Fastest Fish In The Ocean
While most fish are efficient swimmers, not all of them are FAST. We'll be taking a look at the species that have optimized the speed at which they move about the ocean.
Whether they're swimming about freely in the sea or tugging aggressively at a line, some of these fish are so fast that they could knock your socks off.
Come dive in with us as we explore some of the fastest fish in the world.
What Is The Fastest Fish In The World: Top 10
Ask an angler, "What is the fastest fish in the ocean?" and they'll say the Black Marlin.
The Black Marlin takes the cake as the fastest fish in the world, reaching speeds of up to 80mph! Beyond its medal for the fastest fish in the world, it is one of the most difficult fish for anglers to catch, which is why you'll usually find it at the top of the bucket list for big game anglers. Catching one of these incredible fish would no doubt win you a gold medal if big-game fishing was an Olympic sport.
The Black Marlin can be found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, though one of the most popular places to catch these ultra-fast fish in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. In fact, most people refer to the Great Barrier Reef as the "Mecca of Black Marlin Fishing." Don't worry, however. If you don't live in Australia, you can also catch these massive fish in Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Mauritius.
The record for the largest Black Marlin ever reeled in was over 1,560 pounds and 15.3 feet long, though most of these fish never get over 300 pounds. To learn more about this world record, it is featured on our Biggest Fish Ever Caught page as well as our Biggest Marlin Ever Caught Page.
Black Marlins rarely waste their energy leaping or showing off, which is why it is much more difficult for anglers to catch them. Plus, they have incredible stamina, keeping anglers fighting for many hours to catch them. If you're serious about catching a Black Marlin, you need to obtain the proper equipment and prepare yourself.
The mighty sailfish comes in with the silver medal as the world's second-fastest fish. Moving up to 70mph in many situations, this ultra-fast fish could send an angler flying of their boat. But, of course, the sailfish's speed isn't the only impressive thing about them. The dorsal fin is an absolute beauty.
Sailfish are found in tropical and subtropical waters across the world. However, if you really want to find one of these bad boys, you have a better chance looking throughout the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of places like Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Curacao, Aruba, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico.
Sailfish are pretty massive creatures, many of which can weigh up to 200 pounds and grow up to lengths of 11 feet. However, more commonly, you'll find sailfish between 50-60 pounds and anywhere between 6-8 feet.
Because of their incredible speed and agility, they are some of the most acrobatic fish in the sea. So if you're planning on trying to catch one of these things, expect to put up a fight.
FUN FACT: The Sailfish is famous for its tail-walking method, in which it skips across the water using nothing but its tail.
The third-fastest fish in the ocean is the mighty swordfish. Yet, strangely enough, compared to some of its more agile cousins, it doesn't get a lot of the love it deserves from the angling community. More often than not, commercial and recreational fishermen have difficulty finding them on chartered trips, which is why many people have to catch them from offshore distances with harpoons.
Of course, if you're one of the lucky few who is able to find a swordfish while out in the open ocean, you'll quickly see why it is one of the ultimate fish in the big game angling community. To reel in a swordfish, it'll take some serious strength and experience.
Swordfish can be found in many places throughout the world, including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
The neat thing about the swordfish is that it can preserve brain heat really well, allowing it to live in very cold waters with ease. However, these fish will often migrate to warmer parts of the ocean when they breed, and they are some of the most migratory species around.
On average, swordfish weigh up to 100 pounds and can average between 4-6 feet. However, the world record for the largest swordfish ever caught was 1,182 pounds and 14-feet long.
Swordfish and marlin often get confused for each other. If you want to learn how to tell them apart, head over to our Swordfish VS Marlin page!
The Striped Marlin comes in at number four on our fastest fish in the world list. Unique to the other fish above, this speedy fish LOVES putting on aerial shows, especially when anglers are out there trying to get them. The cool thing about striped marlin is that they're very easy to spot thanks to the gorgeous stripes, which can be found on the sides of their bodies.
Even cooler is that these stripes will change colors depending on their moods. When a striped marlin gets excited, its stripes will turn a vibrant violet.
You can find striped marlin throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including the west coastline of the Americas to the Eastern coastline of Africa to the southern tip of New Zealand. In addition, there are many striper fisheries throughout the Galapagos, Peru, Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Southern California.
While they didn't make it onto our list of the biggest fish in the world, compared to their close relatives, striped marlins are fairly small. With that said, one of the largest striped marlins reached up to 14-feet long and 500 pounds. As you move closer to the equator, you'll begin seeing larger striped marlins.
The good thing about striped marlins is that they don't put a huge fight, though they are some of the most fascinating fish to watch. When anglers try and reel them in, they'll often leap high in the air and tail-walk.
Wahoos isn't just one of Southern California's most popular fish taco chains, it's also the name of the fifth-fastest fish in the world. With massive, beak-like jaws and incredibly sharp teeth, this big fish isn't one to be reckoned with. They put up a serious fight.
The strange thing about Wahoos is that anglers don't typically try to catch them, though they usually get wrapped up in lines meant for other fish as bycatch.
In big-fame fishing, the Wahoo has earned the nickname, "the favorite bycatch."
Typically, wahoos are anywhere from 15-35 pounds and 40-65 inches long. They're often found in tropical and temperate regions around the globe, including some places like the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Wahoos aren't picky by any means. In fact, these fish will eat whatever they want, whether alive or dead. They even like eating strip baitfish, including mullet and ballyhoo. However, the minute you hook a Wahoo, they can reel off for more than a hundred yards in a matter of seconds!
