Top 10 saltwater game fish -- Sportfishing Guide

Top 10 Saltwater Game Fish — Sportfishing Guide

Offshore anglers who want to catch the ultimate saltwater game fish will find their paradise in the blue-water arena. The fight and skill required to catch a prized pelagic fish is one of the most thrilling parts for sport fishermen. Perhaps it is the delicious fillets that make sportfishing so enjoyable. Sportfishing is an experience that’s unlike anything else, and anglers agree.

After the invention of motorboats in 1989 by Charles Frederick Holder, sportfishing has been around since 1989. The first sportfish boats were built with special features like deep cockpits, leather pockets for fishing rods, and fitted chairs. These are the top ten saltwater game fish that anglers want to catch, whether they participate in tournaments or recreational sportfishing.

#1 Blue Marlin


Blue Marlin is the most prized game fish. These magnificent fish are quick, smart, powerful, and extremely acrobatic. Blue Marlins are considered to be the most difficult to catch and highly valued. Blue Marlins can be found in warm and tropical oceanic waters. They can grow up to 14 feet and a maximum weight of around 2,000 lbs. These monster fish are best caught by fishing large baits and teasers. Prepare for a fight that could last several hours.

#2 Swordfish


The name swordfish comes from the powerful, sword-like bills of these fish. When compared to other blue-water billfish, the swordfish is the most stamina-rich. They can swim over 50 mph and are very fast. They thrive in both tropical and temperate water. Although they spend most of their time at the bottom, they will swim to the surface to hunt at night. Anglers are eager to troll them. Trolling methods include artificial and real squid.

#3 Tarpon


Silver Kings, also known by Tarpon, can be found on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. These unique giants can range in size from 4-8 ft and weigh anywhere from 60 lbs up to more than 250 lbs. Tarpons can jump, swim, and fight well. These bony fish are not edible, but they provide anglers with a thrilling chase. These fish can be caught best using shrimp, crab, pinfish and live mullet.


#4 Black Marlin


The black marlin is a spectacular catch, along with the blue marlin. Black Marlin are restricted to the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This saltwater game fish is most commonly found near the coast and on shallow banks. They can reach a maximum length of 15 feet and weigh more than 1500 lbs. Black Marlin can also swim up to 80 mph and are considered one of the most powerful fish in the ocean. These large game fish can be caught using either rigged or live bait. The IGFA record for the largest game fish caught is 1560 lbs. It was caught in 1953.

#5 Striped Marlin


The Striped Marlin’s aerial display is well-known. This species, like the black marlin in Pacific and tropical Indian waters, puts on an amazing show for anglers. Their stunning blue and lavender stripes, as well as their stark white belly, make them great subjects for photography. They can weigh between 40 and 150 lbs. The IGFA’s world record is 494 lbs.

#6 Mako Shark


These powerful predators are known for their speed, which can reach speeds of up to 60 mph. These sharks are great for fishing because of their fast speeds and quick turn ability. Mako sharks can be hooked and will often breach the water 20 feet above their heads. These sleek predators can be found in both tropical and temperate seas around the world.


#7 Sailfish


This predator is a top choice because of its ability to jump and for its speed in the blue-water arena. Sailfish are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific waters. They can reach speeds of over 68 mph. The length of the Pacific sailfish is longer than that of the Atlantic sailfish. Sailfish are eager to take live and strip baits, as well as trolling teasers. They can also be teased into large flies or pitched lures.

#8 Bluefin Tuna


Bluefin tuna is a prized game fish that is highly valued for its commercial value. They are undoubtedly one of the most delicious and sought-after. Because of their size and endurance, bluefin tuna can be difficult to catch. This is why they are called the “raging bull” of the sea. They can reach an average weight of over 1000 lbs. and have a world record weight of 1496lbs. These game fish are warm-blooded, and thrive in cold water. In the summer, they can be found in abundance in Canada.

#9 Dorado


Due to its tasty fillet and strong fight, the Dorado is also known as the Mahi Mahi Fish. These gorgeous multicolored pelagic fish can grow to up to 18 inches per year and are found in both tropical and temperate water around the world. They are usually caught by anglers using medium tackle and sight casting. These sportfish can swim fast and like floating objects. They often swim under buoys or seaweed.

#10 Wahoo


These fish are torpedo-shaped and rank among the fastest in sea. They can reel out several hundred yards of line in just seconds. Although the Wahoo may not be as large as other fish on this list, it is still very popular for its speed and delicious white meat. These fish can be found in tropical waters around the globe. These fish are often found around wrecks or reefs, where anglers hunt for smaller fish. Trolling is the best method to fish for Wahoo.

Honorable Mention: Roosterfish


Because of its large, comb-like dorsal tail, the Roosterfish can be easily identified. These fish are not good for eating but many anglers consider them to be a great catch because of their persistence, speed, and ability jump. The Eastern Pacific’s warm coasts are home to Roosterfish, which can reach over 100 pounds.

If you would like to embark on a fishing charter trip to catch of any of these amazing species, contact Capt Avery Hughes and The Salty Knost Fishing Team!