Before you attempt to go Marlin fishing in Fort Lauderale you should be aware that catching a Marlin near Fort Lauderdale is quite rare. While marlin do sometimes come near Fort Lauderdale as part of their migrations in the gulf stream current, they are typically only caught far offshore, out of the range of day fishing charters in Fort Lauderdale. When fishing in Fort Lauderdale, it's much more likely you will catch other types of billfish such as swordfish and sailfish.
So with that disclosure about Fort Lauderdale marlin fishing out there, let's talk about marlin! Marlin exist high up in the ocean food chain. They are incredibly fast swimmers - reaching nearly 70 mph. They are large, beautiful fish, and have become somewhat of an icon for sportfishing in Fort Lauderdale, largely due to Ernest Hemingway's novel The Old Man and the Sea, in which a fisherman battles a giant marlin alone on a small boat. We typically find only blue marlin and white marlin in the Fort Lauderdale area. It is rare to find or go fishing for black marline or striped marlin in Fort Lauderdale.
Marlin are a relatively rare fish species to begin with but have suffered from overfishing. As a result catching a marlin, particularly in Fort Lauderdale, is rare.
Fishing for Marlin in Fort Lauderdale
If you are going to take up the task of fishing for Marlin in Fort Lauderdale, your best bet is to travel far offshore or try to fish along the edge of the continental shelf in 600 - 1000 feet of water. If you can make the trip, you'll probably have better luck fishing on the Bahamas (eastern) side of the gulf stream, as opposed to the Fort Lauderdale side. We do offer Bahamas fishing charters out of Fort Lauderdale and we tend to find that the fishing is generally better in the Bahamas.
Like with other billfishing in Fort Lauderdale, live baits are the way to go. Having said that, you can also catch a marlin using frozen bait or lures. You can also combine a frozen bait with a skirt, which sometimes helps attract marlin and also protects the bait. Small tuna and skipjacks are the best kind of bait for marlin fishing.
When trolling for marlin in Fort Lauderdale, you'll want to be moving at 7 knots to 15 knots. Marlin can travel at nearly 70mph for a short distance, which is most likely quite a bit faster than any fishing boat you'll be on. Slower than 7 knots and your bait won't resemble their common food and/or will get eaten before the marlin gets to it. Faster than 15 and your baits are going to fall apart and/or will not resemble the Fort Lauderdale marlin's common diet.