Caught Catching Fish with a Kite
When angling from a drifting boat, on the offshore or inshore of Florida waters, one is at the mercy of the tides and wind currents. If the wind is prevailing in the correct direction, you could use a balloon but by doing so, one risks polluting the marine environment with a piece of discarded latex or rubber. The possibilities of this discarded material being ingested by marine wildlife is far greater than one would expect, thus resulting in a sick fish or dead animal. Many different styles of fishing have originated in the hopes of catching the ‘Big One’. Perhaps the most effective style of getting your bait off the beach, or away from your boat and out to where the fish are is kite fishing.
Fishing is a technique of fishing that involves flying kites, and
using the kites to suspend live baits, dead baits and even hardware
on the top of the water. This type of fishing is highly effective
both in a boat, as well on the beach due to a not so new concept but
a new idea in catching bigger fish off the beach without a boat.
Sport fishing charter boats have been using this technique for 20
years to hook into the wide array of big game species that swim
through our waters. With a ‘Caught in Flight’ kite, you too can
now catch that big one just as the professional Charter Captains do,
whether on the beach or out in the vessel of your choice.
In kite fishing, live bait is best but small cut baits will work too. Only certain types of baitfish will work effectively under a kite. These bait fishes include goggle eyes, mackerels, blue runners, pilchards, mullet, sardines and thread fin herring. There are many other types of baitfish used under the kite, but these types of live baits survive the best. Start out by selecting your spot to fish. When kite fishing, you must select a area of water with tidal movement, like a area where there is a rip current, a temperature gradient, a color change or over the top of an artificial reef, like the Venice reef just off the beach south of Sharky’s on the Pier where a number of years ago, the City of Venice Florida dumped a gazillion tons of old sewer pipes to re-bar structure to the then flat bottom. Now, it is teaming with grouper to Ling (Cobia), sharks and more.
you have selected the area you want to fish, choose which kite you
are going to fly. I like to carry a light wind, medium wind and heavy
wind kite for different wind conditions. Gauge the wind and choose
the appropriate kite for your conditions that day. Kite sizes differ
for different wind speeds and velocities. Choose the right kite for
your wind speed. A quick look at your local weather station can tell
you the wind speed predicted for that peculiar day or check out Magic
Seaweed MSW for all Florida wind information. In addition, when
was the last time you flew a kite? I was just a kid so remember
before you go kite fishing, practice makes perfect. If this is your
first time flying a kite then I would suggest you spend some time
accessing what is around you and looking for dangers. Always avoid
flying near power lines and roads.
With two fishing rods, just as in trolley fishing, a baited fishing line (whether a lure, fly or fresh bait), a kite and a little wind, I can guarantee that areas further out than you could have imagined will be at your fingertips. Using a kite allows you to fish in areas that up until now have been simply unattainable by the conventional casting method. With a bit of practice you can even fish two kites off one line for more coverage. The removal of any twists in the line is also something you will need to do. Place several high quality swivels between the kite line and the kite when in flight. This will remove any unwanted twists that may be present. From the highest point on your vessel, launch the kite and slowly release the drag on the kite reel, as the kite starts drawing line from your reel control the speed, making sure it's not too quick as the kite will fall from the sky and not too slow so that the kite flies above your head. Rule of thumb: keep it about 50 ft off the water. If you are going to fly two kites simultaneously, you will want to put a small lead on the lower corners of each kite, depending on which direction you want each kite to spread. The weight for this should be about 1/8 ounce for light kites and about ½ ounce for heavy kites. If weighted properly, the kites should spread apart from each other enough so that when the baits are out, the baits will not tangle together. Once the kite is airborne, and are about 50’-75’ off the beach or your watercraft, you should have a small barrel swivel tied every 50’ or so feet along your kite line. Use a snap swivel and attach your first kite clip to the kite line. Set the pressure of the clip release by tightening or loosening the setscrew on the clip. You want the clip to release with slightly more pressure than the baitfish will likely be able to put on it himself.
you are ready to bait your rod. I like to sew my baits on with a wax
line bridle. This gives you the most possible hook exposure and
increases your hookup chances. Use a needle and sew the bait through
the back of its neck, just behind the head of the fish. Do not go too
deep. About 1/4 of the bait fish’s body is as far as you want to
stick that needle. Catch the loop of the wax line bridal on both
sides with the hook and twist it up. Then stick the hook back
underneath the entire bridal, making the hook tight to the body of
the baitfish. The fish, angled with his head up when he is dangling;
forcing the baitfish to struggle to keep his head below water so, he
can breathe. This will cause many vibrations which is the desired
effect when kite fishing. Once the bait is the desired distance from
the beach or your boat, you must make constant adjustments to keep
the bait right on the top of the water. The bait should be under the
water, but the hook, leader and fishing line should all be out of the
water. Placing a colored ribbon on the snap swivel of the fishing
line, which is about 8’ out of the water, just above the bait gives
visibility if there is a glare or the bait is out of sight at a quick
glance. Indications that you are receiving a ‘hit’ or ‘bite’
happen if the water under your bait boils, a fish jumps directly
under the clip area or your reel is screaming out. The best thing to
do when you get a bite is to free spool your reel, tethering it with
your thumb and let the fish eat the bait. Lock up the rod into strike
position and start winding as fast as you can to get the slack out of
the line. When you come tight, the line will pop out of the pressure
release clip. Keep winding until you come tight on the fish. When you
come tight, set the hook with a couple gentle but firm tugs with the
rod. This will set the hook into the fishes jaw. If using a circle
hook, simply apply pressure by raising the rod tip slowly up while
pressuring with a steady retrieve.
