Sailfish Fishing Information
illustrations: Diane Rome Peebles
Description: color 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 mid point; pelvic fins very narrow,
reaching almost to the anus; body covered with imbedded
scales, blunt at end; lateral line curved over pectoral, then straight to
base of tail.
Similar fish: white marlin, T. albidus, young blue marlin, M. nigricans (spectacular sail-like dorsal of sailfish is most
Where found: OFFSHORE species, in south Florida associated with waters near the Gulfstream; off the Panhandle near
the 100 fathom line.
Size: common to 7 feet.
Remarks: 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.