Florida Fauna & Flora – Sailfish
One of the most popular game fish in Florida is the sailfish – which is also the official state saltwater fish. Sailfish are known for the large, blue first dorsal fin that looks similar to a sail. It has a long, thin spear-like upper jaw. The upper part of the fish is blue-black with brownish sides and a white or silver underbelly.
Sailfish grow up to 11 feet and can weigh as much as 220 pounds. They grow quickly and feed voraciously on squid and smaller fish. In the summer, sailfish move closer to the southeastern Florida shores to spawn in shallow waters. Sailfish may swim alone or in small groups.
If you hook a sailfish, be ready for an acrobatic fight while it tries to escape. These fish are powerful, and they will jump and shake their heads to remove a hook. Look for schools of squid, mullet, pinfish, blue runners and scad that attract sailfish. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends reviving and releasing sailfish.
Fun Fauna Fact: In one year, a sailfish will grow to 4 – 5 feet. The state record sailfish weighed in at 126 pounds.
Read the full June 2021 SECO News online.