How to Fish for Striped Marlin
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Did you know that striped marlin can swim at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour? These agile and powerful fish, with their distinctive blue stripes, are a highly sought-after species for anglers around the world. If you’re looking to reel in these remarkable billfish, you’ll want to know the top five destinations for striped marlin fishing.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • There are numerous prime locations for catching striped marlin around the world.
  • St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, offers excellent striped marlin fishing opportunities.
  • Costa Rica is known for its exceptional marlin fishing, including striped marlin.
  • Isla Mujeres, Mexico, provides thrilling sailfish bites and abundant striped marlin.
  • Puerto Rico offers a great blue marlin bite and opportunities for multiple releases per day.
  • New Zealand is renowned for its exceptional striped marlin fishing, especially near the Baja Peninsula.

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Looking for a thrilling striped marlin fishing experience? Head to the North Drop off the eastern end of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. This hidden gem in the Caribbean offers an incredible opportunity to reel in these prized billfish.Located within the Puerto Rican Trench, the North Drop is a deep portion known for its abundance of baitfish, making it a prime hotspot for migrating marlin. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, this location guarantees an adrenaline-pumping adventure.Timing is everything when it comes to blue marlin capture. Plan your fishing trip for three days the week before or after the full moons of summer to maximize your chances of success. You’ll be rewarded with unforgettable battles against these powerful giants of the sea.The average size of striped marlin in this area is around 300 pounds, with some specimens tipping the scales at an impressive 500 pounds. Get ready to test your angling skills and witness the sheer strength and beauty of these magnificent creatures.

Why St. Thomas?

“St. Thomas is the ultimate angler’s paradise. The North Drop is teeming with striped marlin, providing an unmatched fishing experience. Prepare yourself for thrilling fights and unforgettable memories!”
– Expert Angler
So, pack your fishing gear and head to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, for an adventure of a lifetime. The North Drop awaits you with its abundant marine life and breathtaking natural beauty.

Costa Rica

When it comes to marlin fishing, Costa Rica is a top-notch destination worth exploring. Located in Central America, Costa Rica offers an excellent range of fishing opportunities, particularly on its Pacific side. Whether you’re after the mighty Pacific sailfish, or the elusive blue and striped marlin, Costa Rica has it all.The dry season, which runs from December to March, is the prime time to target these species. During this period, the waters of Costa Rica are teaming with jumbo Pacific sailfish and smaller blue and striped marlin, providing an unmatched marlin fishing experience.If you’re up for a challenge and aiming for a grand slam, Costa Rica is the perfect place to achieve your goal. In these bountiful waters, you have the chance to encounter all three marlin species – Pacific sailfish, blue marlin, and striped marlin – all in one location.
Costa Rica offers an exceptional marlin fishing experience, with the Pacific side boasting large numbers of Pacific sailfish and various marlin species during the country’s dry season. It’s a paradise for anglers looking to reel in their dream catch.

Los Sueños Resort and Marina at Herradura Bay

For those seeking a luxurious and memorable fishing trip, Los Sueños Resort and Marina at Herradura Bay is a highly recommended spot. With state-of-the-art marina facilities and world-class amenities, Los Sueños provides everything you need for an unforgettable marlin fishing expedition in Costa Rica.
Luxury accommodationsEnjoy a comfortable stay before and after your fishing adventures.
Highly experienced charter boats and crewsTrust in the expertise of skilled captains and crews to guide you to the best fishing spots.
On-site restaurants and barsIndulge in delicious cuisine and unwind with refreshing drinks after a long day at sea.
Scenic surroundingsExperience the beauty of Costa Rica’s natural landscape, both on land and at sea.
Book your fishing charter at the Los Sueños Resort and Marina, and get ready to embark on an incredible marlin fishing adventure in the stunning waters of Costa Rica.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Welcome to Isla Mujeres, also known as the “Isle of Women,” just a short 20-minute ferry ride from Cancún, Mexico. This picturesque island is a true paradise for anglers seeking an extraordinary sailfish bite during the winter and spring seasons.When you arrive at Isla Mujeres, you’ll be greeted by crystal clear turquoise waters and pristine beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. But it’s what lies beneath the surface that truly captivates fishing enthusiasts.Head 10 to 14 miles offshore, and you’ll find yourself in the heart of sailfish territory. Massive packs of sailfish congregate and create a spectacle by balling up shoals of sardines at the surface. Witnessing this natural phenomenon is a thrilling experience that will get your adrenaline pumping.
“The sailfish bite around Isla Mujeres during the winter and spring is simply unbeatable. It’s like witnessing a perfectly orchestrated ballet performed by these acrobatic fish!” – Local Fishing Guide
The sailfish population in the waters around Isla Mujeres is abundant, and it’s not uncommon for anglers to catch 10 or more sails a day. Hooking into one of these powerful and acrobatic fish is an experience you won’t soon forget.Aside from the incredible fishing opportunities, Isla Mujeres offers a charming village where you can relax and soak in the local culture. Enjoy the vibrant colors of the shops, indulge in delicious seafood, and take in the breathtaking views of the island’s coastline.If you’re looking for a fishing destination that combines thrilling sailfish action with a laid-back island atmosphere, Isla Mujeres is your perfect choice.

Puerto Rico

If you’re looking for an amazing blue marlin bite, look no further than Puerto Rico. This beautiful American territory in the Caribbean is a fishing paradise, especially during the summer months. The blue marlin fishing in Puerto Rico is so legendary that it is showcased in the San Juan International Billfish Tournament, the longest continually running billfish tournament in the world.
The tournament, held every August, attracts anglers from around the globe who come to test their skills against the powerful blue marlin of Puerto Rico’s waters. The tournament is not only a thrilling competition but also a celebration of the rich fishing heritage of the island.One of the prime locations for blue marlin fishing in Puerto Rico is Mayaguez, a charming fishing village on the northeast end of the island. During the full moons of summer, Mayaguez experiences an abundance of blue marlin. Anglers can expect multiple releases per day, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an action-packed fishing adventure.Whether you participate in the San Juan International Billfish Tournament or explore the blue marlin bite in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico offers a world-class fishing experience that is truly unforgettable.

Why Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is a blue marlin fishing hotspot due to its proximity to the deeper waters of the Puerto Rican Trench, where these magnificent creatures thrive. The warm waters, rich marine life, and favorable weather conditions create the perfect environment for blue marlin to flourish.Not only is Puerto Rico a top destination for blue marlin fishing, but it also offers a vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious cuisine to enjoy during your stay. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, Puerto Rico provides an unforgettable fishing experience for everyone.Puerto Rico Blue Marlin Bite

San Juan International Billfish Tournament

The San Juan International Billfish Tournament is an annual event that showcases the exceptional blue marlin fishing in Puerto Rico. Anglers from all over the world gather to compete and celebrate the sport of billfishing. The tournament not only offers thrilling fishing opportunities but also promotes conservation and sustainable practices to protect the marine ecosystem.Participating in the San Juan International Billfish Tournament is a chance to test your skills against some of the best anglers in the world while enjoying the stunning beauty of Puerto Rico’s waters.

Mayaguez: A Fishing Village with Abundant Blue Marlin

Mayaguez, located on the northeast end of Puerto Rico, is a charming fishing village known for its abundance of blue marlin. With its serene coastal views and welcoming community, Mayaguez provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable fishing adventure.During the full moons of summer, Mayaguez experiences a surge in blue marlin activity, making it an ideal location for anglers seeking an action-packed fishing experience. The combination of favorable fishing conditions, breathtaking scenery, and warm hospitality makes Mayaguez a must-visit destination for any angler.
Reasons to Choose Puerto Rico for Blue Marlin FishingWhy Mayaguez is a Prime Location
Legendary blue marlin biteAbundance of blue marlin during full moons of summer
San Juan International Billfish TournamentCharming fishing village with a welcoming community
Rich fishing heritage and cultureSerene coastal views and breathtaking scenery
Opportunities for multiple releases per dayWarm hospitality and friendly locals

New Zealand

New Zealand is a must-visit destination for avid anglers looking to catch the largest striped marlin in the world. Located near the Baja Peninsula, the waters off Cabo San Lucas are a paradise for marlin fishing enthusiasts. From February through August, you have the best chance of reeling in these magnificent striped marlin, although they can be found in these waters year-round. Another exceptional spot to target striped marlin is the Galapagos Islands.The striped marlin found in New Zealand’s waters are known for their impressive size and fighting spirit. Anglers can expect adrenaline-pumping battles as they try to land one of these acrobatic creatures. The thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of a successful catch make New Zealand a top destination for striped marlin fishing.

