Florida Sailfish Fishing Charters

Florida Sailfish Fishing Charters

Top Florida Sailfish Fishing Destinations

Best Sailfish Fishing Charters in Florida

Florida: 562 fishing charters available
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(73 reviews)
Pompano Beach
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $400
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(392 reviews)
Panama City Beach
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $550
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(280 reviews)
Fort Lauderdale
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $350
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(334 reviews)
Panama City Beach
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $600

Sailfish Fishing in Florida

Sailfish
  • Size 40 to 60lbs
  • Food Value Low
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Offshore

(Istiophorus platypterus)

Few fish can cause as much excitement as the Sailfish Florida has swimming up and down its coasts. Quick and freakishly agile, this predator can swim up to 70 mph and is able to tail-walk 50 feet across water’s surface. It’s no wonder anglers have developed a keen passion for this fish, along with some creative ways to catch him.

You’ll find Sails swimming around Florida throughout various seasons as they migrate along the Gulf Stream, closely followed by anglers who are eager to catch them every step of the way. For those who are hoping to get in on the action, here’s a rough guide to help you follow these majestic predators wherever they roam.

Where to Find Sailfish in Florida

The best Sailfishing in Florida is primarily found in Atlantic waters, especially in the Keys and along the state’s southeast coast. These southern seas offer quick access to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, along with a couple of other perks which make for prime Sailfish hunting grounds. As they make their way up the Atlantic coast, Sailfish keep swimming farther and farther out from shore. 

The Florida Keys

The middle Keys and the waters surrounding Islamorada are especially productive Sailfishing spots. You’ll find Sails along the Florida Reef just 4 miles from shore. This fish likes to feed near other local reefs, as well, such as the Alligator, Molasses, Conch, Tennessee, and Sombrero Reefs (to name a few).

You’ll also find Sailfish offshore, swimming in the Gulf Stream roughly 10-20 miles from land. Sails are most prevalent in these warm, tropical waters from November to February. They tend to peak in December and January.

Miami

As Florida’s Sailfish make their way north, anglers in Miami have a blast fishing for them just minutes from the dock. Here, the Gulf Stream runs 2-5 miles offshore, bringing Sails within easy reach during winter months. These flamboyant predators peak briefly in November and December, followed by a longer season from February to May.

Stuart

Next up is Stuart, the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” In recent years, the Sailfishing farther south has surpassed prospects in Stuart, but this town still holds on to its title and there’s plenty of reason for anglers to pay a visit.

The Gulf Stream runs 10 miles from shore here, bringing Sailfish through twice a year. You’ll catch a longer run of Sails from November through March, followed by a second peak season in July.

But the real reason why this town got its reputation is the fact that you can also catch Sailfish closer to shore—much closer. The infamous “Sailfish Alley” passes by here on its run from Fort Pierce down to Miami. Fishing boats make a sharp turn out of St Lucie Inlet and head south, often catching 10-15 Sails in a day without even losing sight of the coast. It’s best to hit this Sailfish highway in winter.

Florida’s Central and Northern Atlantic Coast

Following the Gulf Stream north, Sailfish typically reach Florida’s upper coastline by summer and early fall. By the time they make it to St. Augustine, anglers have to travel more than 50 miles offshore to find them. However, the odd Sailfish has been known to turn up at the mouth of St. John’s River and other coastal destination here and there.

The Panhandle

As many Sailfish make their way up the Atlantic Coast, others cruise the waters inside the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re fishing from Florida’s Panhandle, you might encounter a Sail or two just several miles offshore in summer months. The waters around Destin are especially popular for this fish. Anglers even managed to hook a Sailfish while fishing off the Okaloosa Island Pier in Fort Walton Beach.

Florida’s West Coast

You may also run into Sailfish on a deep sea excursion out of Florida’s west coast. Ten to sixteen-hour trips in the Gulf will take you 45+ miles offshore, where Sails and many other predators roam the Bluewater. They reach their peak season here in summer and early fall.

How to Catch Sailfish

There are several ways to catch Sailfish, but kite fishing tends to be the method of choice. Your kite will soar high above but your bait (often Ballyhoo or Mullet) will stay in the water. When the fish bites, your line will pull free from the release clips attached to the kite line. This technique can even catch multiple fish at once.

You can also sight fish, drift fish, or troll for Sailfish. It’s common to troll dead bait or lures at a high speed along the northern Atlantic coast because this method covers more water. South of Jupiter, Sailfish are more common and anglers prefer live baiting for them.

In the shallow water of the Keys, anglers have developed a special technique for targeting packs of this species while they “shower” ballyhoo. As the pack closes in on the Ballyhoo, these baitfish jump and splash the surface, creating a “showering” effect. You can cast a bait (live ballyhoo) into this feeding frenzy for a chance to hook a Sailfish.

If you’re trying to catch a Sailfish from a pier, use a live goggle eye hooked on a bronze 6/0 hook with an 8’ leader of 50 lb test line. Tie a balloon to the connecting swivel and let it float out from the pier.

