Lenell John-Lewis scored twice and Craig Disley got the other as the Mariners won by the odd goal in five.
After Torquay had looked the more likely to open the scoring, Town took the lead through John-Lewis’ first on 38 minutes.
The hosts hit back through a Luke Young free kick but Disley put Town ahead again before the break.
Aaron Downes equalised just after the hour but Grimsby were not to be denied and John-Lewis completed his double to seal the points.
Chris Doig came into the Town side in place of Shaun Pearson, who was suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in last week’s win at Wrexham.
His inclusion was one of two changes to manager Paul Hurst’s XI, with Disley also starting after he finished the game at the Racecourse Ground following an injury to Craig Clay.
James McKeown started in goal, behind a defence of Carl Magnay, Doig, Toto Nsiala and Aswad Thomas.
Danny Parslow, Disley and Scott Brown formed a central midfield trio, with wingers Scott Neilson and Jack Mackreth also asked to support lone striker John-Lewis.
The Grimsby substitutes were Paul Bignot, Ross Hannah, Nathan Arnold, Rhys Oates and Patrick McLaughlin.
Torquay were looking to keep up an unbeaten home record so far this season, although they had been in patchy form on the road recently and lost against Alfreton last time out.
The Gulls were aiming to make it a double over the Mariners after an impressive 2-0 win at Blundell Park last month.
An early Torquay corner led to defender Angus MacDonald hitting the bar with a header, before a follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Brown.
A foul by Mackreth gave the hosts another chance to attack in the first two minutes, this time with a free kick from Luke Young that McKeown had to push away for a corner.
And the home side’s quick start continued when striker Ryan Bowman beat Doig before racing clear and hitting a shot that McKeown saved with his legs.
Toby Ajala was the next to try his luck for Torquay but again, the Grimsby stopper was equal to his effort.
Town’s first attack of note came on six minutes and saw John-Lewis win a corner. From it, Brown’s delivery found Parslow but his header was saved by home keeper Martin Rice.
After a frenetic start, the game settled down and the next goalmouth action came on 16 minutes with another Young free kick which McKeown again had to push away for a corner. Aaron Downes’ header from it went over the bar.
A cross-shot from Louis Briscoe was tipped over the bar by McKeown for a corner, which quickly led to another one. This time, the ball dropped for Bowman but his shot from close range was blocked on the line by Brown.
Mackreth hit a cross towards Disley on 34 minutes but the ball went beyond the skipper and out for a goal kick at the far post.
Dale Tonge was the first player to be shown a yellow card when referee Richard Martin ran out of patience after a series of fouls from both sides.
Torquay won a corner soon afterwards but Courtney Cameron’s far-post ball was cleared by John-Lewis.
Young was booked for pulling back Brown as he looked to break forward but the resulting free kick went through to keeper Rice.
The Mariners had been on the back foot for much of the game so far but they took the lead on 38 minutes. A good cross from Neilson found JOHN-LEWIS and he hit an instinctive, first-time finish past Rice at the near post.
But their advantage was to last just five minutes, as a Torquay corner was not properly dealt with by the visitors as McKeown got his punch wrong, before a shot was blocked by John-Lewis. Doig then fouled Courtney Richards on the edge of the box and YOUNG stepped up to hit the free kick beyond McKeown to make it 1-1.
Town responded in great style though, claiming their lead back within three minutes. Brown played a pass forward for DISLEY and he beat Rice to the ball and slotted it into the net from a narrow angle.
Three added minutes were signalled by the fourth official and with no further chances before the whistle, the away side maintained their 2-1 advantage at the interval.
Torquay had done most of the attacking and created more chances before Town opened the scoring to start a spell of three goals in seven minutes that left the Mariners ahead at the halfway point.
No changes were made before the restart and the Mariners looked to have created the first chance of the second half when Disley played the ball through to John-Lewis but he was flagged offside.
At the other end, Briscoe dragged a shot wide as the Town defence appealed for offside.
John-Lewis fired a shot high and wide, before Brown won a corner which Parslow headed behind for a goal kick.
Another Town attack saw them keep the ball and build up play with Neilson at the heart of the action before Disley eventually fired over the bar.
Briscoe hit the side-netting for Torquay after Nsiala had tried to let the ball run out following good work by the centre-back against Young.
Cameron was replaced by Duane Ofori-Acheampong as Torquay made the first substitution on 56 minutes.
The change seemed to give the home side a boost as they mounted a spell of pressure, which Town weathered before mounting an attack which saw Rice claim a cross as John-Lewis looked for Neilson.
The hosts were level just after the hour, when a corner from Young was met by DOWNES and his header bounced beyond McKeown and into the net.
Town could have reclaimed their lead almost immediately when Magnay found Neilson but his shot was straight at keeper Rice.
Doig was booked for a foul on Bowman near the halfway line on 68 minutes but the resulting free kick into the Town box was cleared by Magnay.
The Mariners were ahead for the third time in the game two minutes later, when a cross from Neilson was headed towards goal by JOHN-LEWIS. Keeper Rice got to the ball but the assistant referee ruled the striker’s header had crossed the line and the goal was given.
Nsiala conceded a free kick for a foul on Bowman on 73 minutes and before the free kick was taken, Arnold replaced Neilson for Town. The set-piece then caused no problems as McKeown came of his line to claim the catch.
Another Grimsby attack involved Thomas, Brown and Magnay but the move ended with a foul by Disley which saw the midfielder yellow-carded.
McLaughlin replaced Brown in Town’s second substitution with 12 minutes to go, before Jordan Chapell came on in place of Ajala for Torquay.
John-Lewis hit a long-range shot with six minutes to go but could only watch it bounce past the post.
Then, as Town looked to make sure of the three points, Arnold saw an effort hit the post and go out for a goal kick.
Oates replaced John-Lewis with three minutes left to play and Town were forced to endure four minutes of added time before they were finally able to celebrate an excellent victory and another important three points.
The Mariners now take a break from league action as they host Guiseley in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round on Saturday.
Catch the highlights of this and all Town's games on Mariners Player.