Blue Marlin

The Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) is a species of marlin endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. The blue marlin (hereafter, marlin) feeds on a wide variety of organisms near the surface. By using its bill, it can stun, injure, or kill while knifing through a school of prey and then return later at its leisure to eat. Marlin is a popular game fish and has commercial value because its meat has a relatively high fat content.

This pelagic and migratory species occurs in tropical and warm temperate oceanic waters. In the Atlantic Ocean it is found from 45°N to 35°S, and in the Pacific Ocean from 48°N to 48°S. It is less abundant in the eastern portions of both oceans. In the Indian Ocean it occurs around Ceylon, Mauritius, and off the east coast of Africa. In the northern Gulf of Mexico its movements seem to be associated with the so called Loop Current, an extension of the Caribbean Current. Seasonal concentrations occur in the southwest Atlantic (5°-30°S) from January to April; in the northwest Atlantic (10°-35°N) from June to October; in the western and central North Pacific (2°-24°N) from May to October; in the equatorial Pacific (10°N-10°S) in April and November; and in the Indian Ocean (0°-13°S) from April to October.

The biggest females are more than four times as heavy as the biggest males. Males rarely exceed 160 kilograms (350 lb) in weight, and females commonly weigh over 540 kilograms (1,200 lb). The longest females can reach a length of more than 4 metres (13 ft) with the bill, from eye to tip, constituting about 20% of the total body length.

This marlin has two dorsal fins and two anal fins. The fins are supported by bony spines known as rays. Its first dorsal fin has 39 to 43 rays from front to back. Its second dorsal fin has 6 to 7 rays. Its first anal fin, which is similar in shape and size to the second dorsal fin, has 13 to 16 rays, and the second anal fin has 6 to 7 rays. The pectoral fins, which have 19 to 22 rays, are long and narrow and can be drawn in to the sides of the body. The pelvic fins are shorter than the pectorals, have a poorly developed membrane, and are depressible into ventral grooves. Its first anal fin, along with its pectoral and caudal fins, can be folded into grooves. This streamlines the fish and thereby reduces drag.

The body is blue-black on top with a silvery white underside. It has about fifteen rows of pale, cobalt-colored stripes, each of which has round dots and/or thin bars, located on both sides of the fish. The first dorsal fin membrane is dark blue or almost black and has no dots or marks. Other fins are normally brownish-black, sometimes with a hint of dark blue. The bases of the first and second anal fins have a hint of silvery white. Marlin can rapidly change color and usually appear bright blue when hunting. The coloration results from pigment-containing iridophores and light-reflecting cells. The body is covered with thick, bony, elongated scales that have one, two, or three posterior points, with one being the most common form.
The bill is long and stout. Both the jaws and the palatines (the roof of the mouth) are covered with small, file-like teeth. The lateral line system is a group of neuromasts rooted in lateral line canals that can sense weak water motions and large changes in pressure. It has the appearance of a net. It is obvious in immature specimens but unclear in adults, becoming progressively embedded in the skin. The anus is just in front of the origin of the first anal fin.

They are known to feed on squid and pelagic fishes, including blackfin tuna and frigate mackerel. A powerful, aggressive fighter, they run hard and long, sound deep, and leap high into the air in a seemingly inexhaustible display of strength. Fishing methods include trolling large whole baits such as bonito, dolphin, mullet, mackerel, bonefish, ballyhoo, flying fish and squid as well as various types of artificial lures and sometimes strip baits. 

Species Information

Scientific Name:Makaira nigricans
Ideal Temp:77-81°F (25-27°C)
Lure Type:Trolling
World Record:636 kg (1402 lb 2 oz) Vitoria , Brazil
Other Names:blue marlin, Cuban black marlin, ocean gar, ocean guard, man in blue suit

Latest Blue Marlin Fishing Reports and Spots

Good Marlinand Tuna – 1/8/21 - 1/12/2021 10:31:12 PM

Today but pretty good for the Kona fleet. One boat had 4 Marlin and a 100 pound ahi tuna. The tuna are great to eat snd the marlin we usually r (View)

Blue Marlin 1/12/21 - 1/12/2021 10:31:10 PM

Conor Bates released a blue Marlin with his family out from Alaska! Blue Marlin The post Blue Marlin 1/12/21 appeared first on Hooked Up. (View)

Kona Fishkng Report – 1/2/21 - 1/7/2021 12:16:10 AM

Caught a nice yellow fin tuna for Brad Picking today. We using the green stick and fishing in a porpoise school.. saw another charter bot catch (View)

Big Eye Two Quepos Fishing Report Nov 24 2020 - 12/29/2020 11:27:02 PM

It sure has been an interesting year!  At least the fish are still around and we are healthy.  Today we went offshore and released a beautiful (View)

Kona fishing - 12/8/2020 6:36:15 PM

12/5/20 – Took out two couples fishing on Ez Pickens. Had great fun they were supper entertaining. It’s usually us always doing the talking but (View)

Blue Marlin Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado Marina Pez Vela - 12/7/2020 12:26:46 PM

  Today we released one of two Blue Marlin and got into the Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna catching 8 Dorado and 7 Yellowfin Tuna. The post Blue Mar (View)


Best November Pictores November had some of the best Cabo fishing of the year. The Los Cabos Pacific side has incredible fishing for Striped an (View)

Kona Fishing 11/21 Report - 11/27/2020 5:41:15 AM

Seeing some mahi mahi and ono this week in Kona being caught from the fleet Also the charter fleet has been catching blue marlin last few days (View)

11/10/20 - 11/15/2020 5:31:28 PM

There is not a lot of boats out fishing in Kona at the moment. tourism is still really slow but the boats that are out have been catching blue (View)

Last 3 days - 11/10/2020 2:26:26 AM

 O We keep saying it but our tuna fishing here has been unbelievable this season. We had our boat owner Mark Brown and family On Saturday and w (View)