It’s that time again! After spending a few months trolling for mahi and reef dwellers like mackerel and kingfish, it’s time to get the kite fishing gear in order. Getting ready involves re-spooling reels, checking kites, and going through all terminal tackle with a fine tooth comb. Another key component of successful kite fishing for sailfish starts with the best bait. Nothing beats catching your own bait and storing it in large bait pens where they can rehab and bulk up with a quality diet.
Look for the action to start heating up as soon as temperatures start falling. The first cold fronts of the year will get the fish moving again and cruising our waters. Many of these early season sailfish are juveniles so it is often a good idea to fish smaller baits that they can easily catch and eat. Although most fish will be caught off kites, many more will be caught using nothing more than a simple flatline.
On those days when the sails are absent, there will still be plenty of kingfish and spanish mackerel to keep you busy. Kingfish will be found hanging around inlets, wrecks, and ledges in the 70’-130’ of water. On many occasions you’ll find some pretty large kings in the much shallower waters around area bait spots. Another possible visitor to these shallow water buffet stations are cobia. It isn’t that uncommon for some pretty large cobia to swim into a chum slick intended for herring, cigar minnows, or blue runners.
Exactly how we present our baits depends largely on conditions such as winds, currents, etc. On days with stiff breezes, I prepare to used a 12’ sea anchor and back drift over the depths that look most promising. Doing this keeps the bow pointed into the wind and allows for 2 kites to be fished off the transom. Typically, I’ll fish 2 to 3 baits per kite and add a flatline or mid depth bait from the bow and or a bottom rod further back. Doing this allows me to fish more baits and present them at different depths. On some days results are mixed were as they sometimes seem to have a preference for deep or surface baits. The idea is keep giving them what they’re eating.
If conditions are relatively calm, I usually prefer to side drift and simply run 3-4 lines along one side of the boat and possible a couple of kite baits on the downwind side. The idea is always to spread your baits out as much as possible creating the a large footprint. Tweaking the spread is where it goes from being a skill to an art. Just like with any other type of fishing, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. My advice is always to start simple and expand as you become more comfortable.
If you’d like to learn more about kite fishing or any other fishing techniques, you are welcomed to attend any of the fishing seminars that I will be conducting at the Bass Pro Shops store in Miami located at Dolphin Mall. Topics, dates, and times will be announced in advanced via my social media pages (usually FACEBOOK or Instagram).
Well, that’s pretty much it for right now. Don’t forget that you can keep up with all of the action by following us on FACEBOOK, Instagram, and Twitter. If you like watching some of the action, be sure to check out my YOUTUBE page for the latest video additions.
Capt. Orlando Muniz
Nomad Fishing Charters
Sponsors and friends: Mercury Marine, Bass Pro Shops, Offshore Angler, Tracker Marine, ACRARTEX, Gray Taxidermy, Baitmasters, SeaDek, Costa Del Mar, and Yo-Zuri.