ISTIOPHORIDAE FAMILY; also called spindlebeack, bayonetfish
Saifish are a summer visitor to the waters around Los Cabos. It is widely considered the fastest fish in the sea attaining speeds estimated at 60mph. Pacific sailfish are typically much larger than their Atlantic cousins, however they are now considered to be the same species.
They inhabit tropical and subtropical waters near land masses, usually in depths over 6 fathoms, but occasionally caught in lesser depths and from pangas around Cabo. Pelagic and migratory, sailfish usually travel alone or in small groups. They appear to feed mostly in midwater along the edges of reefs or current eddies.
Its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. The second dorsal fin is very small. The bill is usually a little more than twice the length of the elongated lower jaw. The vent is just forward of the first anal fin. The sides often have pale, bluish gray vertical bars or rows of spots.
Its fighting ability and spectacular aerial acrobatics endear the sailfish to the saltwater angler, but it tires quickly and is best fought on light tackle. In Los Cabos, most of the charter companies have 20lb casting rods which are ideal for sailfish. Fishing methods include trolling with baits or lures, as well as live bait fishing and, occasionally, kite fishing if the charter has the equipment.
Recent acoustic tagging and tracking experiments suggest that this species is quite hardy and that survival of released specimens is good.
Current Sailfish All Tackle Record
221 lbs. 0 ounces.
Best time to catch a Sailfish in Cabo: From June until early November. The seasons chart on the main page suggests that sailfish are around most of the year but this is not our experience: they are definitely a summer and early fall fish in Cabo.
Marine Biologist Rick Rosenthal shot some amazing sequences of Sailfish - sadly in Costa Rica - which revealed some astonishing details of their life. Watch the sequence below.
Risck Rosenthal's amazing video from teh Nature show Superfish