Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2012

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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GEARHEADS: Get Ready JSV 7EMP½WL TEXT & PHOTOS BY STEVE WATERS ;LIR MX GSQIW XS GEXGLMRK WEMP½WL top tournament teams don't take chances. At least not when it comes to their equipment. "To catch numbers of sailfish, you need a very good crew and you need tackle that's going to hold up well," says Capt. John Louie Dudas, who has won countless sailfish tournaments in South Florida and the Florida Keys. "You have to have a total package between the boat and crew and your equipment." That's not just rods and reels, but also everything from circle hooks and leaders to rocket launchers and baitwells. LINES and KITES Most tournament-proven teams do things the same way, but there are slight variations in their fishing styles and equipment. As Dudas notes, he sticks with things that have worked for him over the past 30 years. For example, while most sailfish teams use fluorocarbon leaders, Dudas and his crew on Wound Up use pink Ande monofilament for the leaders they tie to their 20-pound Ande or Momoi monofilament main lines. "It seems like it's soft and strong and real easy to tie, and we haven't had any problems with it at all," said Dudas, who uses 50-pound leaders when the sailfish are biting really good, and drops to 40-pound when the fish are finicky. Capt. Skip Dana of Pop A Top uses 20-pound Sufix monofilament line and 40-pound Sufix fluorocarbon leaders. Peter Miller and his teammates on Kitt Toomey's Get Lit, a three-time winner of the World Sailfish Championship, use 40- or 50-pound fluorocarbon leaders. But their main lines are either 17- or 18-pound monofilament. Miller said the lighter line flies better when used with fishing kites. Fishing kites are standard on virtually every tournament boat in South Florida. Kites allow fishing lines to be deployed away from the boat and keep baits splashing on the surface where they attract attention. The standard setup is to fly two kites with three lines on each. Split shots are attached to the outside corners of each kite to make them fly apart from each other so the lines cover more water. Most boats have several different kites to cover a variety of wind conditions. Get Lit uses green SFE Ultimate kites for winds up to about 20 knots. For stronger winds, Get Lit uses Bob Lewis kites. So does Wound Up. "If the wind's changing a lot, we'll use the all-in-one kites," Dudas said. "It all depends. We have 20 kites on the boat that'll fly a little bit different." When the wind is light, just about every boat uses balloons filled with helium to get their fishing kites airborne. Wound Up and Get Lit both carry two large helium tanks. After the balloons are inflated, they are taped to the fishing kites using floss. Get Lit uses electrical tape. Wound Up uses masking tape. The fishing kites are sent aloft with electric reels, which allow the kites to be brought in quickly and baits to be deployed quickly when the sailfish are biting. Get Lit uses Kristal reels spooled with 80-pound braided line. Kite clips are staggered on the kite line to separate the fishing lines. Many boats use swivels to keep the clips in place, but Get Lit uses floss to separate the clips. Miller said the floss is a lot easier on your hands as you bring in the kite line.

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