Striped marlin (Kajikia audax):
A smaller marlin when compared to blue and black marlin. Generally averaging 100 to 200 lbs depending where they are fished. The world record striped marlin was caught in 1982 and was a whopping 420 lbs. It thrives in the Indo-Pacific Oceans within temperate and tropical waters and will be found commonly in water temperatures from 67 F to 82 F. We find the ideal temperatures to be 69 F to 78 F. Striped marlin mainly feed on squid, sardines, small bonito and mackerel. They are one of the funnest, most persistent and aggressive marlin. They are great on light tackle or tackle 50# and under. Galapagos striped marlin tend to grow a bit bigger than than the fish found on coastal Ecuador and Peru. Galapagos striped marlin average 150 to 200 lbs with many fish over 200 and close to 300 caught every year off the waters of San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. Striped marlin that swim closer to the continental shelf in Ecuador and Peru tend to average 100 to 160 lbs. Striped marlin tend to hunt alone and in schools. We have witnessed and recorded schools of striped marlin with over 20 individuals tailing in the same direction. More commonly anglers will encounter schools of 2 to 5 striped marlin tailing on the surface. Some days most bites will come from fish seen on the surface. Other days the action will be from underneath. Striped marlin will many times readily eat a bait, fly or plug if teased up to the back of the boat. Striped marlin are excellent for tease, bait and switch techniques. These marlin are persistent and a great fish to practice fly fishing, pitching baits with circle hooks, casting live baits or plugs. Striped marlin don’t tend to spook easily and are rather curious and will often follow a boat with no baits or lures in the water. We have witness striped marlin following the churning of the props.
Here is the ranking of our top destinations and months to target striped marlin:
1-San Cristobal Island, Galapagos
The undisputed champion for perhaps the most striped marlin caught per boat each year in South America. The banks and waters of the Galapagos attract sardines, mackerel, tuna and squid which attract striped marlin. Double digit raises, bites and releases of striped marlin are common in the Galapagos. In the past we have recorded days with over 150 raises and over 120 bites in a single day from striped marlin. Fish Galapagos on a great day and it can’t be beat by any other striped marlin fishery. Days where anglers and crews can count dozens of tailing fish are not uncommon. Many of our reports mention 200 plus tailing striped marlin counted on a single day many times.
Season: Available all year! Calmest seas make for most pleasant fishing December to April. Bites tend to peak October-November March-May.
Striped marlin are caught year round off the waters of Manta. The numbers may not be as high as the in the Galapagos but on most charters of 3 days or more you can count on several shots at striped marlin as well as blue marlin. With a 15 to 40 mile run to the continental shelf drops you have very good chances of seeing feeding, free jumping or tailing striped marlin.
Season: Available all year!
3-Cabo Blanco/Mancora, Peru
Mancora Bank off the Northern coast of Peru has very good striped marlin action. Double digit raises are possible when the striped marlin concentrate to feed on sardines and squid that will congregate on this bank not far from the continental shelf.
Season: August to March is peak.
The history of the striped marlin fishery speaks for itself. In the 60, 70 and 80;s it was nicknamed the the striped marlin Mecca of the world. Today it is a far cry from yesteryears but nevertheless fish Salinas on a good day and it can rival anywhere in the world.
Season: October to March is peak for striped marlin.