Black Marlin, Makaira indica: The Black Marlin is characterized by a long robust body that is dark blue to black above, silver-white below, a limited number or no vertical stripes on its sides, and pectoral fins that do not fold flat against the body, a key identification characteristic. It’s upper jaw forms a long rounded spear, and it has small teeth.
The first dorsal fin of the Black Marlin is low and rounded, and less than one-half the body depth in height. The second dorsal fin begins ahead of the second anal fin. The Black Marlin has short pelvic fins. The Black Marlin is found in the first 300 feet of the water column, and it feeds on dorado, mackerel, mullet, and small tuna.
In Mexico, the Black Marlin is found in waters from 21 to 28 degrees Centigrade all along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, on the eastern side of Baja, along the coast of mainland south of Guaymas through to Guatemala, and around all oceanic islands.
The Black Marlin is the largest of the Istiopherinae, reaching a maximum length of 15 feet and more than 1,000 pounds in weight. The world record is 1,560 pounds with all trophy catches being females since the males do not exceed 300 pounds. However, the normal range is 150 to 300 pounds. This species is not easy to confuse with other billfish with the exception of the Blue Marlin, Makaira mazara (pectoral fins lie flat). Caution: these are monster animals and should be handled with extreme caution; the spear is very dangerous!
This fish species is a member of the Billfish Istiopherinae Sub-family of the Xiphiidae Family which are large oceanic pelagic surface fish found in all tropic and semitropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.