One of the most well-known fish are sailfish. They’re very popular when it comes to sport fishing because they are very challenging to catch, even when you’re an experienced angler. There isn’t a lot that is known about sailfish other than the observations from fisherman. Because this fish has been overfished, their numbers have declined so a lot of people who have caught them return them to the ocean.
Even with being well-known, they’re very hard to study since they’re highly migratory and they’re often found really far from the shore. These factors will make it very hard for the scientists to find, tag, and then collect data on the fish. Fishermen cooperating with scientists is important so that scientists can learn more about this fish.
Below are some facts that are known about sailfish:
1. Habitat and Range
Sailfish can be found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans with each ocean having its own scientific name. in the Pacific Ocean their name is Istiophorus albicans and in the Atlantic Oceean their name is Istiophorus platypterus. But it’s now believed that they are the same fish. They’re just in a different ocean and their size is different. When the sailfish are in the Pacific, they can be as much as 10 feet bigger than their Atlantic counterparts. Based on the water temperatures and catch rates, it’s been determined they prefer the warmer waters, even though they’ve been found in Cape Cod.
There have been studies that were down to check sailfish’s growth rate with some findings that are really amazing. Once the female lays the eggs, they’ll hatch just 36 hours after being laid! They’re very fast growing, and hatchlings can grow as much as 6 feet long in just one year. They average is 6 to 8 feet, but the longest ever caught was back in 1994. This sailfish was more than 10 feet long and weighed 141 lbs.
Sailfish eat squid and flying fish, but they prefer jacks, mackerels, and tunas that swim close to the surface of the ocean. It’s been reported by divers that they saw a few sailfish working together so that their prey is corralled and they use the high fins so that a wall is created to keep small fish from being able to escape along with scaring them into groups that are smaller and denser. They also have observed sailfish using the sharp, long bills so that their prey is stunned and skewered. Sailfish have also been photographed by scientists hunting in a group and flashing their bodies’ brilliant colors when they’ve been excited by the predatory behavior while feeding.
Sailfish are an amazing fish and they’re the fastest fish in the world. If you are looking for a real challenge when you are fishing, sailfish are a great choice. But it’s also a good choice to release the fish after you have caught it. This way more people can have a chance to catch them and maybe we’ll learn more about them!