Can You Eat Sailfish?

Can You Eat A Sailfish

Yes, you can eat Sailfish, but depending on where you are fishing, keeping and killing a sailfish to eat it might not be legal. (See Below).

Why Can’t You Keep A Sailfish

why cant you keep a sailfish

Sailfish, much like Marlin and other billfish, are often protected by conservation laws designed to make sure they’re not overfished.

Sailfish Laws In The United States

In the United States, federal regulations require that Sailfish be released back into the water after being caught. This means that unless you have a special permit, eating a sailfish will largely be off-limits.

What does sailfish taste like?

what does a sailfish taste like

Sailfish meat is both firm and flavorful, similar to tuna; however, in comparison to other oceanic fish like Wahoo and Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), sailfish can sometimes have a more pronounced flavor that some describe as “fishy,” although the degree of intensity can vary widely from fish to fish.

Are Sailfish Good To Eat?

Generally, sailfish are not considered good to eat, and that’s in part due to that inconsistency in flavor. Some sailfish will have a very strong fishy flavor that few would enjoy, while others will be milder and, therefore, tastier.

Because of this, unlike when eating Marlin, you may want to cook your sailfish by smoking or grilling it. The most common methods for eating sailfish are:

  • Smoked
  • Grilled
  • Stir Fry
  • Fried
  • Baked

Tip for eating sailfish:  If you want to minimize the potential fishy taste, brine your fish in a saltwater solution combined with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.

Is Sailfish Healthy?

Sailfish certainly could be considered healthy!  It’s meat is valued for its protein and omega-3 fatty acid composition, and it certainly has enough protein to be noteworthy. 

This fish also has high levels of arginine, termed a healthy amino acid since it facilitates the body’s production of nitric oxide, which assists in controlling blood pressure, stretching blood vessel walls, and calming arterial stress.

What this all means is that eating some sailfish could potentially inhibit platelet aggregation, thus reducing risks of cardiovascular episodes and strokes.

Sailfish Recipe

This Grilled Sailfish with Mango Salsa recipe is a delicious and tropical twist on traditional grilled fish. The sailfish is seasoned with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper before being grilled to perfection. It is then topped with a fresh and flavorful mango salsa that is made with diced mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic.  (This is not the recipe shown in the video)


  • 1 pound sailfish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Brush the sailfish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the fillets on the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the mango, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic.
  5. Serve the grilled sailfish with the mango salsa on top.

Can You Keep A Sailfish In Florida?

Yes, it is possible to keep a sailfish in Florida and many other states, but to do so, you must have a “Highly Migratory Species” (HMS Permit) Vessel Permit and report your landing.


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Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.