Catch a sailfish in the blue waters of the Florida Keys, the same ocean fished by Hemingway. The ballyhoo should swim up in the chum and work their way towards the chum bag. - Terry Gibson. The Sailfish range from 25 ft of water out to 2000 ft, depending on the location of the bait fish. Most of the activity occurs between Fort Pierce and Key West. If you are driving through an area and see Ballyhoo swimming by: slow down, set the anchor out, and put the chum bag in the water. We have been doing this with live bait since 1975 and that has been the most productive method of sailfishing. I put the circle hook downwards through the lower jaw of the ballyhoo, and then wrap the copper wire down the shank of the circle hook, around both the ballyhoo beak and hook shank. Found a better price online? In fact, our prices are up to 56% Cheaper*, Fish Key West Guides is the #1 Fishing Charter Concierge in Key West. Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina is located in Islamorada, Florida, The Sportfishing Capital of The World! However the peak of the Sailfish migration is in the month of April. ... Smoker King Mackerel, and the Sailfish. The 46-foot Hatteras is roomy, handles the seas well, and provides a tournament style rigged vessel with dual 75 gallon live wells fed by a sea chest containing duel 1500 gallon per hour pumps. Catch Sailfish (Istiophorus) in Key West with Delph Fishing Charters. Since Atlantic sailfish are thought to be the fastest fish in the ocean, reaching speeds of 67 mph, you want a reel with a capacity of at least 300 yards of line. google_ad_height = 90; When the Ballyhoo are located on the shallow reefs, Sailfish are known to chase this delectable treat no matter what the depth. A father and son show off a king mackerel, one of the many species you can catch in the Florida Keys. Dave Jones, Capt. Bonefish. Hold the fish by the bill next to the boat, going a couple knots forward and drag the fish with you to get water and oxygen running through his gills. Jimmy Nelson & Fishing with Luiza. That combined with year-round warm weather and a relaxing tropical setting makes the Keys a great place to vacation. The Season for Sailfish fishing in Key West starts around the beginning of October extending through the spring months. You can either cast net or hook and line them. ... Download The Top 10 Sportfish of the Florida Keys (and When to Catch Them!) /* 728x90, created 1/13/11 */ Another 3 miles out, the deeper reef edge begins in 45 to 60 feet, and it is there that some of the best fishing in the Keys can be found. Get the FREE Ebook! After you have your rods and boat, you are going to need live bait. It is important to use the friskiest of the bait you catch. Look for experienced charter captains who specialize in deep sea fishing Key Largo or Islamorada. You may have to chase down your sailfish with the boat too, if that’s the case you’ll have to wind up your other rods. #BullbusterAmbassador Flying Fish Charters getting ready to leader a lively sailfish. You don’t want to lose your sailfish when fishing for sailfish in Islamorada because of a trap line! Located in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, it can be caught off of the coast of Key West Florida the entire year. How to catch Sailfish in the Florida Keys. However, they're most plentiful in April and May. ... Other Types of Bait Fish to Catch in Florida. Our sailfish usually show up in October and stay through April. This method allows the bait to swim just under the surface creating a lot of action, increasing the percentage of raising a feeding fish. If you choose to hook and line the bait you want to use 6 to 8 lb test on the bait rods with small “hair hooks”, size 12 – 14 j hooks. You'll typically fish along the … Love it or hate it, sailfishing can be one of the most exciting fights you’ll experience out on the water. Paul Ross continues to be one of the best at the game. There is also a great dive shop, boat rentals, motel, boat storage, transient dockage, and tackle store. It is considered one of the fastest fish in the ocean. Bodies of sailfish seem to … On the leader I use a 6/0 – 7/0 non-offset circle hook. The first rule of thumb when it comes to catching tarpon is having good live bait. While the number of sailfish brought to Florida Keys docks has significantly dropped in recent decades due to an evolving environmental ethic, actually boating and killing a … Now you’re one step closer to Sailfish fishing in Islamorada! Don’t handle the bait with “suntan lotion hands”. Thanks to our catch-and-release ethic, as well as other conservation initiatives, the sailfish population's numbers seem to be higher than at any time in recorded history. This is in contrast to sailfish and marlin where catch and release is commonly practiced. These southern seas offer quick access to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, along