Blue Marlin

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.

Blue Marlin Illustration by 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

*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 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.
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 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 Length and Weight 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