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Welcome to the the site. I have no help for the saifish. From my expierience they are hit or miss in the summer, although sailfish have never been my target. I have been on the boat twice when we were trolling for kings and hooked one, and once while trolling for yellowfin.
 

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Pick the brain of local guys, check around on boards such as this for different techniques.

Though I dont target sails specifically, we do manage to hook some when trolling for other gamefish like dorado, wahoo, kings, and tunas.



Cant go wrong with a naked ballyhoo. I find smaller ones seem to produce more than the larger/horse bally's. I like to use teaser rigs in the troll spread and if I drop a teaser rig way back from the boat in the "to china" way back, it's produced a sail or two off the teaser when we have a lure on tied in.


I like to make my own rigs and teasers, here's a pic of what I call my diamond pattern. makes huge ruckus on the top and with a subsurface lure (IIlander blue/white, cedar plug, tuna feather blue/white, or yummy subsurface flyin fish) I'll draw strikes from sails.


My method is throttle variation for speed and some S or O steering patterns... all depends on how mother sea is letting me work. Sometimes we'll put diving plugs on then throw the teaser out on top in the middle or sometimes we'll run all surface baits with the teaser. Speed up or slow down is what we'll do to control depth... little faster say 7-9 mph everything skips across top pretty good making a huge ruckus and works great when water is pretty calm.

We slow down for when it's a bit rough or choppy outside. Allows the baits to ride just at the surface or below.

Slow S turns allow the baits on the outside of the turn to speed up a little while the ones on the inside of the turn will actually slow and drop a little, then when you come back around to make an oposite turn the ones that drop start to speed up and ... you see how it goes.. pretty simple stuff.

Here's a good example pattern/plan:


Bird rigs work great as well and for sails you'll have to upsize the rigs. Spanish type bird rigs come in 3,4,5 inch birds with small squids maybe 3-4 inches long.. I would suggest a larger bait with larger bird or multiple birds. We use a 6 bird rig with 5 inch birds then tie on a Yummy Flyin fish, or we'll use 9 inch bird with tuna feather or cedar plug. Blue/silver/white/pink seems to be what they hit. Any combination of those colors are definately in the ball park.



Sail's will flat tear up a 9 inch Williamson squid bait. I like to use both the natural and pink Williamson squids


Equipment wise? Pretty simple, I use 15 class and heavy spinners on 7 ft and 10-12 ft rods respectively. our heavy spinners are multi purpose for us. Double duty as floater lines while drift or bottom fishin and also act as our "poor man's outriggers", we'll flip the rod holder down into an angle position and wha-la.. we now have outriggers that will clear our 7 ft side lines while trolling and keep the baits out to the side. Cedars, bird rigs, feathers etc.. will go on the heavy spinners and we'll put flyin fish, ballyhoo, IIlanders on the 15's. Our 50W's usually get the heavy baits, example 8-10 inch Yozuri bonita lures or Mann's gigantus diver plugs. Our teaser rigs will ride smack down the middle over the top of the diving plugs with the outside lures spread and staggered at different intervals.



trust me, I'm definately no expert on sails by any stretch, but some have managed to come into baits that I troll looking for other fish. All the sails we've hooked have hit ballyhoo, or Ballywhoo with an IIlander blue/white jet head type deal, or them Williamson squids. They like both pink and the natural/rootbeer color'd squids.


Best of luck and happy hunting! most importantly, welcome!
 
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