The bite continues to remain steady for sailfish east of Vero beach south to Stuart. While big money tournaments in south Florida continue to catch good numbers there seems to be a pretty good stock of sailfish up here to the north. As another cold front comes in the bite should become even better. November all the way through March are the prime times to go fish for sailfish in this area.
There are many techniques to catch sailfish here in Florida. This includes trolling, sight fishing, kite fishing or even fly-fishing. Trolling consists usually pulling four to six baits — one from each outrigger and two flat lines close to the boat. We often pull a at least one dredge if not two, which is an important component to the spread. The teasers attract increased numbers of sails while we troll. Our dredges, whether artificial or natural, mimic local bait schools that draw sailfish in numbers. Two electric reels on board handle the dredge duties. Kite fishing entails using “fishing kites”, which fly up into the air and we attach our fishing lines to release clips on the heavier kite line. Whichever technique is used, you must always be mindful of the temperature change and current change.
Just like any type of fish, they can turn on and off from day to day, but Sailfishing in Florida is considered to be very consistent and you have a great shot at catching sailfish every time you head out.
My favorite sailfishing experience:
During my spring break in college, I got the opportunity to fish in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Isla Mujeres is off the Mexican coast, a few miles north of the resort town of Cancun on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. My father in law had his 58' Middleton docked at a local marina there so I knew there would be lots of fishing involved. When I arrived, I was greeted with a beer and headed straight to the boat. The guys were already telling stories about how good the sailfish bite was.
The next morning we woke up at sunrise and headed offshore. We traveled about 25 miles until we saw balls of sardines. As soon as we stopped, we saw tons of sailfish surrounding our boat. My father in law and I had always talked about catching one of these on fly but never thought we would have the opportunity. Well, today was the day this changed. We backed down on the school of sardines and as we got closer, we found out the school would seek shelter right behind the boat. Just because you are casting into a school of twenty sailfish, does not mean they will just eat a fly easily. After wrapping the hook of my fly with copper rigging wire (to get it down a couple feet) and casting for about 45 minutes, I got a sail to take my fly! The fight was a amazing especially on a 9wt!