By Bill Hall
It has been the finest and most consistent marlin lure I have ever fished with. I have been using “Old Blue” lures for over 30 years, in New Zealand, and many other parts of the world. I have caught more marlin with “Old Blue” than any other lure.
An old friend who was a game fishing skipper in Hawaii originally gave “Old Blue” to me many years ago. As soon as I used “Old Blue” I started catching more marlin, when other boats were mainly using skip baits.
I made a mould of it because I knew that I would eventually lose it, as happens to all good lures. I then started to make “Old Blue” in difference colours. As the season changes, so doe the feed, then it is time to change the colour of “Old Blue” to suit the new conditions. ON “Te Ariki Nui” I carry “Old Blue” lures in a variety of colours. When fishing the King Bank at the Three King Islands, I prefer a pink “Old Blue” because the marlin are often feeding on pink maumau.
With the selection of colours that are now available, marlin can be raised at any time of the season with this highly successful lure.
Here are a few tips for you on putting “Old Blue” to work. “Old blue” has a special weighted insert, which makes it swim like a fish, so treat it like a fish and allow it plenty of water to swim in. The lure performs best when towed from a low angle, so avoid running it at an acute angle from high on the outrigger or rod tip. Allow it to grab the water with its nose, when it does this it will dive beautifully and perform better than any lure you have seen. If you want to run it close to the boat from the outrigger, lower the halyard so that the line is less than halfway up the outrigger in order to reduce the angle. Likewise, if running the line from the rod, bring the line down from the rod tip and attach it with a 32 rubber band to the reel handle or a suitable position low on the boat. The flatter you can keep it on the surface the better “Old Blue” will work for you.
My most successful rig is a single 12/0 hook set level with the back of the skirt, using a double length of leader to space the hook in the right position. All hooks need to be needle sharp.
“Old Bleu” swims like a fish, let the marlin treat it like a fish, too much drag will pull the lure out of the mouth. I use just enough drag to keep the lure in the water without it slipping back. When the fish runs do not touch the drag, the weight of the water on the line as it runs out is enough to drive the hook home (providing it is sharp).
If you use a wire leader “Old Blue w” will not perform as well, use the more flexible mono leader. Do not jam the leader into the lure with a matchstick or whatever. “Old Blue” does not like restrictions, it likes to roll and swim freely and it cannot do this if it is jammed to the leader. Finally wrap some dental floss around the top of your leader, so when the marlin strikes the lure will jam itself on the dental floss keeping it clear of the hook in the fish. You will be able to see the lure at the top of the leader long before you see the marlin. Good luck with your purchase and tight lines.