Kite fishing is one of the most productive and exciting ways to catch fish. Using a kite to keep baits thrashing on the water’s surface rings the dinner bell for bluewater predators from incredible distances, and results in some of the most heart pounding strikes you’ll see anywhere. Though it’s usually associated with sailfish, the technique catches marlin, tuna, wahoo, and even mahi from Norcal to Nova Scotia.
Kite fishing is so successful because of the way it presents baits seductively near the surface without any terminal tackle in the water to give away the game. The bait is suspended by the kite, with only the tantalizing motion of the baitfish visible to the predators below. This stealthy approach gives you an edge in even the most pressured fishery.
The kite shares some lineage with the ones you flew as a kid, but are specialized designs built to carry a payload of one or more baits in the often rough conditions offshore. Built of lightweight and rugged materials, there are kites tuned to fly correctly in anything from light to high winds. On almost windless days, helium balloons can be employed to provide additional lift to keep the kites flying.
You don’t need a lot of specialty equipment to get your boat ready to kite fish, but you can never have enough rod holders. You’ll want to keep all the rods that are fishing baits on the same kite clustered close together. If your boat isn’t so equipped, get one of the adapters that go into one of the existing rod holders and increase their capacity to three or more.