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)

Species Information

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

Latest Sailfish Fishing Reports and Spots

Weekend Fishing Outlook (9/24-9/26/2021) - 9/23/2021 2:21:11 PM

OFFSHORE- Looks like we could see a very early season sailfish bite pop off this weekend. Conditions look right for them to come up and pop some (View)

Box Full!! - 6/25/2021 4:38:12 PM

The Postlethwait crew enjoyed an excellent catch of Dolphin Yellowfin Tuna and a Sailfish release! Nice work guys!   The post Box Full!! appear (View)

See what's biting across WA in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 17 September 2021 🎣 - 9/16/2021 9:27:12 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 17/09/21 Our Contributers Zach Relph Joachim Azzopardi Pet (View)

9/13 & 9/14 - 9/14/2021 6:16:00 AM

Body:  Great fishing inshore and offshore the last two days! Offshore boats brought in catches of Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna scattered Dolphin (View)

Sunday Fin-day - 9/12/2021 10:34:00 PM

Fishing picked up today offshore! The guys brought back good amounts of yellowfin and mahi. Others had flags flying with releases of sailfish w (View)

Mon 13 Sep 2021 22:02:00 +0000 - 9/13/2021 6:02:00 PM

A couple Dolphins and Mark caught a big mean Sailfish.  Had a few other bites that we did not get.  At least it was a pretty day. Thanks Mike! (View)

📅 Secure your Sailfish Spots - 8/5/2021 2:00:00 PM

The Hooker Shirts We will finally have The Hooker shirts in stock this month! Thank you for your patience while we worked on a design and retur (View)

Outer Banks Charter Fishing Report 9/11/09 - 9/11/2009 12:50:00 PM

Our fishing charters have been doing great lately. Our sportsman half day trips are getting big red drum flounder and speckled trout. Our nears (View)

See what's biting across WA in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 10 September 2021 🎣 - 9/9/2021 11:15:23 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 10/09/21 Picture: Perth Fishing Safaris Our Contributers Z (View)

9/4 - 9/7 - 9/8/2021 5:50:26 AM

Body:  Offshore fishing has brought mixed catches over the last few days with some boats finding big schools of Dolphin while others have had W (View)