Live Bait and Kite Fishing


Kite fishing is said to have been invented hundreds or even thousands of years ago.  Early man figured out that bait suspended at or near the surface could be an extremely effective way to entice fish to bite.

Here in South Florida this highly effective method did not gain popularity until at least the 1960’s.  Some of the most legendary captains of that era began experimenting and developing some of the techniques used today.  Not only has the practice of kite fishing evolved but so has the equipment being used.

The Art

In the early years of kite fishing, kite lines were deployed and using manual reels and anglers fished one or two baits if they wanted to live dangerously.  All of this changed dramatically during the 1990’s when tournament sailfishing exploded and the prize money went through the roof.

Soon, teams figured out that with a little tweaking they could fish two or even three kites at one time.  During this time, most also started fishing three baits per kite and on some occasions four.  Add a couple of flat lines to this already impressive spread and it’s no wonder why some teams dominate.

Nowadays, kite fishermen continue to hone their craft by developing kites and techniques that take advantage of any weather situation from no wind to gale force winds.  Watching a top tournament team is like watching a combination of ballet meets mixed martial arts.

A Typical Spread

Of course, tournament fishing is very different from fun fishing.  A tournament team will often consist of up to eight highly experienced anglers able to monitor and manage an intricate web of lines and kites.

While fun fishing or charter fishing, a typical spread consisted of four to six lines flown off the kites, one flat line, and one line fished deep.  The exact spread is usually adjusted for weather conditions, experience level, and even bait that are available.

On windless days it is sometimes counterproductive to kite fish and the call is made to focus on a different presentation.

The Experience

If you love the sport of fishing, you should definitely try your hand at live bait kite fishing.  Unlike other methods, this one will often allow you to see your target species actually pursuing the bait.

Sailfish and dolphin light up with excitement; and tuna, king, and wahoo skyrocket out of the water in an effort to capture their prey.  It can truly be a heart stopping, heart pounding experience.