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Thread: BillFish Flies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    West Coast

    Default BillFish Flies

    Im off to Mozambique and intend to try get a Sailie on fly
    I intend to drag teasers ( a bird ,Mirrorball and a hookless kona ) until we see some action , see if its fly rod size and then Lob a fly at it .
    Ive attached my first two Fly attempts

    The single hook flys are tied on 8/0 34007's and the double hooks on 6/0 34007's

    I have tied them in chart white (my go to colour ) and black blue and white ( the colour of the bonnies we use for conventional)

    Im particualy worried about Size as the fish baits are normaly in the 1-2 kg range

    Any tips tecniques and fly patterns from the Gurus would be appriciated
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What ever you do never confuse Fishing With catching Fish !!!!
    Fish Are Friends Not Food

    But your reasoning has a fatal flaw; it overlooks the fact that to comprehend it requires that one rub a few brain cells against each other. The heat thus generated produces the light that illuminates the fact, but alas, not everybody has the resource required to fuel the process --SG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    North of the boerewors curtain


    I'd go with the single hook fly as the old saying of "if you want trouble tie a double" doesnt only apply to line...

    You need to remember that you are going to be teasing the sailie up to the boat while travelling at a pretty reasonable speed so consider tying in some decent weighting as the current will push a fly with that much bulk right to the surface. Ideally you want the fly sitting about a foot below the surface so that the fish engulfs the fly rather than slashes up at it.

    You also need to maximise the bulk and flair that the fly has, as like you correctly said you normally use baits substantially bigger than the fly and you'll also be pitching the fly to the side of the sailie as you pull the teaser out the way so you want it to see it straight away. Since you arent really going to be casting the fly a hell of a lot consider adding in some sort of silicon popper cup like the petijean (sp?) magic heads to really give your fly action.

    I'm very jealous, but this time of year you cant really go wrong with sailies if you put the hours in. keep some half beaks and cuda dusters in the boat just in case
    Check your knots!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Cape Town South Africa


    Flies look good....

    I think the most important thing is that your flies match your teaser in colour and approx size...
    If a sail comes up on your teaser, and you work it to get it riled up, that fish is going to be keying in on that teaser big time.... then you take the boat out of gear, yank the teaser, and slap your fly in the water just to the side and behind the Sailie... by this time the fish is hot and lit up, and he is looking for that teaser... when he sees your fly, and it looks like the teaser you have just deprived him of, then he'll eat it....

    The reason for casting behind and to the side of the fish is that you want him to eat the fly going away from you, it'll give you a far better chance of hooking up...

    As to the Single vs Double hook debate... Capt Brad Philips, a SA Skipper working in Guatamala, who holds the record for the most billfish releases for pretty much the last 5 years or more ( Averaging something crazy like 1500 a year ) fishes double hook rigs.... This says something to me... he does however rig them differently..... and he uses tube style flies... I'll try take a pic of how he rigs them and post them.

    By the way, I'm jealous too...

    Some people are like Slinkies.... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Cape Town


    Yes, also jealous.

    Some ideas:

    I would use Gamakatsu Trey Combs hooks.
    Pink flies for Sailies. From baby pink and all the way through to fluo pink is good. Don't know why, but pink always out performs any other colour for me when targeting sailfish.
    Make your teaser baits smaller. A belly shine combined with a plain pink skirt or rubber Kona is the best. Just stitch it up really well with dental floss, otherwise the Sailie will rip all the meat off in one go. Ballyhoo size is perfect.
    Interestingly, Trey Combs prefers a single hook only when casting at Billfish when they are feeding on live bait, eg a bait ball or live chum. When teasing fish he always throws double hook rigged flies.

    The feather patterns are good, but also look at some flash profiles in the same colour.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    West Coast

    Default Sailie flys

    Thanks for the Info so far Guys !!
    (Hopefully I will be able to make you more jelous by way of some Photos when I return)

    I still have a few more Q's Tho

    Is it better for the fly to sink a bit or pop on the surface?

    I have "made" Some popping heads that can be ripped off if the fish comes for the deeper bait (see green fly VS Popper)

    Regarding the Size issues

    Do I Pull normal Size teasers and take my chance on a refusal of the fly because its smaller than the teaser ?
    Will using smaller teasers bring up less fish but have better results once the fish is up?

    Ive photographed the flys next to the teasers that will be connected to spinning rods

    Do you let the fish have A "taste " of the Belly bait or Keep it away (if you can )?

    MC : Ive tied a "pink panther " on 8/0 SL12's (see thumb )

    What do u think ?

    Why do u prefer the SL's over the 34007's ?

