With cooling water and air temperatures, December is here! December will have the sailfish migrating south and traveling right through the Treasure Coast waters. Even though sailfish can be caught in our waters all through the year, this is the time of year that we will have the biggest abundance of them. Sailfish seem to like rougher days with a lot of chop on top of the water. In December, we usually have cold fronts approaching from the north making for windy conditions and rougher seas which are the conditions that sailfish love to play in. It is best to watch the pre-frontal and post-frontal forecast and pick your days.
Sailfish are one of the most sought-after sportfish in our local offshore waters. Sailfish should be in depths of 80 foot on out. There are many ways to fish for sailfish. The most common method for is to troll rigged ballyhoo with a circle hook on 25-to-30-pound tackle. This tackle is enough for a good fight and will allow you to quickly get the fish to the boat without tiring it out too much. The circle hook rig will allow the hook to get hooked in the corner of the mouth instead of a jay hook in which the sailfish could swallow which may cause internal damage.
Another way to get the sailfish’s attention is by dragging a couple of dredges behind your boat and in the prop-wash. If you don’t have a dredge, you can also place some squid teasers off outriggers to bring a sailfish up to the surface. Keep a watch in the water behind what you are pulling and when a sailfish surfaces, drop a circle hook rigged with ballyhoo back to the sailfish and reel or pull in the teaser and/or dredge back to the boat so the sailfish will eat the rigged ballyhoo.
When hooked up with a sailfish, you will experience some magnificent jumps and speed creating a great acrobatic show. After fighting a sailfish, getting it to the boat and getting your pictures, please take some care and revive the sailfish. To revive the sailfish, hold the sailfish boatside with the sailfish facing the bow of the boat and very slowly idle the boat forward to allow the water to wash over the gills until the fish is strong enough to swim on its own. If the hook went too deep, cut the line as close to the hook as you can to cause as little damage to the sailfish as possible.
Be safe on the water, keep an eye on the sky and catch them up!