Members of the billfish family, sailfish have a giant dorsal fin that resembles the sail from a sailboat – hence their name – and catching them is a local favorite in Key West. These incredible fish are exhilarating and they present a great challenge for anglers. Elongated bodies, massive fins, long bills and stunning silver, black and blue colours make sailfish one of the most beautiful fish swimming off the coast of Key West, and everyone wants to see them up close.
Sailfish are known to leap high out of the water when hooked on our lines. Due to the fact that they swim in schools, we often have several hooked at the same time. This display is absolutely breathtaking and is the moment our captains, crews and clients wait so patiently for. In fact, this is the reason that Key West has such a good reputation as having some of the best sailfish fishing in the world, as well as why there are so many billfish tournaments held in Key West and the surrounding areas every year. We recommend bringing your camera onboard with you. You will be able to capture some truly awesome and memorable sailfish photographs.
Catching sailfish in Key West is difficult. These amazing fish need to be deceived in order to have any success. A captain with sailfish knowledge and expertise is essential. Special equipment is required and certain techniques important. Our Key West fishing captains all specialize in catching sailfish and you will have a very strong advantage onboard our fishing charters. We always use live bait to catch these fantastic predators, and we use these two methods with the greatest results:
Kite Fishing in Key West
A rather complicated technique, kite fishing works extremely well for catching sailfish. The kite keeps the bait near the surface of the water, which makes it appear as if a fish is panicking. This is very exciting for larger predators lurking below, especially the sailfish. It involves attaching live bait to long lines which are then temporarily suspended from a kite, which is flown behind the boat. When the sailfish takes your bait, then the line needs to break free from the kite in order to reel your catch in.
Dredge Fishing in Key West
The dredge is an umbrella-shaped device that can hold multiple baits. When trolled through the water with live baits attached, it appears as if a school of fish is swimming by. Predators will always target a group of fish as opposed to a solitary individual, as it increases their chances of catching one. This is why dredge fishing is such an effective method for catching sailfish.
In Key West, sailfish are highly regarded. These fish can exceed 200lbs in weight and measure ten feet in length, but their size ranges according to their age. Swimming at nearly 70mph underwater, sailfish are easily one of the fastest fish in the ocean. With extraordinary predatory abilities, sailfish are highly successful hunters. They can change their colors to confuse their prey, as well as raise and lower their sail to discourage predators and disorient any fish in their vicinity. Sailfish are truly magnificent and anglers in Key West consider them a fantastic prize.
Call now and book your Key West Sailfish Fishing Charter and discover why these fish are so popular.