Offshore Sailfishing: Part 2 Setting up the kites and rigs
In this second of three part series on offshore sail fishing, we head offshore with a live well full of herring. During the hour or so ride offshore, the crew set up the sailfish rigs for kite fishing:
What is Kite Fishing
Kite fishing involves a kite from which a drop line hangs, attached to a lure or bait. The kite is flown over water, and the bait floats near the surface until a fish (sailfish or other pelagic) takes it. The kite then drops immediately, signaling that the bait has been taken, and the fish can then be hauled in.
Find the right wind conditions
Kite fishing is best done in light to moderate winds. Strong winds can make it difficult to control the kites, and choppy water can make it difficult to cast and retrieve the baits.
Set up your kites
There are two main types of kites used for kite fishing: kites with a single line and kites with multiple lines. Kites with a single line are easier to set up and control, but they can only be used to fish one bait at a time. Kites with multiple lines are more difficult to set up, but they can be used to fish multiple baits at a time.
For our charter, the crew rigged up 2 kites and six lines, Each kite managing three lines at varying distances from the boat( short, medium and long.
Choose the right bait
The best bait for kite fishing sailfish is live baitfish. Some of the best live baitfish for sailfish include goggle-eyes, blue runners, threadfin herring, and mullet. Ideally you already caught the bait prior to setting up the kites.
Bridle the bait
Bridling the bait helps to keep it alive and swimming naturally. To bridle a bait, use a circle hook and a rubber band. Thread the rubber band through the bait’s mouth and out the back. Then, thread the circle hook through the rubber band.
It’s not as easy as it looks, but with practice the bait will look natural and yummy to billfish.
Cast the bait
Cast the bait out from the boat and let it swim naturally behind the kite. The kite will create a wake that will attract the sailfish.
Ready for a bite
Sailfish are fast and aggressive fish. When a sailfish bites, it will often take the bait out of the water. If you feel a strong tug on your line, set the hook by quickly reeling in the line.