What Is the Best Bait for Sailfish?


One of the most sought-after catches in fishing is the sailfish. Because of its size, speed and fierce fight, sailfish fishing can be one of the most difficult but rewarding game fishes.

What Is a Sailfish?

Sailfish is a type of billfish, similar to the blue marlin and swordfish. In the beginning, there were two species of sailfish in the world: the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic sailfish. However, most authorities recognize only one species.

Where Can You Find Sailfish?

Sailfish are found in tropical and warm-temperate waters around the globe. They are pelagic animals that move constantly across the ocean. These fish migrate to different water bodies at different times of the year and swim in groups. There are many destinations around the globe that offer great Sailfish action, depending on the season. Florida, known as the “sailfish capital” of the world, is home to some of the most notable of these fish.

Sailfish Baits

Sailfish can be caught with many different baits. The small Ballyhoo trolling bait is one of the most common. A cooler full is a good idea, brined and rigged. Another option is the “Panama Strip” (or belly strips), which is made of false albacore or from the bonito tuna’s belly. You should use a variety of live baits when Sailfishing to get the best results, including blue runners, cigar minnows or goggle eyes, large pilchards and speedos.

These baits can all be slowly trolled by either lip-hooking like with mullet or nose-hooking in front of the eyes for most baits or at the dorsal edge for deeper swimming. Dead baits can also be used, but it is important to close your lips so that the bait does not “spin” in the water.

The article was written by a professional charter captain at Salty Knots Fishing Charters with 15+ years of experience in the Gulf of Mexico. Salty Knots Fishing Charters is a local fishing charter service based out of St. Pete Beach, Florida. “We know what it takes to catch a giant trophy fish!” Salty Knots Is the best when it comes to Deep Sea Fishing St Pete Beach.