The best part of kite fishing is you get to see the whole bite sequence and the hook up ratio are usually very high. It takes quite a bit of practice to become proficient with kite fishing technique. Keep trying though for practice makes perfect! I have yet to find a more effective or exciting way to catch that big one while fishing kites on inshore to the offshore of Florida waters and for that matter, right from the very dry beach.
Gary A. Anderson
Your on your way to the Shark-tooth Coast, Venice, North Port, Nokomis and Englewood, Fl.
Fishing the Shark-tooth Coast encompasses and area of over 100 square miles of virtually unspoiled beaches, parks and trails. The surrounding cities of Venice, North Port, Nokomis and Englewood give an exciting flavor for a place to call home or to visit. Freshwater and saltwater fishing at its very best would seem to sum up one of our areas top credentials.
Florida is surrounded by natural beauty and splendor. Venice offers
something for everyone including beautiful beaches, its quaint
downtown shopping area and the old time Florida scenery, along the
Myakka River. Caspersen
Beach, the longest
beach in Sarasota County, is located south of Venice Airport on
Harbor Drive. It has been left in its natural state, uncultivated,
windswept, and secluded. This is an exceptionally good area to look
for prehistoric shark’s teeth and enjoyable shelling. It is also
site of the annual Sharks Tooth and Seafood Festival. Venice
Municipal Beach is
also an excellent place to find sharks teeth and other fossilized
material. Just off our shore is our man-made & fossilized coral
reef, which attracts divers and fisherman alike. Venice
Beach is located at the west
end of Venice Avenue one mile west of business Route 41. If you're a
SCUBA diver, a reef containing fossilized material is located a
quarter of a mile offshore. You can also find fossilized sharks,
mastodon and miniature horse teeth along our beaches. Brohard
Park, Venice, Fl.
Brohard Park is located in the southern most part of the City of Venice, on the Venice Airport property on Harbor Drive.
you enjoy fishing, there is a 700-foot fishing pier on the property
for public use. The pier has rest rooms, a snack bar, and a bait
Also located at the park are Sharky's Restaurant and the U.S. Aux. Coast Guard Training Center. Rod rentals are available at the piers bait stand, PAPA’S. To the left of the pier is one of our cities dog parks; where else in Florida can you walk your dog on the beach and it is allowed?
Next to or adjoining ‘The Dog Beach’ is Caspersen Beach; located south of the Venice Airport on Harbor Drive; a great place for collecting shells. It's also the best beach for finding prehistoric sharks' teeth.
June 15, 1959, North Port is the second largest municipality, in land
size in the State of Florida. It offers unlimited potential for
growth over the next 50 years. The North Port area contains the City
of North Port, the community of Warm Mineral Springs and other
developments, like Myakka River State Park, from the eastern banks of
the Myakka River to the northwest corner of Charlotte County. Some of
your best fishing, in the state, can be found in the areas within its
boundaries. Thirty-nine different varieties of fish can be found in
the surrounding waterways of North Port, including favorites such as
Spotted Gar, Tarpon, Yellow Cat, Brown Bullhead, Channel Catfish,
Snook, Shell cracker, a load of Perch,
Large-mouth Bass, Speckled Perch, and Striped Mullet. Canoe/kayak launches at Blue Ridge and McKibben Parks installed to create connectivity between the two parks. In addition ,too include the area of the Blue Ridge Waterway and the Co-Co Plum Waterway leading to the Myakkahatchee Creek. When fishing inland, on the rivers, canals or lakes you need a fishing license and also on the Myakka River State Park is one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks. The "Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River" flows through 45 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands. Myakka is popular for hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife observation. A place to be on any given day while observing this area.
Some call this North Venice; Nokomis has all the splendor and grace of an upcoming area on our Gulf. Known for its beach on Casey Key; directly west of the Albee Road Bridge. The park includes 22 acres with 1,700 feet on the Gulf and 3,200 feet on the Intracoastal. There's an on-site snack bar serving sandwiches, snacks and cold drinks. One of the few places on the beach you can get a sandwich and soft drink for fewer than five dollars! Also located within Nokomis is the North Jetty Park; located on the southern tip of Casey Key. The jetties there make it one of the best places on the west coast of Florida for Fishing. It's a popular spot for picnics and there is good shelling as well.
(Psst)…also known as ‘Florida’s Best Kept Secret’, Englewood, Florida is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida on Beautiful Lemon Bay. Home to at least fourteen Charter Guide Services, Englewood offers a great way to catch “The Big Ones”, at a reasonable cost. The barrier islands of Manasota Key and Knight Island separate the bay from the Gulf of Mexico. The Intra-coastal Waterway passes through the center of Lemon Bay. Stump Pass Separates the Gulf to the West, Manasota Key to the North, Knight Island to the South and Lemon Bay to the East. Still used by local mariners, Stump Pass is tricky with its changing bars and channels. It is a great place to fish and shell alike. Englewood has much to offer in things to do from quaint dinning on the water to its Sports Complex. Indian Mound Park gives a glance into our own past, with Manasota Beach giving us ‘Fun in the Sun’ and a place to take the whole family. From romantic walks at night, to shelling with the kids or surf fishing along its shores; there is plenty to do while visiting Englewood on the Shark-tooth Coast.