- The most abundant of all
billfish readily available to the angler, the sailfish is found worldwide in all warm
seas. Although it is mistakenly assumed that all Pacific sailfish are larger than their
Atlantic counterparts, the Pacific fish ordinarily run larger. The largest fish, however,
are almost always encountered along the eastern sides of the various oceans basins.
Eastern Atlantic sailfish, for example, are nearly as large as their Eastern Pacific
cousins. Western Pacific and Indian Oceans sails are similar in size to the smaller fish
caught off Florida.
- The sailfish is a superb
light-tackle contender; it is a very poor performer when hooked on gear so heavy that it
cannot develop the running speed necessary to launch its slender body into the air and
achieve the extensive aerial display for which it is deservedly noted. It is also the
fastest among all the billfishes, attaining speeds of 112 kph (70 mph) in short bursts.
Because it can so successfully be teased to within casting range (specially in the
Pacific) with hook-less baits, it has in recent years become an increasingly popular
target of saltwater fly fishermen, many of whom consider this the ultimate in sensational
angling with the long rod.