Gold coast sailfish
Sailfish are reasonably common in Gold coast waters throughout the summer months, They like to live in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world. They are blue to grey in colour and have a distinctive dorsal fin that is also known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another characteristic is the bill, resembling that of the Broadbill swordfish other Marlin species. They are a highly regarded Game fish in sport fishing circles.
Sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2-1.5 m in less than a year, and feed on bait fish such as Slimy mackerel, Yellowtail scad, pilchards, frigate mackerel, squid and bonito near the surface or at mid-depths high up in the water column. Generally speaking, sailfish do not grow to more than 3.5 m in length and rarely weigh over 120kg.
The sail is normally kept folded down when swimming, but it will be raised when the sailfish feels threatened or excited, making the fish appear much bigger than it is. This tactic has also been observed during feeding, when a school of sailfish use their sails to “herd” a school of bait fish towards the surface before embarking in a feeding frenzy on their herded victims.
We rarely specifically target Sailfish here on the Gold coast, but they are often taken as a by catch while targeting species like Tuna, marlin, Mackerel, Mahi mahi and cobia. They are often taken while trolling skirted lures for Marlin, and they often respond to live baits like yakkas and slimies set under balloons. Sailfish hit hard and fast and usually explode the surface with awesome display of aerial acrobatics, when using light tackle some fast boat work is required to avoid being clean spooled.
Sailfish often travel in small groups and double and triple hook ups are not uncommon when trolling skirted lures. We recommend tackle in the 15-24kg range, preferably overhead reels due to their longer line capacity to avoid being spooled, but thradlines will work to if you are prepared to give chase with the boat.
When targeting Gold coast Sailfish and marlin keep an eye out for tell tale signs such as current lines and working sea birds, also keep an eye on your sounder and watch for bait fish balled up high in the water column, this often indicates that bigger predatory fish like sailfish and marlin are rounding them up.
If you would like to book one of our Surfers paradise fishing charters visit our home page for more information, for information about other species we catch on our charters visit our Species guide page.