Sunday, February 26, 2012

Offshore Kite Fishing

Kite fishing is a process originating from China and throughout the Asian Continent. It began by onshore fisherman desiring a way to fish where only boats were able to reach before, also, it allowed them to reach fish on the oceanside of the reef. It worked well for accomplishing these two desires of the surf fishers.
Later, the boat fishermen caught on to this process and used it for their own purposes. First they could fish away from their boats, more specifically in shallow reef waters where their boats couldn't go, but the fish on reefs, generally are plentiful because of the excess of baitfish that live off the reef's natural food stuffs.
This has gone on for centuries, with each century came more refinement to the process and also, the process gained notoriety and popularity with more people, worldwide.
In today's world, Offshore Kite Fishing is mainly practiced where saltwater anglers are prone to fishing for billfish, such as Marlin and Sailfish.
These two species, love to hang out at reeflines and the edges of Sawgrass patches or lines and will readily bite on live bait, much sooner than trolling dead bait, such as ballyhoo and mackerel.
These sportfishermen that prefer this sport, normally use live goggleye, hooked through the back with a circle hook and then harnessed (with generally a rubber band or something similar) through the mouth, with the leader that keep them alive the longest. This method of hooking the goggleye, is very quick to do, as well as will allow the bait, the most amount of movement to more easily attrack the billfish.
Once the bait is hooked on, fisherman snap the leader onto anywhere between 30 - 80 lbs. test line (depending on whether it's Marlin or Sailfish they're going after). This fishing line generally is attached to a wide spool, or large volume spool baitcasting reel, which is seated on a chopped off, or custom made short thick rod with no more than one or two eyes.
The mate (or person letting out the line) will start by letting the goggleye go into the water and test how "live" the fish seems to swim. Once assured of the bait's active movement, they will attach the baitline (after putting anywhere between 1-4 twists in the baitline to give more rigidity to the line and not have it pull away from the kite too easily) to the clip or "clothespin" attached to the kite that has been unfolded. Making sure there is sufficient wind to "fly" the kite, the mate tests the kite ability to fly by letting the kite's line and the bait's line out at the same speed.
As long as the two lines go out smoothly and most importantly, the kite is gaining air as it goes out, it will be allright. Finally the mate will holster the short rod's butt, in the gunnel's rod holder.
Once out all the way, the mate and/or captain will keep an eye or an ear tuned to the baitfish and it's surrounding ativity. When they are satisfied all is well, the mate will start doing the same thing to the other side of the boat and end up with "flying" two kites.
As long as you have "active" bait, you will have a good amount of success in landing a billfish, they are heavily attracted to floundering baitfish and if they are around, they will strike! You will soon enjoy the "singing of the baitline" as it "pops" from it's clip's embrace.
This is a fun and invigorating sport, especially if you like to try to land a billfish. There are only a few requirements to set yourself up, get near or on the edge of a reef line, or a Sawgrass patch, set your boat so that the fighting deck is in the path of the wind, bait up your line with a live bait, then let that kite go fly with your bait! With all these conditions met, it shouldn't be long, before you'll need that "Big" gaffe, to board your fish.
Good luck and go get 'em!

