World Record for Atlantic Sailfish

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Eugénio Pereira
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The story of Eugénio Pereira world record Atlantic Sailfish—105.2-pounds (47.75 kilograms), Sal Island, Cabo Verde, August 7, 2007 


On the 7th August around 07:30 a.m., I left the pear of Santa Maria do Sal on Sal Island, on board of the “Whanadoo”, which is already familiar to me from other huntings on this Island. My buddies were João Santos , João Guedes , and the captain , Paulo Santos.

It was a still cloudy and windy morning, and in 40 minutes we were on the spot chosen for the hunting , South East of the Island, 4 miles offshore, the locals call it the “canal”. . We sailed with a large waves of 1,00 / 2,00 meters. I chose to make a first dive on the northern part of the spot, in order to organize the morning with the other dives on the southern area. Around 08:30 a.m. I jumped in and my computer read 26ºC, the visibility was about 12 meters and there were many forms of plankton so closed that made it dark. As the waters were still I could dive longer without surpassing the spot zone. After an hour without even seeing a Wahoo and only some Balistes  carolinensis I suddenly spotted, on my left side, 2 meters from the surface line a Sailfish coming towards me. After gaining its trust I dived in its direction swimming fast until a safe shot position; suddenly it changed course to its right coming to a good shot position. I aimed and shot onto its back and the fish snatched away rapidly, turns around and passes near me with the spear on the back. I scared with its sudden approach but I also saw that the spear was and that reassured me. The floats followed the fish and worked until it got tired. I managed to recover the fish without difficulty and gave it to the captain. The battle lasted 17 minutes. Then I jumped into the boat and decided to dive to the south. Going to the water I found it clear, with more visibility, 15 meters; the deep in this local is about 70 meters, and I was hopping to find some Wahoos for I was already satisfied with the previous capture .Thirty minutes passed by and no Wahoos and suddenly, 15,00 meters ahead 4 meters from the surface I saw a enormous form which was familiar and recent to me .It began to gain more definite forms and recognised that it was a Sailfish ; much more larger than the other. The fish continued it’s approaching until more or less 10 meters away from me , and I kept  still with the gun alongside me. When I  started to see more clearly the fish’s head it turned around and started swimming , then I plunged and positioned the gun pursuing the fish but trying not to show it my body. As I didn’t have the head at shot range I didn’t risk and aimed at the back , swam faster and at the distance of 8 meters from my wrist I trusted my Rob Allen 1,60 m and I shot. I saw the shaft penetrated   that enormous body and stood well fixed ; the fish moved away always at surface level pushing the floats behind with a constant speed. I came to the surface to see the floats and then started to swim fast to maintain eye contact with them . But the fish was quite ahead, I kept swimming then I stopped and looked at the surface, and I saw a 90º degrees divert. It is then that , after 25 minutes of great effort, I manage to have physical contact with the floats and the trail line, I recovered the bungee leader and asked the captain to give me a Rob Allen 1,30 m  with a single rubber 20mm with reel, I charged the gun, dived and the fish turns around passing near by. I aimed and shot a 2nd shot onto its back, fastened the gun to the 35 liters Rob Allen float . Suddenly it swam towards the bottom trying to liberate from the spears, stretched the bungee in a way that the 35 liters float turned to a vertical position. I took more 25 minutes to recover it and when I arrived to the leader the fish was already exhausted and I dived along the leader, approached the fish carefully, took it by the gills, immobilised  it with my arms and brought it to the surface with me. When I grasped it I said to myself  : oh ! Great !. I jumped into the boat and carried it with me, took the spears and looked at the fish, it was  really a fine exemplar of Sailfish. Then I decided to close my hunting day with these two fine trophies, one with 24,750 kg and the other with 47,750 kg and came back to   Santa Maria do Sal to proceed to weigh and photograph the fish.

Equipment description:,I used : 

Rob Allen  1,60m Tuna railgun (double rubber ), 7mm spear with 2,00m lenght.The railgun was connected directly to the trail line  by a 1 meter  Rob Allen bungee leader. The trail line is composed by :  

1.- 1 meter Rob Allen bugee leader, stretch 5

2.-8 meters of leader nylon 1000lbs, 3,1mm

3.- 20 meters of Rob Allen floating line

4.-7 meters of standard Rob Allen bungee, stretch 5 lengths

5.-A  Rob Allen 4 liters rigid  float

6.- 2 meters of standard Rob Allen bungee with sweevel between the floats

7.- Rob Allen 35 liters inflatable float.

I used a blue water camy suit 3,5mm by Cressy sub and  Gara 3000 Cressi sub fins.




