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Expert Sailfish Techniques

Follow these live-baiting guidelines and increase your catches.

April 6, 2015
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sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. File Photo

The opportunity to catch a sailfish draws hordes of South Florida fishermen to the edge of the reef each winter.

sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. Joe Mahler

Make the most of your position by spreading your baits out, both on and below the surface. By fishing a wide spread of baits, you’ll increase the odds of ­attracting a cruising fish.

sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. File Photo

When sailfish are on the move they show preferences for specific depth highways because of a thermal edge, ­current flow, bait concentrations or a combination of the three.

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sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. File Photo

A ­bridled bait swims more naturally than does a bait with the hook embedded ­somewhere in its body.

sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. File Photo

With lighter leaders, loosen the drag a bit and try to get to the fish as soon as you can.

sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. File Photo

Sailfish are an ideal light-tackle fish, with 20-pound-class tackle a sporty choice, and 30-pound the norm.

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sailfish in Florida
Tips for catching more sailfish. File Photo

Light tackle and light fluorocarbon leaders do the trick on sailfish. Experiment with hook and leader sizes to maximize bites.

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