(Shaw & Nodder, 1791); ISTIOPHORIDAE FAMILY;
also called spindlebeack, bayonetfish
Inhabits tropical and subtropical waters near land masses, usually in
depths over 6 fathoms, but occasionally caught in lesser depths and from
ocean piers. 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.
Its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate
or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. The second dorsal fin
is very small. The bill is longer than that of the spearfish, usually a
little more than twice the length of the elongated lower jaw. The vent
is just forward of the first anal fin. The sides often have pale, bluish
gray vertical bars or rows of spots.
ability and spectacular aerial acrobatics endear the sailfish to the
saltwater angler, but it tires quickly and is considered a light
tackle species. Fishing methods include trolling with strip baits, lures,
feathers or spoons, as well as live bait fishing and kite fishing. The
most action is found where sailfish are located on or near the surface
where they feed.
Recent acoustical tagging and tracking experiments suggest that this species
is quite hardy and that survival of released specimens is good