Most fishermen and authors refer to
sailfish found in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea as
Atlantic sailfish. There is, however, some
disagreement as to whether Atlantic sailfish is a separate
species, Istiophorus albicans and Pacific sailfish is a
species Istiophoridae platypterus or all sailfish are simply
Sailfish, Istiphorus platypterus. The Genus of
sailfish, Istiophorus, is a member of the family of marine
fish, Istiophoridae which also includes the Genera Makaira
and Tetrapturus, Marlin and Spearfish.
Swordfish is an
entirely separate family of marine fish, Xiphiidae.
The Atlantic sailfish grows to a maximum recorded size of
124 inches and 128 pounds and a maximum recorded age of 4
years. Most of the Atlantic sailfish population is
comprised of juvenile specimens. Like many billfish,
female specimens grow larger than males. Population
doubling time is between 1.4 and 4.4 years. Atlantic
sailfish are a highly migratory species found across a broad
Although swimming as deep as 650 feet Atlantic sailfish are
most commonly found on the surface above
the thermocline of near-shore waters both in schools and
loose congregations over a general area. Small pelagic
fish are their primary food.
Adopted as the state's official saltwater fish in 1975,
Florida has an excellent Sailfish fishery. During
winter months sailfish migrate southward to warmer waters
and are caught regularly off the coast of south Florida.
The average size sailfish caught is between 6 and 7 feet and
thirty to forty-five pounds. Sailfish swim at speeds
up to sixty miles per hour and are renowned for acrobatic
antics during a fight. Between November and June we
regularly run trips targeting sailfish using a variety of
live bait techniques including Kite fishing.
For more information call