From January to June, sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) gather in the northern Mexican Caribbean in large numbers tracking huge migrating schools of sardines, anchovies, mackerel and jacks, also attracted by the abundant food supply in these tropical waters. These magnificent fish are the fastest fish on record, reaching speeds of over 68 miles an hour (110 kilometers per hour) when hunting and their pursuit of their prey is incredible to watch.
When they detect a school of smaller fish, sailfish circle and gradually close in, unfurling their impressive dorsal fins or sails and using them to trap their prey. The frightened fish stay together forming a swirling bait ball of shimmering scales designed to confuse enemies. The sailfish dart in from every side, tearing the bait ball apart and picking the fish off one by one using their rapier-like bill to spear and slash in a graceful underwater “ballet.”
Sailfish also change color when they are hunting; their gray or blue skin pulses with iridescent stripes as they move through the water, Scientists believe that the color change is designed to disorientate their prey and warn other sailfish to keep their distance, thus avoiding collisions.
Set sail with Thomas More Travel for an unforgettable eco adventure to snorkel with the sailfish. You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide at all times and will watch from a distance in the water as the sailfish hunt their prey. During the boat ride you’ll also spot frigate birds, pelicans, flying fish and even dolphins, a thrill in itself. The Snorkeling with Sailfish trip is only available from January to March before the fishing season.
Online reservations at www.thomasmoretravel.com or at your resort tour desk.