Striped Marlin 101

How much do you know about
 the prettiest marlin?

September 11, 2013
Many anglers consider the striped marlin to be the perfect billfish. Scott Kerrigan /
Striped marlin are a Pacific species; however, they still cover the most extensive range of any billfish species. Scott Kerrigan /
Unlike most marlin, which are primarily solitary creatures for most of their lives, striped marlin will school up like sailfish and feed cooperatively. Brandon Cole
Because striped marlin often cruise on the surface, sight-fishing for them is one of the most popular and productive tactics, especially in Southern California and down through Baja to Cabo San Lucas. Spend the extra money and buy a good set of gyrostabilized binoculars, such as the Fraser Optics’ Mariner Series. Staff
Much like their white-marlin cousins in the Atlantic, striped marlin spend much of their fighting time in the air — everybody loves a jumper! Scott Kerrigan /
Stripies readily bite a wide variety of baits, and because of their habit of tailing on the surface, they also offer anglers the unique opportunity to sight-cast to individual fish. Scott Kerrigan /
The most definitive way to tell the difference between a striped marlin and a blue marlin is the dorsal fin. A striped marlin’s dorsal fin is much taller, nearly as tall as the depth of the body. Brandon Cole
A blue marlin’s dorsal fin is no taller than roughly half of the depth of its body. So, if your marlin has a very tall dorsal, it’s a stripey. Dave Ferrell

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