The sailfish is one of the most popular big game fish species for saltwater anglers to target these days. These fish have a streamlined and muscular build that's accentuated by the oversized top dorsal fin that's unlike any other billfish on the planet. It's easy to forget the graceful sailfish is built for raw speed so it can zip in and chow down on a school of baitfish before the prey even knows what hit them. Perhaps nothing demonstrates the raw speed and power of the sailfish better than this clip filmed off the back of a boat. These anglers have dropped a GoPro on a line overboard and they start towing it behind the boat. If you look closely, you can clearly see a lure they're trolling which has caught the attention of a sailfish. They reel the lure in but keep the camera in the water and the sailfish keeps following it, even striking the camera at one point.
It's an impressive sight because you get to see exactly how these torpedo-shaped fish move through the water. Realizing how fast this boat is moving also showcases just how fast the sailfish can move through the water.
Note how the fish loses a little bit of ground after the strike and then immediately makes up that ground to get back into striking distance again. The sailfish is usually recognized as the fastest fish on the planet, and this video seems to confirm that. In case you were wondering exactly how fast they are, researchers have done some studies on the matter. According to the University of Notre Dame, sailfish have been recorded moving up to 30 meters a second. That's about 68 miles per hour! In the water, the sailfish is as fast as a cheetah.
The sailfish in this video kept its large sail fin down most of the time. Apparently, this reduces drag and allows the fish to move even faster. It's very likely the boat in this video was not going nearly that fast, so we only saw a glimpse of what these fish are capable of. It just makes us appreciate these beautiful game fish even more.
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