Coffs sailfish surprise

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Daniel Curzon caught this sailfish off Coffs Harbour.
LOCAL angler Daniel Curzon was livebaiting off Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast last weekend when he got a rather large surprise involving this stunning sailfish! 

After a quick photo, the fish was released in excellent condition. 

Sailfish are a member of the Istiophoridae family, which also includes marlins. They are easily identifiable due to their large sail-like dorsal fin, electric blue-purple spots and vertical bands. 

Sailfish tend to congregate around reefs and islands in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Growing to more than 100 kilos, they are a prized sport fish targeted by anglers fishing the inshore reefs of the North-West coast, seamounts of the Great Barrier Reef, and South Pacific islands. Sailfish hot spots in Australia include places like Exmouth, Dampier, Broome, Groote Islandt and Weipa. 

There are a handful of reported captures of sailfish in NSW waters each year. Interestingly, the Australian Museum has records of sailfish being caught as far south as Tasmania. The distribution of sailfish is very dependent on the warm nutrient rich waters of the East Australia Current, which has been running hard so far this year. 

Anyone else caught weird or surprising catches in NSW waters recently? If so, send the info and images to NSW Fisheries at and they'll post on the most unusual on their Facebook page.


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