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Marlin on a Rapala

Printed From: The Fishing Website
Category: Saltwater Fishing
Forum Name: The Work-Up
Forum Description: Game fishing related topics here
Printed Date: 15 Jun 2024 at 10:40pm

Topic: Marlin on a Rapala
Posted By: Fishb8
Subject: Marlin on a Rapala
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2002 at 6:23am

I saw a picture of a marlin hooked using a red-head Rapala in the current Fishing News magazine. what experiences has anyone had using a bibbed minnow on billfish.

I'm a real fan of bibbed minnows, especially Yozuris, having had kingies and yft on these lures. Just bought a Manns +35, a biggish plug that will troll down to 50 feet. I've put heavy duty double hooks on it, strong enough for a marlin. Will they take one? A sub-surface lure seems too offer an extra option to the usual surface spread that I think I'll will run one on 24 kg this year. 

Any thoughts?

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

Posted By: Kerren
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2002 at 8:20am
That photo caught my attention as well...amazed the hooks held especially if they were of stock standard variety!

I am Kermit, Leader of Muppets Nov 05

Posted By: Grant
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2002 at 8:43am


Have a look on SCMO, I think there was a thread or two, pertaining to the same question....a whiles ago, and maybe a search is required on the archives.

Maybe worth raising a new thread and seeing what replies you get. From memory I've only heard of one (not in EnZed) being caught on a minnow...rapala I think.





Posted By: Capt Asparagus
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2002 at 9:19am

Billfish often hit bibbed and bibbless minnows. The problem is getting them to hook up or to stay hooked given the treble hooks usually used on them.

�� Fishb8, i think you would have a lot more success hooking a billfish with your mans if you were to replace those doubles with a couple of single hooks, on that big manns, you could easily use an 8/0 or even a 9/0 hook. Options forattaching them to you lure would be either split rings, you'd need 2 for the belly hook so it hung facing down,or the light game shackles uses in shackle rigs in marlin lures.

�� The single hooks would give you a far cleaner hookset.

I have had several minnows hit bysailfish (maybe small marlin, hard to tell) in the Solomons, but never hooked up . I have seem sailfish hook up on poppers, and had onesmall sailer just 2 months ago nail a popper in about 80ft of water at Zipolo Habu, which was fun for about 30 seconds before he spat the hooks.

I too like those yo-zuri minnows. The old L-Jack Magnums were of only average quality, but the newer ones with the plastic bibs are awesome, I can troll those things at 12 knots in rough water,and they still stick and run well! (I was deliberately trying to see just what their limit was) They are way better than the standard old rapala, which frankly area pain in the derriere to use most of the time.

Perhaps you should also look at getting yourself a downrigger for your trolling? I have used downriggers in Tonga a fair bit, they are certainly very effective, and will get your lures just that little bit further down every time. Means you cannot troll much more than 6 knots though, but damn, they work!


There you go! See, they work! That doggie was on a Rebel Jawbreaker run off a downrigger (you can juuuuust see the end of the downrigger on the extreme left of the pic) on Zeus.

Gotta love those doggies. Man, if youthink Kingies fight herd, amte, Dogtooth tuna are like Kingies on steroids. They are not so bad on trolled lures,as their first runs are away from the boat, but on jigs? Maaaate! Murder! Then they hit and head straight DOWN, right for the reef, we were using 80lb spectra one time on those buggers, and in under 2 hours we lost 12 jigs and did not land one fish. Just lethal man, amazing. And that was just the 2 of us fishing!

But i digress.....

cheers, Stu.

It is only my overwhelming natural humility that mars my perfection.

Captain Asparagus, Superhero, Adventurer.

Posted By: dustin
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2002 at 12:14pm

I've never caught a billfish on a minnow but some of mine do have billmarks. 

Spoke to a private boat crew in Phuket once, they were in the Similan Islands and saw a bunch of sails jumping.  They had just rapalas (popular lure in South East Asia), dragged them around the jumpers, got a few bites with fish pulling drag but didn't stay connected.  In one of the Jakarta tackle stores there's a photo of a 110kg black caught on a Rapala CD14 and 20# tackle (that's one heck of a catch!) mate Glen Chee got a 350# class black to the boat on a large Braid bibless minnow rigged "long range" style with big single hooks attached to the lure via swivels.   These abominations  (ha ha ha) are what he uses for the local Dog Tooth, GT, wahoo and Y.F.T at Taka Bonerate atoll, Indonesia ... guess there just had be one black marlin around that was silly enough to go for it!  He had a very large sailfish on one of these things too, so it wasn't just the one silly billfish ...

