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April 16, 2009

Kite Fishing 101

Kite fishing works! One of the best kite pros in the business reveals tips and tricks to get started and get better...

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I wonder how many anglers who troll by my boat off south Florida think to themselves, kite fishing? Too much work, too complicated!

Probably many do, but in fact, they couldn't be more misguided. That's the reason I've written this feature for Sport Fishing readers. It will show you how easy kite fishing really is and give you the information you need to successfully deploy kites from your boat.

Think of kite fishing as simply using a very long outrigger, swapping kite line for rigger pole. Just as with an outrigger, a set of release clips hangs from the kite line, each holding a live (or occasionally dead) bait from a fishing rod. And as with a rigger, the strike releases the line from the clip, and the fight is on.

Kite fishing, popular in south Florida for many years, has become a tactic used around the world. Anglers on the Pacific Coast target big yellowfin with kites; those in the Northeast use big bluefish on kites for giant bluefin; and wherever live-bait fishing is popular, kite fishing offers an excellent means of properly presenting a live bait on the surface.

The list of species that one can target by kite fishing covers just about all the game fish in the ocean. The top targets are obviously those that feed at the surface. Here, kites come into play most often for sailfish. But    anywhere you find concentrations of any billfishes, kites can be used to target them. We also catch lots of dorado, kingfish, wahoo, tunas, cobia, bonito (little tunny) and sharks while waiting for sailfish strikes. I've also caught bottomfish like grouper while kite fishing.

The beauty of the method is that the type of boat you have really doesn't matter. You can kite-fish from a    multimillion-dollar sport-fisherman as well as a small center console. I've even seen kites deployed successfully from flats boats and bay boats. And outfitting your boat for kite fishing won't break the bank.