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Blue Marlin

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
Open Year-Round

All Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) not retained must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival, without removing the fish from the water.

There is an annual U.S. landings limit of 250 Atlantic Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Roundscale Spearfish (combined). Landings updates and seasonal closures are posted under “What's New...” at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/

*Special permit required - All private vessel owners/operators recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) for personal use in the Atlantic Ocean must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit. Further limits and restrictions apply.

Consult https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/ or call toll free (888) 872-8862 for specific information and permits.
Size Limit
99 inch minimum (measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the tail fork)
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit

Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Uncommon
General Habitat and Food Preferences
An oceanic species, the Blue Marlin is primarily a near surface water fish.

These fish are solitary in nature .

They feed primarily on mackerels, tunas, and dolphinfish.
General Description
The Blue Marlin is Delaware's largest billfish.

Its body is cobalt blue on top with 15 blue vertical bars (stripes) on the sides and a silvery white belly.
Did You Know?
Male Blue Marlin almost never get over 300 pounds while the females can obtain weights of nearly 2000 pounds.

It is believed that the bill is used to stun prey with a swift sideways strike.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Most people troll rubber skirted lures or natural baits when fishing for Blue Marlin.
Typical Sizes Caught
Blue Marlin are commonly caught in the range of 87 to 110 inches in length (200 to 400 pounds) by anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: Any
Youth (age 15 and under): Any

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: Any
Youth (age 15 and under): Any
Delaware State Record
820 pounds
Bruce King
1986