Marlin

Species Identification

Marlin are the ocean's fastest fish and are generally considered the pinnacle of saltwater sportfishing. Common species include: black marlin, blue marlin, white marlin, and striped marlin. This section will deal with the striped and blue marlin in greater detail.

Appearance

Striped: The body of the striped marlin is elongate and compressed. The upper jaw is much extended, forming a rounded spear, typical of the marlin family. The color is dark blue above becoming silver below, with light blue bars or vertical spots on the sides.Blue: The body is blue-black on top with a silvery white underside. The dorsal fin is pointed at the front end.

Maximum Size

Striped: Largest recorded weight of 339 pounds (153.8 kg) and length of 13.5 feet (4.1 m).Blue: IGFA World Record catch of 1,402 pounds 2 oz (636 kg), though blue marlins have been known to grow several hundreds of pounds more than that.

Geographic Range

Striped: Striped marlin occur in tropical and warm temperature waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. On the west coast of the United States they range as far north as Oregon, but are most common south of Point Conception, California.Blue: Blue Marlins can be found in both Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. In the Atlantic they have a wide range, primarily in the Caribbean and stretching over to west Africa. They are the most tropical of all marlins, preferring warmer temperatures.

Habitat

Open water environments.

Food

Striped: The food of striped marlin is predominately fishes, squid, crabs and shrimp.Blue: Mackerel, tuna, and squid.

Predators

Sharks, especially great white and larger mako sharks.

Information courtesy of California Department of Fish and Game and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


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