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Blue Marlin

Makaira nigricans


Illustration of a blue marlin
  • Back is blue-black, fading to a silvery-white belly
  • Tips of dorsal, pectoral and anal fins are pointed
  • Lack black spots on dorsal fin
  • Upper jaw elongated into a spear shape
  • Scales with one or two sharp points
  • Lateral line is interwoven like a net, hard to see in large individuals

Similar Species: White marlin, K. albida (dorsal fin rounded with noticeable spots; tip of pectoral and anal fins rounded)

Size: Up to 16 feet (1400 pounds); largest Atlantic marlin species


Offshore waters


Unlike swordfish, blue marlin feed mostly during the day on fish and squid. They hunt alone and have been reported to use their long, sharp bill to slice or stun prey.

Additional Information

State Record: 1046 lbs, caught near Panama City

Fishing Tips and Facts: This may be the ultimate of the big game fish - the one Hemingway so often wrote about. Serious anglers rig heavy and expect to fight a marlin for 4-6 hours.

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles