Istiophorus platypterus

Life History

Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: It is dark blue along the upper half of the body, fading to brownish-blue on the lower sides to silver white on the belly. The first dorsal fin is high, sail-like, blue-black and covered with many small black spots. All related billfish have a high dorsal fin as juveniles, but only sailfish retain the high fin throughout life. The other fins are silver-blue. On the sides there are 15 to 20 vertical bars consisting of several small blue spots (visible when it is alive).

Size: Averages 35-60 pounds

Range: New York to South Florida, and around Bermuda

Habitat: Open ocean except farther south where it can be found inside the Gulf Stream around wrecks and reefs

Angling Information

Bait and Tackle: Rigged trolling baits or live-baiting are popular along with jigs or drifted Ballyhoo/jig combinations. Light ocean trolling or heavy spinning outfits with lines up to 30-pound test are recommended.

Fishing Method: Drifting, trolling, casting occasionally

Food Value: Very good broiled or smoked

State Regulation

Daily Limit: No Harvest

Federal Regulation

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Marine Fishes of Georgia Posters

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