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
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