Black Marlin Fishing (Istiompax indica)

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Black marlin are the rarest of the three main Pacific species. This incredible gamefish is the top prize for many seeking to catch all the Pacific marlin species. Black marlin can grow quite large with some specimens grow up in excess of 1500 lbs and 15 feet.

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This marlin stand out particularly for the big head, short round bill and fused pectoral fins that do not bend like other marlin, they tend to jump higher into the air than other marlin. The world record 1560 lb black marlin was caught by Alfred Glassel off of Cabo Blanco, Peru in August 1953. They are very aggressive on the bite and put on quite an aerial display when hooked. Black marlin are a favorite amongst heavy tackle anglers and are arguably one of the strongest and hardest fighting marlin. Black marlin tend to combine jumping with a lot of sounding.

How To Catch Black Marlin In The Galapagos Islands

Black marlin are a billfish that will test your patience and they wills show up when you least expect them too. It takes putting in long hours and dedication to find them. Trolling with medium and large lures as well as skip baits can be effective if they are in the area.

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Where To Fish For Black Marlin In The Galapagos Islands

Black marlin are not particularly easy to find as they don’t tend to concentrate in large numbers other than when they are juveniles. The deep island drops, seamount walls and reefs in the Galapagos can be productive of black marlin. They are not numerous anywhere in the Galapagos but they are not uncommon either. San Cristobal island will produce a good number of black marlin near Punta Pitt and off an area known as the Bull’s Eye. Isabela Island has produced some of the biggest black marlin in the Galapagos with fish over 1000 pounds caught regularly each year by local artisanal fishermen while targeting tuna.

Fishing Techniques & Tackle For Black Marlin

Black marlin tend to feed on bonito, tuna and squid but will readily eat lures and pitch baits. In many destinations around the world they will use live baits which are highly effective. However, due to the abundance of sea lions and sharks in the Galapagos they make it hard to target black marlin with live bait. Most black marlin are targeted with 50, 80 and 130 pound gear. Out of Isabela Island we prefer 130 pound gear because the fish can exceed 1000 lbs.

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Fishing Seasons For Black Marlin

Black marlin tend to be found more in water 74 to 84 F but will stick around in colder water if their main food sources are abundant. The Galapagos Island tend to have their warmest waters from December to May. While black marlin have been caught out of Isabela in colder water months the best fishing seems to happened January to May every year.

Fishing Tips For Black Marlin

The more days you fish for black marlin the better your chances. Most anglers choose to target black marlin from 5 to 10 days in the Galapagos Islands. Fishing the known areas where black marlin frequent will increase your chances of encountering one. While in the Galapagos Islands it can be tempting to target the high volume striped marlin bit but one must pass on the more abundant striped marlin and fish areas where the black marlin are more likely to feed.