Thursday, August 16, 2007

Australian Sportfish Profile - Sailfish

The sailfish is a true sportsfish in all sense of the term. They fight hard and usually put up a superb aerobatics display.

Sailfish prefer warmer water and are a schooling species, working over bait schools in groups of fifty or more. Sailfish occur in warm waters around the world, usually between 30 degrees north and south of the equator. They are generally a blue water target, but often come close enough to land to be caught be rock fishermen when conditions are right.
In Australia sailfish are regularly caught as far south as the Queensland-New South Wales border and on the west coast their range extends south to Geraldton. However the greatest numbers of fish are along the tropical north coast.
They are often found cruising along the edges of reefs and current lines.

How to catch them
Sailfish take a wide variety of baits and lures, the only problem is finding the right bait at the right time. A list of baits, lures and methods to try for sailfish would include:

  • Trolled strip baits
  • Trolled squid
  • Trolled dead and live fish
  • Drifing (or slow trolling) live and dead fish
  • Various trolled bullet head luers, plastic squids
  • Saltwater fly
Most anglers use stand up tackle to catch sailfish. They can be taken on relatively light line and require a strong monofilament or fluorocarbon leader - wire is not needed.

Eating qualities
Sailfish are eaten in parts of the world, but most fish in Australia are released unharmed unless there is a record claim.

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