An Introduction to Kite Fishing in Florida
By Peter Miller, Bass 2 Billfish
Kite fishing is quickly gaining steam in Florida waters as a popular way to reel in such species as tuna, marlin and sailfish.
Though it may be hard for some anglers to imagine, there could come a time where you get a little tired of the standard rod and reel. If you’re looking to try your hand at a different technique for bringing in the fish, kite fishing in Florida may be exactly what you need.
Ultimately, kite fishing is an effective method of delivering bait to predatory fish like tuna, marlin and sailfish, though it can be used inshore as well. The kite keeps the bait carefully suspended just below the surface without extra line hanging in the water to spook skittish fish. Two kites, with three baits dangling from each kite, makes for a lot of bait in the water with minimal effort – always a bonus for dedicated anglers.
Originally invented in China and practiced worldwide, kite fishing has become increasingly popular off the Florida coast.
Beginners will benefit from starting out with the right equipment and cooperative weather – a little bit of wind but not too much (10-15 knots is ideal). Specialty equipment for kite fishing in Florida has become much more widely available, and any well-stocked outfitter or tackle store should have a basic kite fishing system. At its most basic level, kite fishing uses a square kite attached to a short rod and reel.
Experienced kite fishermen may want to customize their riggings depending on the effect they’re going for, but a standard kit should be enough to get a novice going on this exciting sport. Though it may seem pricey at first, an electric reel can be a great asset for kite fishing due in part to the amount of time you will spend reeling in line. Rodholders will also be essential for successful kite fishing, and it’s best if they’re close together since you’ll need one for the kite rod as well as the fishing rod.
Kite fishing in Florida allows for creativity and ingenuity, two things that many anglers crave. And with the right equipment, and a perfect Florida day, kite fishing could be your new favorite way to bring in the big ones.