Mako sharks are the ocean's fastest sharks, as well as some of the most intelligent.
In fact, the mako shark wins the medal for the largest brain to body ratio, allowing them to navigate the ocean like true, experienced explorers.
In addition, they can survive in the widest range of temperatures, and they have the sharpest teeth compared to any other shark species.
You don't want to mess with one, as they hold a place on our most dangerous & aggressive sharks list. They'll often attack other sea creatures that are similar in sizes, such as Swordfish, Dolphins, and Sharks. They are very tasty too, which is why anglers love catching them.
Typically, Mako Sharks can weigh anywhere between 150-300 pounds and can grow between 6-10 feet. You can find Mako Sharks all over the world in tropical and temperate waters, and they will often swim up to 500 feet deep. While most Mako Sharks enjoy swimming offshore, many people spot them swimming around in inlets or near larger landmasses.
Anglers often talk about how great of a fight Mako Sharks put up. They also have incredible stamina, allowing them to swim fast for long distances, often flipping and jumping along the way. However, it's important to keep in mind that Mako Sharks are VERY dangerous creatures. There are many examples in which Mako Sharks have hopped onto boats and attacked fishermen trying to reel them in.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
This large fish comes in at top speeds of 44mph, giving it the gold medal as the fastest Tuna on Earth. Any sushi aficionado knows how tasty these fast swimmers are as well.
Unfortunately, because they are so tasty and well-loved in Japanese cuisine, Bluefin tuna are nearing potential extinction.
As you might have guessed, the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna lives in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as a few areas throughout the Mediterranean sea.
They often breed near the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Balearic Islands when the summer rolls around. However, true anglers know that the best place to find these fish is in North Carolina, off the coast of the Outer Banks.
Not only are these tuna some of the fastest species in the ocean, but they are also some of the largest. The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna holds a record as one of the biggest fish ever caught, coming in at 1,496 pounds and 12-feet long. Plus, these are some of the feistiest tuna in the world, known for swimming quickly on the surface of the water and diving suddenly. So if you really want to reel one of these bad boys in, you'll likely need a fishing belt and a heavy tackle, not to mention some angling experience. Visit our Biggest Tuna Ever Caught page to see the world record winners.
You want to be careful when fishing for Bluefin, too, as there are many laws in place looking to preserve them. If you're thinking about catching some of these tuna, it's important to check out your local fishing laws.
The Blue Shark is the second-fastest shark in the world. It absolutely loves lurking around in cold, deep waters, swimming up to 43 mph. If that wasn't scary enough, these sharks can grow up to 20 feet long.
You can find blue sharks throughout the oceans, many of which have been spotted swimming around in the temperate waters of the Mediterranea Sea. However, with that said, it's pretty rare that you'll find these big creatures swimming around the Gulf of Mexico, Red Sea, or Baltic Sea.
It's also pretty rare for anglers to hook a Blue Shark, as they love swimming in deep waters. Reaching one of these sharks would take a ton of time and patience. However, if you can hook one, you're in luck, as they are relatively easy catches, especially compared to the shortfin Mako Shark.
While they aren't naturally aggressive creatures, they still sit fairly high on the shark attack totem pole, so beware when out in the water.
When it comes to flats fishing, the bonefish is the ultimate catch. Though they aren't as fast as some sharks or marlins out there, the fact that they swim this fast in much shallower areas makes them seem even crazier. If you can imagine trying to reel in a bonefish as its swims around a few feet of water at a maximum speed of 40 mph, then you can imagine a wild adventure.
The bonefish is lucky that it has this kind of speed and bonefish shape, as it allows it to escape from predators with ease. But, unfortunately, bonefish are also incredibly noise-sensitive, which can make them even more difficult to catch.
Bonefish can be found in temperate and tropical, and subtropical waters around the globe. However, you can find the highest populations of bonefish in places like the Caribbean, Turks, Caicos, and Bermuda, as well as the entirety of the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Nova Scotia.
Bonefish are smaller fish compared to some of the others on this list. However, their size is surprisingly dependent on their environment. If you find them between the Bahamas and Florida, they'll often be between 4 and 6 pounds. However, if you travel further south into Western Atlantic, you'll often find them well over 15 pounds.
Of course, you don't want to let the fact that this is a smaller fish fool you, as they are some of the wildest little creatures in the ocean.
When it comes to saltwater game fishing, the Tarpon is one of the most beloved species around. Anglers love them because they put on acrobatic shows when hooked on the line.
They are also incredibly strong and stubborn for their size, zipping quickly through the water at speeds of up to 35 mph.
Tarpons are very fond of sub-tropical waters, and you can find them swimming from the southern point of Brazil to the northern part of Long Island, all the way to the coastline of Africa to the southern tip of Texas.
One of the unique things about Tarpon, otherwise known as "Silver Kings," is that they can live well up to 50 years. In addition, they range greatly in size, anywhere from 25-300 pounds and anywhere between 4 to 8 feet in length. However, most Tarpons that are caught are rarely above 80 pounds.
Final Thoughts - What Is The Fastest Swimming Fish?
While the Black Marlin is the ocean's fastest sea creature, many fish that have equally exhilarating swimming abilities. In addition to their lightning speed, some of these species are fantastic acrobats to boot.
Whether you look at fish as a source of food or as culturally significant icons, there's no doubt that these creatures have evolved and adapted to maximize their speed in the ocean.