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It’s Official. Sailfish Season Has Started in Miami

Miami Sailfish Season Has Begun, as the first cool winds from the North arrive here in South Florida.The water temperature starts to decline and the bait fish continue their migration further South. Right behind the bait and in front of the cold fronts the Sailfish begin to funnel into the waters off South Florida, Miami, Miami Beach and South Beach. Once we feel to cool breeze from the North we know that the season has begun.

The Conditions for Fishing Are Just Right

The days that the cobalt blue waters of the gulf stream wash in over the top of the deep reef, the Sailfish move in to feed. When the Gulf stream currents are moving swiftly to the North, and the winds are out of the North or North East the Sailfish bite turns on. The opposing forces of wind and current push the seas up and get the sailfish exited to hunt for prey on the surface.

Fishing Methods We Use to Catch Sailfish

We use quite a few techniques to target Sailfish in the winter. One of the best is slow trolling live baits on the surface using our long 42′ out riggers. The bait of choice is small live bonita or “flips” in the riggers. These baits are the “filet Mignon” of the fish world. We also use Goggle Eyes, Blue Runners, Thread Herring and pilchards. We troll or “pull” these live baits at about 2 – 3 knots right on the edge of the Gulf Stream.

Kite fishing is another great way to target Sailfish. We have a lot of great information about Kite fishing right here or on our blog at We also catch quite a few Sailfish trolling dead rigged baits. We pull a combination of about six baits at close to 5 – 7 knots, depending on the sea condition and type of baits.

Capt. Jay Cohen

Capt. Jay owns and operates the Miami fishing charter Capt. Jay’s Deep Sea Fishing. Capt. Jay has fished Miami for more than 40 years and holds several I.G.F.A world records and has won multiple tournaments, including the METT tournament and the fun fish boat in the Miami Billfish tournament. Capt. Jay discovered a new species of tilefish and had the honor of naming the fish (Bahama Tiger Tilefish).