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Funt Leadin

    I can remember as a youngster back in the early 1980s traveling with my family to southern Florida on winter fishing trips. The highlight of these trips for me was always those few days we spent exploring the Atlantic Gulf Stream waters in search of the elusive sailfish and other pelagic species that gather off the southern Atlantic coast during the winter months. It was there, almost 35 years ago, that I got my first experience with kite fishing.
    While there are many methods to fish and present live bait, kite fishing provides the most tactical advantage by allowing the live bait to be presented naturally without the hindrance of a lot of terminal tackle in the water. The live baits can be fished far away from the boat and boat noises such as hull slapping, engine vibration or any number of other undetectable factors that come into play, any of which may deter a large predator fish from crashing the bait spread.
    The technique of kite fishing is believed to have originated in the far Pacific islands thousands of years ago with no more than dried leaves for kites, root fibers for line and carved bones for hooks. Ancient fishermen developed this technique to present small pieces of bait to finicky fish that would not otherwise be catchable with short-range nets or spears. It wasn’t until Bob Lewis was stationed in the Pacific during World War II that the modern-day kite was developed and first implemented.
    “The story goes that Bob had seen the locals along the shore line using kites to target needlefish on the outer reef. At that time, Bob was in the Navy and spent most of his time walking the decks of his ship searching the horizon for signs of submarine activity. It was there that he noticed large schools of tuna busting the surface. He was determined to figure out how to target these tuna while the ship was anchored outside of the harbor at sunset. Making a square kite out of fine silk fabric and rigid bamboo frame spars from the locals, Bob was able to deploy his kite far enough away from the ship’s hull to successfully present bait and hook these tuna."
    Today, kite fishing techniques can be found in use in almost every major fishery around the globe. With quick and easy access to the internet and YouTube, most people can find, learn, and understand the fundamentals with a few simple searches.
    Here’s how we have refined this technique into a deadly alternative to proven canyon fishing tactics such as trolling with green sticking (which has the same basic concept and fundamentals as kite fishing).

    For kite fishing to be a success, we must start by leaving the dock with the right equipment to get the job done. This starts with good kites. There are many options on the market today but our team trusts Tigress Kites to keep our lines in the air. Tigress Kites come with extra spars for on-the-water repairs and come in two basic sizes: heavy wind and light wind.
    We then must have an electric kite reel. We use the Shimano BeastMaster 9000 and Shimano Force Master 9000 as our kite reels. We pair these reels with a No. 4 Stuart straight long reel butt and a short kite rod top section that is 14 to 16 inches long with one large tip guide. The key feature here is the tip, which allows the kite line stopper swivels in and out with little resistance. The electric reels are spooled with 80-pound Power Pro braided line that has zero stretch. On the kite line we attached three different size release clips: large diameter, medium diameter, and small diameter. We like the release clip spacing to be 100 feet from the kite to the first, the small-diameter release clip and then 65 to 75 feet between the second, the medium-diameter release clip, and the third, the large-diameter release clip. Kite release clips and entire release clip kits with corresponding barrel swivels are available from Tigress.
    For the actual fishing setups, we prefer to use the Shimano Talica 25II or Talica 50II reels spooled with 80-pound high-visibility Power Pro braided line and corresponding fishing rods with SIC guides. We prefer the SIC guides because the thinner-diameter braids have a tendency to foul and chafe in roller guides.

    Each fishing rod is rigged the same. Starting at the rod tip: A No. 9 Owner solid metal ring; foam indicator float or bobber; plastic bead; lead egg sinker; plastic bead; snap swivel; leader; and hook or lure.




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