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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

Malaysia, Kuala Rompin

With conditions on the South China Sea off Malaysia's ­southeast coast seldom rougher than your average farm pond, Rompin is likely the world's calmest sailfish hot spot. And hot it has been, since gaining fame as one of the best places on the planet for sailfish (running 50 to 80 pounds) within the past few years (Sport Fishing was one of the first to feature the fishery in our March 2009 issue).

Why You Should Go: Enjoy quiet fishing, drifting live baits with engines off. Most days you'll see birds and sails on top of the mirror-smooth sea, and enjoy many multiple hookups. Package trips include ground transportation (from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur), accommodations, meals (with to-die-for dinners) and fishing (including top-quality conventional reels) with guides who speak English as fluently as you - and priced to make this one of sailfishing's best bargains. Plus you'll experience a ­fascinating and hospitable corner of Asia.

But... The fairly short season lasts from mid-July through October. Shallow, expansive sea offers minimal bycatch of other large game fish. Standard wooden, open boats offer shade and space, and work well for fishing here; however, if your taste runs to convertible sportfishers, this is the wrong place. Allow a day for travel and upward of two grand for the trip.

Contact: Dom Pereira at Fishzone Sportfishing, www.fishzone.com.sg.