STRIPED MARLIN : Kajikia audax
The correct name for the Striped marlin species is Kajikia audax (Philippi, 1887) but has also been known as Tetrapturus audax (Philippi, 1887) and as Makaira holei (Jordan and Evermann, 1926).
Striped marlins are a small species of Marlin found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and on the West of the Americas it’s found from Southern California down to Chile and in Hawaii. It migrates seasonally moving towards the equator during the winter and back again to the north or the south as it gets warmer. They can tolerate much cooler water temperatures than either the Black Marlin or the Blue marlin and the largest specimens are found in the cool waters of new Zealand, which is where the record Striped marlin was caught in 1986 weighing in at 494 lbs. The record catch in the Americas was of 339 lbs weight and caught in California.
The Striped marlin is the most easily distinguished by its high pointed sickle shaped dorsal fin, whose leading part is normally taller than the greatest depth of the body. Even in the largest specimens, this fin is more than 90% of the body’s depth. In fish of average size, the body is slightly slab sided, and the depth decreases gradually from the shoulder hump to the anal fin. The Striped marlin has a more uniform taper to the body and flatter sides than a Blue marlin. The stripes of the Striped marlin are more prominent than those of the Blue marlin also. The young Striped marlin are short and chunky in proportion when compared to the adults. The spear is long.
The Striped marlin’s color is typically dark steely-blue on top fading down to white at the lower part of the sides. The sides are marked with a varying number of prominent vertical stripes that can be pale bluish, lavender or whitish. The fins are dark, except for the first dorsal and first anal fins which are a brilliant cobalt blue with dark tips. The intensity of these colors, particularly of the stripes varies between individuals and between fish from different regions. The stripes tend to fade after death and the whole fish assumes a dark dull, dark blue-grey color, but the blue and violet colors persist for longer than in the other Marlin species. We fish them on a strictly catch-and-release basis.
The Striped marlin is a predator and feeds extensively on pilchards, anchovies, squid, mackerel, flying fish and whatever else they find in abundance. They tend to feed fairly close to the surface. They can behave like a school when they meet bait fish and will work as a team rounding them up into a ball, taking turns to run through the school, but most of the time time they travel alone except for spawning time. They can be found quite close to land, and because of their habit of feeding and cruising near the surface, sight fishing for them is a popular technique. Sight casting with live bait in front of individual fish is one of the most gratifying ways to fish and a great adrenaline rush. Other techniques include slow-trolling with live or dead bait and trolling lures and spreader bars at a slightly faster pace.
Although much smaller and lighter in weight than the Black marlin and the Blue marlin, the Striped marlin is known for it’s fighting ability and is extremely athletic and also known for spending as much time in the air as in the water after a hook-up. The angler who has hooked one up is rewarded with a thrilling display of tailwalking, greyhounding, long runs and multiple long and graceful jumps – up to a dozen jumps one after the other.
Panama Sportfishing Pinterest board to see a collection of related images. You may want to see our other boards also.Visit our