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March 13, 2014

PHOTOS and VIDEO: Rare "Albino" (Blue) Marlin is Leucistic

The Spanish Fly catches and releases a rare sight that the IGFA confirms is leucistic, not albino.

Over 20 miles off Los Suenos, Costa Rica, the 43-foot custom Spanish Fly caught and released something that seemed to be new to science: a 300-pound "albino" blue marlin. 

Well, guess what? It cannot be confirmed as an "albino" blue marlin. Not trying to put a damper on what has been claimed as the unicorn of the sea. No matter what science says, it's a rare sight. The IGFA has made a statement that corrects quite a few publications and reports out there speculating on the newfound billfish as albino.

"Although common names for marlin generally focus on color (e.g., black marlin, blue marlin, white marlin, etc.) color is typically not the best feature to use in identifying billfish. Especially in this case! The shape and size of this marlin’s dorsal and pectoral fins clearly indicate that it’s a blue marlin even though it’s not blue at all. The eye color - black, rather than red or pink - also indicates that this marlin is leucistic (which is a reduction in pigmentation) rather than albino."

Even though it has turned out to be a leucistic blue marlin, it still was a good day for science and fishing. But, it was a heck of a day to take off for Capt. Daniel Espinoza Jimenez, instead Capt. Juan Carlos Fallas Zamora ran the boat. Others aboard the Spanish Fly, mates Carlos Espinoza Jimenez and Robert Salinas along with clients Bob and Karen Weaver. 

First mate Carlos Espinoza Jimenez says they used light tackle with 30 pound test and teasers, while warming up for the Los Suenos Triple Crown Tournament. The Spanish Fly is competing tomorrow in the third stage of the tournament. I'm sure the talk of the tournament, let alone the entire fishing world, will be this crew's story. So much for first place.