Author: Double Threat Charters (Alumni)
How To Figure Out Where To Set Out Your Kites
A common saying is that 90% of the fish are in about 10% of the ocean. Almost all fish tend to school. From sardines to striped marlin, fish often travel in big packs for a variety of reasons.
One reason fish tend to school is for protection. When baitfish form "balls" it helps disorient predators and make it difficult to hunt. Typically, the stragglers (bait fish behind or on the periphery of a bait ball) are the first to fall victim. Bait fish aren't the only species scared of predation. Tuna, mahi-mahi, and more species are excellent hunters but can just as easily fall prey to bigger fish.
Many species of fish school together for protection but another reason is for hunting. Big schools of dolphin or tuna can locate and decimate a school of bait very efficiently. Predators often travel in big packs hunting side by side and focusing their efforts where food is plentiful.
Because of the "schooling" nature of many fish species, everything from pelagics to baitfish are often concentrated in specific areas. Another reason for these concentrations is structure. Ship wrecks, floating debris, reefs, weed lines, drop offs, and more all serve as effective areas for hunting and finding protection. Different types of structure tend to create their own ecosystems.
When determining where we are going to kite fish, the leading factor is current. We like to find areas where the gulfstream is pushed in close to the drop off. Ideally, we like to see blue water and north current in water shallower than 200 feet. If this is the case, sailfish will most likely be pushed in shallow and hunting. When the current is pushed in shallow, the fish are pressed against the reef and more likely to raise to baits on the surface.
On many days we are plagued with greener water and no current or south current. On these days we look for areas with cleaner water if possible. In addition, we like to focus on areas such as the "county wrecks," a series of shipwrecks off of Key Biscayne. Finding structure usually means finding bait which increases the likelihood that pelagics will be in the area. During our Fishing Charters in Miami we like to exploit areas with structure on days with less current. In addition, setting up in front of inlets can help for fishing tidal rips with moving water even with less ocean current.
Being mindful of structure and current can help you be much more productive while kite fishing for sailfish off of Miami. For more information on sailfish, feel free to check out our Sailfish Species Page. Tight lines this sailfish season!
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