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February 09, 2011

15 Great Sailfish Spots

Whether you want triple-digit trophies, double-digit-release days or both, here are 15 great sailfish spots in three oceans where you can make it happen

Thailand, Phuket

More than two decades ago, ­sailfish seemed to be everywhere just off Phuket in southern Thailand. Then commercial netters began to target sails and the fishery declined. Last season, sails made a real comeback, with anglers enjoying up to 10 shots and charters often releasing several sails in a day. Whether it's a seasonal one-off or a return to great days of the past remains to be seen.

Why You Should Go: Generally calm conditions and a long season, from June through December. A mecca for Western tourists, Phuket offers a particularly inviting base of operations for anglers; accommodations run from bargain-basement hotels to fivestar luxury.

But... Don't look for big sails; these Indian Ocean fish range most often from 40 to 70 pounds. Allow at least 20 to 24 hours to get here, and figure your round-trip ticket costing a bit under $2,000.

Contact: Capt. John Pearce at Asia Spirit, www.asiaspirit.net.