Florida Sailfish Fishing Seasons

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Seasonality

Sailfish fishing in Florida varies moderately throughout the year. High season is January to February, July and November to December. Low season is April to May and October. There is no closed season.
Florida
Excellent
4.6 / 5
Based on 28,298 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Sailfish Fishing in Florida

I would recommend Lower Keys Offshore Adventures.Weather was great,and it was just a terrific time.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I would recommend Lower Keys Offshore Adventures.Weather was great,and it was just a terrific time.
Lower Keys Offshore Adventures
Lower Keys Offshore Adventures
Captain Randy knows how to catch fish and where to find them! He has amazing experience and knowledge to pull from! Totally recommend fishing with him!!!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Captain Randy knows how to catch fish and where to find them! He has amazing experience and knowledge to pull from! Totally recommend fishing with him!!!
Randy Stallings Charters Flats Fishing
Randy Stallings Charters Flats Fishing
A lot of out of season fish but enough in season to keep for several great meals and memories
Excellent
5.0 / 5
A lot of out of season fish but enough in season to keep for several great meals and memories
Jawbreaker Fishing Charters
Jawbreaker Fishing Charters
I recommend just communicating with the captain and he will accommodate to your requests and will respond promptly to any questions or concerns you may have
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I recommend just communicating with the captain and he will accommodate to your requests and will respond promptly to any questions or concerns you may have
Bearcut Bandit Charters
Bearcut Bandit Charters
Give Doug a call! He will take care of you 100%. He's one of the real ones, he's down to business, he's there to fish and make sure you have the best day possible!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Give Doug a call! He will take care of you 100%. He's one of the real ones, he's down to business, he's there to fish and make sure you have the best day possible!
American Made Charters LLC
American Made Charters LLC
Bass is catch and release at this time at headwaters lake, but the fishing and catching was fun. If you know that going in, and don't have your heart set on bringing home dinner, this is the place to book.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bass is catch and release at this time at headwaters lake, but the fishing and catching was fun. If you know that going in, and don't have your heart set on bringing home dinner, this is the place to book.
Headwaters Lake & Fellsmere Reservoir
Headwaters Lake & Fellsmere Reservoir
There’s fish to be had, and nice ones at that, but general consensus seems to be it really picks up starting in April.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
There’s fish to be had, and nice ones at that, but general consensus seems to be it really picks up starting in April.
Leisure Life Charters
Leisure Life Charters
Captain Nate was awesome! Will definitely book again, super informative and friendly! We had a wonderful day!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Captain Nate was awesome! Will definitely book again, super informative and friendly! We had a wonderful day!
Checkmate Charters
Checkmate Charters
This is great trip - especially for first timers. Saw a lot of experienced fishermen back for another great trip. Captain and crew are very helpful to make sure even non-fisherman caught fish and had a good time.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This is great trip - especially for first timers. Saw a lot of experienced fishermen back for another great trip. Captain and crew are very helpful to make sure even non-fisherman caught fish and had a good time.
Cora Beth Fishing
Cora Beth Fishing
The weather matters! The unseasonable cool and rain started the week off slow but the warm up and that made the last part great.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
The weather matters! The unseasonable cool and rain started the week off slow but the warm up and that made the last part great.
The
The "King of The Glades" Charters
Capt Mike was great, He uses natural bait. Hit all his favorite spots that hold fish and worked the tides. Caught 10 fish on a day that was not ideal condition. Other anglers/boats nearby did not appear to be having success, while we did
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Capt Mike was great, He uses natural bait. Hit all his favorite spots that hold fish and worked the tides. Caught 10 fish on a day that was not ideal condition. Other anglers/boats nearby did not appear to be having success, while we did
FLP Fishing Charters
FLP Fishing Charters
Buy the bait at the marina to save the time on the water going after the big fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Buy the bait at the marina to save the time on the water going after the big fish.
The Way Sportfishing
The Way Sportfishing
Book with David Paycheck! He's the best around and made sure we had a fantastic day out on the lake!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Book with David Paycheck! He's the best around and made sure we had a fantastic day out on the lake!
David Paycheck Fishing Charters
David Paycheck Fishing Charters Sandown, New Hampshire
Many of the target species are highly migratory depending on the time of the year. Catches can vary wildly day to day or even between morning and afternoon trips.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Many of the target species are highly migratory depending on the time of the year. Catches can vary wildly day to day or even between morning and afternoon trips.
Good Hit Sportfishing
Good Hit Sportfishing
Weather permitting there's a lot of good inshore fishing. A lot of different species are out there and they're a blast to catch!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Weather permitting there's a lot of good inshore fishing. A lot of different species are out there and they're a blast to catch!
Always Somethin' Charters
Always Somethin' Charters
Do the 6hr rather than just a 4hr this gives you time to make moves if you’re not catching
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Do the 6hr rather than just a 4hr this gives you time to make moves if you’re not catching
Reel Easy Charters
Reel Easy Charters
It was a little windy, but our captain or captain knew places to avoid that. So it didn’t hinder us one bit
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It was a little windy, but our captain or captain knew places to avoid that. So it didn’t hinder us one bit
AMI Charter Fishing – Fish Guaranteed!
AMI Charter Fishing – Fish Guaranteed!
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Excellent
4.7 / 5
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Always Somethin' Charters
Always Somethin' Charters
Don't expect to catch what you want. It is fishing. But the experiance is so wonderful and if you are coming from cold country in February it's a plus plus. Sunshine and water you can't go wrong.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Don't expect to catch what you want. It is fishing. But the experiance is so wonderful and if you are coming from cold country in February it's a plus plus. Sunshine and water you can't go wrong.
Blue Dream Fishing
Blue Dream Fishing
Super fun trip! Captain gave all the options with advice on what he would do to catch what we wanted!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Super fun trip! Captain gave all the options with advice on what he would do to catch what we wanted!
Neptune Fishing Charters
Neptune Fishing Charters

Fish Species Similar to Sailfish in Florida