Saltwater Fish - White Marlin

White Marlin

Tetrapterus albidus 

AKA:  Billfish

Distinguishing Markings:

The body is dark blue to chocolate brown, shading to silvery white on the underbelly; noticeable spots on dorsal fin.  The upper jaw is elongated in the shape of a spear; body covered with embedded scales with a single sharp point. The tips of the first dorsal, pectoral, and first anal fins are rounded; the lateral line curved above pectoral fin, then going in a straight line to base of tail.

 

Size: 

Common to 8 feet, over 150 pounds

 

Distribution:

Ranges throughout the Atlantic and Caribbean.

 

Habitat:

Offshore, in blue water

 

Food Preference:

White marlins use their bills to stun fast-moving fishes, then turn to consume them; feeds on squid and pelagic fishes.

 

Spawning:

Unknown

 

Fishing Tips:

Caught by trolling at or close to the surface.  The largest fishery for this species occurs in the summer, between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Baits including mullet, mackerel, herring, and squid as well as lures.  When fishing for white marlin, wear protection on your hands, and take care in handling your catch; they are capable of inflicting serious wounds due to the roughness of the bill.  A furious battler when hooked, white marlin engage in tail-walking and fantastic leaps into the air.

 

See Also: