The prized game fish, Makaira Indica, more commonly known as Black Marlin, is one of the world’s fastest fish. It reaches speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. Generally weighing in at 1700 pounds, or 750 kilograms, larger beasts have been reportedly caught by Black Marlin charters. M. Indica is of the Perciformes order of fish and dwells in the coastal surface waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Makaira and other genera are on Greenpeace’s seafood red list. What this means is that they are very likely to be drawn from unsustainable sources. This is why the modern sport fisherman will capture them humanely, photograph them for posterity and return them to the sea from whence they came. Genus Makaira is from the same family, Istiophoridae, as the Hawaiian Silver Marlin and the Japanese White.
Santiago, the fictional ageing fisherman from the Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, had finally broken an 84-day run of bad luck when he hooked a specimen of this order. The remainder of the novel chronicles the man’s struggle with nature.
Strictly speaking, Makaira Indica is not black. It is dark blue and white. Only the rigid pectoral fins and the tail fins are black. It has a less rounded shape than its blue cousin and its ventral fins rarely exceed one foot long, regardless of how big the fish is. It prefers the warm, coastal waters of the tropics and the subtropics. Rarely, it has been seen to cross the Atlantic Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa as far southwest as Brazil and northwest to the Lesser Antilles.
Some of the best charter fishing tours for M. Indica originate off the eastern coast of Australia. Nearly three quarters of all marlin of more than one ton in weight are caught over a 150 mile-long stretch of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns. This is roughly twice the amount caught around Brazil, Portugal and Hawaii combined.
The deep sea waters off of Brisbane’s Gold Coast is a much frequented haunt for light tackle sport fishermen looking for M. Indica and other game species. Hobbyists can trawl for Mia Mia, Spanish Mackerel and Wahoo, among others. Jiggers, or bottom fishers, also flock here to capture the likes of Cobia, Kingfish, Peal Perch and Snapper.
Port Stephens is more than twice the size of Sydney Harbor. With its beautiful scenery, glassy clear waters and golden shoreline, it is a world-class focus for game fishing. Tours from this area depart during the month of January through April.
Black Marlin Charters also operate out of Central America’s Republic of Guatemala. Some of the most bountiful hauls of billfish have been reported to have come from here. On a good day, an angler can bag 20 or more fish in a single day. Because of its position tucked in between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the area is prone to hurricanes. This controls the months during which Black Marlin Fishing charters are able to operate.