How to measure a billfish?

Submitted by marty on 12/7/05 at 4:57 PM. ( )

I don't do a lot of billfish here in the midwest so please excuse my ignorance. And i couldn't find the answer in the archives either.

What is the industry standard for measuring billfish? I've got a customer who was told by his captain that his Blue Marlin was 9' long (42" girth and appox. 250 pounds). In the pics it appears much longer than 9 feet, if you go from the tip of the billfish to the tip of the tail (eyeballed obviously as the tail won't come together). What's the industry standard of measurement?

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in Mexico...

This response submitted by Marc on 12/7/05 at 5:42 PM. ( )

I noticed that the captains measure bill fish from the tip of the bill to the (INSIDE) fork of the tail. Which I thought strange. I don't know what our industry standard is or if you need to know for the purpose of getting the correct form or for BILLing. OK, OK that was bad!

I need to know because...

This response submitted by marty on 12/7/05 at 5:49 PM. ( )

...I need to order a replica for my customer. I've emailed new Wave and am waiting for a reply. I figured in the meantime, SOMEBODY here has got to know. I would think for Saltwater fisherfolks, this should be a simple question...


This response submitted by Rich on 12/7/05 at 6:52 PM. ( )

What I do is put a straight edge between the two points of the tail, then measure from the tip of the bill to the straight line you made between the tail points...this is the length of your blank.....Rich


This response submitted by mike d on 12/7/05 at 8:20 PM. ( )

How is the replica measured?
If you are charges a "per inch" price from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail; then you better charge your customer on the same measuring scale!
Fish are usually measured from furthest forward point to furthest back point.


This response submitted by marty on 12/7/05 at 9:33 PM. ( )

...that's what I would do too since you can't squish the tail together on a marlin. I'm not sure the captain was on the same page though because it looks about a foot and a half or two feet longer than 9' to me (if you go tip of bill to straight edge between tail). And, you'd think a captain of a charter, if anything would estimate BIGGER than the fish actually was because it's good for business! I still say there's got to be an industry standard for the charter boats (any billfish charter boat captains out there?). Once I figure out what their standard is (and what the charter boat's 9' means), then I can figure out what blank I need to order...

Found some info that helps...

This response submitted by marty on 12/7/05 at 9:48 PM. ( )

But as you can see by reading the article, it's not simply black and white...


This response submitted by Jared Smith on 12/8/05 at 9:08 AM. ( )

I use to live in Florida on the gulf of Mexico and the laws for keeping fish by the length were to the fork in the tail so thats why it probably looks bigger. i hope this helps. JS

Yeah Jared, hanks...

This response submitted by marty on 12/8/05 at 10:14 PM. ( )

I gave Mike at New Wave a call this morning and he confirmed things. They measure from the lower jaw to the fork. For blanks though we measure tip to tip. The captain measured it goofy. He went from the tip of the bill to the fork. That way it's a foot or so longer than what all those "in the know" think. Good for his business though I'm sure. Thanks for all the replies. I now know more than I wanted to know about measuring billfish!

Oh and Rich...

This response submitted by marty on 12/8/05 at 10:16 PM. ( )

...thank you as well, you confirmed the blank ordering end of things...

In Cabo

This response submitted by dp on 12/23/05 at 11:31 PM. ( )

..An interesting question. In Cabo San Lucas mine was measured exactly like Rich discribed above.

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