Billfish – Sailfish

Food Quality:

Billfish – Sailfish

Avg. Length


Avg. Weight


World Record


FL Record


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Scientific Name

Istiophorus platypterus

Common Names

Atlantic sailfish, Spindlebeak, Pez vela, Bayonet´Čüsh


Sailfish sport a long sail like first dorsal fin which is often a darker blue with some spotting. Their coloration can range from darker blue on their back to bluish brown on their sides blending to a whitish silver on their bellies. Commonly Sailfish have lighter bands of color or spots on their sides. Sailfish are equipped with a long upper jaw which resembles a spear and sport a longer lower jaw than a Spearfish.

Habitat & Behaviour

Sailfish can be found around the world ranging from tropical to temperate waters. They are a mid-depth fish that swims extremely fast and is mostly found offshore. These fish will travel in small to larger groups hunting together on the outside edges of reefs or eddies. These groups may be tightly packed or more loosely distributed.

Natural Prey

Sailfish have a diet consisting of other surface species, often favouring tuna, mackerel, herring or others. Groups of Sailfish have been known to encircle schools of fish and use teamwork and strategy to feed one at a time.

Handling Tips

Try to keep in the water if releasing or quickly taking it out for the picture. Beware of sharp nose and gill plates. Use gloves to handle. Grabbing the bill and tail rope can also be a great help.