Marlin (Striped) Fishing (Kajikia audax)

All Tackle Record

Marlin (Striped) Fishing (Kajikia audax)

With Blue Marlin being kings of the oceans, Striped Marlin are knights of the first order. The most strikingly colorated and aerially inclined of all billfish, these big game pelagics are known to put on a beautiful show time after time.

The name comes from a number of almost iridescent stripes these fish prominently boast on the sides of their bodies. These stripes can "light up" and morph to a brilliant violet when the Marlin is excited due to feeding, spawning or getting hooked. This colorful display also contributes to the dramatic experience of fishing for a Striper.

Striped Marlin are the most temperature tolerant of all billfish and so can swim in waters too cold for other Marlin. This is usually where the largest individuals live. They are mostly solitary, but form schools for feeding purposes, hunting in a similar way to Sailfish - herding small baitfish into spherical shoals and stunning/killing them by slashing with their bills.

How big

Even though Striped Marlin are drastically smaller than their Blue and Black relatives, they can still reach substantial sizes of around 500lbs and 14ft. Average sizes vary based on where they're fished, with dimensions roughly increasing with distance from the equator.

Caught aboard Aspro Game Fishing Charters south of Sydney, AU

When & Where

Striped Marlin can be found throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from eastern Africa to the west of the Americas and as far south as New Zealand (which is where the record fish was caught). There are many Striped Marlin paradises with prolific seasonal migrations, the most prominent being Southern California, Mexico (especially Cabo San Lucas), Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand.

Within the tropical belt, the species can be caught year-round. The farther north or south, the more seasonal their presence is, with the rule of thumb being that warmer waters make for better conditions.

How to catch

There are several provenly successful ways to approach Striped Marlin fishing:

  • Slow trolling - with whole or strips of small or medium sized natural bait like sardines, ballyhoo, pilchards, anchovies, squid or mackerel (caballito in Mexico);
  • Fast trolling - with artificials such as specialized soft-head lures hooked on spreader bars;
  • Sight casting - Striped Marlin tails can often be spotted during their surface feeding - flies will work well with these fish, too;
  • Still fishing - dropping live bait down to between 50 and 100ft;

As already mentioned, once hooked, Striped Marlin might not be the most powerful, but might just be the most spectacular fish available to target. Be prepared to witness plenty of long runs, tall leaps, tail-walking and "greyhounding" across the surface. And, all that many times over - if feeding, it would not be uncommon to release several of them during a single day out.

Reeled in aboard Tony Orton - Offshore Adventures north of Auckland, NZ


If you're looking for more know-how on Marlin fishing, head over to our exhaustive guide to all Marlin species and angling techniques. Additionally, read an excellent low-down on the Striped Marlin in Marlin Magazine.

Good to eat?

Consumed raw as well, but best when smoked due to the though flesh texture. However, might be high in mercury content and should be avoided. Most anglers practice tag and release with billfish.



  • Season - always open;
  • Size limit - none;
  • Bag limit (per angler per day) - California - 1;
         Mexico allows 1 billfish per day, which counts as half of the normal daily limit of 10 fish;
  • Season - always open;
  • Western Australia, Victoria, Northern Territory, New South Wales - up to 1 fish, no size limits;
  • Queensland and South Australia have no regulations;


Similar Game Fish:

Marlin (Striped) Fishing Destinations