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Fishing off the coast of the Florida Keys
Sailfishing is amazing. Although we enjoy fishing for all species of fish, we would have to admit that sailfish are amongst our favorites. The reason why we find Sailfish to be so exciting is that they 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 amazing acrobatic show. Sometimes they Jump 20-30 times or more.
We also target these fish with light tackle, spinning and conventional reels, and line in the 12-20 lb class range. 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 and sink back into the deep. This is when it is time to “Get Tight”! They are also pack hunters, so multiple hooks at one time are common! Sailfish are typically found in waters no further than 4 to 6 miles offshore and in depths of 10-200 feet.
Methods of Sailfishing off Islamorada
There are a variety of methods used to target sailfish in Islamorada…
Slow trolling with live baits such as Ballyhoo, Cigar minnows, Pilchards, Goggle Eyes, Threadfin Herring, Sardines, Blue Runners, and more.
Kite fishing is another fun way to catch sailfish.
Our all-time favorite technique is sight fishing. Sight fishing is a thrilling method because you are actually cruising around the ocean spotting sailfish swimming in water as shallow as 10 ft and casting live bait directly to the fish. It’s a real thrill! It’s exciting seeing them, casting to them, and watching the reaction of both the bait and the sailfish. Of course, none of that is as exciting as when you see them swallow the bait, hook up, and realize they are in a fight for their life. That is when the adrenaline really starts to pump.
Remember to listen to the captain’s instructions, because these fish don’t want to be caught and will do everything they can to get off the hook or break the line. Our job is to give you the guidance to get the fish on the line and to the boat.