Kayak Fishing in Pompano Beach Florida
The Set Up
The most widely used technique is slow trolling. Tackle for targeting sailfish is very specific; a 6’6” to 7” 30-50lb rod, with a reel that will hold at least 300 yards is the ideal setup. I use spinning reels because that’s what I am accustomed too, but a conventional reel works just as well. I prefer using 30-40 pound braided line. Combining the braid with 15 feet of 40-60lb fluorocarbon leader has proven to be an effective combination. The size of the hook will depend on the size of your bait; smaller bait means a smaller hook. I use a 5/0-7/0 inline circle hook exclusively. If you are specifically targeting sails a circle hook should always be used to ensure a healthy release.
Properly Rigging Live Bait
There are many types of bait to use when trying to catch and release, from live goggle eye to dead squid. The top two baits fishing off Pompano Beach are live goggle eye or small blue runners. You can rig these baits through the nostrils or for a better hook up ratio, bridle the bait. This technique will expose the entire hook for a better shot at hooking the fish. When slow trolling you want to go just fast enough to keep the bait away from your kayak. If you think you are going slow, go slower. I like to be moving at about one to one and a half miles per hour. Sails in the Pompano Beach area are attracted to structure, drop offs, current and temperature changes in depths from 40’-300’. When you begin slow trolling for sailfish, start shallow and work your way to deeper water in a zigzag pattern. Moving shallow to deep and deep to shallow repeatedly will help you find fish quicker.
Keep your drag loose!
A lot of times these fish will hit the bait with its bill or hold it in its mouth then drops the bait immediately when they feel the tension of your line. If and when that happens, free spool your bait. Most of the time the fish will turn right around and pick it back up. When the fish finally commits and takes off with the bait engage your reel keeping constant tension. When that sail feels that hook in its mouth it will go nuts dancing across the surface in all directions. Stay focused and land the fish quickly if possible.
When landing a sail use a pair of gloves to handle the bill of the fish, as it will destroy your hand if you have nothing to cover it. Snap a quick photo and take the time to revive it. Holding the fish into the current while alongside the kayak until you feel the fish biting and using its tail will revive the fish quickly.
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