Scientific Name: Tetrapturus Albidus
Ideal Temp: 65-75ºF (18-24ºC)
Lure Type: Trolling
World Record: 82.5 kg (181 lb 14 oz) Vitoria , Brazil
Occurs throughout the Atlantic Ocean from latitudes 35°S to 45°N, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the western Mediterranean Sea. Stray specimens have been recorded outside this range. Though this pelagic and migratory species is usually found in deep blue tropical and warm temperate waters, it frequently comes in close to shore where waters aren't much deeper than 8 fathoms. The White Marlin's preferred habitat is deep blue water over 100m (330 feet).
White marlin are large, elongated fish with a large upper jaw that forms a spear which is round in cross-section. They are dark blue to chocolate-brown in color. Its most characteristic feature is the rounded, rather than pointed, tips of the pectoral fins, first dorsal fin and first anal fin. Some specimens apparently vary from the norm in that the dorsal and pectoral fins may be more pointed; the anal fin is more consistently rounded than the others. The first dorsal fin resembles that of the striped marlin (T. audax) in that it is usually as high or higher than the greatest body depth. It differs from that of the striped marlin, or any other marlin, in that both margins are convex. The flat, movable pectoral fins can easily be folded flush against the sides of the body. The lateral line is visible and straight. In overall appearance the white marlin is generally lighter in color and tends to show more green than do other marlins. Several light blue or lavender vertical bars may show on the flanks, especially when the fish is feeding or leaping (see striped marlin coloration). Some specimens have a scattering of black or purple spots on the first dorsal and anal fins.
Average size is 45 to 65 lbs (20–30 kg) roughly the size of an Indo-Pacific sailfish, with females reaching relatively larger sizes. The species usually migrates to high latitudes in the warm season. They reproduce while in the subtropics; spawning in early summer in deep, oceanic waters. Prey items include a variety of fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods.
Although generally considered to be a rare and solitary species relative to other similar fish, white marlin occur in small groups consisting of several individuals.
Ocean City, Maryland is known as the White Marlin Capital of the World. The city hosts the annual White Marlin Open, a big game tournament which attracts anglers from all over the world and which frequently pays out over a million dollars to the winning team. The tournament encourages tag and release (non lethal) of the fish, although winning marlins are often brought back to the marina for verification of the size and weight.
A top rated light tackle game fish, the white marlin can be caught by trolling with small whole or strip baits as well as with small spoons, feathers or any of a variety of other artificial lures. Live bait fishing with squid, ballyhoo, mullet, bonefish, mackerel, anchovies, herring and other fish is also successful. It feeds on whatever species are locally abundant.