Pacific Sailfish

Other Names: Spindlebeak, Pez Vela
Physical Description:
Pacific sailfish are dark blue to dark blue-green on top, though when excited they become brighter, attaining a color some call “electric blue.” The sides are brown-blue fading to silver-white on the belly.

The primary color of the sail dorsal is steel blue. The upper body and the main dorsal fin are sprinkled with light and dark blue spots. The sides often have powder blue or blue-gray vertical stripes. Many Pacific sailfish have a gold or copper tint to the gill covers, especially when fatigued. Averages 30-60 pounds, but many under 30 pounds and a few up to 100 pounds are also taken. The potential maximum is less than 150 pounds in the Atlantic Ocean. World record 221 pounds.

Papagayo Fishing – Charters and Beaches

Sail Fishing Costa Rica
Sail Fishing Papagayo Gulf
Sailfish on the Papagayo Gulf

Sailfish can be found in tropical and warm temperate waters throughout the world, mostly in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Sailfish are very plentiful off the Costa Rica coast and Panama coast. In eastern Pacific waters, they can be found in an area generally running from southern California along the coast of Mexico to Peru in South America.

Feeding Habits:
Sailfish feed primarily near the surface, though they occasionally dive to deeper water to feed, depending on where their prey is found. Their diet consists mostly of fish and other sea life found near the surface and is highly dependent upon location.

Sporting Qualities:
Unsurpassed in its size range for combined strength and spectacle. A highly popular target for sport fishermen, Pacific sailfish are a prized trophy species. Their popularity is a result of the challenge of catching one using light tackle, their penchant for dramatic leaps out of the water, and their stunning beauty. Due to declining numbers resulting from overfishing, most sailfish are now caught and released, though this is not as common off the coast of Mexico and Central America.

Like the other billfish, the Sailfish is considered an ocean species, but generally can be found closer to land than the rest, seeming to prefer areas where coral reefs and/or freshwater runoffs mingle with ocean water. At times the Sailfish comes right into the surf and quite a few