If you’re looking to get out on the water and catch some fish this winter, look no further than sailfish in Florida. This guide will give you the best tips for how to make the most of your trip. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, these tips will help you catch more fish this winter!
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What is a Sailfish
If you’ve ever seen the stunning and unique sailfish, then it’s no wonder that this fish is prized in Florida. With their intimidating steel-blue coloration with darker shades at varying intervals along their body to create an artistic effect when they swim through water or with predawn light shining on them; these strong fighters can be up 11 feet long but more commonly weigh around 50 pounds!
Unbelievably athletic, this fish can tail-walk some 50 feet across the surface of the water. It is capable of not only swimming at speeds upward of 60 mph but also jumping acrobatically several inches into the air while doing so! A sailfish fishing expedition would be irresistible for both seasoned anglers and beginners alike who want to witness such magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat – waters off Florida’s southeast coast.
A new thrill each time you go out on your boat? I think we’re going sailing today.
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Where to Go to Catch Sailfish
You’ll find prime sailfish fishing on Florida’s southern Atlantic coast and especially the Treasure Coast, home to the suitably named “Sailfish Alley.’” This billfish thoroughfare is just three miles and half an hour from the coast, with Fort Pierce on its northern point and Miami on its southern point. Fort Pierce, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Jensen Beach, and Stuart, (the official Sailfish Capital of the World) are all superb choices for a Sailfish expedition.
The Gulf Stream moves further away from the coast the further north you go, and if you travel as far north as St. Augustine, you’ll need to boat 50 miles to access it.
Other notable areas include The Florida Keys, particularly Islamorada and the middle Keys, where you can hook into Sailfish only four miles offshore, and the Destin area of Northwest Florida.
When You Should Go to Catch Sailfish
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “fish where they bite” before. Well, in Florida there’s an area known as Sailfish Alley which houses some of my favorite game fish! The best time to spot them is right after one big cold front blows through– typically November or December into early January. If we’re talking about when not so much happens but it still matters less than other months like January- February – March. And finally July through October.
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How to Catch Sailfish
You’ll want to find the right bait for your situation. For beginners, there are some good options that won’t break any teeth or hearts but still get results! Experts will enjoy using heavier tackle so they can bring in more fish on one cast-and everyone else should at least try lighter techniques before deciding what’s best suited just for them because it doesn’t seem like anything goes when fishing with live shrimp as opposed to other types of lures out here – no matter how experienced you may be.
Trolling Dead Bait
It’s no surprise that the number one way to catch a Sailfish is through trolling. For years, this was all you needed for an easy bite – even with new techniques emerging and technological advances in fishing gear now available on today’s market- there remains little argument against choosing something as reliable as catching these speedy fish while out at sea!
Sailfish love ballyhoo! In fact, if you use the right bait and technique to troll for them they will come in droves. The best way of course is using a small Indian sand eel or goldeye as your lure – but don’t forget about other types either like whiting that also work well at catching these sleek fish with their large mouths when there isn’t much else around except plenty more hooked sail fins ready waiting just below deck on any fishing boat willing enough.
You’ll need an adrenaline shot when fishing with this technique. The bite will pull hard on your line and send you into a frenzy as the reel screams in anger, but if everything goes according to plan – which it usually does!- then after about 15 seconds or so that fish should be yours. When they finally bring them up though there’s no going back down again because these things are fast runners.
Kite fishing for Sailfish is more than just a technique, it’s an art form. The idea behind this type of sportfishing involves using live bait that you hang above water from kites and then controlling its movement with a line attached to your rod or reel underneath the surface while also making sure not too deep so as avoid any dangers like sharp rocks below which might cut through steel leader ties if hooked onto them accidentally.
It has two purposes: firstly fish feel safe near their favorite food source; secondly – because we’re on land here- our terminal tackle can be way up high out away from anything threatening as large caliber bullets fired underwater at close range.
In order to make sure you are catching fish, it is important that your bait be live and kicking. If this sounds like something for which you have no experience then don’t worry- there’s an easy way around all of these problems! All one needs do nowadays when fishing from shore or aboard their boat (depending upon preference) is bridled their selection using tube socks as ties – making certain they always have enough line out before throwing them into deeper waters where prizes may lurk patiently below depths known only too well.
Keep your rod aimed towards the sailfish as you reel, and when it becomes tight with a fish on there run for it. This will ensure that we get their attention so they don’t swim off unnoticed!
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Sight Fishing with Live Bait
In the winter, you can find a “shower of ballyhoo” when looking for Sailfish. These fish leap out of water in an attempt to escape their predators more often than not being caught by them and becoming dinner themselves!
The ballyhoo swarms the waters near us in late fall, and you can find them anywhere they, please. They’re quick to move into shallow water when chasing after game fish like sail or tarpon on our local beaches – sometimes even exiting what’s known as “Sailfish Alley.” If that doesn’t sound too appetizing for dinner then don’t worry because this is an excellent opportunity to get multiple hookups! Look out during early morning hours or sunset time; chances are good one will swim by close enough so give him your best shot while waiting patiently behind whatever aquatic obstacle(s) come into view first: rock offshore.
Trolling is a great way to catch fish, but it can also be time-consuming. Using bridled ballyhoo instead of trolling or kite fishing could give you more bites with less work!
Winter Sailfish Tips
Capt. Skip Dana of Deerfield Beach likes to fish along color changes with his favorite bait being goggle-eyes, threadfin herring, and sardinessets out two kites from three lines each depending on what he feels like catching that day!
Capt. David Doll of Lighthouse Point doesn’t use any special techniques when he fishes, but his favorite tool is a kite line marked with a chartreuse ribbon to catch kingfish at night. Once he caught two in one day!
The first time this happened was while fishing from shore near San Diego and then again just an hour later while out on the ocean somewhere off Mexico’s coast – both times using traditional cast net methods where you try your luck by throwing them into deep water.
This is why Doll makes sure his kite bait remains as lively and unencumbered as possible. When a sailfish approaches, it’ll know something’s wrong if the hook doesn’t react naturally to its movement – so instead of using bigger hooks like 5/0 up through 7grain- heavier metals can cause this reaction!
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The circle hook makes it easy to catch sailfish because you don’t have to pull hard on your fishing rod. Just reel and let the bait swim away from their mouth before starting reeling back slowly so they can take advantage of any angle that comes by, according to to do Dudas who says “you want some type of angle,” meaning if one is coming towards us then we should not reel right away but rather wait until he has passed our location.
If you let a sailfish bite, don’t immediately bring in all of your other lines. Sailfishes are most often sighted traveling in groups and will leave their hooks if they feel threatened by another fish or boat traffic nearby so wait until it’s safe before making any adjustments to bait placement on board!
If you are looking to target sailfish during the winter months in Florida, following these tips will help increase your chances of success. As always, when fishing for any species, it is important to do your research and be prepared before heading out on the water. By using the information we have provided in this article, you can put yourself in a better position to catch some of these impressive fish. So get out there and start targeting those winter sailfish!
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