World Record ~ Sailfish, Atlantic 141 Lbs. 1 oz. Caught at Luanda, Angola onFeb. 19, 1994 by angler Alfredo de Sousa Neves Sailfish, Pacific 221 Lbs. Caught at Santa Cruz Is., Ecuador on Feb. 12, 1947 by angler C.W. Stewart
Scientific name ~ Istiophorus Platypterus
Other names ~ Spindlebeak, Bayonet fish
Identification ~ The Sailfish is characterized by its enormous sail-like first dorsal fin which is much taller than the width of its body, runs almost the length of its body, and has many small black dots more common at the anterior end. The coloration of the Sailfish is dark blue dorsally and white underneath. The Sailfish's upper jaw extends into a long rounded bill which has a circular cross-section and is much longer than the lower jaw.The Sailfish has two keels at the caudal base and two anal and two dorsal fins with the second anal and the second dorsal fins being short and concave mirror images. The Sailfish's fins are generally black, but the anal fin base is white. The Sailfish has long pectoral fins and extremely long pelvic fins that are twice as long as the pectoral fins.
Size ~ The angler caught Sailfish Ranges from 20 to 60 pounds for the Atlantic Sailfish and 50 to 100 pounds for the Pacific sailfish. They can however reach lengths of over 10 feet and weights of over 100 pounds.
Habitat ~ The Atlantic sailfish swims in the surface epipelagic and oceanic waters. It generally remains above the thermocline, in water temperatures between 70° and 83°F . There is evidence that it also swims into deeper water. It is less oceanic than other billfishes, making frequent forays into nearshore water. The sailfish is distributed from approximately 40° N to 40° S in the western Atlantic Ocean and from 50° N to 32° S in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.In the Pacific Ocean, the sailfish is widely distributed in temperate and tropical regions. It resides in waters from 45° to 50° N to 35° S in the western Pacific and from 35° N to 35° S in the eastern Pacific. Sailfish are especially abundant off Papua New Guinea and the Philippines as well as from Tahiti to the Marquesas and off Hawaii.
Feeding Habits ~ Sailfish eat squid, octopus, mackerel, mullet, flying fish, needlefish, tuna, and jacks. Although they travel in deep water, they will usually feed in mid-depths.