Istiophorus platypterus

Spanish:  Pez Vela

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 twice as long as 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. Its sides have 20 rows of vertical bars that are composed of light blue round spots. The lateral line is readily visible.

The Sailfish is a tropical and temperate water species normally found above the thermal incline in the first 100 feet of the water column in both oceanic and inshore waters. It prefers water temperatures of 21 to 28 degrees Centigrade. The females release 4.5 million eggs annually. The Sailfish feeds on halfbeaks, mackerel, mullet, needlefish, small tuna, cephalopods and crustaceans. The Sailfish is not easy to confuse with other species due to its enormous dorsal fin. The Sailfish is a highly prized targeted species of sport anglers.>

The sailfish is one of the smaller members of the family Istiophoridae. The maximum size for the sailfish from the Atlantic region is 124 inches (340 cm) total length and around 128 pounds (100 kg).

In eastern Mexico the fish tend to be smaller, generally between 68-90 inches (173-229 cm) total length.

In waters of the Pacific Ocean, the maximum size for the sailfish is recorded at 134 inches (340 cm) total length and around 220 pounds (100 kg) in weight.

Sailfish feed on fishes and cephalopods including squid. Fishes consume sardines, achovies, jacks, dolphin, ribbonfish and triggerfish.

Sailfish are generally caught trolling and multiple hookups are not uncommon. 


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