bait the blue marlin seems to prefer are softheads and konas but the most important part is that the bait is one that looks lifelike, alive and appetizing.
Upon discussing the trip, Jan Berkowitz says, make sure you have the correct equipment with you to fish for the blue marlin; their exceptionally high weight bundled together with much strength you will need to bring the best equipment available. You need a stand-up class rod, one that is thick enough to withstand large amounts of tension without breaking. Don’t buy a rod that is longer then six feet long or shorter then 5 feet. This type of rod will give you the leverage you need to fish for the blue marlin. The reel should also have a proven drag. Make sure you have at least 400 to 600 feet of line available and use a very strong line. Use a harness to fasten yourself to the boat as the blue marlin is usually averaging a weight of about 300 pounds so you need to make sure that he can’t pull you under. You may also prefer to sit or even use a reel that is attached to the boat like Jan Berkowitz did so you won’t be in danger.
If you feel that you are loosing the fight and you are starting to tire out rather then the fish tiring, it might be a good idea to cut the line. The marlin can hold up for extremely long times and you shouldn’t put yourself into danger since the fight will demand every shroud of your strength and intelligence. “Once you have landed the blue marlin it will be once of the best feelings you have experienced as a fisherman.” says Jan Berkowitz “Take a picture, show your friends. And most of all enjoy your experience.”
About Jan Berkowitz
Jan Berkowitz has been fishing for over 30 years and has spent an enormous amount of time in the wilderness as an outdoor enthusiast. Jan has been chartering boats for the last 10 years and finds that being on the open water to be very relaxing and humbling at times. Jan believes his success in fishing comes from years of experience and the advice he has acquired along the way from fellow fishermen. Fishing isn’t just about catching a big fish, says Jan Berkowitz, it’s about the solitude of nature and the strength you gain from understanding how these creatures work.
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