Best Times to Fish

While striped marlin can be found in New Zealand waters throughout the year, it’s essential to plan your fishing trip during the best times for a higher chance of success. The months between February and August offer optimal conditions and increased marlin activity. During this period, the waters are teeming with baitfish, attracting the striped marlin in abundance.It’s important to note that striped marlin are highly migratory, and their movements can vary. Consulting with local fishing guides or charter services will provide valuable insights into current fishing conditions and increase your chances of a successful catch.

Striped Marlin Fishing Destinations in New Zealand

LocationBest Time to FishNotable Features
Bay of IslandsFebruary – AprilBeautiful scenic location with high marlin concentrations
WhitiangaApril – JuneAbundance of baitfish attracts striped marlin
Bay of PlentyJune – AugustOffers some of the largest striped marlin in New Zealand
Plan your trip to New Zealand and experience the thrill of catching the largest striped marlin. Whether you choose the Bay of Islands, Whitianga, or the Bay of Plenty, the stunning scenery and exhilarating fishing opportunities await you in this angler’s paradise.

How to Fish for Striped Marlin

Ready to hit the water and reel in some striped marlin? Follow these tips and techniques to increase your chances of a successful fishing trip.

Reels and Line

When targeting striped marlin, it is recommended to use 30-class reels and pair them with 50-pound test line. This combination provides the right balance of strength and flexibility for a successful catch. Don’t forget to use 100-pound leaders to ensure durability and prevent line breakage during the fight.

Bait and Lures

There are two primary methods for attracting striped marlin: live bait and trolling with lures.If you opt for live bait, mackerel is a popular choice. Trolling the live bait at slower speeds can entice the marlin to strike. Use circle hooks in sizes ranging from 7/0 to 9/0 for optimal hook-ups.If you prefer using lures, skirted lures between half a foot and a foot long with orange, brown, or black skirts are highly effective in attracting striped marlin. Experiment with different colors and patterns to find what works best for you.

Lighter Tackle

Using lighter tackle, such as the recommended 30-class reels and 50-pound test line, can prevent striped marlins from diving deep early in the fight. This allows you to maintain control and maneuver the fish more effectively, increasing your chances of landing it successfully.How to Fish for Striped MarlinRemember, fishing for striped marlin requires patience, skill, and a little bit of luck. Now that you know the basics, get out on the water and test your angling abilities against these powerful and majestic creatures.

Eating Striped Marlin

When it comes to culinary delights, striped marlin stands out as the crème de la crème of marlin species. This delectable fish is highly coveted and is a popular choice for sashimi in Japan, where its delicate and flavorful meat takes center stage on sushi platters. Savoring a perfectly sliced piece of striped marlin sashimi is an experience that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.However, it’s important to exercise caution when consuming striped marlin due to its elevated levels of mercury. As with all billfish species, striped marlin accumulate mercury in their bodies over time, and excessive consumption can have adverse health effects. It is recommended to enjoy this delectable fish in moderation, ensuring a balance between indulgence and your well-being.Another fantastic way to enjoy striped marlin is by smoking it. The rich and smoky flavors complement the firm texture of the fish, creating a delightful culinary experience. Whether enjoyed as a standalone dish or incorporated into spreads and dips, smoked striped marlin is a delicacy that will leave you craving for more.So go ahead, indulge in the culinary wonders of striped marlin. Whether you choose to embrace the elegance of sashimi or the smoky allure of smoked fish, this species is sure to take your dining experience to new heights.

Regulations for Catching Striped Marlin

When it comes to catching striped marlin, it’s important to be aware of the regulations that govern this exhilarating sport. Each location has its own set of rules and restrictions to ensure the sustainability of the striped marlin population. Let’s take a look at some of these regulations and what they mean for anglers:

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

In Cabo San Lucas, there is a strict limit of one marlin kept per day. This regulation aims to prevent overfishing and maintain the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem. So make sure to choose your catch wisely and release any additional marlin you hook. Remember, it’s all about conserving and preserving these incredible creatures for future generations of anglers to enjoy.

Fiordland Marine Area, New Zealand

In the stunning Fiordland Marine Area of New Zealand, there is also a limit of one marlin kept per day. This conservation measure ensures that the marlin population remains healthy and sustainable. So if you’re fortunate enough to catch a marlin in this breathtaking location, be sure to treasure the experience and release any additional fish you encounter.

