How to Catch Big Marlin: Famous Hawaiian Captain Marlin Parker Reveals Techniques

Giant marlin over 1000 pounds, known as Granders, are one of sport fishing's biggest prizes. Few know more about hooking and fighting these huge fish than Captain Marlin Parker. My new article in Bluewater Boats Magazine details the big game fishing techniques of this Kona legend. I am stoked because one of my photos was chosen for the cover of the issue in which my article appears. In the cover photo above you can see a massive blue marlin being released after it was caught by a client of Captain Teddy Hoogs in Kona, on Hawaii's Big Island. Just after I snapped the shot the fish swam away in fine shape.
Below you can a shot I took of Marlin and his crew member Frank "Trip" Davis removing the hooks from a huge marlin just prior to releasing it. This one also swam away in excellent health. One of the keys to releasing fish right is using heavy enough tackle to reduce the fight time, and Parker goes into great depth about this in the article.
This will probably be the first of many articles I write about Parker. He was kind enough to let me come along on his boat and interview him for several days, and he proved to be a fascinating interview. By the time our second day was over he'd released a 600 pounder and told me all about the birth of the Kona big game fishing scene. That's not much of a stretch for him, because any discussion of that involves the history of his famous Hawaiian fishing family. His father, Captain George Parker, was one of the very first big game fishing captains in Hawaii and pioneered the sport. Pictured in front of the famous Kona Inn is Marlin (left) with his father George and brother Randy, also a well known captain.
I first heard Marlin's name several years ago was when I was on the press boat for the HIBT ( Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament). The radio was buzzing with news of some guy named "Marlin" hooked up to a giant marlin. The rest of the press boat had been talking about this guy for days, and now that he was hooked up, it sounded like this "Marlin" guy had the game rigged to his advantage! Someone even quipped, "Does he keep them in a pen out here somewhere?"
As I came to find out, luck has little to do with Parker's big game success. The guy is one of the true masters of the sport. Ironically, the very next year I went to Kona, I was placed in a helicopter to get shots of the boats streaming away from the Kona Coast at the start of the HIBT. It was a mission that was only scheduled for 20 minutes. Once I got these shots and the helicopter pilot and I were about to head back to the airport, I saw a boat hooked up to a marlin, and guess whose boat it was? Marlin Parker's!!!
I had one of those shots enlarged and framed and sent it to Marlin.
Hawaii, and Kona in particular, is a great place to meet some of the best marlin fishing captains in the world. There are also a great many world class marlin fishing lure makers in Hawaii, including Marlin Parker himself. The big blue marlin picture that I took for the cover of this magazine was caught on a purple Bomboy Llanes lure. If you look closely you can see that this Bomboy Llanes lure pictured on the cover shot is the same lure that is attached to the fish in this picture. In fact, it’s the same fish!


Anonymous said...

Fantastic article in BlueWater magazine. Your photos are amazing! Looking forward to your future write up's on Capt. Marlin Parker!

Jon Schwartz said...

Glad you enjoyed the work!! Plenty more to come on Marlin Parker and other great fishing captains. Also check out my website if you like for my older published articles, www.bluewaterjon.com.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are so cool; makes me want to be a teacher. Thanks for sharing. I will bookmark your blogger and see more pictures, I hope you will post more.

Ebb Tide Tackle said...

Awesome as always Jon - its art!

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