Targeting Sailfish


One of our favorite methods for targeting sailfish is kite fishing with live bait. Kite fishing is as equal parts skill, and art form. A kite is used for this method of targeting sailfish because it spreads baits out over a greater area of water and allows fishermen to control their baits at the surface. Baits are kept at the surface of the water column in order to cause swimming and thrashing movements by the baits that are like a dinner bell to herds of hungry sailfish. The kite also keeps all of your hardware out of sight and out of mind, further luring in these predators without the visibility of hooks, swivels or bobbers.

Big, tough baits like goggle-eyes, blue runners, and herring or mullet are the best for kite fishing. Bridling the baits with small rubber bands is recommended for proper hook sets. There should be a fisherman watching the baits under the kite and adjusting them accordingly to keep the baits at the surface and watch for sailfish.

When a sail rises on the bait, bring the bait to the ­surface so the leader is out of the water. That ­reduces the risk of the fish becoming bill wrapped when it eats. Then, when the sail takes the bait, come tight on the fish, snapping the line out of the release clip. This is the fun part. Point the rod tip toward the sailfish and follow it as you take up slack a quickly as you can; the rod should point directly at the fish so the pressure sets the circle hook once you come tight.  

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