with a couple of other perks which make for prime Sailfish … If the fish is tired out, you want to revive the fish. The Sailfish is one of the most sought after sport fish in the world. Choosing the right bait Tarpon will eat a variety of live bait so your best knowledge is to know what type of bait they are feeding on where you are fishing. Slow trolling live ballyhoo is one very effective way for catching sailfish in the Florida Keys. Sold worldwide on the commercial market, the majority of the stock is caught from north of Key Largo down to Sombrero Key, with strict boundaries and bag limits in place to control overfishing of this high-demand commodity. Sinking a line anywhere in these waters will yield some great results, as the area is rich both in species and numbers. When the drag starts to come off the reel, lift the rod tip up slowly. Dave! After the fish eats the bait, wait 3 to 4 seconds, close the bail, and start winding steady when catching sailfish in Islamorada. Kite fishing entails using “fishing kites”, which fly up into the air and we attach our fishing lines to release clips on the heavier kite line. Most of our Islamorada sailfish will be in 75’ – 175’ of water. Now is the time of year to get out and give this … I prefer 15 lb monofilament line on a medium action 7’ rod. But here is the catch (no pun intended) – Google Eyes are not that easy to catch. At the eye of the hook I also attach a 2-inch piece of copper wire. That way when you get a bite the wire straightens out and the sailfish will have a chance to swallow the bait, getting free line with no resistance, before you set the hook. Stuart, Florida, where I live, bills itself as the Sailfish Capital of the World, and … When you set your rods out you want to fish with the bails open, making a bend in the copper wire by the reel to hold your line. For the drift technique any Shimano spinning reel with a bait runner feature is used best with a live threadfin herring or a small blue runner ranging from 1 to 2 lbs. Sailfish travel in and out of the cuts in the reef throughout the day, so the likelihood of an encounter by sitting on the edge or looking around in the sand is good. This will help ensure the lines stay straight behind the boat, reducing tangles. This rod is a great light tackle conventional reel used with 15 to 30lb test line is a great reel to fly from the kite. The best time for shark fishing is in the morning. Live bait trolling for sailfish in Islamorda, FL with Capt. There’s a few different ways we go fishing for sailfish in the Florida Keys. Charter Info. We also have a spectacular party fishing boat, the Miss Islamorada. Small pieces of shrimp work great to catch ballyhoo. We use 12 or 20 pound spinning tackle to catch these beautiful fish. During the winter between January and March the cold fronts will peak a good sailfish bite along the reef with some stiff winds out of the North East and East. I consider trolling slow 1 to 2 knots. Some of the best Sailfish fishing in Key West is done with the Shimano Trinidad 30. They crushed the newest record of 70 releases that everyone thought would stand for years. ... along the lower Florida Keys and includes a portion of the Florida Bay, continuing to the West and North of the Dry Tortugas, encompassing more than 5000 square miles of fishable water within range of our hi-tech, offshore boats. This rod is a great light tackle conventional reel used with 15 to 30lb test line is a great reel to fly from the kite. When Florida Keys Sailfish Fishing, I typically fish 3 to 4 rods, with 2 in the out riggers and 1 or 2 on the flat lines. These include Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf Stream. One of the seasons I most look forward to in Florida is sailfish season. The Florida Keys stretches 150 miles from North Key Largo to Key West and as you drive from one end to the other, you will cross 42 bridges. Want your shot at catching a sailfish of your own? Gather some barracuda to use as shark bait; they’re easy enough to catch on an incoming tide. You can slow troll, (motor in and out of gear), and change depths till you find where the fish are coming through. We'll Price Match It. Live bait is the key to catching sailfish in Islamorada. April and May is when the water temperature is optimal for this Pelagic Species. You never know what you might catch in the blue waters off the Florida Keys. today and get the most out of your next Florida Keys fishing trip! You can find artificial dredges from a variety of bait companies that will all have realistic baitfish presentations. Make sure you don’t over crowd your bait wells with too much live bait, a good rule of thumb for ballyhoo is 1 - 1.5 fish per gallon (so a 30 gallon well would hold 30 – 45 live baits comfortably). You’re also going to want a piece of copper wire attached to the foot of your spinning reel, about 3-inches long. When asked what makes