Sailfish sport fishing in Florida from 1950s till present (Video)

Video courtesy: the State Archives of Florida, USA

Sailfishin Florida memory


The title of this video: “Sailfish city” and was filmed during 1950s. The caption of the video states: ”This film is about fishing for sailfish off Fort Pierce. It shows how to use mullet for bait. There is lots of action as sailfish are caught”. The film was produced by the Florida State Advertising Commission and Russell-Barton Film Co.

Review by Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel): After about 60 years of taking this video, it is obvious that the sailfishing remains highly attractive and fishing trips whether through boats or charters are arranged especially during the winter months in Florida which is considered one of the world’s top destinations for catching sailfish where anglers come from many places to enjoy fishing such beautiful and acrobatic fish making the sailfish fishing an extremely exciting experience. The main sailfishing methods are either dangling live baits from fishing kites or using live baits either drifted or slow trolled.

Over decades, angler attitudes have changed, whereas catch and release has become the norm as a means of conservation of sailfish resources. In fact, various reports state that the catch-and-release ethic has significantly contributed to the stability of sailfish populations and hence the catch and release practice is highly encouraged for the economic value of sailfish to sport fishing especially on the other hand, commercial long liners and other commercial vessels kill several thousands of billfish including sailfish every year due to by catch.

Even though sailfish is not endangered, there are some conservation measures which are in place. For example, private boats, head-boats and charter boats that seek sailfish in federal water must purchase an annual “Highly Migratory Species” permit. Moreover, federal regulations prohibit removing an Atlantic sailfish from the water before an immediate release. Also, the legal-size of sailfish that can be harvested has been specified to be more than 63 inches (lower jaw fork length) conditioned to having proper licenses and permits.

It may be of interest to know that most anglers usually will choose to keep the sailfish and have it mounted as a means of remembering their catch. In regard to photographing, sailfish laws in Florida state waters do not have any restrictions on photographing released catch, although most sailfish are caught farther offshore in federal jurisdiction where federal regulations prohibit pulling a fish out of the water for a photo. It seems this particular issue (photographing) would continue to be a debatable issue.



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