Sailfish are one of the most beautiful sports fish caught off the coast of Islamorada. Everyone wants to see them first-hand, and catching them is extremely challenging, exhilarating and very rewarding. Fishing for sailfish is a local favorite and very popular with our Islamorada fishing charter clients.
Named after their giant dorsal fins (which accurately resemble the sail from a sailboat), sailfish have elongated bodies, massive fins and long bills which are complimented by stunning black, silver and blue coloring. Sailfish can change their colors, which is a fantastic predatory skill. It confuses their prey. These incredible fish can also raise and lower their sail to discourage predators and disorient their prey further. Reaching speeds nearing 70mph underwater, sailfish are one of the fastest fish in the oceans and among the most successful hunters. These fish are large, measuring up to ten feet in length and weighing over 200lbs when fully grown.
Sailfish are also very intelligent. These clever fish need to be deceived because they are very aware of the way their natural prey swims through the water. This is an enormous challenge that requires a captain with vast experience, as well as special equipment and expertise. Our Islamorada fishing charters always use live bait to catch sailfish because it works far better than other types of bait, and we have found these two techniques fool them most successfully:
- Our Islamorada fishing charters regularly catch sailfish while kite fishing. Long lines are temporarily suspended from a kite with live bait attached. The kite is then flown behind the boat and keeps the bait near the surface of the water. When a sailfish takes the bait then the line is rigged to break free from the kite so that your catch can be reeled in. This works well because it makes the bait look like a panicking fish in the water. Larger predators find this exciting as it is a potentially easy meal.
- We also catch sailfish while dredge fishing. An umbrella-shaped device, the dredge is designed to hold multiple baits which are then trolled through the water. This is effective because it makes the bait look like a school of fish is swimming by. Predators consider this a fantastic opportunity. They will always target a group of fish as opposed to a solitary one because it increases their chances of catching dinner.
Islamorada has a solid reputation for some of the world's best sailfish fishing. This is because sailfish hunt together and there are always others around when you see one. It is not uncommon for us to have several sailfish on our lines at a time and these magnificent fish are known to leap high out of the water when hooked. This is a truly thrilling moment and one our captains, crews and clients live for. It is also the reason why Islamorada and the surrounding areas host so many billfish tournaments every year.
Call us now to book your Islamorada Sailfish Fishing Charter and thrill in their magnificence.