By Michael Grant and Seth Funt
Accessories to help fly your baits into the danger zone.
With winter winds right around the corner, now is a good time to refresh your kite-fishing supplies. Let’s look at a few accessories that enable us to maximize kite fishing success in varying conditions.
LEAD SPLIT SHOTS
In order to fish more than one kite at a time, we weight our fishing kites with lead splitshots on one side of the kite or the other, depending on the direction we want the kite to fly. Our left kite gets several split shots crimped onto its left side with pliers to fly left. Our middle kite is left unweighted to fly straight downwind, and our right kite is weighted on its right side to fly right. The amount and size splitshots that you use to separate your kites will depend on the make/model of your kites as well as the speed of the wind. Bring several sizes of splitshots with you so that you can experiment on the water to get your kites separated perfectly.
We use stainless steel solid rings to attach our mainline to the kite clips to prevent twisting in the clip. We color one side of each solid ring with a black or blue permanent marker and thread the solid ring onto the mainline colored side up. The colored side of the solid ring will always go into the release clip facing the boat to avoid line being twisted around the clip in the air.
Nothing is worse than losing a kite while fishing due to the kite line breaking or the kite taking a bump into the water and then breaking the kite line. To counter this scenario we tie a small balloon to the back center of the kite with some rigging floss. This will enable your kite to float should it end up in the water.
We bridle all of our kite baits. This allows for the fish to encounter a larger hook gap and on the bite. Super strong rigging bands are available from companies like Tackle Crafters. These bands increase your hook-to-land ratio, in our experience. One of the coolest new products on the market today for kite fishing is the magnetized suction cup rigging needle and band holder made by Offshore Edge tackle. We keep one loaded with rigging needles and super strong bands ready to go next to each kite station.
HELIUM BALLOONS AND KITE THONGS
On light wind days when there is not enough wind to fly a kite, you may still be able to kite fish. Specialized kite fishing helium balloons and kite thongs (balloon holders) are available to affix to the back of your kites with rigging floss.
If you start out a day with plenty of wind to fly kites but the wind diminishes or stops during your trip, having a helium tank on board will allow you to fill your helium balloons while out on the water instead of return to port to buy an inflated balloon at a tackle store or marina. Helium is hard to come by, and now is the time to network in your region to find sources. We refill our tanks at Tech Air, 4500 SW 74 Ave, in Miami. You can also buy single-use small tanks at Party City.
Kite boxes offer a safe and secure way to store all of your kites on your boat and back on land. FS
First published Florida Sportsman September 2015