The White Marlin is mid-sized Billfish with a long, streamlined appearance. Known to be fast swimmers, the White Marlin are mainly found throughout warmer waters of the Atlantic. The White Marlin lie at the top of the food chain and may consume any prey which is manageable for their size. The White Marlin, however, prefers to prey on small Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, and Squid.
Also known as Atlantic White Marlin and Marlin, this species of Billfish lives in the epipelagic zone of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean. They can be found between the latitudes of 45° N and 45° S in waters deeper than 100m, with a temperature higher than 22°C. Despite the depths that they live in, the White Marlin tend to stay near the surface. Mostly staying in the offshore waters, the White Marlin may be found over coral reefs, artificial reefs, in the dark indigo blue water of the Gulf Stream, way offshore or inshore of the Gulf Stream.
The White Marlin are hard fighting billfish, well-known because of their great strong runs and fantastic aerial displays. While fishing, it is a challenge to entice a White Marlin into striking the bait as it may try to turn away, once they see the bait approach.
White Marlin –
Habitat and Behavior
White Marlin is an offshore pelagic fish, mainly found in the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Argentina, including the Mediterranean Sea, Carribean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. White Marlin migrates extensively and inhabits the upper 40 to 100 ft of water warmer than 22 degrees Fahrenheit. They feed near the surface during daylight hours on a variety of fish such as the Flying fish, Squids, Crabs, Herrings. White Marlin uses its fins to stun fast moving fish, ranging throughout the Atlantic and Carribean. Primarily, the White Marlin hunt in small packs, migrating from the waters off the northern coast of South America through the Caribbean and continue along the north of Gulf Stream every year. Spawning occurs in the summers with high surface temperatures. White Marlin is highly prized game fish, known to be tough fighters.
White Marlin -
- Size: – Also referred to as ‘White’, a White Marlin weighs around 60 pounds or less. If a White Marlon exceeds the weight of 100 pounds, it is considered a very big fish. Their size may, however, vary from a small fish to a very large fish. The length of a White Marlin is measured from its lower jaw to the fork of the tail (lower-jaw fork length. The largest reported White Marlin was 2.8m (9.2 ft) in lower-jaw fork length.
- Appearance: – A White Marlin is a mid-sized Billfish, round in cross-section with a distinctly forked caudal fin. The body structure of a White Marlin is designed to support fast swimming, with a long and streamlined appearance. The colors of a White Marlin are used as countershading, with a dark blue dorsal side and a white ventral side. Though all the White Marlin has the same coloring pattern, they are sexually dimorphic, with the female Marlins being usually larger. One of the most identifiable features of a White Marlin is its dorsal fin that extends along the majority of the dorsal portion of its body. The dorsal fin consists of 28 to 46 rays, which make up a fin tall and rounded anterior; however, it quickly levels off and then decreases as it extends to the posterior. Behind the large primary dorsal fin lies the second dorsal fin, which is made up of around 5-6 rays.The White Marlin has a set of similar pectoral and pelvic fins, both of which are rounded and wide at the tip. The fish also has two anal fins that can be used to identify between the species. The lateral line on this species is prominent, with a hump above the pectoral fin, extending the length of the fish towards the caudal fin. On the inside, the White Marlin lack of a swim bladder, instead, they have small, bubble-shaped chambers that act as a swim bladder for it. The fish does not have gill rakers involved in suspension feeding. Their teeth are small but sharp used to eat other fish and cephalopods.
White Marlin –
How to make the Catch?
White Marlin top the food chain and are known to consume any prey that seems manageable for their size. Schooling flying fish, small Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, and Squid are the preferred prey of the fish.
White Marlin may even forage for food with the help of other predators. White Marlin usually keep to themselves but may look up for association with other predators with the ultimate motive of increasing the efficiency of foraging. They also obtain food by dividing down in a V or U shaped parabola to about 200m in search of food when they are unable to find it on the surface. White Marlin’s large eyes help them survive under lower temperatures and darker environments, that ultimately keeps their eyes and brain tissues selectively warmer.
Aruba Fishing Seasons and
Availability of Marlin (White)
The White Marlin bites vigorously off the north shore of the island in the months of September, October, November, and December.
