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October 25, 2001

Spare Kite Bait

A properly rigged flying fish can substitute when kite bait run out.

When a hot bite outdistances your supply of live bait for your kite-fishing efforts, try using a dead flying fish as a substitute. A properly rigged flyer must have its wings spread so that the bait will skip on the surface and look like a live fish taking flight. Many anglers use copper wire threaded through the flyer's eye socket and tied to each wing to achieve this look. This works well, but it can be very time consuming to get the proper tension on the wire, and the wing membranes are very delicate and can rip if too much pressure is applied.
I speed up the process and protect the wing material
by using mini-alligator clips like those used for small electronic applications. (They're readily available at the local Radio Shack.)
I attach a length of copper wire to the first alligator clip using a haywire twist and then clip it onto the wing. Thread the copper wire through the upper left corner of the eye socket. Attach the second clip to the other wing of the flyer and thread the copper wire though the hole on the second clip and adjust the tension to keep the wings splayed out into the flying position. Twist the copper to tighten.
Now you can bridle the bait like you normally would through the eye sockets or hook directly into the back.
I find that the added silver flash of the clips also draws extra attention to the bait.

James G. Gertz
Fort Lauderdale, Florida