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
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

XXL TUNA BITE!!! - 6/29/2022 9:52:26 PM

JOURNEY OF A FISHERMAN GROUP June 21-26 we hosted Tony Orton and his Journey of a Fisherman crew all the way from New Zealand of Hayden Peter a (View)

Weekend Fishing Outlook (6/24-6/26/2022) - 6/23/2022 7:42:25 AM

OFFSHORE- Another good week of fishing offshore this week. Dolphin fishing remains good; with the best dolphin reports coming out deeper. A hand (View)

See what's biting across WA in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 24 June 2022 🎣 - 6/24/2022 2:01:50 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 24/06/22 School mackerel: Credit - Marco Fraschetti Our co (View)

June 22 Offshore Full day - 6/25/2022 1:41:33 PM

Quepos have something special all year round it’s good fishing today we released 3 pacific sailfish 3/10 and we caught 2 Dorados around 30 to 4 (View)

June 23th Tuna Wahoo and Dorado - 6/25/2022 1:45:22 PM

Fishing for some meat fishing today we caught a really nice wahoo we release 4 pacific sailfish and we caught 9 Mahi Mahi rains in the mountain (View)

Panama Fish: Fishing Report Feb 2019 - 3/3/2019 7:01:44 PM

Panama February Fishing Report 2019 Greetings from Panama. Fishing February in Panama deliveries perfect weather and great action at Hannibal B (View)

Blue Summer Sea - 6/24/2022 10:23:00 PM

What fish has the ugliest hair style? A MULLET! Offshore hit the docks today with yellow fin tuna big eye tuna mahi-mahi and wahoo. A few boats (View)

Mon 20 Jun 2022 22:24:00 +0000 - 6/20/2022 6:24:00 PM

Could not find the Dolphins where we fished today. We had some Billfish action though. Joanne caught a Sailfish and Donny caught a Blue Marlin. (View)

June Fishing Report 2022 - 6/20/2022 9:51:20 AM

For today's live action call 866 259 4205   Our Key West Fishing is Fantastic in June! Deep Sea/Offshore: Our offshore fishing has exploded sin (View)

See what's biting across WA in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 17 June 2022 🎣 - 6/16/2022 11:01:23 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 17/06/22 Rankin cod: Credit - Marco Fraschetti Our contrib (View)