On the one LR trip I’ve been on, an 11 day cow trip on the Indy, the 2nd day we were anchored up on the bank, we were covered up with marlin. Atleast as many, or maybe more, marlin were hooked than yellowfin freelining live bait. I personally broke off (intentionally) 2. That’s mexican waters tho.
Fishing for marlin in Cal waters I’m sure is a different story. From threads/posts I read on here, it sounds like most of the sword fishing out there is done pretty much like it’s done in Fl and NE, deep dropping- except for the few that are lucky enough to see one “sunning” on the surface and flip live bait to them (sounds pretty exciting), or harpoon them (less exciting).
Haven’t got a sword yet, never have targeted them, never had the crew to do it. Gonna charter with Rush Maltz down in Key West this year and hopefully check that off the list. At 71 years old, time is short for me on being able to stand up to a good sword in the harness. I’m gonna bring a 100lb rail rod setup and see if his boat rail is high enough to use it.
Big cubera snapper (50+) is also on my list, as is 100+ wahoo. Didn’t get a big tuna on my LR trip, but I already had a 120 dogtooth on 20 setup (caught off Timor), so I’m satisfied on tuna. I’ve got a lot of really good fish checked off on my list during my 65 years of fishing, so no complaints if I don’t get them all. I’m pickin at em.