Monday, February 20, 2012

How To Use A Spinner To Catch Rainbow Trout

There are many baits and lures that can be used to catch a rainbow trout, but one choice has more versatility that most of the others, the spinner. In line spinners have been known to be effective fishing lures to use for rainbow trout for what seems like forever and in this article I will outline how to use a spinner to catch rainbow trout so that you can experience success the next time that you head out onto the water.
The first thing that we need to discuss is the rod, reel, and fishing line that you use to "fish" your spinner. You want to be able to cast your spinner straightly and accurately and some times need to cast long distances so an ultra light fishing rod that is at least six and a half feet long is in order. This rod should be matched with an ultra light reel that holds at least 100 yards of four pound test fishing line, which is the weight of line that should be used whenever you use a spinner attempt to catch a rainbow trout.
Next we have the spinner itself. I prefer Panther Martin or Rooster Tail spinners when it comes to fishing for "rainbows", and Mepps and Blue Fox make quality trout spinners as well. A key to success is having a variety of sizes and color/blade choices available to you when you are on the water so that you can experiment to find the best choice to use on a particular day of fishing. Some effective color choices to use when fishing for rainbow trout are blacks, browns, silver, or gold with blades that are silver, gold, or even black. As you experiment you will find that each spinner will perform differently under the water.
If you want to know how to use a spinner to catch rainbow trout you need to know how to attach said spinner to the end of your line. Inexperienced trout fishermen will make the mistake of tying a snap swivel to the end of their line and "snapping" their spinner to the snap swivel. This is a big mistake that should be avoided at all costs. You see attaching an inline spinner directly to a snap swivel will ruin the action of the in-line spinner and cost you bites from hungry rainbows. In order to not interfere with the action of the spinner, you always want to tie your spinner directly to the end of your line. If you do this the spinner will perform as it was designed to perform without any impediments.
What about the best size spinner to use when fishing for rainbow trout? In almost all cases the phrase "smaller is better" is something that should be kept in the back of your mind. 1/16 to 1/4 of an ounce is normally the size range to stay in when fishing for rainbow trout. Occasionally you may way to step up to a 3/8 or even 1/2 ounce but this is only if the trout are large and feeding actively.
Finally we have the way in which you "fish" the inline spinner. Whether you are using your spinner in a lake or a river, a straight retrieve is rarely the most effective way to use an inline spinner. Varying the speed of your retrieve and even using a stop and start action when retrieving a spinner is almost always more effective when attempting to catch rainbow trout. In rivers, casting parallel to the current and slowly retrieving the spinner back through the current is the most common technique. Some experienced trout fishermen who use a reel with a fast gear ratio will even fish spinners with the current at a very fast speed (normally the same speed or a little faster than the river is flowing) to trigger feeding rainbows into biting.
Whatever type of spinner or technique that you choose to employ, the bottom line is that you now know you know hoe to use a spinner to catch a rainbow trout.
Trevor Kugler is president of, a website dedicated to ultra light fishing, with an emphasis on ultra light river fishing for trout. Check out our new blog focused on trout fishing tips and techniques to help you be more successful on the water.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dolpins/Mahi Mahi

