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

1-16-21 - 1/16/2021 4:16:05 PM

Good Afternoon The offshore bite has been a little slower than last week There have been reports of a few Sailfish caught in 350′ out of Ft. Pi (View)

Rainy day turned in GREAT Day of FISHING off Ft Lauderdale - 1/15/2021 5:36:14 PM

Today we went fishing with David and Vanessa from West Palm Beach. There down in Fort Lauderdale celebrating David’s B Day and fishing was part (View)

Fishing Report – January 2018 – Stuart FL - 1/15/2021 2:51:23 PM

For this months fishing report we joined 2017 Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament winner Captain Patrick Price of DayMaker Ch (View)

January 1 2021 - 1/15/2021 1:52:05 PM

Daniel Romero rang in the New Year with Captain Carlos on the Discoverer. The highlight from their January 1st trip was a stunning Sailfish rel (View)

January 3 2021 - 1/15/2021 1:51:56 PM

On January 3 Southwest Florida angler Daniel Peshkin scored a sweet Sailfish release with Captain Carlos. The post January 3 2021 appeared firs (View)

January 5 2021 - 1/15/2021 1:51:33 PM

On January 5 John Egan’s group joined Captain Alex and he took the Harvester offshore for a duel in Sailfish City. The day’s scorecard was dott (View)

January 7 2021 - 1/15/2021 1:51:26 PM

John Egan’s group lit it up on the Harvester  scoring a swarm of Sailfish releases. Mate Wilson put in a big day of work safely handling and re (View)

January 13 2021 - 1/15/2021 1:51:14 PM

The Harvester had a big day with Jess Gingold’s family on the 13th; their morning 5 hour trip yielded a bunch of wild Sailfish releases. The po (View)

NoV. 30 - 1/15/2021 1:31:10 PM

Sailfish!! (View)

Dec. 8 - 1/15/2021 1:31:10 PM

Today we fished a 3/4 day. We had a couple of #sailfish bites caught a couple of nice #blackfin #tuna a couple of #Yellowjacks and a couple of (View)