Blue Marlin



The adult male blue marlin or makaira mazara, seldom exceeds 150 kg (300 lb) whereas females may reach far larger sizes in excess of 450 kg (1,000 lb). The maximum size of this marlin is often debated in both sport fishing and scientific circles.

The largest sport fishing capture of this bill fish on record is a 1,805 lb blue caught by a party of anglers in Oahu, Hawaii. One notable feature of this catch was that a whole yellowfin tuna in the 100 to 150 lb class was found in its stomach.

It is cobalt blue on top shading to silvery white on bottom. The upper jaw is elongated in form of a spear, dorsal fin pointed at front end with no spots, and pectoral fin and anal fin are pointed. The body of the blue marlin is covered with embedded scales ending in one or two sharp points and the body has approximately 15 obscure vertical light bars.

Image of a blue marlin

Blue's have been found in the open ocean in thousands of fathoms of water, thousands of miles from land. They can be found in greatest numbers where bottom structure (islands, sea mounts, banks, and the edge of the continental shelf) create upwelling.

In these areas, deep nutrient-rich water is brought to the surface, sparking off plankton blooms. The blooms bring about the food chain for large marine predators such as dolphins, whales, large tuna and billfish. In temperate waters, the interaction of warm currents with these bottom structures is critical in setting up suitable environmental conditions for marlin and other warmwater gamefish. Where bodies of warm and cool water are pushed up against each other, there is a less tangible form of structure which attracts bait and gamefish, including this species.

The blue marlin's enormous size and legendary fighting ability make it one of the most highly-targeted gamefish in the world. Anglers commonly troll natural baits such as mackerel, tuna, bonito, ballyhoo and dolphin in hopes of enticing one of these giants. Brightly colored lures and teasers are also commonly used.

A 1,000 lb (450 kg) fish, a "grander", has historically been regarded as the benchmark for a truly outstanding catch. For most marlin anglers, a 1,000 lb fish represents the fish of a lifetime.

Return to Fish Species

Leave Blue Marlin...>Home