Record Requirements

Many locations require records of marlin catches, especially if you’re targeting record-breaking sizes. These records serve as a testament to your angling skills and contribute to the scientific knowledge and understanding of striped marlin populations. So if you’re fortunate enough to reel in a potential record-breaking marlin, make sure to follow the specific record requirements in your fishing area and document your catch accordingly.Always stay up to date with the regulations in your chosen fishing area, as they can change over time. Staying informed ensures that you’re fishing within the legal limits and demonstrating your commitment to responsible angling. By adhering to these regulations, you can enjoy the thrill of catching striped marlin while also contributing to their conservation and preservation for future generations.Always check the local regulations before your fishing adventure to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Similar Fish Species to Striped Marlin

Looking to explore other fish species similar to striped marlin? Here are some fascinating billfish species that you can encounter on your fishing adventures:
“Other billfish species add excitement and variety to your fishing trips. The ocean is teeming with these majestic creatures, each with its own unique characteristics and allure.”

1. Black Marlin

The black marlin is a powerful and aggressive predator that shares the billfish family with striped marlin. Known for its remarkable strength and size, black marlin can weigh up to 1,500 pounds, offering an epic battle for anglers.

2. Blue Marlin

The blue marlin, often regarded as the king of the billfish, is a highly prized species sought after by anglers worldwide. With their vibrant colors and astonishing leaps, blue marlin provide an exhilarating fishing experience.

3. Sailfish

Sailfish, known for their distinctive sail-like dorsal fins, are renowned for their aerial acrobatics and lightning-fast speed. Catching a sailfish is an achievement that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

4. Swordfish

Swordfish, characterized by their long, flat bills, inhabit both deep and coastal waters. These solitary predators are known for their impressive size, aggressive strikes, and fantastic fighting abilities.

5. White Marlin

The white marlin, smaller in size compared to its counterparts, is a highly valued game fish. These speedy billfish are famous for their acrobatic displays and challenging fights, making them a favorite among anglers.Here’s a comparison of these similar fish species:
Fish SpeciesWeight RangeMain Distribution Areas
Black MarlinUp to 1,500 poundsPacific and Indian Oceans
Blue MarlinUp to 2,000 poundsAtlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans
SailfishAverage of 60-80 poundsAtlantic and Indo-Pacific regions
SwordfishUp to 1,200 poundsWarm and temperate waters worldwide
White MarlinAverage of 50-80 poundsAtlantic Ocean
Each of these fascinating billfish species offers a unique angling experience. Whether you’re targeting the massive black marlin or the acrobatic sailfish, you’re sure to be captivated by the thrill of the chase and the power of these magnificent creatures.

Best Striped Marlin Fishing Charters

Looking for the best striped marlin fishing charters? You’re in luck! There are several excellent options available in different locations to cater to your preferences and budget. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, these charters provide experienced guides and top-quality equipment to ensure a successful striped marlin fishing trip.

Divina Charters – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Divina Charters in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic offers a fantastic fishing experience. With their knowledgeable crew, modern fleet, and comfortable accommodations, they are dedicated to making your striped marlin fishing adventure truly memorable. Whether you prefer deep-sea fishing or inshore excursions, Divina Charters has the perfect charter option for you.

California 28 FT CSL – Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

For those seeking an unforgettable striped marlin fishing experience, California 28 FT CSL in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur is an excellent choice. With its pristine waters and abundant marine life, Cabo San Lucas is renowned for its world-class fishing. The experienced crew of California 28 FT CSL will guide you to the best spots and ensure a thrilling fishing adventure.

