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Black Marlin (Makaira indica) Photographs and Information

Black Marlin: Dorsal spines (total): 0 - 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 39 - 50; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 16 – 21. Body elongate and not very compressed; upper jaw produced into a robust but not very long beak; two dorsal fins, the height of the first less then the greatest body depth, becoming shorter posteriorly; pectoral fins falcate and rigid, with 19 to 20 rays; body densely covered with small, embedded scales with 1 or 2 sharp points; back dark blue; belly silvery white; membrane of first dorsal fin blue black, without spots; flanks without spots. Dark blue above, silvery white below; sometimes with light blue vertical stripes; 1st dorsal fin blackish to dark blue, other fins dark brown with tinges of dark blue in some specimens.

Oceanic, usually found in surface waters above the thermocline, often near shore close to land masses, islands and coral reefs. Feed on fishes, squids, cuttlefishes, octopods, large decapod crustaceans and mostly on small tunas when abundant. The flesh is of good quality; marketed refrigerated or frozen and prepared as sashimi in Japan.

Sri Lanka name:  Kopura

Black Marlin (Makaira mazara)

Scientific Name Makaira indica

Indo-Pacific: tropical and subtropical waters, occasionally entering temperate waters. Stray individuals migrate into the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Cape of Good Hope.


465 cm FL (male/unsexed); max. published weight: 750.0 kg


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Marlin fillet.

Kilojoules 512 (122 calories)
Protein: 19.4 g
Cholesterol 180 mg
Sodium 102 g
Total fat (oil) 7.7 g
Saturated fat 33% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 37% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 30% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 371 mg
Omega-3, DHA 541 mg
Omega-6, AA 423 mg

Angling for Marlin:


These cool shots are from Peter Fry's Flyfishing

Situated at Hervey Bay, Australia's premiere sight fishing location. Here, 10kg+ Golden Trevally, longtail tuna over 20kg and even small black marlin to 50kg are caught sight casting in the clear shallow waters on the lee (western) side of Fraser Island. In addition to this, mackerel, sharks and other pelagic species frequent these sheltered waters rounding up and busting into bait balls being a regular occurrence during the summer months

Visit his site

Angling for Marlin:
Because of their large size and strength, catching marlin demands the use of quality tackle kept in good repair. Trolling with lures and trolling with baits - either live or dead - and fishing at anchor or from a drifting boat with baits, live or dead, accounts for over 90 per cent of the marlin taken in our waters. The best lures are Konahead-style skirted heads that run freely on the leader or trace. A lure of this pattern with a flat or slightly angled head, called a "pusher", trolled a between 7 and 12 knots behind a moving boat, is a proven method of attracting marlin. Suitable live and dead baits range from 15 centimetre yellowtail scad or mullet, through 3 kg striped tuna and 5 kg mackerel tuna to whole 15 kg Spanish mackerel! The choice of baits depends on the location, the strength of tackle, and the ambitions of the angler. Rigging baits for trolling - especially dead baits, which are pulled fairly quickly - is an acquired skill. Many fine marlin have also been taken on live baits of tuna, bonito, salmon or kingfish hooked through the top jaw or bridle rigged and trolled at walking pace near a current line or patch of bait. In lure fishing, the strike is instantaneous, as the drag is usually set at about a quarter to a third of the line's breaking strain. The hook either punches home or misses in the instant of the strike. However, if taken on a bait, marlin should be allowed to turn and run with the bait against minimal resistance for anything between one and 30 seconds before being struck.

Cooking Marlin:

Black Marlin - High fat, Low moisture, medium to firm texture.

Marlin of all sizes are fair to good table fish, although the relatively high mercury content of their flesh precludes them from some commercial markets. The striped marlin, with its pinkish orange flesh, is generally considered to be much tastier than either of the other species mentioned.

Billfishes swordfish and striped marlin are becoming more popular food fishes in Australia. While grouped together under the name billfish , they have distinctive textures and flavours.

Swordfish is often described as the most meat-like of all fishes. The steaks have very high oil content, with a dense, meaty texture and a slightly sweet taste. The flavour is not overpowering, allowing for stronger flavours to be used in its preparation. An interesting way to prepare swordfish is to poach steaks in a strong fish stock, infused with olives. Dress with dried red capsicum, dried tomatoes, olives and oven-roasted garlic, and serve on a bed of angel hair pasta with a mash of salsify. Swordfish is also suited to grilling, frying and baking.

Striped marlin flesh is darker and more strongly flavoured. It is firmly textured and quite low in moisture. Most suited to grilling, marlin can also be prepared by baking, poaching, shallow frying or smoking, or eaten raw as sashimi. Simply sear marlin on a hot grill and serve with a citrus and pecan salsa. Or you may wish to add spicier Thai flavours. Try char-grilling but keep the centre rare to avoid dryness. Marlin is delicious smoked and is a common entree.

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets – 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large – 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish – Small – 3-4 minutes on medium

Commercial Fishing for Marlin:

Blue and black marlins are not landed commercially due to regulations designed to protect the recreational fishery. However, small quantities of striped marlin are still sold in most major centres.

More links about Black Marlin and Marlin Information

Billfish, including sailfish, swordfish and marlin, are among the most sought-after gamefish on the planet. Exceedingly beautiful and athletic, the largest of these species can reach lengths over 16 feet, and weights of nearly 2,000 pounds. Despite their popularity among sport anglers, however, much remains to be learned about the basic biology of these fishes.

Tagging studies have demonstrated that they can travel great distances – with one record of an Atlantic blue marlin traveling from off the coast of Delaware to the island of Mauritius off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean – a voyage of 9,254 miles. Researchers from the TRCC, utilizing both pop-up satellite tags and fin-mounted SPOT tags, have also demonstrated these animals’ ability to cover great distances quickly – with several tagged blue marlin covering distances of over 2,000 nautical miles in just a few months. This information is from The Tuna Research and Conservation Center




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