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June 13, 2013

Kite Fishing with no Wind

Tricks to harnessing the power of a kite on calm days.

Dead Baits Rising

One of the easiest scenarios for windless kite-fishing is offshore trolling with artificials and even natural baits. And most of the time, no balloon is necessary when maintaining a 5 to 10 mph trolling speed.

Such a tactic is very effective for trolling up yellowfin tuna, in conjunction with a single rubber flyingfish. The kite ­enables the bait to travel just underneath the surface, and then fly from the water before re-entering and repeating the action. It so impressively mimics a panicked flyingfish that yellowfins pounce on it — even after turning down other trolling lures and baits. Again, it’s a presentation that standard trolling practices can’t duplicate.

Even hard-core dolphin anglers are using this tactic, with small artificial flyingfish and plastic squid baits. It’s best to add a trolling skirt or small lure head to natural baits to prevent them from washing out under the extreme pressure. Again, rubber baits stand up much better under a trolled kite, and the tactic has yielded tuna, dolphin, wahoo and the occasional blue marlin.

The next time you’re looking at a flat ocean, don’t let the kite sleep in. Whether you’re live-baiting or trolling, launch a kite and experience just how much it will lift your excitement level — and catch rate.

The All-Purpose Kite Flyingfish

What’s the best way to rig a rubber ­flyingfish for kite-trolling? Circle hooks or J-hooks? Mono or wire? Harry Vernon III has his favorite setup for all-purpose catching. His preference: a Yummee Fly N Fish, size 8.5 inches.

For starters, he prefers an 8/O J-style Owner Jobu Big Game hook over a circle hook, reasoning that a J-style hook positioned midway down the bait is more apt to stick wahoo and blue marlin, both of which he has hooked on the artificial. And to save that wahoo, the leader joining the lead eye of the hook to the 310-pound-test Billfisher barrel swivel at the head of the bait is 210-pound-test Malin Trilon, 1-by-7 coated stainless-steel cable. From there, it’s 25 feet of either 80- or 125-pound-test monofilament leader. Above the fishing line snap swivel, which attaches to the leader, there’s a 4- to 8-ounce egg sinker. 

As with live baits, the fishing line should run through a ceramic or steel ring attached to the release clip to ­prevent any chance of the line fraying.