Blue Marlin – the Fundamentals of Fishing Structure

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Instructor: Kevin Hibbard

This video reveals how understanding ocean currents and structure can dramatically improve your blue marlin fishing success.

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Video Summary:

Importance of Structure in Marlin Fishing: Discussion on how natural and man-made structures in the ocean play a crucial role in attracting blue marlin.
Captain Kevin Hibbard: Insights into Captain Hibbard's approach to locating blue marlin.
Role of Ocean Currents and Upwelling: Exploration of how ocean currents and upwelling impact the aggregation of marine life and influence blue marlin behavior.
Fishing Techniques for Blue Marlin: Tips and strategies for effectively targeting blue marlin, focusing on the importance of understanding ocean structures and currents.
Case Studies: Examples from different fishing locations like the Gulf of Mexico, Cabo San Lucas, the Azores, etc., illustrating the concepts discussed.

The Blue Marlin: A Scientific Overview

Blue marlin are among the most magnificent and elusive creatures in the ocean. They are the largest of the billfish family, which includes sailfish, swordfish, and several species of marlin. They can grow to over 12 feet in length and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They are also among the fastest and most powerful fish, capable of reaching speeds of over 60 miles per hour and leaping high into the air. They are highly migratory and roam the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are prized by anglers for their beauty, strength, and fighting spirit.

But how do you find and catch these amazing fish? The answer lies in understanding the fundamentals of fishing structure. Structure is any physical feature that affects the flow and distribution of water and the organisms that live in it. Structure can be natural or artificial, and it can be found in shallow or deep water. Structure provides shelter, protection, and food for a variety of fish and sea life, and it attracts predators like blue marlin that feed on them.

In this video, you will learn how to identify and fish structure, and how to use it to your advantage in blue marlin fishing. You will also learn about the biology and behavior of blue marlin, and how they relate to structure. You will discover how ocean currents, upwelling, and bottom topography influence the presence and movement of blue marlin and their prey. You will get tips and advice from Capt. Kevin Hibbard, a veteran blue marlin fisherman and instructor, who will share his knowledge and experience with you. You will see how he uses charts, sonar, and satellite imagery to locate structure and plan his fishing strategy. You will also see how he rigs and deploys his baits, and how he handles and releases his catches.

The Role of Structure in Blue Marlin Fishing

Structure, whether natural like seamounts and reefs or man-made like oil platforms, is a magnet for blue marlin. These structures disrupt water flow, creating habitats rich in baitfish. Understanding the topography beneath the waves is crucial for any angler pursuing these billfish.

Ocean Currents: The Lifelines of the Ocean

Currents are the arteries of the ocean, carrying nutrients and plankton. Where these currents encounter structures, upwelling occurs, bringing nutrient-rich water to the surface and attracting a plethora of marine life, including blue marlin. Knowledge of these currents is vital for locating feeding marlins.

Upwelling: A Phenomenon that Shapes Marine Life

Upwelling is a process where deeper, colder, and nutrient-rich water rises to the surface. This phenomenon is especially important in marlin fishing, as it leads to the formation of abundant feeding grounds for various marine species, thereby attracting blue marlin.


The further you move away from structure, the less life you see. In the absence of current, structures by themselves will be unproductive.

Kevin Hibbard

Tactics for Targeting Blue Marlin

  1. Locate the Structure: Start by identifying natural or artificial structures that can host marine life.
  2. Understand the Currents: Analyze the direction and strength of ocean currents in relation to these structures.
  3. Find the Upwelling: Seek areas where upwelling occurs, as these are hotspots for blue marlin activity.
  4. Patience is Key: It may take days for currents and structures to attract significant marine life, including blue marlin.

Global Perspectives: Blue Marlin Habitats Around the World

  • Gulf of Mexico: Features natural and artificial structures like oil rigs, creating diverse habitats for blue marlin.
  • Hawaii: The islands themselves act as massive structures, influencing ocean currents and marine life patterns.
  • Cabo San Lucas and the Azores: Famous for their large banks and up-current fishing, these are prime spots for blue marlin fishing.


Blue marlin fishing is an art that combines knowledge of marine biology, oceanography, and angler skill. By understanding the interplay between structure, currents, and marine life, anglers can significantly increase their chances of encountering these magnificent fish.

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Kevin Hibbard

Captain Kevin Hibbard, a renowned blue marlin fishing expert, has a deep connection to the ocean and has honed his skills in heavy tackle and lure fishing. He has honed his knowledge and techniques from the best captains in the business, including Henry Chee and George Parker. Hibbard's approach to fishing is simple, focused, and trusting, ensuring the best lures are chosen for the ocean's conditions. His dedication to the craft and his passion for the ocean's giants make him a sought-after fishing expert.

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