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!

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