the Keys renowned for this type of fishing, especially when sailfish are often taken in bally­hoo schools off the ­beaches of South Florida, Ross cites the sheer abundance of ballyhoo in the Keys during winter, the more expansive … Bring a couple blocks of frozen chum and a fine mesh chum bag. Famed Florida Keys resident, author and angler, Ernest Hemingway, can be seen photographed with his prized sailfish catch off Key West in 1940. Winter through early spring for sailfish. ... said that anglers towing their 30-foot center consoles to the Keys in the hopes of catching sailfish … You’ll want to focus your attention on the edge of the reef off Islamorada. There’s always a few lobster and crab traps out on the Reef during sailfish season, so keep your eyes out so you don’t get tangled in them. Equipment Used to Catch Sailfish in Key West Some of the best Sailfish fishing in Key West is done with the Shimano Trinidad 30. In the Florida Keys, we fish them under bridges and in the shallows depending on what the tides are doing. It was established in 1944, and over the years has been one of the most famous sportfishing destinations in the world! The single day catch record for the Florida Keys of 70 sailfish caught and released set on April 12th by the Main Attraction crew was broken 10 days later on April 22nd 2020 by team Vice Versa Fishing Team with 76 sailfish released in a single day. google_ad_slot = "3683909777"; Getting to the sailfish is largely a matter of timing—either timing a good bite, or putting in the time to catch scattered fish. The Florida Keys shallows light up with sailfish in the winter, and Capt. For reservations book online or contact us at (877) 885-5397 for more information. I prefer 15 … //-->, Bud N' Mary's Florida Keys Fishing Marina. Florida Keys Sailfish Season - While sailfish are caught here year round, the peak of the sailfish season is generally in April and May. The second leg of the three-event Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship series, the 27th annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, is scheduled Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 19-21, in Islamorada. When it comes to sailfish fishing Florida winter months are better. The first thing you are going to want is a set of spinning rods (3 to 4). Being able to catch Sailfish in Key West is the dream every angler has when considering what Key West Fishing Charters to book. Fishing for Sailfish in Key West, Florida can be caught using a variety of techniques. I use a double line (either a spider hitch or a Bimini twist) about 2’ long and tie on a 15 foot, 40 – 50 lb test monofilament leader. We want to keep Islamorada Sailfishing a healthy Fishery. 3) The Florida Keys; The Florida keys has sailfish action up and down its coast with the World Sailfish Championship taking place in Key West every year. Book your trip with us and get a full day trip for only $1000. If you hook a sailfish watch your other baits because many times there’s more than 1 fish back there. To prove it we are matching all online pricing on the tours we offer. google_ad_client = "pub-8927719727425204"; They need time to come out of the fish’s stomach to set in the corner of the sailfish’s mouth. Sailfish can also be seen on weed lines and debris found offshore, depths usually ranging between 150 to 1000 feet of water. Trolling is a common technique that has proven to catch Sailfish. You can contact Bud N' Mary's at 1-800-742-7945 or e-mail us: bnmfm@budnmarys.com. *Current prices are 30% cheaper than cruise lines! written by Evan Anderson . There are plenty of spots to go trolling in Florida offshore. Read on to find out more about what you can target in this abundant natural environment. Part 2. - Terry Gibson. If possible, troll dredges and teasing baits if you don’t have the luxury of live baiting. The best Sailfishing in Florida is primarily found in Atlantic waters, especially in the Keys and along the state’s southeast coast. Every year, records are broken for Florida fishing tournaments and single-day releases. Everything is a top catch in the Florida Keys. _____ Follow Capt. Ballyhoo live on almost every reef in the Florida Keys, as well as many grass patches. Don’t yank back to set a circle hook! When fishing Florida Keys sailfish are caught in the Gulf stream off the Atlantic coast all year long. Thinking of catching other bait fish types? I look for bait in 15’ – 30’ of water typically. Handle your bait as least as possible. You can also drift a little bit, but be careful not to let all the lines get tangled. After you have your ballyhoo in the bait-well you’re ready to head out to the Reef. We catch sailfish a few different ways; including slow trolling live bait, sight fishing, as well as kite fishing. Fishing for swordfish is also likely one of the most challenging fishing trips you can include on your Florida Keys vacation.