Blue Marlin - Lures and Spread Setup with David Brackmann

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Instructor: David Brackmann

David Brackmann, a skilled marlin fishing instructor, shares his expertise in setting up a marlin spread for targeting blue marlin. He demonstrates various lure types, deployment, optimal position, and managing the spread throughout the day. David also discusses dacron tag lines and cool up ratios for marlin lure swimming. The detailed presentation covers leader, connections, lure dynamics, hook sets, and rigging tips, empowering fishermen to fish smarter and more effectively.

Description / Review / Instructor


  • Subject: David Brackmann's Approach to Marlin Fishing
  • Key Principle: Simple application of physics - action, reaction, force.
  • Starting Point: Using the first lure to regulate speed and form the basis of the pattern.
  • Lure Positioning: Wave position and placement in the prop wash.
  • Spread Setup: Use of tag lines attached via a dacron loop.
  • Swimming Cycle: Impact of lure's cycle on the hook-up ratio.
  • Lure Details: Positioning based on size, head shape design, and the use of lures vs teasers.
  • Equipment: Insights on leader, connections, lure dynamics, hook designs, and rigging.
  • Final Thought: Continual learning and experimentation to improve hook-up ratio.

David Brackmann is a name that resonates with respect and admiration among the global fishing community. His extensive experience and success in fishing across the world, particularly in marlin fishing, has earned him a reputation as one of the best in the field. This post provides a comprehensive breakdown of Brackmann's methodical approach to setting up a spread of trolling lures for targeting blue marlin.

The Art of Marlin Fishing

Blue marlin fishing, according to Brackmann, is a simple application of physics. It's about action, reaction, and force. The key is not to overcomplicate the process. In his instructional video for In The Spread, Brackmann meticulously explains his approach, starting with the first lure to put in the water. This first lure helps regulate your speed and forms the basis of your pattern. Wave position and placement are crucial, and Brackmann guides you on which waves in the prop wash to run your lures on for the most appealing bait spread.

Setting Up the Spread

When setting up the spread, Brackmann uses tag lines attached to the line via a dacron loop. This loop, spliced into the line and secured to a release clip, allows for a certain amount of drop back. This gives the fish time to grab the lure and the hook to come tight. Tag lines also enable you to manipulate the lure's performance in the given seas.

Fine Tuning Lure Spreads for Marlin Hookups

The Importance of Lure Swimming Cycle

Brackmann also delves into the impact of a lure's swimming cycle on the hook-up ratio. A trolling lure cycles by coming to the surface, grabbing some air, and then going back underwater. The challenge is to determine the ideal amount of time for the lure to stay underwater. According to Brackmann, a lure running below the surface is easier for a marlin to catch, and it also improves the hook-up ratio.

Lure Positions and Designs

Once the spread is set up and swimming well, Brackmann shares his insights on lure positions based on size and head shape design. He also discusses the use of lures versus teasers and the application of bait and switch to increase hook-ups.

Leader, Connections, and Lure Dynamics

Brackmann then moves on to the leader, connections, lure dynamics, hook designs, and rigging tips. He explains the difference between wind ons and IGFA legal leaders, the knots and connections, swivels, crimps, and chafe gear. He emphasizes that lure designs are all about hydrodynamics and that the position the hook runs in can affect the lure's performance.

Learning from the Best

David Brackmann's masterclass in marlin fishing is an invaluable learning opportunity for any fishing enthusiast. His shared knowledge and tips can help you fine-tune your system and build confidence. Remember, fishing is as much about what you know as it is about the act itself. So, take this information, experiment with it, and find what gives you the best hook-up ratio with your marlin lures. And most importantly, never stop learning.

Who is David Brackmann?

David Brackmann is a highly respected figure in the global fishing community, known particularly for his expertise in marlin fishing.

What is the core principle of Brackmann's marlin fishing approach?

It's a simple application of physics focusing on action, reaction, and force without overcomplicating the process.

Why are wave position and placement crucial in marlin fishing?

Your boats prop wash determines which waves to run your lures on, ensuring the most appealing bait spread.

How does Brackmann set up the spread for marlin fishing?

He uses tag lines attached to the line via a dacron loop, allowing for a drop back to give fish time to grab the lure.

What's the significance of a lure's swimming cycle?

The swimming cycle impacts the hook-up ratio. The amount of time a lure stays underwater can determine how easy it is for a marlin to catch it.

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User Reviews

william ashworth 04.21.2022


David Brackmann

David Brackmann, a renowned big game fisherman, is a master in marlin fishing, particularly targeting yellowfins and dolphins. He uses a methodical approach, trolling a normal pattern of spreader bars and cedar plugs over dolphins, and adapting the WWB technique if necessary. Brackmann's expertise in marlin fishing is evident in his comprehensive analysis of offshore trolling lures, rigging, and fine-tuning.

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