Both Sport and Commercial fisherman seek Dolphin fish, due to their beauty, size, food quality, and healthy population. Also known around the globe as Mahi-mahi, they are popular in many restaurants, worldwide.
Commercial fisherman are after them for their appeal to restaurant eaters that ferociously feed on them due to their delectable taste. This fish is not only sought after for it's taste, but also for it's startling beauty and it's ability to fit the menus of most people trying to lose weight.
Sport fisherman go after this species, not only for it's good eating, but also because of their ability to put up a strong and arduous fight. Once you catch one (even a small one), you will know you've been in a battle and after the fishing excursion, desire a competent masseuse.
Where to seek them Out
Charter boat captains most often look for floating debris (ANY floating object, i.e., 4" X 8" sheet of paneling, palm trees and fronds, a couple of floating empty beer cans, ANYTHING!) and frigatebirds near the edge of the reef in about 120 feet of water. Weed Lines (saw/sea grass) also makes a wonderful foraging shelter for Dolphins, they tend to stay just beneath the weed line to hunt for food.
Effective Gear & Techniques
Try to use thirty- to fifty-lbs. gear when trolling for mahi-mahi, or Dolphin.
Fly-fishermen may especially look for frigatebirds to find big fish, and then use a bait-and-switch technique.
Rigged Ballyhoo, or Goggleyes, or a net full of live sardines tossed into the water can drive mahi-mahis to the point of a feeding frenzy. Hookless teaser lures can have the same effect. Once the fish are attacking the food-chum or other bait, the flyfishermen will hook one or two Dolphin and tie them off to a boat cleat. With those fish securely tied on, the other dolphin in the group will continue to feed and be easy prey for the fishermen's bare treble hooks after that.
Just keep on pulling them in 'til they are all done, at last pull in the remaining two "judas dolphins" and ready yourself for some tremendous washing of the boat fighting deck (by this time it will be ankle deep in Dolphin blood, they bleed like stuck hogs).
Their Habitat
Mahi-mahi/Dolphin are usually found in the Caribbean, North and South America's Pacific including Costa Rica, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida's Atlantic Coastline, Southeast Asia, Hawaii and many other places worldwide.
Physical Characteristics
Dolphin/Mahi-mahi have compacted bodies and long dorsal fins that extend almost the entire length of their bodies. Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply curved inward. They are distinguished by their dazzling colors: golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back.
Adult males have sharply protruding forehead that is the dominant feature that goes well above the body proper. The females have a rounded head and are generally smaller than males, in weight and size.
Generally, Dolphin live 4 to 5 years. Average fish weigh in at 15 to 29 lbs.. They seldom go beyond 33 lb, and mahi-mahi over 40 lbs. are exceptional.
Going on a charter excursion, mostly you would think are taken in order to go in search of Marlin, Sailfish or some other exotic fish, but Dolphin/Mahi Mahi are becoming one of the most popular charters for new fishermen as well as the "new kids" just learning to catch a dream.
The telling of this tale, though, is that they also are gaining in popularity with the non-chartering public. Desiring, typically, some tough fighting and good eating fish these average boat owners, taking their holiday or weekend excursions, and opting more and more to hunt for dolphin, rather than the larger ocean denisons.
They are finding these fish to be the perfect opponent, a worthy adversary for the hungry fisherman with a palette for a tasty morsel of file', broiled, or baked in garlic butter, in their kitchens, or over an open grill!
Go Get 'um!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Casting For Your Catch

Since the "Dawn of Man", people have been using Casting nets to gather their "catch" from their local waters and provide their families with nutritious fish.
Literally, cavemen and women have left behind drawings of people using and throwing nets to provide for their loved ones.
The nets, themselves, haven't changed much in all these years. Mostly round (in order to make it easier to open up the net as it was cast and was about to hit the water). Stones, or weights were added to help it sink and capture it's prey.
Then came the varying lengths to the net. This obviously was so that the fisherman could gather more fish at any one time, but rest assured that you really had to be strong to haul in the long nets, if they caught any amount of fish at all.
The throwing (casting) of these nets is truly an art form. It is not something one can master easily and will take some time for each fisherman to be able to determine their own personal, effective way that will work for them.
Essentially though (and this is ONLY a basic, basic explanation, thousands of books and videos are available, online, to learn this skill), the net is held high and straight to make sure there are no kinks in the netting, itself. The caster, then lays the net over their shoulder and separates one edge of their net from the opposite side of the net.
Holding the casting rope, the upper end of the net and the opposing edge, the thrower slings the net outward in a circular motion and hopefully, done properly, the net opens as it lands on the water's top.
When it's sunk sufficiently, the caster starts by retrieving the casting line, which will draw the net back to the fisherman (and with any luck, it will be filled with fish).
Net fishing can be accomplished from a boat, from the shore or by wading in the water. Either venue, you choose, can be as fruitfull.
Net casting is normally used for catching bait fish, or for catching smaller fish that won't bite a baited hook. Sportfisherman, love to use this method during tournaments for catching their "live bait" that will help them catch those "big billfish".
The only drag on this method is that it is done in the wee hours of the morning when most tournament fishermen don't choose to get up, so an alternative for them is to spot the entrepreneurs "bait boats", on the way out the inlet and purchase their "catch" from them at really high prices. Etiher way will work!
Islanders, in the Bahamas and Micro & Polynesia and such still use this effective method of catching fresh fish quickly to provide food for their families.
It is still an artform handed down from father to son. And in this day and time even the daughters are included in this skilled learning process. In fact, in South Florida at most of the "big time billfishing tournaments", one of the highest paid "entrepreneur bait boats" is owned and operated by a teenage girl.
Go Get'em!