Also Known As:
Sailfish are a great fighting light tackle Billfish. These are often one of the first Billfish an angler new to Gamefishing catches.
How To Identify:
Sailfish are easily distinguishable from the other billfish by way of their long sail-like dorsal fin. They are a slender bodied fish with a long bill. The body is a deep purple above (or sometimes a blue-green colour) fading into a yellowish grey on the sides (the yellow more prominent after death). They have broken vertical bars and dashes of lavender or blue. The sail is a steely blue often with scattering of spots and dashes. Sailfish can grow to as large as 100 kgs.
How To Catch:
There is much written about how to catch Sailfish and other Billfish, so this is just a short summary. Firstly bait, live baiting accounts for many sailfish, best baits include live slimie mackerel, yakkas, pilchards or herring. Fished with just enough lead to keep the your bait where the school of bait is. It is important to find the school of bait and then drift through, around, over - or even if not moving anchor nearby. They can also be taken on slow trolled bait such as rigged gar or pilchards, or even a live bait. Secondly lures, they will strike at most lures meant for Marlin but particularly seem to like jet heads and straight running skirted lures. Because of the Sailfish hard mouth and bill they often fail to hook on lures.
Sailfish are a pelagic and seasonally migratory fish and occur in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. In Australia they are found from Northern New South Wales right up the Queensland Coast, across the Northern Territory and down Western Australia to as low as Cape Leeuwin. They definitely like warmer water above about 21 degrees. They often feed in midwater along the edge of current eddies or reefs.