Whether it is tuna fishing in Virginia Beach or some other region I know many of you diehard offshore tuna fishermen have spent hours if not days pouring over sea temperature charts and fishing reports trying to sort out where that elusive tuna bite is going to happen during the early and middle summer season.
Sometimes you hit it right, other times you get the shoulda been here yesterday story or better yet, this morning. It can be frustrating. Leader size, up close, way back, speed up, slow down, bar, no bar, planer. What the @#$%$#@! It can drive you nuts. Next time try this. Go Fly a Kite. That’s right, this technique has been a day saver for us on many of our Virginia Beach fishing charters. It’s fairly simple and it works like this.
If your a novice at “deploying” the kite find someone who knows how to get you rigged up or if you have no friends, go buy an Aftco kite to get started with. It’s a good “starter kite” and it can take the abuse you are fixing to give it. READ the set up directions that come with it. These instructions are basic kite rigging 101 but they are a good starting point and they have pictures.
I’ve got my kite reel set up on a 6/0 electramate with a kite rod. I like to run my kite rod off the bridge because it is easier to control and launch for my set up, but you can run everything from the pit if you are limited on space. Your spacing between “drops” off your mainline should be around 50 feet. I fish the long drop from the bridge and the short drop from the chair. We do this so each of us can continue to adjust the “drops”. These adjustments are important because you do not want to troll your baits from your clips. You want the baits to skip. A bait laying in the water is not fishing. It should skip wave top to wave top.
Bait selection should match the hatch. If your seeing the flyers, try a yumee flyer. A 12″ pink moldcraft squid is an great starter bait also. The set up we use on our baits is a 50W spooled with 80# braid. This accomplishes two things. Low stretch and quicker release out of the pin and MUCH less wind resistance than mono. Much easier to adjust your drops. Start off “deploying” in about 10-15 knots of wind. You are going to want to put the boat nose into the wind and launch your kite straight back.
Some like to run the kite main line into the rigger clip to clear and launch. Whatever works best for your setup. Once up and out and you have your “drops” adjusted, you can fly the kite in a wide arc behind the boat. You will have to adjust the “drop” distances depending on conditions but keep up with it. It is important for them to “skip”. Once you get the hang of all of this you will find you can fish the kite off to one quarter. The other quarter you can put out your regular trolling spread. I usually drop my flat back a bit farther with the kite out. When that first bite on the kite comes it will blow your skirt up.
One mate of mine said it looked like fat girls doing “cannonballs”. I know nothing about that, but it is a big splash. Many times the trolling spread will get hit after the kite. The cool thing about this technique is that once you get it wired it can work with live bait, dead bait, on wahoos and kings and even marlin fishing! Try this and do some fine tuning with it and you will be surprised how easy and successful it can be. While fishing in Virginia Beach you will start to see kite fishing more and more as it has really caught on amongst the Virginia Beach fishing charters. If you come back with any cool stories or questions give us a shout.