January is here and though the temperatures are cooler, the sailfish bite should be on fire. With each cold front that passes, the number of fish migrating through our area will only increase. Certainly, the most effective way to target and catch sailfish locally is by flying kites. However, the equipment and tackle required to fly multiple kites can be expensive, not to mention the cost of several dozen goggle eyes at $80 to $120 per dozen. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to get hooked up to one of the most majestic fish in the ocean. Slow trolling or drifting live baits can be very productive and you can easily catch your own baits. Blue runners and pilchards can be caught within close proximity to our local inlets and make excellent sailfish baits. The buoys that mark the channels of the inlets usually hold blue runners and pilchards and you can catch them on sabiki rigs. Ballyhoo will also work well and you can catch them off of the mooring buoys just off our beaches. Once you have your baits, you’ll want to use a 40 to 50 pound fluorocarbon leader and attach a 4/0 to 6/0 circle hook to the business end. If you are using ballyhoo, you’ll need to add a trace of copper rigging wire to secure the beak to the hook. When drifting, simply send one bait out long and keep one short. If you are slow trolling, simply deploy two baits behind your boat with one long and one short. If you have outriggers, you can fish more than two baits without getting tangled. Hopefully these techniques will produce some acrobatic action behind your boat.
Editor & Publisher
Coastal Angler Fort Lauderdale