Tuesday June 19, 2018
Atlantic Sailfish or Sail Fish, Billfish
Sailfish are colored dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly; upper jaw elongated in form of spear; first dorsal greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, with many black spots, its front squared off, highest at its midpoint; pelvic fins very narrow, reaching almost to the anus; body covered with embedded scales, blunt at end; lateral line curved above pectoral, then straight to base of tail.
Sailfish are OFFSHORE species, in south Florida associated with waters near the Gulf Stream; off the Panhandle near the 100 foot fathom line. We catch sailfish more often in the cooler months in East Central Florida and have often seen them "sailing" off Port Canaveral waters or around offshore bait pods "balling" bait together for the feed.
Sailfish are a rapid growing species, reaching 4 to 5 feet in a single year; swims at speeds up to 50 knots; feeds on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller pelagic fishes and squid.
63" minimum from tip of bottom jaw to fork of tail. Limit of one per day per angler. Additional permits are required in federal waters.
116 Pound Florida Record
Published by: Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides© on 2017-12-15 10:06:30
More Sail Fish Information
Sailfish are the only billfish that are targeted by anglers off the coast of Florida unless an angler wants to spend the extra money to go to the far side of the gulf stream for marlin. While we have white, stripped and blue marlin off our coast it's rare to hookup with these gamefish off Central Florida's coastline unless you venture beyond the 100 mile limits and way into international waters. Sailfish however are very common to our inshore waters and are occassionally caught within sight of land or inside the Port Canaveral Bouy line during nice summers and springs. We've observed several of these billfish just sailing along with their large dorsals protruding out of the water and have often hooked-up and caught them while trolling or livebaiting. Sailfish are a great fighting fish with spectacular jumps and long racey runs.