The general concept if that live bait will always get fish – but is it really true? Most of us all know that it is quite rare for a Wahoo to take any live bait at all be it the perfect size mackerel or sardine. For whatever reason, a Wahoo will strike a lure at 12 knots with 480 lbs Stainless Steel Cable attached to it, but they wont hit a swimming mackerel with 50lbs fluorocarbon.
Why is this? I believe wahoo need a frenzy to feed, they need to see the bait running fast, struggling, and other commotion around. This is why so often you can wet baits with Wahoo all around and nothing, start the troll and bingo fish in the freezer.
Marlin on the other hand love live bait. Over and over again this is proven, but never think even for a minute if the perfect bait dropped right in front of a marlin means a bite. This is not always the case. Sometimes the Marlin just are not interested for reasons unknown. It can be very frustrating. If anyone thinks marlin will eat if the bait is placed right and its the right bait, then check out this video below. I threw a nice lively small mackerel attached to 60 lbs fluorocarbon right in front of this beautiful striped marlin, and nothing. If you look close, you can see the marlin even went to take a look but decided otherwise. NO GOOD
So this brings us to lures. Though bait is sometimes the preferred method, lures can often entice a fish to each when even a live bait will not. A spread of marlin lures and teasers can excite the marlin and other pelagic fish that are otherwise un-interested.
This is why the trolling spread is so important, you need marlin and wahoo lures that work, but you also need to tease. The spread, not just the individual lure, can often be the difference between getting a strike and fish just watching and swimming by.
I encourage everyone to take a close look at their spread, which in my opinion, should always consist of surface plugs as well as deeper divers, all surface or all deep can fail to excite.
In conclusion, don’t just think because something generally works that it will continue to work. Make sure your spreads are changing and creating the required commotion. Always have bait, but don’t always rely on it. Plus its one cool video!