- Your Chances of landing the Marlin (White) is excellent from September to December
- Marlin (White) in Aruba enters its low season from April to June
- There is no closed season for Marlin (White) fishing in Aruba.
White Marlin –
Conditions for Survival
While catching a White Marlin, it is essential to spread using outriggers, dredges, chain teasers. One must also use several rods rigged with natural baits. To chase White Marlins, one must go offshore, such as banks, canyons, pinnacles, where bait and marlin concentrate and where the waters are typically intense. One may find Marlins in areas where the water temperature changes. Techniques such as trolling and wiring help a lot in capturing the White Marlin. Furthermore, kite fishing, trolling and charter boat fishing are successfully proven ways of catching a White Marlin.
The key to successful White Marlin fishing is primarily setting up an effective spread using the dredges, outriggers, and daisy chain teasers. Within the spread, several rods should be rigged with natural baits- this must be closely watched upon as the Anglers handle the rods. While chasing Whites, one must reach to waters typically deeper than 1000 fathoms, after which, areas with bottom structures such as canyons, banks, pinnacles, and shoals must be looked for. The Marlins rely on their fish-finders to find structure and bait as well as areas with certain changes in the water temperatures, which the Marlins tend to fall for.
When the holding area of the Marlin has been identified, the spread is set out and a troll of around 7 knots begins. The dredges are a key part of this equation and must be heavily weighted to stay submerged while trolling. During the troll, the anglers stay with their rods during the entire time. The drags on their reels are set as lightly as possible, just heavy enough to hold the baits as they are pulled behind the boat.
At least one crew member must stay up high on the bridge to keep a watch on the spread, ready to announce any signs of a Marlin entering the spread. When a Marlin is spotted, the member calls out for the anglers to get ready. The Anglers immediately set their reels to free spool, with their thumbs on the spool to keep the line tight. White Marlins are extremely cautious while eating and the slightest hint of resistance on the line may cause them to spit the bait.
As soon as the marlin takes the bait, the angler releases as much thumb pressure on the spool as possible without creating a backlash. Ideally, the marlin swallows the bait without feeling the line. The angler then tightens the drag to set the hook. From this moment, the fight of the angler versus the marlin begins, along with pumping and reeling until the fish is on the side of the boat.
White Marlin –
Eating for Humans
The presence of mercury in a higher intensity makes its regular consumption harmful for human health. However, White Marlin tastes delicious when consumed smoked.
White Marlin -
- The largest White Marlin reported was 2.8 m (9.2 ft) and weighed over 82 kg (180.8 lb).
- The lifespan of the White Marlin is identified as 15 or more years.
- The Spawning areas of a White Marlin are generally at high water temperatures of 20° to 29°C.
- The White Marlin is a migratory fish, traveling within the seas only.
- 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.
- White marlins are the smallest marlin species averaging 60 to 80 pounds and measuring 4.5 to 6 feet long. However, fully mature whites can reach weights of over 150 pounds and push 8 feet long.
- The current white marlin all-tackle world record was caught off Vitoria, Brazil in 1979 and weighed 181 lb, 14 oz.
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Have a Question?
Find the Answer Here
Can you eat White Marlin?
Yes. One can eat White Marlin. The fish tastes its best when smoked and cooked.
Are White Marlin good to eat?
White Marlin can be consumed occasionally. Due to the presence of higher amount of mercury in the fish, regular consumption is strictly prohibited. It must not be consumed by pregnant women and children at all.
How long does a White Marlin live?
The average lifespan of a White Marlin is 15 years.
What does White Marlin eat?
A White Marlin is known to eat almost anything that is manageable for their size. However, small fish, squids, cephalopods, small Tuna, Mahi-Mahi are its favorite prey.
Are White Marlin endangered?
No, White Marlin is not an endangered species. However, the species is considered vulnerable; implying that they are decreasing in numbers.
How big can a Marlin get?
How fast can a White Marlin swim?
Known to be fast swimmers, a White Marlin swims at a speed of 82mph.
Where do White Marlins live?
White Marlins live in the zones of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean, between the latitudes of 45° N and 45° S in waters deeper than 100m, with a temperature higher than 22°C.
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