Longbill spearfish are a rare and underpopulated species of billfish found on the Atlantic side of North America from the Florida up to New Jersey. Longbill spearfish can be caught by trolling with baits. Fishing for them is generally not recommended because they are so underpopulated. In some waters, fishing for Longbill Spearfish is not permitted.
How to identify Longbill Spearfish
The longbill spearfish has the tallest dorsal fin of all the billfish. It also has a shorter bill and a much slimmer body. Most of the billfish’s ventral fins are near the anal fin; however, the longbill’s are much further away from the anal fin. The longbill spearfish’s bill is two times longer than its lower jaw. The pectoral fins extend past the curvature of the lateral line. Longbills look very much like white marlins. They have a vibrant blue dorsal fin with no markings.
Where to catch Longbill Spearfish
These fish are found in the Atlantic from Venezuela to North America. Since they are a migratory fish, they can sometimes be found in the Gulf of Mexico. They are often found in the deeper waters offshore. They prefer temperate waters and will start to migrate when the water gets cold.
The following are habitats where you can catch Longbill Spearfish:
How to catch Longbill Spearfish
Anglers don’t often see longbills because they are stealthy deep-water fish that aren’t found in large numbers. Longbills are often caught accidentally while anglers are fishing for other species, such as blue or white marlin. Because they are rare and underpopulated, it is technically illegal to fish for them. Those who choose to target them should try trolling for them. Though smaller than marlins, this fish can still put up a powerful fight. Their long bill can act as a spear, which is why it is advisable not to try to bring them into the boat. Instead, keep them partially submerged in the water until they calm down, then try to get hook out or simply cut them loose.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Longbill Spearfish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Longbill Spearfish
Baits to use for longbill spearfish include dolphin, bonito, squid, needlefish, pilotfish, sardines and flying fish with light tackle.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Longbill Spearfish: