Striped Marlin Get Picky Too

by | Nov 8, 2022 | fly fishing for striped marlin

Baja-AnglersWe got another nice early start on the water here in Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side of Baja.  My boys Sammy and Grant along with our boatman Norberto were ready to cheer me on.  I am after my first striped marlin on the fly after a long time trying.


doradoLike yesterday, we stopped at the mouth of Mag Bay to capture some teaser baits to entice a marlin to remain close to the boat if they were finicky.  Then we headed out to sea. There were signs of life early that included me nailing another skipjack tuna and Sammy this small dorado.  Both fish are foods of the marlin so we knew we were headed the right direction.


feeding-marlinIt’s a good two hour boat ride to the marlin this week.  I guess two years ago Sammy and Grant lucked into the marlin being right at the mouth of Mag Bay.  But not with me in town.  Striped marlin demand a little extra work when I’m around.  But the longer than normal ride was worth it.  When we arrived there were marlin scaring bait in all directions.  Seeing 6 to 8ft marlin feeding naturally isn’t any different than watching a grizzly take down an elk calf in Yellowstone.  Marlin are one of the oceans apex wildlife and this was truly a sight for anyone to behold, angler or not!


marlin-on-flyFor a solid four hours, from around 10 AM to 2 PM, Sam and I were able to sight cast from a drifting panga to packs of marlin.  We didn’t need our teaser baits to keep them around.  But they snubbed their nose at our flies.  It was similar to failing to coax a rainbow trout on the Henry’s Fork during a Rusty Spinner fall.  These magnificent billfish were keyed into a certain baitfish and did not wander to big fake fly concoctions.  But I say it all the time on this blog, persistence usually pays off.  And guess who hooked up?


marlin-fliesAt 2:30 Sammy went tight on a marlin.  It was funny because his marlin ate his fly right under my nose.  I watched it.  There was also a sea lion around and Sam thought that’s what he hooked.  The marlin scorched off the fly line followed by 150 yds of backing.  Then it jumped.  That clarified things for Sammy.


striped-marlinSam’s marlin was a wild one.  After that first long run the fish jumped another ten times then ran again.  Then the angry fish did what all marlin anglers hate most – it dove deep.  And when billfish dive deep they get sideways, put up their dorsal fins and make you do all the work.  The entire time they are resting.


It took 50 minutes for Sam to get this beast in. The beautiful striped marlin he first thought was a sea lion.  It was another incredible fish and proof to all of us that Sammy is the striped marlin on fly king.  King daddy!


Currier-flyfishingWe were out of time as far as remaining 26 miles south of the mouth of Mag Bay so we began fishing our way back.  We traveled about 45 minutes with hardly a sign of feeding fish or diving birds.  But then we ran across a mile of leaping dolphin.  They were chasing mass schools of bait and it was obvious fish were pushing the bait to the dolphin from below.  Norberto got us in position to drop down our flies.  I went tight so fast I nearly lost a finger when my line wrapped around it.  Luckily it came loose and my fish was on.


flyfishing-tunaBut again, I wasn’t hooked to marlin.  This was by no means a disappointment however.  I’m a big fan of yellowfin tuna on the fly – especially nice fatty 10lbers.  And that’s what I had.  These bullet shaped speedsters put on an incredible fight yet if you pressure them enough they give up.  In about 6 minutes I had this handsome fish in for photos and despite how delicious his sashimi would have been, I released him.


tuna-on-flyWell, my striped marlin curse continues.  However it wasn’t like any sort of bad luck came my way.  The marlin were there but they simply would not eat.  Sammy has the knack.  These creatures love him. The tuna love me.






It was a stunning sunset on the way home and at the exact same time the sun set, the full moon rose.  Its good luck in my book.  Perhaps tomorrow will be my day.  I hope so because its likely our last out to sea.  Tomorrow afternoon the wind starts to blow hard.  If the forecast is correct, we won’t be able to return to the bluewater for a fourth day.

fish-cupsDespite being 2022, internet is sparse in remote parts of Baja.  Furthermore, after a 10-12hr fishing day on the salt, it’s hard to get the blogs out on time.  They will be delayed but they will come in full.  Stay tuned! 

In the meantime, please visit my webstore for “Christmas Gifts for the Angler that has Everything” and stuff those stockings with my fish decals from “Pescador on the Fly”.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!