Sailfish

Species Information

Scientific Name:Istiophorus albicans
Environment:Offshore
Ideal Temp:70-82°F (21-28°C)
Technique:Trolling
Lure Type:Trolling
World Record:64 kg (141 lb 1 oz) Luanda , Angola
Other Names:sailfish, sails

Sailfish are two species of fish in the genus Istiophorus, living in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world. They are predominately blue to gray in color and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish and other marlins. They are therefore described as billfish in sport fishing circles.

Both species of sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2–1.5 metres (3 ft 10 in–4 ft 10 in) in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller pelagic forage fish and squid. Individuals have been clocked at speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph), which is the highest speed reliably reported in any water creature. 

Sailfish inhabit tropical and subtropical waters near land masses, usually in depths over 10 fathoms (60 feet). Along the Gulf Stream they are usually found around the 120 feet line. Pelagic and migratory, sailfish usually travel alone or in small groups. They appear to feed mostly in midwater along the edges of reefs or current eddies.

The sail is normally kept folded down and to the side when swimming, but it may be raised when the sailfish feels threatened or excited, making the fish appear much larger than it actually is. This tactic has also been observed during feeding, when a group of sailfish use their sails to "herd" a school of fish or squid.

Sailfish are highly prized game fish and are known for their incredible jumps and great speed. They can appear in a startling array of colors, from subdued browns and grays to vibrant purples and even silver. Their body colors are often highlighted by stripes of iridescent blue and silver dots. Sailfish can change their colors almost instantly - a change controlled by their nervous system. The sailfish can rapidly turn its body light blue with yellowish stripes when excited, confusing its prey and making capture easier, while signalling its intentions to fellow sailfish.

There are 2 species of sailfish: Istiophorus albicans (Atlantic) or Istiophorus platypterus (Indo-Pacific)

Latest Sailfish Fishing Reports and Spots

Fishing Report August 8th.. Marlin Madness - 8/12/2022 8:39:17 PM

This is your Captain Franklin from this beautiful country called Costa Rica this month brings a very good concentration of blue marlin the wate (View)




Puerto Vallarta fishng report August - 8/14/2022 11:54:03 AM

Not many places in the world that can compare to the fishing mecca that is Puerto Vallarta in the summertime. In August you can expect to be c (View)


8-10-22 - 8/8/2010 9:20:00 AM

Good morning everyone. It looks like we’re destined for some nicer weather for the weekend with calmer conditions that will let anglers head of (View)


Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 12 August 2022 🎣 - 8/12/2022 1:51:07 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 12/08/22 Honking pink snapper seen from a different perspe (View)


8/8 - 8/8/2022 5:56:13 PM

Body:  Solid catches today with offshore boats bringing in Blackfin Tuna Dolphin Wahoo and releasing a White Marlin and a Sailfish. Inshore boa (View)


July 29th Fishing Report Big Eye II charters - 8/6/2022 12:02:43 PM

this is captain Franklin with the fishing report today we make our homework we release 4 pacific sailfish caught 3 wahoo one large Mahi Mahi an (View)


Weekend Fishing Outlook (8/5-8/7/2022) - 8/4/2022 6:33:24 PM

OFFSHORE- Another tough(ish) week offshore for the most part. Weather conditions improved; but we are no doubt battling through the summer doldr (View)


Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 05 August 2022 🎣 - 5/8/2022 11:32:00 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 05/08/22 Giant trevally - Marco Fraschetti Our contributor (View)


Puerto Vallarta fishing report August 2022 - 8/3/2022 1:52:42 PM

There are few places in the world that can compare to the fishing mecca that is Puerto Vallarta in the summertime. In August you can expect to (View)