Black Marlin

The black marlin is a species of marlin found in tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific and east Pacific oceans from near the surface to depths of 915 m (3,002 ft). It is a large commercial game fish with a maximum published length of 4.65 m (15.3 ft) and weight of 750 kg (1,700 lb). It is one of the largest marlins and bony fish. This marlin is one of the fastest fish, reaching speeds up to 80 mph (130 km/h). This fish is highly prized if caught.


Genetically compared to the striped/white marlin and the sailfish, the black marlins are more solid than their blue counterparts. They have a shorter bill and a rounder and lower dorsal fin. They are also the only marlin from the marlin family to have rigid pectoral fins that are unable to be pressed flat against their immense body.


Many people see the black marlin as a premiere game fish for sport fisherman. Because of their size and their physique these marlins are popularly fished. Research off the coast of Australia suggests that the large creature is much easier to catch around the full moon and the week afterwards. This is due to its prey moving to the surface layers which in turn forces the marlin to hunt in a wider area.


These gigantic fish are known as power predators. Their diet mostly consists of small tuna, cuttlefish, large crustaceans, and in general smaller fish. This is quite a generalization as most fish are smaller than this giant fish.

In addition to the Australian coast, black marlin, can also be found throughout the tropical indo-pacific waters of the Pacific Ocean. They can also be found from southern California to the Gulf of California to Chile, and including the coast of all oceanic islands in between. They tend to stay in warmer waters and graze the surface. In addition to warmer waters, they also are found close to landmasses as opposed to wide open water ranges.


A highly rated game fish, the black marlin has the power, size, and persistence of which anglers dream. Its diet consists of squid and pelagic fishes. Fishing methods include trolling with large, whole baits (mackerel, bonito, flying fish, squid and others) or with artificial lures. Live bait is also effective. 

Though there are some exceptions, giant black marlin are larger than giant blue marlin taken on rod and reel. This may be because large black marlin are more accessible and more often occur within the range of sportfishing vessels. Blue marlin, or any marlin, larger than 300 lb (136 kg) are almost always females. A 500 lb (226.7 kg) male is a rarity

Species Information

Scientific Name:Istiompax indica
Ideal Temp:68-86°F (20-30°C)
Lure Type:Trolling
World Record:707.61 kg (1560 lb 0 oz) Cabo Blanco, Peru 04-Aug-1953
Other Names:black marlin, marlin negro

Latest Black Marlin Fishing Reports and Spots

December 17 – December 28 Fishing Report – Panama Pandemic Fishing is RED HOT!!! - 1/18/2021 3:01:21 AM

Black Marlin – Blue Marlin – Yellowfin Tuna – Roosterfish – Cubera Snapper Believe it or not the fishing continues to get even better here in t (View)

Video Fishing Report for week of Dec. 9th 2020 - 12/17/2020 4:16:10 AM Fishing has taken off as we're right now smack in the middle of Fishing High Season. Yep right now is the best time of (View)

Ambition report 14th. December’20 - 12/15/2020 8:06:21 AM

PORT STEPHENS: With the warm ocean currents moving in closer and the water temperature out wide approaching 24 degrees it was time to give it a (View)

Welcome All Snowbirds - 12/13/2020 9:36:20 AM

Mixed-Plate of Species Many of our clients come to us for the extraordinary amount of sailfish they can release on a daily basis. But did you k (View)

Fishing Highlights – June 16 – 29 2019 - 11/9/2020 12:07:19 PM

The Marlin have been showing up with more frequency but we are still waiting for the bigger numbers to show up. We have had Black Marlin on the (View)

Fishing Highlights – July 14 – July 27 2019 - 11/9/2020 12:07:10 PM

Summer season is in full-swing. The Blue Marlin bite started to turn on and even a few Black Marlin were a part of the action at Tropic Star. T (View)

Fishing Highlights – Jan 4 – 11 2020 - 11/9/2020 12:06:39 PM

Big female Black Marlin are very high on the bucket list among billfish anglers and in the first few days of 2020 we exchanged the tales of our (View)

Fishing Highlights – January 11 – 17 2020 - 11/9/2020 12:06:36 PM

Blue Marlin and Black Marlin were raised in great numbers over the past week and boats flew flags daily. The Sailfish were aggressive which is (View)

Fishing Highlights – January 18 – 24 2020 - 11/9/2020 12:06:32 PM

Black Marlin started to make a much bigger showing this week and the Blue Marlin were right there with them. The bite was still not very aggres (View)

Fishing Highlights – February 8 – 15 2020 - 11/9/2020 12:06:29 PM

There was an incredible amount of Black Marlin patrolling on the surface. The fish were pretty lethargic and not hitting baits aggressively whi (View)