Copyrighted by Chris Fallows @2020


Sailfish are said to be the fastest fish in the world’s oceans, capable of speeds approaching 112 mph. These piscine acrobats are famed for their athletic jumps when hooked; however, the true beauty of the animal is to see it performing as a magnificent underwater hunter.

Off the coast of Mexico, near to a tiny island called Isla Mujeres, is one of best locations in the world to see these gorgeous fish and being in the water with large numbers of them surely ranks amongst my favourite marine experiences.

You spend hours looking for tell-tale signs that give away the presence of subsurface hunting. Specks on the horizon denote frigate birds, which are our clue that we may have a chance to see the glorious gladiators of the sea.

Stopping a few dozen metres away from the action, our skipper shouts in almost unintelligible English “Go follow the boids!”  – and into the inky blue we slip.

At first, nothing, but then the first group of fleeing sardine race by, then another and, suddenly, a shape comes hurtling towards us in active pursuit. With effortless knife skills that any Michelin chef would be proud of, the sashimi master slices left and right with a blade-like sword, and in an instant, two halves of a still-struggling fish sink next to me.

With a deft flick of the tail, the sailfish gobbles first one and then the other piece with an audible crunch, as if eating popcorn. The remaining panic-stricken bait fish take refuge behind me, and the sailfish looks on with a worrying intent. Racing towards me at lightning speed, the swordsman seems intent on skewering me. Almost sure of impact I brace, only for at the last minute this missile to throw up its dazzlingly colourful sail in the same way a flamenco dancer flicks her luxuriant skirt.

All around me colours blur and fish implode in Star Wars-like explosions of scales as the excited hunter makes short work of breakfast. For over an hour I watch in awe as the bait ball gets smaller and smaller while this magnificent dancer sets the stage alight with a display of unimaginable agility and beauty.

One by one the fish disappear until only glittering scales betray where once a shoal had been and, disappearing down into the depths, the contented gladiator returns to its now silent world.

Available Sizes

Exhibition: 173cm x 114cm (68” x 45”)

Large: 146 cm x 96.5cm (57.5″ x 38″)

Classic: 118cm x 78cm (46.5” x 31”)

Available Editions

Exhibition: 12

Large: 12

Classic: 12


"Gladiator" Enquiry

 * Please note that prices start from USD5,500.00