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Striped Marlin illustration

Striped Marlin

World Record ~  494 Lbs.Caught in Tutakaka, New Zealand on Jan. 16, 1986 by angler Bill Boniface

Scientific name ~  Tetrapturus Audax

Other names ~ Striper, Marlin, Pacific marlin, Barred Marlin, Striped Marlin, Spearfish, New Zealand Marlin

Identification ~ The body of the Striped Marlin is elongated and compressed. Striped marlin have the thinnest bill of any marlin species and the highest dorsal fin, which is usually at least equal to the depth of their body. Unlike a black marlin the pectoral fins on a striped marlin can be folded alongside the body, and the fin is leaf shaped. Striped marlin are also the most slender of the marlins and their lower jaw is narrow and pointed, whereas blues and blacks have solid, stocky lower jaws. Blue marlin do display stripes too, which may cause confusion with striped marlin at times, but the stripes on a blue fade very quickly when stressed or dead. The stripes remain on a striped marlin even after death.

Size ~ The striped Marlin can reach 14 feet in length and 450 pounds but most angler caught Striped Marlin are under 250 pounds. The world record is 494 pounds caught in NZ and the California record for striped Marlin is 339 pounds.

Habitat ~ Like most Marlin, Striped Marlin roam the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, ranging down as far south as latitude 34 degrees. They are generally found in water temperatures that range from 65 F to 75 F and are the most widely distributed of all billfish, preferring more temperate waters to their larger marlin cousins. We do know that striped marlin spend most of their time in the surface layer of the ocean, above the thermocline, but we don't know much else about them. Striped marlin are a highly migratory species. They are open water spawners that are thought to spawn in summer.

Feeding Habits ~ The bill of the Striped Marlin can be used for defense and as an aid in capturing food. Wooden boats have been pierced by the Marlins bill. When the bill is being used for feeding it swims through schooling baitfish thrashing its bill from side to side stunning and injuring the bait fish. The Striped Marlin then easily captures and eats the fish. Fish that are included in the Striped Marlin's diet are anchovies, pilchardsflying fish, sauries, and mackerel. The stripers diet also includes squid.


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