Catching Sailfish in Miami, Florida:

A Complete Guide

Miami is the US’ Sailfish Capital, and Florida features sailfish as its saltwater state fish. So, it’s not a surprise that plenty of anglers seek this fish. If that’s not enough to convince you to seek sailfish, this might: sailfish are fast, acrobatic, and powerful fish perfect for anglers seeking a thrill.

Catching Sailfish in Miami, Florida

You can find sailfish anywhere as long as you’re within warm oceans, but Miami is quite well-known for great winter sailfish fishing results. This is because since it’s cold everywhere else, Florida serves as the sailfish’s warm-enough sanctuary.

On average, you can expect Miami to hold sailfish that weigh 40 to 60 pounds, although sailfish can grow as big as 220 pounds. You’ll often see them as 4 to 5 feet tall fish, but they may also reach 11 feet. At present, Florida’s largest sailfish catch weighs 126 pounds.

So, as you may have realized by now, sailfish packs quite some power with their size. When paired with their speed, which can reach 60 mph, they’re quite formidable and perfect as game fish.

Best Sailfish Fishing Spots in Miami

You can find a good number of sailfish within 130 to 300 feet of Miami’s coast. There’s also Sailfish Alley, which stands close to the Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream sends plenty of snacks to Florida’s Treasure Coast. In turn, this attracts an abundance of feeding fish to the coast. You’re in Sailfish Alley when you’re within Fort Pierce to West Palm Beach. 

Best Baits for Sailfish in Miami

Sailfish revel in live bait. So, always choose live bait when fishing for these fish. Live baits like scads, mullet, goggle-eyes, ballyhoo, pinfish, pilchards, herring, blue runners, tinker mackerel, and sardines attract sailfish the most.

Common Techniques for Sailfish Fishing

Fishing enthusiasts trying to capture sailfish in Miami often choose to kite fish. This ensures their bait swims just below the ocean’s surface and hides the tackle from the sailfish. 

Besides kite fishing, you can also choose handlining, fly fishing, deep sea fishing, drift fishing, light tackling, and trolling as a method to catch sailfish.

Sailfish Season in Miami, Florida

Since Miami’s waters are warm, sailfish season doesn’t close. However, you’ll find that the best time to fish for sailfish in Florida is around November to April. During that time, it’s winter everywhere else and all the sailfish are migrating to avoid the cold water. 

Sailfish fishing season in Miami peaks in January to March, May, September, and November. During peak season, you can witness boats catching around 10 to 30 sailfish a day. Most people consider April as the low season for sailfish. 

Sailfish Fishing Regulations in Florida

You can’t take any more than 1 sailfish per person in Florida. Additionally, the sailfish’s minimum length needs to reach at least 63 inches. If you’d like to read more about billfish fishing in Florida, check out this page.

Hiring a Fishing Charter for Sailfish Fishing

For a safe, memorable, and smooth fishing adventure, it’s best to hire a fishing charter. It’s even more crucial that you have a guide with you when fishing for sailfish. Remember, these fish are acrobatic and swift fighters.

You’ll benefit from being armed with excellent fishing gear, which a fishing charter can provide. You may also need help looking for the best sailfish fishing spot within Sailfish Alley.

Other Fish to Catch in Miami

If you’re done with catching sailfish in Miami, you can check out the other fish residing within this city. Miami’s waters house amberjack, barracuda, bassbonefish, dolphinfish, grouper, mackerel, permit, redfishseatrout, snook, snapper, tarpon, tilefish, tuna, and wahoo alongside sailfish.

Click on each fish to learn more about them, or browse around our blog for some handy guides in catching fish in Miami, Florida. 

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