Sailfish

5 Top ways to catch Sailfish
Recreational deep sea boat fishing coastal waters on the African East Coast.
Sailfish. Just the word invokes adrenal pulses up and down the spine. These fast growing, angry yet graceful fish have captured our imaginations wholeheartedly with their spirited tail walks, high speed greyhounding, and stubborn determination to be free.
And free is what a sailfish ought to be! All the following tactics take easy tag and release intom account.
1. Live bait with circle hook: to specifically target a sailfish, hook up nice, enjoy a good fight, and then a healthy release, this is the way to go for sure. Aside from sheer results, the circle hook in the corner of the mouth puts little strain on the fish during the fight.
As opposed to the treble hooks on a regular Natal live bait trace, or swimming lipped plugs. Free swinging hooks often end up the fish’s gills, or worse, it’s eyes. And are dangerous as hell at boatside when trying to conduct a release.
2. Konas: a small kona is a wonderful thing. Everything has a go at it, or at least comes in to inspect. The bubble trail, the noise, the speed, the flash – the spectacle of it all – performing the duty of a teaser aswell as being a lure.
Single hooks hook up as much as chain gang rigs or other doubles, and as stated before, the extra swining free hook can cause untold damage to the poor fish, or the guy trying to get the hooks out for a release.
3. Bellyshine: the time told and tested method of skipping a belly shine for sailfish will surprise you with all sorts of other species trying to jump in on the action too. The juiciness, the flash, the red meat, the oil…all add up to an incredibly effective bait.
YFT, wahoo, couta, dorado, kingfish and the billfish clan, readily accept the temptation of a well rigged belly shine. Putting this behind a cuda duster or small kona rounds off a good all round bait.
4. Skipbait: if you have outriggers (if not just use your longest rods), skip a halfbeak or other tough bait real close to the boat but out off the side as much as possible. When dragging konas for bigger fish, run the skip baits on the inside rigger lines. When I say close, I mean literally a few metres off the transom.
This will reap you a surprising number of strikes and will convince you undoubtedly that fish are in no way scared of the boat.
5. Daisy Chain: Large. Rig three 6 inch or longer plastic squids in a row. A metre between each. Use nice big hooks, like 10/0s at least, heavy leader, like 300lb. And white always wins.
Drag one or two of these in between your konas and/or baits, at all times. Aside from being another magnificent teaser rig, again, you will be amazed at how many strikes this rig will get. To fish IGFA rules, only two lures in a row are allowed.
Sailfish are world-renowned for their fighting displays. But. After a few short aerobic explosions of water and spray, they invariably go deep and stubborn, which is when the heavier tackle will make all the difference. If you are able to put the pressure on and get the fish up nice and quick, it will make for a good release. But if your fish is tired and losing colour, some effort is required to revive it. This means getting water through the animal’s gills by gently towing it along by the bill, next to the boat, and moving the head side to side. Soon enough the colours will come back on and you can let your fish go with a big heave out and away from the boat.

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