Species Spotlight: Sailfish
Name: Atlantic or Indo-Pacific Sailfish
Also known as: Sailfish
Scientific Name: Istiophorus
Description: Sailfish start their lives as tiny larvae no bigger than a few millimetres but their growth rate in the first years is immense. When they are fully grown Sailfish can reach lengths of 10 feet from Bill to tail and upwards of over 200lb. The Sailfish gets its name from its extraordinary dorsal fin that can sometimes be taller than the length of their bodies. Another characteristic of this fish is its long pointed bill, they use this when feeding to stun their prey. The Sailfish is also known to be one of the fastest fish in the sea and can reach speeds of 70mph.
Average Size of Sailfish: Depending on where about in the world you are targeting these, they range in sizes from 60lb to 200lb but the average one is around 80lb.
Where to catch Sailfish: They can be found across the globe from the Atlantic Oceans, the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. With them not high on commercial fishing, the stocks of these fish are not under pressure therefore in some areas it is possible to land several fish in a day. Some of the most prolific parts of the world, such as Guatemala, Costa Rica and Mexico catching over 30 fish a day is not uncommon.
Fishing Methods for Sailfish: The most used method to target these fish is by trolling artificial lures on a spread of around 5 rods. Some are baited with strips of fish and once one of these Sails hits your lure, you will be in for some fun. In other parts of the world, many boats practise switch and tease which is where lures are trolled behind the boat until a fish is raised, then the Sailfish will be teased to the back of the boat until it is in range for you to either pitch a bait to it or present a well-placed fly. Whichever method you like to catch them on these are a great sports fish and can give the angler a great fight with many aerial displays and long runs.