John's Journal...

Mississippi’s Captain Jimmy Taylor Tells Us How to Catch Marlin

Day 4: Mississippi’s Captain Jimmy Taylor Explains Fighting and Releasing Marlin

Editor’s Note: Captain Jimmy Taylor of Biloxi, Mississippi, lacks one billfish, the swordfish, to have caught every species of billfishes in the world and qualify for the IGFA Billfish Royal Slam that recognizes anglers who have caught nine billfish species, the Atlantic and Pacific sailfish, the Atlantic and the Pacific blue marlin, the black marlin, the striped marlin, the white marlin, the swordfish and the spearfish. He’s won two Grand Slam Jupiter Billfish Tournaments and finished 4th in the 2010 World Billfish Series Tournament, competing against more than 10,000 anglers. Taylor’s team of fishermen collectively has caught and released more than 1,800 billfishes in the last 8 years. Although Taylor has tournament-billfished for 15 years, he’s only been billfishing seriously for the last 6 years. Today, he fishes out of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. 

What’s the Time Required to Fight a Marlin
Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewDuring a catch-and-release tournament, the average time from hook-up to release is usually 6 to 10 minutes. But if you use a J hook and back-down on the marlin, a marlin fight can last about an hour. The longest Taylor ever has fought a marlin was 1 hour and 45 minutes, but that was because the boat lost an engine and couldn’t back-down on the marlin. Taylor used 30-pound stand-up tackle to catch this marlin. After catching that marlin, Taylor started going to the gym and set-up an exercise plan to get in better shape for fighting marlin.
How to Release a Marlin
Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“If we’re fishing lures for marlin or fishing baits with J hooks, we replace these stainless-steel hooks with wire hooks,” Taylor explains. “Then when we get the marlin in close to the boat, the first mate can use wire cutters to cut the wire hooks away from these lures that cost $90 each to save the lures. Most people believe the deckhand’s primary job is to help the angler when he’s attempting to land a marlin. But our deckhand’s primary job is to see the marlin before the marlin takes the bait. I’ve known deckhands who actually can spot marlin underwater.”

To fish with Jimmy Taylor, call him at 228-617-7441 or email

Fishing Mississpiip's Gulf CoastTo learn more about fishing for many species at Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, click here for “Fishing Mississippi’s Gulf Coast: And Visitor’s Guide”, a new eBook for Amazon Kindle by John E. Phillips. Or, you can go to and type-in the name of the book to find it. You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or SmartPhone.

Tomorrow: What Billfish Wars Has Jimmy Taylor Seen

Check back each day this week for more about "Mississippi’s Captain Jimmy Taylor Tells Us How to Catch Marlin"

Day 1: How to Fish for and Catch a Marlin with Mississippi’s Captain Jimmy Taylor
Day 2: Captain Jimmy Taylor Explains What Else to Do When a Marlin Attacks Your Bait
Day 3: Strategies for fishing for Mississippi Marlin with Captain Jimmy Taylor
Day 4: Mississippi’s Captain Jimmy Taylor Explains Fighting and Releasing Marlin
Day 5: What Billfish Wars Has Jimmy Taylor Seen

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Entry 672, Day 4