Trolling For Sailfish

Sailfish jumping in the water.Stuart Florida has been labeled the "Sailfish Capital of the World." Fishing for Sailfish out of Stuart Florida from November through May provides ample opportunity for you and your guests to encounter a thrilling fight and hot sailfish bite. Sailfish - a prized species of billfish - are the fastest fish in the ocean reaching speeds in excess of 70mph. Combine that with incredible aerial acrobatics and you have a recipe making sailfish one the most sought after sport fish in the world. South Florida Sailfish average 7ft in length and weigh between 35-40lbs. It is not uncommon however to catch sails over 50lbs.

Early in the season a common technique used for sailfish is trolling dead ballyhoo on circle hooks. We use 20lb conventional tackle and depending on conditions will fish between 4 and 6 rods with circle hooks. Two teasers are deployed without hooks when trolling for sailfish in order to bring them closer to the boat. We pull a teaser called a dredge. A dredge is a subsurface teaser which has as little as 18 baits to as many as 40 baits on it without hooks. The purpose of the dredge is to mimic a school of bait fish. Bait commonly travels in ball shapes when moving around offshore. The bait does this to survive and sails and dolphin thrive on these "bait balls." It is not uncommon in the heat of the sailfish migration to have 2, 3 or 4 sailfish attacking your teaser.

As your guide, Iíll help you make the switch to the fighting rod once the teasers have done their job getting the sailfish close (but not too close) and excited. Youíll want to get the fish to quickly change its focus from teaser to bait - if you wait too long, or remove the teasers too early, a Sailfish might lose interest completely and you wonít see it again.

Want to book a Sailfish fishing trip with Capt. Pat? Call (772) 405-0091.

Peak sailfish season traditionally runs December through January but can vary depending on the strength of the Winter. During the heart of the season it is not uncommon to capture double digit numbers of sailfish in one day. During December 2011 and January 2012 we had many days with releases between 5-10 fish a day. Our biggest days were 14, 16, and 18 releases.

TIP: If you are booking a sailfish charter with someone else ask your Captain if they pull a dredge.

As well as trolling for Sailfish, we also catch them by fishing with kites.

Capt. Price has made a living fishing and placing in Dead Bait Sailfish Tournaments from St. Augustine Florida to Cancun Mexico. You can view the tournament history under the Captain's Profile page. He has learned techniques from two of the best Captains the East coast offers and has taken the skills he learned as a mate and polished them into his own methods. With time, techniques change, and the guy who fishes the most has the best chance of keeping on top of these changes. Capt. Price has over 64 Top 3 finishes in Billfish Tournaments since 2001.

Acrobatic sailfish hooked on the line. Displaying caught sailfish.

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