The best sailfish conditions are usually a brisk wind out of the N, NE, and NW with strong north current and clean blue water in 100 to 150 feet of water. While we have had a few of those days and the sailfishing was good, our best day with 12 sails this past week, the water was green, with a West to SW wind. We did find north current but the conditions were less than ideal. That being said though, we caught plenty of fish. We have also had quite a few trips with one or two anglers. I love when we get multiples (more than one sailfish at a time) and we have had a lot of multiples on the trips with only one or two anglers. We had a trip were we had three quads (4 sailfish on at one time) with one guy. The first quad we caught all 4 fish even with just the one guy, the second quad we caught all 4 again and the third quad we caught 3 out of the 4 sailfish.
You also need to have wind to fly a kite and we have had many days when the wind was extremely light. When the wind is light we use a helium balloon attached to the kite to keep the kite up and the baits dangling on the surface. We have resorted to this technique quite a few times in the last few weeks and have had great success as well. Even with the helium balloon, you still need to have just a little bit of wind or the balloon and kite will go straight up over the boat or there is just not enough wind to even raise the whole kite, lines clips and baits. We had those conditions today and had guys on board that wanted to catch sailfish, so we resorted to another technique based on conditions again. This time we would run up and down the edge and look for free-jumping sailfish. Once we spotted a free-jumper we would get in line with it and fire out baits on spinning rods. This worked well for us today. Our first free-jumper we hooked a triple header of off him and caught all three. Our second free-jumper produced another triple but two lines broke off because they got tip wrapped and the third fish pulled off. The wind then picked up ever so slightly where we put out the helium balloon and kite and at the end of the day we caught another sailfish so we ended up 4 for 7 and half a dozen mahis. A very good day especially when the conditions were less than ideal.
This is just the beginning of sailfish season and it has started off very strong. From now to May is the time but winter sailfishing is my favorite, so if you have caught sails before but like to catch more, or if you need to catch your first one, give me a call and letís get you out there. I still have 3 or 4 days open in January and about half of February is already booked so donít wait too long, lets go catch-em up.
Capt. Dean Panos