40 Years of FS

They’re so quick, they’re fast in photographs. Their velocity, ferocity and blue beauty challenge even the best angler’s eye-hand coordination. The richest sportsmen and women target them in million dollar tournaments off Florida’s coasts, as do weekend anglers in their once- or twice-a-month chances to fish. They are a majestic pelagic species, uncontainable in captivity, and a living embodiment and constant reminder to us of one of a great truth of survival—never stop
moving forward. Sailfish.

These are a few of the reasons why we love sailfish. What follows is 40 years’ worth more.

Here, we present the second in our yearlong series of retrospectives of 40 years of FS coverage of key Florida species. This month’s look at Atlantic sailfish highlights: southeast Florida’s famed Sailfish Alley, the evolution of tackle, technique and boatbuilding, the stellar growth of conservation of the stocks, and the ever-expanding base of knowledge about sailfish biology, all covered in-depth, and at length, over the years in FS.

Enjoy this look at sailfish through the lens
and pens of FS. Next month we turn inshore to
speckled seatrout.

—David Conway, Managing Editor



January-February 1970 – Magazine cover. Note the original name of FS, “Florida & Tropic Sportsman”.


June 1972 – Danger: Slaughter in the gulf by longliners!


December 1980 – 83 Sailfish: One Boat, One Day


February 1983 – Sailfish Alley


December 1993 – A new legend for sails. Angelo Durante chronicles Nick Smith’s redesign of his “Old Reliable”.


December 1996 – “Boiling Brawl” cover. Photograph by Eric Wickstrom.


December 1996 – Season of Sails.


January 2000 – A Sailfish Salute.


October 2003 – Circling Guatemala Sails.

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