The prized game fish, Makaira Indica, or the Black Marlin, dwells in the Indo-Pacific Oceans in surface waters near the coast. It is one of the fastest-moving fish on earth (50 miles per hour) and comes from the Order, Perciformes. The average weight of M. Indica that are routinely caught on Black Marlin Charters is around three quarters of a metric ton (750 kilograms) or roughly 1700 pounds. Heftier specimens have been reported.
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.
In the novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, written by Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), old salt, Santiago, finally manages to break a 12-week dry spell by hooking a member of Makaira. The rest of the novel goes on to describe the hero’s legendary battle against the combined forces of the fierce, resolute beast and Mother Nature.
Despite its descriptive name, M. Indica is not actually black but white and deep blue. It’s tail fins and inflexible pectoral fins, however, are black. Its cross section is more oval than round, unlike its blue cousin, and its ventral fins are rarely longer than 12 inches, no matter how big the fish itself is. It likes warm tropical and subtropical waters near coastland. Occasionally it makes an appearance as far south as Brazil and as far north as 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.
Off the south west coast of Australia lies Port Stephens, a port more than twice the size of nearby Sydney Harbor. This world-class spot for Black Marlin Fishing also offers spectacular views, golden, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Tours here run from the month of January to April.