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Description: The Atlantic White Marlin has a sharp bill and pointed fins like other marlins. This beautiful fish is a sleek, fast and powerful swimmer. The upper half of its body is deep blue to chocolate brown and the lower half is silvery-white. The upper jaw looks like a sword or "bill". They use this bill to stun fast-moving fishes, then turn to consume them. The body is covered with imbedded scales with a single sharp point. The tips of the first dorsal, pectoral, and first anal fins are rounded. The lateral line is curved above the pectoral fin then going straight line to base of the tail. There are noticeable spots on the dorsal fin. The white Marlin has no large teeth. About half of the female marlins are larger than the males with a weight of 100 +/- pounds and a length of at least 9 1/2 feet. It is not unusual for the White Marlin to live 25 to 30 years.

Similar Fish: Blue Marlin, roundscale spearfish and other bill fish

Where Found: The White Marlin migrates within the seas only (oceanodromous). The Atlantic White Marlin is very migratory following the seasons to warmer waters.

Size: The White Marlin can grow up to ten feet in length.

USA Record: New Jersey, 137 lb 8 oz. Atlantic Ocean-Hudson Canyon, by angler Mike Marchell 1980.

World Record: 181 lbs. 14 oz. Caught by angler Evandro Luiz Coser on December 8, 1979 in Victoria, Brazil.

Bait used: Artificial lures and live bait such as fish or squid are used. Many times multiple rods are active with both kinds of bait at the same time.

Tactics to catch: Use medium saltwater tackle, trolling . The White Marlin can swim 60 miles per hour trusting out of the water over and over, tail-walking and leaping. Seasoned anglers use light-tackle, but the inexperienced anglers will use a 50 lb. test line to try the difficult to land fish. Just in case a big Blue Marlin is nearby it won't hurt to use the heavier lines. It is good advice to avoid that lunging bill. Most use the "J" hook (mostly short shank and offset circle hooks,

Climate (water temperature range): The ideal temperature is 65 to 75 degrees.

Spawning habits: Little is known about the spawning habits of the White Marlin. It is believed that the White Marlin spawn in the northwest Atlantic during the spring.

Consumption Concerns: There is a consumption advisory due to high mercury levels.

Feeding habits: The White Marlin do not school and swallow their prey whole. The eat squid, mahi-mahi, jacks, mackerels, flying-fish and bonitos.

Remarks: The White Marlin do grow and reproduce faster than most other large predatory fish, however, due to longline fishing by commercial boats and poor international management and scientific understanding the White Marlin populations are suffering drastically.

The predators of adult white marlins are blue marlins, large sharks and killer whales.




Sea Turtle Restoration Project

Type Fishery Bulletin/10/1/2005/ Author: Joseph E. Serafty

Bulletin of Marine Science, 79 (3): 647-657, 2006

credit: Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

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137 Pounder would make me ONE VERY WEALTHY MAN if I was in the WMO!

Here is a small one from Last year on the NOT RIGHT


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