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Choosing the Best Color Marlin Lure

Choosing the Best Color Marlin Lure

When it comes to marlin fishing, choosing the best color marlin lure can significantly affect the success you have on the water.

See Also: Skirted Lures Vs. Naked Ballyhoo Vs. Chugger Head.

But what seems like a complicated choice really isn’t that complicated at all, and typically depends entirely on the conditions and what your target species are eating when you’re fishing.

Best Colors for Blue Marlin

  1. Black and Purple: According to data, black and purple skirts have were responsible for 59% of blue marlin catches between 2000 and 2011, and I’ll bet that hasn’t changed very much. This color combination is particularly effective when Blue Marlin are hunting Tuna.
  2. Blue/White/Yellow/Pink/Green: The Mold Craft Super Chugger in a blue/white/yellow combo has been successful in catching blue, black, and even striped marlin, as well as Pacific sailfish and yellowfin tuna. Blue marlin are more likely to hit something bright than black marlin.
  3. Natural Prey Colors: Lures that imitate the colors of natural prey, such as skipjack tuna, squid, and other baitfish, can be effective in attracting blue marlin.

Best Colors for Black Marlin

  1. Rubber-Skirted Lures: Black marlin hunters often use dark-colored rubber-skirted lures such as Moldcraft soft heads, Black Barts, and Pakulas. While specific colors are not mentioned frequently in the articles I read, you’re best bet is still to mimic ht they like to eat which are bonitos and tunas, or of course, whatever they are eating that day.
  2. Live or Dead Skipping Baits: Slow trolling large live or dead skipping baits like skipjack tuna is a common technique for catching black marlin. Matching the color and pattern of the baitfish can increase the chances of attracting black marlin.

See also: Black Marlin Vs. Blue Marlin

Colors for Both Blue and Black Marlin

When targeting both blue and black marlin, there are color patterns that can work well for both species. According to IGFA Hall of Fame Captain Peter B. Wright, color does not matter significantly for blue and black marlin, so you can use your personal favorites.

Factors Influencing Lure Color Choice

Several factors can influence the choice of lure color when fishing for marlin:

  1. Light Conditions: Bright, sunny days can make certain lure colors more visible and attractive to marlin. On overcast days, darker colors can create a better silhouette and attract more attention.
  2. Water Clarity: In clear water, natural colors that mimic the local baitfish can be effective. In murky or stained water, bright or contrasting colors can stand out more and attract marlin.
  3. Local Baitfish: The color and pattern of the local baitfish can influence the choice of lure color. Marlin are more likely to strike at lures that resemble their natural prey.
  4. Personal Preference: Some anglers have personal favorite colors that they believe are more effective. While there’s no definitive proof that one color is universally better than others, confidence in your lure can influence your fishing success.
  5. Weather Conditions: Weather conditions can also affect the choice of lure color. For example, use chocolate or pink if there are any squid around, blue or blue and white if you see lots of flying fish, and green and yellow if there are mackerel or scads of this color.


Are there any colors I should avoid when fishing for marlin?

There are no specific colors that should be avoided when fishing for marlin. The best color can depend on a variety of factors, including water clarity, light conditions, and the type of baitfish in the area.

How do I choose lure colors based on the time of day?

During the early morning and late afternoon when light levels are low, darker colors like black and purple can be effective. In bright midday sun, lighter colors like blue, white, and yellow can be more visible.

Do glow-in-the-dark lures work for marlin fishing?

Glow-in-the-dark lures can be effective for marlin fishing, especially in low-light conditions or deep water where they can be more visible.

Should I change my lure color throughout the day?

Changing your lure color throughout the day can be a good strategy to adapt to changing light conditions and to try different colors if the marlin are not biting.

Can I use metallic lure colors for marlin fishing?

Yes, metallic lure colors like silver and gold can be effective for marlin fishing as they mimic the flash of baitfish in the water.


In conclusion, choosing the right color lure for marlin fishing involves understanding the behavior of the specific marlin species you’re targeting, the prevailing conditions, and the local baitfish population. By considering these factors and experimenting with different colors and patterns, you can increase your chances of landing a marlin.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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