Pacific Sailfish


Pacific Prey

Seeking the Sailfish Off Oahu

One of the rarest and most beautiful fish to be found in Hawaiian waters, the Pacific Sailfish doesn’t show up often, but when it does, you’ll recognize it on sight. Hooking a fish like this is sure to give you an experience to remember, and if you manage to reel it in, you’ll earn respect and renown throughout the fishing world.

Sail Fishing in the Waters of Oahu

The Pacific Sailfish rarely makes its way into our island’s waters, making it hard to estimate a specific time of year that is best for seeking it. When it is present, it can be easily identified by its large and beautiful sail, which displays a mixture of dark blue and lavender colors. You can catch it with live mackerel or google eyes. This fish is closely related to the marlin, meaning that when you hook it, it is likely to begin leaping about, making for an intense and exhausting fishing experience. It only weighs 45 pounds on average, limiting the danger and difficulty of reeling it in, but the largest specimens in Hawaiian history have reached nearly 120 pounds. You thus shouldn’t seek this fish unless you are prepared to fight.

Pacific Sailfish pacific sailfish

Hawaiian Name: A’u lepe
Avg. Weight: 45 lbs
Best Time of Year: Year-round (seldom caught)
IGFA World Record: 221 lbs.
Place: Santa Cruz Is., Ecuador
Year: 1947
State Record: 119 lbs.
Place: Island of Hawaii
Year: 1983

Pacific Sailfish

This beautiful species is rare in Hawaii, but is occasionally caught. Once hooked, the angler is likely to experience many thrilling jumps by the fish. The enormous dorsal fin makes the Sailfish easy to identify at any size.



Fishing Season Oahu Maui Kauai Big Island
January Fair Fair
February Fair Fair
March Fair Fair
April Fair Fair
May Fair Fair
June Good Fair
July Good Fair
August Fair Fair
September Fair Fair
October Fair Fair
November Fair Fair
December Fair Fair

Our Recent Pacific Sailfish Catches – Follow us on Instagram


For Pacific Sailfish

Meat from the Pacific Sailfish is relatively tough and thick, and is usually prepared in fillet form and soaked in milk before cooking. You can fry it in a pan along with butter, garlic, onion, pepper, and lemon juice; cook each side for about 6 minutes or until the meat is tender but not too dry. Alternatively, you can coat the meat in olive oil and bake it, ideally after sprinkling with salt, pepper, and chives.

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Whipsaw Sportfishing knows the art of catching Sailfish and other rare and beautiful game. Book a tour with us here and learn more about Oahu fishing.