Riccardo Andreoli
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The story of Riccardo Andreoli previous world record Atlantic Sailfish—76-pounds (34.5 kilograms), Cape Verde Islands, July 19, 2005


EQUIPMENT: I used a standard Steve Alexander Tuna Gun of 178 cm length. The spear, also standard Steve Alexander, is almost 1 cm thick, 185 cm of length, with a standard Steve Alexander slip-tip, tricut. The spear is connected to the gun with 1,5 mm stainless steel cable, plastic coated, standard Steve Alexander. Four Steve Alexander standard elastic bands.

The floating line - float system is as follows.
From the gun:

  • 8 meters of double 1.8 mm thick, 400 lbs, loosely braided nylon line, to avoid the problem of the high visibility of the floating line or the bungee near the spearfisher: it’s almost invisible in the water and in my experience does not disturb if not minimally the fish.
  • 20 m of 300 kg nylon floating line
  • a standard 8 liters rigid Rob Allen float
  • 2 meters of standard Rob Allen bungee, stretch 5
  • a standard 35 liters inflatable Rob Allen float

I used a wetsuit of 3 mm thick, VERY old by now. Fins: the C4 FLAP carbon fiber.


It was around 10.45 am. There was a strong wind from the north, and in the ocean there were big waves with breakers almost on all of them. The route that morning brought us from the coastline was extremely wet and we were inside the wetsuits before almost to leave it. The water conditions were not optimal, even if the place is more than three miles from the mainland, with a depth given by the sea map of more than 250 m. The viso was around a 15-17 m, with a lot of plankton floating around, thicker near the surface. The flasher, a standard Rob Allen three-propellers type, with 8-10 m of nylon line, was not very clear, down. No sun to speak about.

I like to dive almost by myself and as usual I had my own flasher and fished some way from the others. The current had anyway already moved us from the optimal point and we were all slowly approaching the boat to jump in and move on. Suddenly, a dark shape, big, with a huge tail, arrives, fast, on the flasher, on a route descending from an upper level of water: Sailfish! Unmistakable! My reaction is instantaneous, big breath, without all the nice little refinements one does with more time, and I dive. The gun is already extended in vertical below me and I have only to angle it slightly. With a dimly perceived peripheral vision I see on my left the shape of another diver going for the fish but it’s already too late for him, the fast moving fish has already left him behind. I’m in a good position, I remember I thought. Then I remember nothing else if not a tunneling of the world itself on the right pectoral fin of the fish with the exclusion of anything else.

At full speed I swim to the fish, I arrive in the firing zone, the right arm full extended, the left hand keeping the gun butt firmly away from my face. I wait some more fractions of second, just to be sure, with THIS fish above all, of the aiming. The sailfish is already turning away and he’s accelerating, his body starting to angle away from me. I pull the trigger. The gun convulses against my arms but the aim is true, I see the spear slamming against his side, a little high but the shot is aimed slightly in a down direction and the shot is not a killing one but a good one.

Then the fish disappears, with a speed that leaves nothing in the memory between the fish, there with the spear in his side, and no fish at all. I resurface and I’m almost run over by the little yellow 8 liters Rob Allen float. I try to grab the bungee between the two floats but the speed of the fish is so great, and the ocean so rough, that the big float stops an instant only against another breaker behind me, only to being pulled so hard that it stretches the bungee almost to the limit and then literally fly over me in a burst of foam. And so the chase started.

And a long chase really it was. For the first couple of minutes I keep in sight the big red float but after that it simply disappears between the waves. I start swimming after the receding floats, arms extended before me. I swim hard, like in a test in a swimming pool. After some minutes I’m forced to stop and to look around, in search of the floats. There they are. I restart swimming. After every four-five minutes I have to stop, search for the floats and restart swimming. Fortunately, after some time, I’m sure: I’m constantly gaining. And then the time comes when I see them on the top of the next wave. With a burst of speed I know I can’t maintain I succeed in grabbing them. The chase lasted at least a good fifteen minutes, with the maximum speed my powerful fins and my legs permitted me.

After a couple of minutes I feel almost recovered and I can start to approach the fish. I realize that he’s not exerting his full swimming capacity, luckily for me, because the rearmost end of the spear is banging against the upper lobe of his huge tail every time he swings it, chafing it raw. The fish is tired by now and I’m able to arrive just behind him and try to grab the tail. I’m waiting for every kind of explosion but he simply put on a burst of speed that just but dislodges my hand.

After that it’s easy. I grab the spear, I pull till I can direct the head toward the surface, I insert my hand inside the gills avoiding the bill and I swim, helped by the fish, to the surface. There, I swiftly kill the fish. And then, finally, I stop. Only breathing, listening to my heart slowly reducing its pounding, with the huge fish in my hands, his color already turning slowly to gray, the everlasting waves washing over me like it happened when all this was yet to occur.
Riccardo Andreoli  ( )

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