BLUE MARLIN (makaira mazara)
BLUE MARLIN CARACTERISTICS
- Its round and rough bill is a real weapon.
- Its harmonious and long body is hydrodynamic. The dark blue on top turns to silver blue on both sides to become silver white underside. Its whole body is striped with vertical darker strips.
- Its long dorsal fin folds into a “duct”.
- Blue marlin can fold its flippers along its body while swimming.
- Female is much bigger and heavier than male. Its weight can be over 500kg whereas a male cannot overweight 160kg.
- The Pacific Blue Marlin IGFA world record on a 130lb line is 624,14kg at Hawaii on 31 May 1982.
BLUE MARLIN BEHAVIOUR AND REPRODUCTION
As a big migrating fish, blue marlin appreciates water temperatures between 23°C and 31°C.
Young marlins may gather about ten pieces. As adults, they migrate to tropical waters in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
It swims by the surface at night and more deeply during the day in order to find the conditions to develop and reproduce.
Female may lay up to 7 millions transparent eggs about 1 mm that will mainly finish in predators’ stomachs.
In Rodrigues, blue marlins evolve in blue waters by reefs around the Island or the Hawkins or Eastern Banks between the surface and 200m deep.
FEEDING OF BLUE MARLIN
Its feeding varies according to available resources:
Yellow fin tunas, bonitos, flying fishes, squids…
After having spotted bonitos or tuna schools, blue marlin catches it up swimming quickly.
It impacts the school violently hits with its bill, then swallows by the head the injured fish.
BLUE MARLIN FISHING TECHNICS
- Fast trolling with lures on surface. See our 2 sheets trolling and heavy spinning.
2 possibilities are offered when a blue marlin comes to the lures:
- either it takes the lure straight away (crash strike) and fight is engaged.
- or it comes to play in the lines, so it requires to be teased. When it arrives behind a lure, the angler will use the 5 spins’ technique. One must quickly roll up 5 spins and pause before rolling up 5 more spins, and start again. Generally, one has to wait until blue marlin comes to the lure to roll up 5 spins in order to tease its excitation. If lure is too close to the boat, one has to open the break while keeping 4 fingers on the reel before starting again.
- Catalina live bait trolling: skipjack tuna (bonito), yellowfin tuna and other small pelagic fish. See the sheet: baiting.
- After having caught up a tuna, or taken one out of our tuna tubes, we assemble it in live bait. We place Dacron in a knitting needle’s notch, then pass it in the lacrimal duct (just on top of the eye) before tying it to the hook. No vital organ is injured and this technic enables us to keep our tuna alive several hours. After having released between 20 and 60 m line (according to weather conditions and other lines outboard) our thread is tied to an elastic band, snapped to the outrigger’s clipper. We always leave a few meters line in the water (drop back) in order the blue marlin doesn’t feel any resistance on strike and most of all leaving it time to swallow its prey, boat being stopped.
- Half speed trolling with dead bait (flapping). We proceed the same way as for trolling live bait, whereas baits are dead and will therefore flap on surface, leaving an attractive wake. Whatever technic is used, action is strike followed by hook up. After blue marlin has swallowed bait, the boat must accelerate before the angler lowers drag to engage fight.
In the Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway’s novel, Santiago, the angler says: “But, thank God, [the fish] are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able.”
According to numerous sport fishermen, blue marlin represents the ultimate aim as for sport fishing. In its aerial ballets, it displays an explosive aggressiveness to unhook. Its repeated acrobatic jumps favour the removal of the hook which becomes loose at each successive choc.
This is how our Pacific blue marlin world record of 561,5kg on a 80lb line was realized on 30 January 2007 by Stephan Kreupl standing up within 45mn.
«Game fishes are too valuable to be caught only once». LEE Wulf
This is why we practice CATCH & RELEASE as often as we can.
You too, come and release blue marlin of your dreams aboard Black Marlin!