State Saltwater Fish

Sailfish

Sailfish

Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) are not unique to Florida; they are found nearly everywhere there is warm ocean water. However, Florida sailfishing is legendary, especially in the Fort Pierce, Miami, and Keys areas during colder months. Sailfish migrate southward as the weather chills in the north.

The sailfish can reach speeds of sixty m.p.h. The average size of sailfish found in Florida is approximately six to seven feet and thirty to forty-five pounds. (The author Ernest Hemingway landed a nine-foot, on-inch sailfish off Key West in 1934.)

The 1975 Florida legislature adopted the Atlantic sailfish as the state's official saltwater fish.