I fished with a guide once off Malaysia that had also caught little blacks on rapalas.  So they obviously do catch the odd billfish but I still personally wouldn't pull a minnow around for them.  They're lethal on wahoo and Y.F.T to be sure but I don't really think they have real extra attraction to billfish over skirted lures and all the evidence suggests hookups are poor and it's hard to stay connected. 

Check out this thread though: Western Australian anglers catching sailfish on modified minnows...">

cheers dustin

Posted By: obald
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2002 at 9:10am

Memories!! This subject got me interested in game fishing in the first place. We are talking Papua New Guinea 1976. I was working on the North Coast in a place called Wewak. Was lured there from the Highlands by having seen a tropical beach and snorkelled on coral for the first time (bought up in post war South London you understand) and was heavily in to diving. A mate and I had built a 14ft plywood boat and used to troll Abu killers (rapala lookalikes) on HANDLINES on our way to the reefs in the hope of catching narrow barred spanish mackerel which we often did. One evening got a massive strike and had a billfish on for about a minute. We knew nothing about billfish (not even sure if I knew there were such things - not many in the Thames) but looked it up in 'Grants Guide to Queensland Fishes' (still got it) and worked out that it must have been a small black. However the damage was done and the diving started taking second place to fishing. If only I had known a little bit about catching pelagics then ...... We trolled swimming deadbaits (obtained from a chinese trade store frozen - in plentiful supply after a muffled roar from out at sea the night before!) and caught truckloads of mackerel, lots of sails and a few YFT. Took me 22 years to hook my next marlin (not trying all the time I hasten to add).

Sorry for boring you all with a bit of unashamed nostalgia - but I enjoyed it. Might even be able to find a pic of gamefishing PNG 1976 with no clue as to what to do if 'He Who Must Be Obeyed' will allow.


Posted By: Kerren
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2002 at 9:25am

"Might even be able to find a pic of gamefishing PNG 1976 with no clue as to what to do if 'He Who Must Be Obeyed' will allow."...

what ya on about mate? you want help adding a piccie to your post?...if so email it to me and I will do it for ya...without charge this time!...

I am Kermit, Leader of Muppets Nov 05

Posted By: obald
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2002 at 2:15pm


The'double entendre' was unintential. The 'no clue as to what to do' was meant to refer to our fishing methods of 25 years ago. I now realise it also extends to posting pics on the board now! I'll have to find a slide scanner, as my pics are on 35mm slides (remember them?) and then email them on to you. I'll also try and learn how to post pics myself. Having looked through the pics there are few things that make me shudder - e.g. IGFA illegal ganged hooks, the worlds softest 30lb rod (no metric fishing then, all good British Empire Imperial measurements), a flashing LED Seafarer 3 Depthsounder and a hand start 25hp Johnson with 2 sets of plugs - one for going places and a hotter (or colder, can't remember which way round it was) for trolling when you got there (we then swapped them back to go home!). Those were the days....


Posted By: obald
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2002 at 5:15pm

Ok, I'm stepping onto the unknown here but will try and post the pics I've scanned form the original 35mm slides of the hottest game boat in Wewak, Papua New Guinea 1976-7 Season.

Home made from 3/8 marine ply over rosewood (!) frames and designed on the back of a piece of cardboard that came packing a new shirt by the bloke holding the bow. Note the transducer for the Seafarer 3 flashing LED depthsounder screwed to a piece of wood lying on the deck. This was attatched to the transom with a G-cramp when at trolling speed. Also note the scungy barracuda which must have been all we caught that day - unusual I assure you, the fishing in general was primo. We mainly targetted narrow barred spanish mackerel as we could sell them and I actually earnt as much from this as from my daytime job at the time. 25 years old, no resposibilities, as far as possible from South London and as happy as a pig in muck.


Random musings on all sorts of things" rel="nofollow -

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