Top Three Places to Catch Sailfish in Florida

Updated on August 12, 2022

Sailfish are a prized sportfish for many anglers around the world. Their sail-like dorsal fin makes them a stunning trophy fish that creates lasting memories. These fish fight like no other, often totaling more than 20 jumps once on the line. Sailfish are an elusive predator that is difficult to catch, making them a bucket list sportfish everywhere they're found. There are several places where they can be found in great numbers, so check out these top three recommendations.

Palm Beach

If you want to chase sailfish, head out into the gulf stream to the legendary Sailfish Alley which is known for being packed with trophy-sized fish. Palm Beach is a unique location because the Gulf Stream runs right by the shore, so there is elite Sailfish fishing available on hand. As the current flows north, westerly winds push baitfish up the continental shelf where they are sitting ducks for packs of hungry Sailfish.

The winter months are the best time to fish for Sailfish in Palm Beach. Primetime is December to January, but there is a last surge of billfish in April before they head south again.

captain leo sailfish

Fort Lauderdale

Charter fishing out of Fort Lauderdale offers some of the most action-packed and accessible fishing trips you can find anywhere. After just a short run from the dock, you'll be deep dropping, trolling, casting, or drift-fishing in one of the best fishing spots in the world. Fort Lauderdale is also a well-known Sailfish destination because the high flying billfish are available year-round. Winter is the most productive time of the year for catching Sailfish, but occasionally some are caught in the summer. The other amazing thing about Sailfishing in Fort Lauderdale is that most are found a mere two miles offshore. They are easily accessible and are often caught using kite-fishing rigs or trolling with live bait.

Key West

The southern tip of Florida is way out there in the Gulf, so offshore deepwater fishing is easily accessible. Out there, Sailfish are caught year-round but the best season runs from November to April. They can be found in any depths from 25 to 2000 feet in either the Gulf or the Atlantic. One thing that makes Key West such an elite place to catch Sailfish is that they hunt in packs along the Gulf Stream. This means that anglers will sometimes haul in several record sportfish in one trip. In fact, several famous Sailfish tournaments take place in Key West every year. Baitfish follow the Gulf Stream, and Sailfish follow the baitfish. In a natural conclusion, anglers follow the Sailfish. Check out some of these damn good sailfish guides in Key West!

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