    Is 20 cm big enough ?

    How do you add bulk with out it becoming a feather duster (an expensive one at that )?

    Also please look at the last pattern, this is my version of a a flashy profile
    I always feel that its a bit on the insignificant side for a Sailie to fancy ??
    Is it enough or do I need to add "Bulk " if so How ?

    Thanks again
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What ever you do never confuse Fishing With catching Fish !!!!
    Fish Are Friends Not Food

    But your reasoning has a fatal flaw; it overlooks the fact that to comprehend it requires that one rub a few brain cells against each other. The heat thus generated produces the light that illuminates the fact, but alas, not everybody has the resource required to fuel the process --SG

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Western Cape


    my 0.02c

    While fishing for billfish in Costa Rica I fished with Kalin Canales whom has skippered Trey Combs, Billy Pate and Steve Abel to mention a few.

    After being sat down by the man himself he explained in broken english that the size of the fly be smaller than bigger, the color matters (PINK), hooks DOUBLE facing in same direction snelled/tied CLOSE to each other,Owner cut points, popper head small.
    You need to match you fly to the rod! no use hacking a 25cm fly with a 12w, no matter how accomplished you are at casting, with a rocking boat, heavy fly, wind and a hot sailie, you often lobb a pile of fly line. resulting in a severe spewing of foul lingo!

    Just remember that a sailie is alot slower in its approach/ take, at first you will be frantic and think I am lying. (In relation to a marlin a sailie has just one speed. Marlin have after burners!) WHen a sailie come into the spread take it easy, stay cool and calm and do it right you have time!
    you may only get 1 shot at it!

    I suggest you clear the rear deck of the boat, tape up anything your line will hook, place a large paint bucket at the transom with your rod and "some" line peeled off in it. Check you line repeatedly. Ensure there is no gear /rods/fuel tanks etc at the transom. you need space.

    Important to have ALL EYES on the TEASERs, all the time. Note this is the F1 of fishing. You will often miss a take!

    The rig behind the boat can be as follows

    2 teaser rods with in pink and A yellow/green. If you can try catch some small dorado early morning and use em belly strip tied to the moldcraft (NO HOOKS). CUt the strips diagonally from above the pec-fin to the above the anal cavity. This should give you an acute triangular shaped strip.
    Clear the guts and splice it to the inside of the teaser.

    troll them on the 4 or 5 wave from the transom, one on each side of boat.

    Then you need a daisy chain (no hooks) trolled short(PINK)

    Once a sailie comes in the spread it should be on the teasers. have someone on the boat clear the daisy chain and spare rod(very NB and very quick, dont want sailie hopping from one teaser rod to another), the sailie should be honed in on one teaser and that rod needs to be manned by ONE person.
    That person will be responsible for keepin the fish hot and bringing it close in.
    Mean while you should be ready with your bucket, line and rod...actually you should have you line "aired".The mate with teaser and you need to communicate, bring sailie in, when you are ready yell to mate to yank teaser from water to the outside of boat, at this moment boat is taken out of gear and you should have cast already. once fly has landed hold you line tight, this removes all slack in line due to momentum of boat.

    Start your popping....the sailie has awesome eyesight but an awkward turning circle. So it'll see the fly and may need to do a U TURN. this will alllow the sailie to take fly SIDE ON.

    If it misses take a second cast but further back (this is reason you want smaller fly)
    sometimes the fish just hangs under boat, leave fly on surface and tap the water with rod tip!!

    The following happens simultaneusly:
    teaser rod and daisy chain cleared (usually by skipper and fishing buddy)
    teaser with sailie manned by one person (not skipper nor buddy)
    Angler has bucket , line and rod ready and fly should be out and bouncing on water surface next to boat

    In closing this is a team effort , 4 people including the skipper will be adequate. You will mess up and will have frustrations but once you get it right its magic.

    a few more pointers

    shock tipped 120lb flouro VERY NB
    Owner hooks - cut point in 4/0 and 6/0 (8/0 and up for marlin)
    fight fish with rod tip "low"
    dip rod when fish jumps
    Sailies are go nuts when they feel the hook. They change direction quickly and can go smashing along the surface for meters. They do tire quickly but will sound making the last few minutes a crank and pull fight.

    Njoy and goodluck

    Before I have a little fun keep looking at the spread. Sometimes a monster dorado will come smashing through the spread, all you will see is a golden yellow green flash across the spread. It usually makes a uturn. Take boat outta gear and cast your sailie popper in the spread, clear lines and wait for some action. a Bull dorado of 50lbs fight harder than a 120lb sailie.
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