Florida Bill Fish- the Marlin, Sailfish, Sword Fish, Spear Fish and Saw Fish

Florida Bill Fish- the Marlin, Sailfish, Sword Fish, Spear Fish and Saw Fish

In fishing, it is extremely important for anglers to know what types of fish there are in a certain location, like Florida. While tuna is one of the most abundant species in Florida, there is also another species of fish that thrives in the Florida waters just as much. These other species are known as bill fish.

Florida Bill Fish

Bill fish is a common term applied to large predatory fish that are known for typically being large in size with long sword-like bills. Some of the most popular bill fish that have been identified include sailfish and marlin. In addition, these species can be found in the migratory, pelagic, and all oceans.

In Florida, however, there are specific species that are found in abundance in its waters. Some of the bill fish found in Florida includes the following:

  1. Sailfish –is a bill fish that is blue to grey in color and has an erectile dorsal fin which stands for its sail.
  2. Blue marlin – also known as the Atlantic blue marlin, is a popular game fish and has high fat content.
  3. White marlin – is an elongated fish with an upper jaw that forms a spear and has dark blue to chocolate-brown color.
  4. Striped marlin – a species of marlin known to be one of the biggest game fish, weighing at 190 kg.

While there are other fishes that are also found in Florida, a number of anglers travel to Florida for a chance to catch bill fish since these fishes are sometimes deemed a bit aggressive and hard to capture making it more challenging for them. To catch a billfish is one of those memorable moments in an angler’s record that beats capturing the often common snappers.

Come explore a iOutdoor Fishing Adventure on your next visit to Florida setting kite on your favorite offshore species!



Now THIS is a sword fish!  This sword was taken off the coast of Massachusetts with electric harpoon while giant tuna fishing.  These fish, and giant tuna alike, gorge themselves on sardines and krill and when satiated rise to the surface and layout while they digest their massive meals.  It is possible to approach these monsters while they are lying out and harpoon them on the surface, and then quickly kill them by electric shock to keep the quality of meet at its peak. 

By using an electric shock and harpoon the fish dies quickly and eliminates the lactic acid buildup in the meat that would normally occur during the titanic struggle they put up if caught on just hook and line – a quick kill ensures the best quality tuna which is flown to Japan and sold in the world’s largest tuna markets- some fish bringing as much as $10,000!

What else could it be?

It is not unusual to find giant tuna and sword fish together in one area- during these feeding opportunities whales, tuna, sharks and swords along with other predatory fish will be on station to get their share of the bounty!

The boats used in tuna fishing using the method of electric harpoon are unique as well.  The vessel has a bow pulpit 30 feet long and just wide enough for a man to make his way out to the end- here with the help of the mate high up in the crow’s nest, which extends some thirty feet above the water, he spots the fish laying out on the surface. 

A rope is tied to the harpoon and then to a big float so that if the fish is not killed directly and runs it can take out the line and buoy until it tires and is picked up later.

Unfortunately this Captain suffered an unforeseen consequence linked to the sad day 911- he had several large tuna on board, one valued at over $10,000, not knowing that 911 had happened he made his way back to port to prepare the fish to be flown to the tuna markets in Japan, unfortunately there were no planes flying and the catch had to be sold on the local market at pennies on the dollar.

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