Striped Marlin have a number of alternative names including Pacific Striped Marlin, Stripey, Beaky, Beak and Billfish. Striped Marlin are easy to distinguish because they have elongated bodies with a long and thin pointed bill, hence the nicknames they are often given.
Striped Marlin live up to about 10 years and grow to around 4 meters in length and can weigh up to 260kg but normally only reach 150kg.
Generally speaking, Striped Marlin prefer the warmer waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans but that is not always the case around Australia.
HOW TO IDENTIFY MARLIN, STRIPED
You will know you have caught a Striped Marlin because they have dark blue or dark black backs with 12-16 blue vertical bars on the lower sides. They are more cylindrical than other Marlin species. The colours of these stripes change when the fish is excited. The colour turns from blue to a lavender colour, which fades after death. The dorsal fin is dark blue with all other fins having a brownish colour.
The pectoral fin is longer than the body depth and can fold against the body. The tail also appears square at the end of the top and bottom lobe.
WHERE TO CATCH MARLIN, STRIPED
While Striped Marlin prefer the warmer waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, in Australia they are often found off the west and east coasts from Cape Naturaliste in Western Australia northwards and around the east coast as far south as northern Tasmania. Striped Marlin prefers water temperatures of 20-26 degrees, and therefore so is most common around the main east and west coasts of Australia.
They are a highly migratory pelagic species and can be found at depths to 300m. You’ll be lucky to find Striped Marlin around coastal waters unless you are somewhere with a deep drop off because these fish like to swim in deeper waters. Most of the time they travel alone although they do gather in smaller schools during spawning season.
HOW TO CATCH MARLIN, STRIPED
While commercial fisheries target Striped Marlin, recreational fishos also prize Striped Marlin. You will need to report your catch with authorities as this species is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Those with experience will tell you dead baits are the best when fishing for Australia’s Striped Marlin. Striped Marlin fishing is considered world class. The big fish are out there if you know where to find them. As mentioned, Striped Marlin prefer waters ranging from 20-26 but can be found in water anywhere from 19 to 38C. You can even find them around the waters of Tasmania.
The biggest Striped Marlin can be found by heading off the far south coast of New South Wales. Fishing heats up around Jervis Bay, Ulladulla and Bermagui when Slimy Mackerel schools gather over the offshore reefs and canyons. The fish then migrate along the NSW coast before heading into the Coral Sea. The best fishing can be found between January and May.
Striped Marlin are normally caught using a wide range of techniques, including trolling lures to pitching live baits. Striped Marlin can be caught at slower trolling speeds than other Marlin. Minnow and other lures trolled for Spanish Mackerel also provide for exciting fishing.
Striped Marlin will also bite on hard and soft plastic lures for other high-speed fish. They can be found closer inshore, shadowing baitfish schools, and are often taken in conjunction with Tuna.