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What is a Black Marlin (Istiompax indica), and where to find them?

The dark knight of the Pacific Ocean. Possibly the highest jumping and most powerful pound for pound of all the marlin species.

Black marlin stand out particularly for the big head, short round bill and fused pectoral fins that do not bend like other marlin. Black marlin 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. Black marlin 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. As a black marlin gets closer to the boat they tend to stay below the surface putting a lot of pressure on anglers and tackle. Black marlin feed on tuna, squid, mackerel, bonito, dorado and even other smaller billfish. Smaller black marlin will often come into shallow water under 80 feet to feed on reefs. Larger black marlin are often caught close to structure, deep drops and in general like to swim closer to shore than other marlin. Here are our top destinations to target black marlin.

Black marlin a perhaps the rarer of the three main Pacific species. The black marlin is the top prize for many seeking to catch all the Pacific marlin species. This is a large marlin growing up in excess of 1500 lbs and 15 feet.

Black Marlin Istiompax Indica 02

1-Esmeraldas

Ecuador is fast becoming the new black marlin hotspot due to low comercial fishing pressure and the amount of bait found for these fish migrating from Central America to Peru. Esmeraldas is a feeding ground for large black marlin as they follow the continental shelf in search of food. Bonito, mackerel and sardines are plateful in this area making it one of the best black marlin year round fisheries on the planet. The lodging at the Casa Blanca Club and Marina provide you with world class lodging and fishing.

2-San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

Black marlin in the Galapagos were thought to be and extreme rarity until about 2011. From 2000 to 2010 very few black marlin were reported caught. Most anglers targeted the striped marlin on the banks and rarely wanted to leave the excellent striped marlin bite to look for blue or black marlin. As more repeat anglers wanted to try their luck on what else swam Galapagos waters, crews began figuring out that the black marlin were holding out off the bank drops and and island drops. With warm water and the right conditions your chances of catching a black marlin are very good. Galapagos black marlin average 500 lbs plus with several 700 lbs and bigger black marlin released every year.

Season: December to April is prime time for black marlin in the Galapagos.

3-Manta – Ecuador

While Manta is not primarily a black marlin fishery the black marlin bite can turn on hot when conditions are right with clear water closer to shore. August to January tend to be the ideal months to target black marlin and a good day anglers may encounter 2 or 3 bites of black marlin while fishing 6 to 18 miles out.

4-Cabo Blanco – Peru

While the legendary grander black marlins from the 1950’s may now be closer to legend, Peru still reports a very good number of blacks caught near the reefs and oil rigs off Cabo Blanco. Alfred Glassell settled the all time world record on August 1953 with his 1560 lb black marlin. On a good day you can expect 1 to 3 bites of black marlin in the Peruvian waters. We are still conducting research and more fishing news will be coming as this area may be a better black marlin fishery than thought. Look for this destination to start booking late 2017!

Season: while the huge black marlin were generally caught June to September in the 1950’s currents have changed and now we expect the best fishing to be October to March.

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