Beach Bums – Kizimkazi Port, Zanzibar

If you’re looking to combine your striped marlin fishing trip with a tropical vacation, Beach Bums in Kizimkazi Port, Zanzibar, is the perfect option. Explore the stunning turquoise waters of Zanzibar and enjoy the excitement of reeling in striped marlin. With Beach Bums’ professional guides and well-maintained fishing boats, you’ll have an unforgettable fishing experience.No matter which charter you choose, these options provide the best of both worlds – the thrill of catching striped marlin and the opportunity to explore stunning locations around the world. So, grab your fishing gear and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
Divina ChartersPunta Cana, Dominican RepublicExperienced guides Modern fleet Comfortable accommodations
California 28 FT CSLCabo San Lucas, Baja California SurWorld-class fishing Experienced crew
Beach BumsKizimkazi Port, ZanzibarTropical vacation Professional guides Well-maintained fishing boats


Ready to embark on an exciting adventure to catch the elusive striped marlin? With the top five destinations of St. Thomas, Costa Rica, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand, you have a plethora of options to choose from. Whether you prefer the deep waters of St. Thomas or the jumbo sailfish in Costa Rica, each location promises unique opportunities to reel in these prized billfish.Remember to utilize the recommended fishing techniques, such as using 30-class reels and trolling with live bait or lures, to increase your chances of success. Additionally, always stay updated on the local regulations, as they may have specific requirements and limits for catching striped marlin. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a memorable and fruitful striped marlin fishing experience.So pack your gear, plan your trip, and get ready to cast your line in some of the best striped marlin fishing destinations in the world. Regardless of which location you choose, the thrill of battling these powerful creatures and the satisfaction of landing a marlin will make it an adventure to remember. Happy fishing!


What are the top five destinations for catching striped marlin?

The top five destinations for catching striped marlin are St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Costa Rica; Isla Mujeres, Mexico; Puerto Rico; and New Zealand.

Where is the best place to catch striped marlin in the US Virgin Islands?

The North Drop off the eastern end of St. Thomas, located in the US Virgin Islands, is a prime hotspot for catching striped marlin.

Is Costa Rica a good location for striped marlin fishing?

Yes, Costa Rica is known for its excellent marlin fishing, including striped marlin. The Pacific side of Costa Rica offers opportunities to catch large numbers of marlin.

Is Isla Mujeres a good location for catching striped marlin?

Yes, Isla Mujeres, also known as the “Isle of Women,” is a short ferry ride from Cancún, Mexico, and is a great spot for catching striped marlin.

When is the best time to catch blue marlin in Puerto Rico?

The best time to catch blue marlin in Puerto Rico is during the summer months, particularly during the full moons of summer.

Where is the best place to catch striped marlin in New Zealand?

The waters off Cabo San Lucas, near the Baja Peninsula in New Zealand, are known for producing some of the largest striped marlin in the world.

What fishing techniques are recommended for catching striped marlin?

It is recommended to use 30-class reels and 50-pound test line with 100-pound leaders. Live bait, such as mackerel, can be trolled at slower speeds to attract striped marlin.

Can striped marlin be eaten?

Yes, striped marlin is considered the best of the marlin species for eating. It is popular in Japan to be used for sashimi. However, consumption should be in moderation due to elevated levels of mercury.

What are the regulations for catching striped marlin?

The regulations for catching striped marlin vary by location. In some places, there may be limits on the number of marlin that can be kept per day, and record requirements may be in place.

What other fish species are similar to striped marlin?

Similar fish species to striped marlin include black marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, swordfish, and white marlin. These species are all part of the billfish family.

Where can I find the best striped marlin fishing charters?

There are several excellent fishing charters available for targeting striped marlin. Different locations offer different charter options, catering to various preferences and budgets

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By Guy Wann

About the Author: Guy Wann's lifelong enthusiasm for fishing traces back to his childhood when he and his friend Jeff Hass embarked on youthful fishing adventures, laying the groundwork for a lifelong passion. Together, they established a fishermen's club, a cornerstone in their lives, reflecting their dedication to the sport. In addition to his love for fishing, Guy is a talented artist, channeling his experiences and emotions into his paintings. His fishing quests have led him to diverse destinations worldwide, from the vibrant canals of Amsterdam to the serene Gulf of Thailand, the lush Philippine islands, the rich Mexican waters, and the picturesque Florida Keys. Born and raised in Ojai, California, Guy has honed his fishing skills in local waters before expanding his horizons globally. Now, alongside Jeff, Guy pours his passion into the "Take Me Fishing Travel" blog, documenting their fishing expeditions and the unique destinations they uncover. The blog not only chronicles their adventures across Amsterdam, the Gulf of Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, and the Florida Keys but also serves as a platform for their future aspirations. It stands as a tribute to their enduring friendship and shared love for fishing, highlighting Guy's journey from a young enthusiast in Ojai to a worldly fisherman and artist.

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