Islamorada Sea Horse Sport Fishing Report
Sailfish are moving down the edge of the reef and we are catching them. Most of the sailfish have been caught on live bait. Some of the best choices of bait have been live Ballyhoo, Cigar minnows, and Blue Runners. Most of these baits are slowly trolled on the surface to entice a strike. On windy days the kite method has been used with great results. Common baits used on a kite rig are live Goggle Eyes, Blue Runners, and Threadfin Herring. The kite idea is very effective because it constantly holds a bait fish near the surface in distress. The distressful noise/vibration is what triggers a feeding reaction of the predator fish.
One of the most fun techniques that we use to catch Sailfish in Islamorada is what we call running showers or spraying bait. This method is simple / productive at times when the seas are calm and the water is clear near the edge of the reef. We slowly idle down the edge of the reef and monitor the water’s surface for ballyhoo jumping. When the Ballyhoos begin to jump they normally walk on their tails for some distance trying to elude a Sailfish or other predator attempting to eat them. What makes the Ballyhoo so noticeable from a distance is their numbers. When the ballyhoo spray there are hundreds of them walking on their tails quickly; it looks like water sprayed out of a fire hose. Once these schools of ballyhoo are located we maneuver our boats close to fleeing fish and present our baits to the Sailfish chasing them. Normally when things go right we are able to hook up and do battle with a Sailfish quickly. This type of fishing method is so desirable since you can see the fish eat your bait in shallow water less than 25 feet deep. It is more like hunting than fishing and waiting for a fish to bite.
The Wahoo are in the Islamorada area also. We have caught some lately on live Ballyhoo on the edge of the reef while fishing for Sailfish. Wahoo are strong sport fish that happen to be very good to eat. They are a trophy fish that demands respect. When hooked up it is easy to understand why they are called Wahoo since most anglers bellow their name as hundreds of feet of line peel off the reel. Keep in mind Islamorada is the place where miracles in fishing happen almost everyday.
Capt Rick