Although I enjoy fishing for all species of fish, I would have to admit that sailfish are my very favorite to target and here is the reason why. Sailfish are an extremely athletic species of fish being able to reach bursts of up to 60 MPH, and they are easily able to clear the water putting on an acrobatic show which sometimes includes 20-30 jumps or more. We also target these fish with light tackle, spinning and conventional reels, in the 12-20 lb line class range. Also, live bait is all we use for sailfish, and when you are watching the baits you will almost always see the sailfish come to the surface of the water and chase your bait. Most times you will see the fish swallow the bait whole bait and sink back into the deep, then it is time to “Get Tight”! They are pack hunters which means that multiple hooks at one time are common! Sailfish are also found in waters no farther than 4 to 6 miles offshore in depths of 10-200 ft!
There are a variety of methods used to target sailfish in Islamorada including slow trolling live baits, (Ballyhoo, Cigar minnows, Pilchards, Goggle Eyes, Threadfin Herring, Sardines, Blue Runners, etc…) kite fishing, and my all time favorite sight fishing. Sight fishing is my favorite method because you are actually cruising around the ocean spotting sailfish swimming in as shallow as 10 ft of water and casting live bait directly to the fish, its a real thrill!