In addition to 2207 Pacific blue marlin (78% of tournament catch) and 578 yellowfin tuna caught during the tournaments small numbers of other billfish taken in the HIBT include spearfish (long and shortbilled), striped marlin and black marlin (see Table 1). In 1987 there was a bumper year for striped marlin (17) but no yellowfin tuna were landed and 1987 was an average year for marlin (51; average 61 per tournament). This was the height of the el nino effect and the oceanic systems were experiencing oceanographic patterns which disrupted most normal seasonal cycles. Most black marlin were caught in the earlier years of the tournament with 7 out of 10 before 1968) probably reflecting fishing effort nearer to the shore. The spearfish catch is confined to the 70's, does not represent the tournament fishery and are incidental to the targeted species, namely blue marlin and yellowfin tuna.

Table 1

Catch by Species
Species Number Total weight and
Average weitht
Blue Marlin 2207 452,207
Black Marlin 11 3,145
Striped Marlin 50 3,748
Spearfish (long
and short billed
25 855
Sailfish 4 134
Yellowfin Tuna 578 89,872

Fish are caught in almost all areas covered by the tournament. Figure 3

Weight Classes of Blue Marlin
1959 - 1994

Marlin weights show a typical distribution about the average. The average was 212.6 lb with a median of 170 lb. Blue marlin weighing more than 368 lbs are in the top 10% by weight. Areas V and possibly S have a higher percentage of marlin greater than 400 lb (14.4% and 11.3% respectively) compared with 6.3% big fish (> 400 lb) over all areas.

Intensive game fishing in a limited area for a week might be thought to affect the fishing success. A quick look at catch by day of the tournament shows that the last day is, on average, as good as the first.

Table 2:

Number of fish caught catch by day of tournament since 1959
Species Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Blue Marlin 443 422 473 428 441
146 138 102 85 107
Numbers and average weights have not been affected by day of tournament.


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