The Atlantic Blue Marlin is known as one of the most highly respected game fish in the warmer parts of the Atlantic Ocean. They are a popular fish during the spring and summer seasons, specifically in the waters of the United States and Bahamas. They spend the majority of their life in open waters, many miles offshore and away from the coastline.
The unique feature that the Blue Marlin has is its bill, also considered a sword. The fish uses this bill to attack a variety of organisms in the ocean as its primary method to eat. The bill acts like a sharp sword that can cut easily through fish and other prey. This tactic allows the Blue Marlin to injure or even kill its prey in order to feed.
Given this bill feature, the fish has little predators to worry about besides the very large sharks and killer whales. Actually, one of the most popular predators to the Blue Marlin is humans. Given the fishes popularity as a game fish, fishermen purposely try to catch these extraordinary fish. It is frequently considered as a popular tournament fish.
The most common method for fishing is trolling through the use of outriggers. An outrigger is used to control the line from your rod using tension release clips. When the fish bites, the line snaps out of these clips and goes back into the control of the user. Unfortunately due to the Blue Marlin’s aggressive nature, some tend to die during the fishing battle.
This article will answer some of the most frequently discussed questions regarding the Blue Marlin. Educating fishermen about the unique characteristics of this fish help provide more safety and knowledge when fishing for Blue Marlin offshore.
If you are planning your next fishing trip, be sure to check out our article highlighting the Best Spinning Reels.
Can You Eat a Blue Marlin?
With features similar to the Swordfish, which is popular for eating, the Blue Marlin is actually not a popular choice for eating. While the fish can be eaten, preferably smoked, most say that they taste “gamey” and resemble tastes similar to food that is used for cats.
These fish are better to be released, not only because they don’t taste good, but they are one of the most beautiful sport fishes in the ocean. A common problem is that the fight of these fish is so intense that it often kills them as they approach the boat. This occurrence makes the fish less fresh by the time the boat reaches the dock to be filleted and cooked. Blue Marlin is used as sashimi in many areas within Japan.
How to Clean and Fillet a Blue Marlin?
If you decide to go the route in which you want to fillet the Blue Marlin, we recommend the use of a really sharp knife. To start, cut the peck fin and bottom fins all-around. Next, you what to position the knife closely to the gill of the fish and cut to remove the head and guts. Then, you will want to make an incision from the tail to spin. With this, the rest of the process is very similar to filleting a larger fish like a tuna. You will want to break up the loins of the fish to thick fillets on each side. Be sure to cut deeply down the Blue Marlin’s side straight down to the tail to maximize the meat in the fillets. As always, ice the fillets immediately after cutting to help maintain freshness.
How Big can a Blue Marlin Grow?
Depending on its gender, the Blue Marlin can grow to its largest size after reaching its sexual maturity. For males, they can weigh between 75-100 pounds. For females, they can weigh between 100-140 pounds. Females grow to a largest size and have the capacity to release over 7 million eggs at once. Males are similar in size and have a shorter life – 18 years. Females can live to upwards of 27-28 years.
Are Blue Marlins an Endangered Species?
Blue Marlins are a threatened species within the ocean. These fish are under heavy regulation to be released back to the ocean when they are caught by fishermen. The main problem is that many of these billfish die before they are able to be freed back into the water. Unfortunately, too much damage can be done as they are being caught. Tags have been implanted to help track the locations of these fish to help with the conservation efforts. Their migration patterns have been studied to try and avoid interference with their feeding habits.
What is the Biggest Blue Marlin Ever Caught?
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the all-tackle world record for the largest Blue Marlin is 1,402 pounds and 2 ounces (636kg). This fish was caught in Vitoria, Brazil and is documented by The International Game Fish Association. These fish don’t normally get this big, but when they do, they are usually much older in age.
The Blue Marlin is one of the most respected fishes by fishermen in the ocean. Its speed and relentless ability to battle makes it the signature sport fish. Not only does Blue Marlin have a long bill, but its beautiful blue color also helps make it really special and unique compared to all other fish in the ocean. The fish is a cobalt-blue color on top with a silvery-white color on the bottom, having a dorsal fin as well as a long sword-like upper jaw. These features actually make it one of the most recognizable fish for offshore fishermen. Catching a Blue Marlin is on the bucket list for many offshore fishermen. If only the catch and release action of fishing for Blue Marlin weren’t so deadly for the fish. Sport fishermen will continue to play a main role in helping maintain this species of fish to avoid extinction. The fish is not worth eating, especially if we want them to be swimming freely in our oceans in the future.
Want to learn about other fish to eat? Check out our other post – Can You Eat Wahoo?