Catching a billfish on fly requires technique, prime waters, a great teaser, and moderate amounts of luck. Sailfish and marlin are not easy targets, but if a lit-up fish slips into the propwash they can be tricked. The feat is not impossible, and top locations around the world allow fly fishermen to reach this milestone. Below, these ten videos cover technique, location and just-plain exciting action.
Sailfish Fly Fishing Technique
This video explains in detail how anglers can tease billfish into position to make a fly cast. Getting the fish hooked up to the fly might be the hardest part.
In many scenarios, billfish must be teased to the boat with a hookless bait, as a fly angler makes a cast to the hot fish. This video shows how teaser baits are pulled away from the fish and a fly is replaced. The process is quick and doesn’t always work–sometimes the fish wins.
Vintage Marlin Video
Cost del Mar sunglasses posted this video of marlin fly catches from the International Game Fish Association vault. The technique to catch marlin on flies had to start somewhere…
Sailfish on Fly in Kenya
One unmistakeable truth is that the angler has to travel to a location where there’s a healthy concentration of billfish. The more fish around, the better the opportunity to hook up. This angler caught his sailfish off the coast of Malindi, Kenya.
Islamorada Sailfly Tournament
Follow Captain A.J. Stewart and mate Tony Golden during the 2012 Islamorada SailFly Invitational Tournament. The crew fished two days in search of Atlantic Sailfish, but mostly landed dolphin. Watch the video to the end to see footage of a lit-up sailfish attacking flies, but never find the hook.
Guatemala Fly Sailfishing
One of the top sailfish destinations is the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Each year anglers travel here year-round to target sails on fly; many of them leave for home happy.
Blue Marlin Fly Fishing Costa Rica
In this old video, Flip Pallot and Abraham Concepcion tangle with a marlin weighing close to 400 pounds off Costa Rica. It took 3 hours to land him.
Australian Billfish Fly Fishing
Exmouth, Western Australia, is one of the greatest remote fishing destinations on the planet. Fishing in this marine park allows anglers to sight fish for marlin without having to use a teaser. No trolling necessary.
Marlin Fishing off Virginia
Not all billfish fly fishing is done in a hot climate. In this video, Bill Gooch and Allen Palmer fly fish for white marlin off the Virginia coast with Capt. Pete Manuel and Mate Tommy Bennett. Allen Palmer lands a white on fly.
And sometimes the sailfish just seem to swarm around the boat. This solo angler had sight casting shots at sailfish, ending with an awesome day catching 2 of 4 sails, all on fly.