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Sailfish (Atlantic Sailfish)
Fishing in the Florida Keys

Description: Upper surfaces are usually dark blue to black; silvery below; vertical stripes often visble on sides. There's no mistaking this Billfish, thanks to its magnificent sail-like dorsal fin.

Size: Averages 30-60 pounds, but many under 30 pounds and a few up to 100 pounds are also taken. Potential maximum is less than 150 pounds. Atlantic would record 141 pounds, 1 ounce.

Food Value: Very good broiled or smoked, and should be kept if inadvertently killed. Protected commercially.

Game Qualities: Unsurpassed in its size range for combined strength and spectacle.

Tackle / Bates : Light ocean trolling or heavy spinning outfits with lines up to 30-pound test; 12- and 20-pound lines are adequate in experienced hands and provide great sport. In the Florida Keys, livebaiting - either by kite fishing or flatline drifting has become one of the most popular approaches to sailfishing, with Blue Runners, Goggle-eyes, Pilchards or Pinfish being the common offerings. Historically, most Sailfishing has been done with rigged trolling baits, mainly Ballyhoo and strips of Bonita or other on drifted Ballyhoo/jig combinations. Fly casters have also taken them on occasion.

Range: Tropical deep water around Florida and the Gulf of Mexico

Habitat: Considered an ocean species but often found closer to shore.

Fishing Method: Trolling; Drifting

Season: Year Round

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