Billfish on Fly

Target sailfish and marlin on fly for the ultimate challenge.
Capt. Josh Temple
A billfish smashing a fly right behind the boat gets the heart of even the most seasoned offshore angler racing. Tease the fish up close in the wake, present the fly at the precise moment, and hold on!  Story and photos by Capt. Josh Temple.
The left corner teaser runs in the third wake, hoping to attract some interest.  We usually troll two Pro-Soft teasers from the corners: a black-and-purple Grand Master running on the third wake and a petrolero (orange and brown) Pandora on the fourth wake.
It's imperative to have the fly rod ready to cast at a moment's notice.  Note how the running line, shooting head, leader and fly are positioned to allow the angler to cast the fly with minimum effort.  The blue tape is laid on top of the teak covering board to prevent dye from the flies staining the wood.
A fired-up Pacific sailfish explodes on a teaser.
Mate Josh Ardis teases a sailfish in as angler Keith Brandner prepares to cast the fly.  Along with our teaser spread, we usually have two spinning outfits on hand rigged with horse ballyhoo and chugger heads as re-tease baits.
The bites you get on the fly rod can be spectacular. The boat is in neutral so there is very little wash, and the fish usually eats the fly less than 20 feet from the transom in the clear, clean water.  It's one of the most incredible bites in billfishing.
Hooked-up! Brandner battles a Pacific sailfish on fly.
Keith tests the limits of the gear as he puts maximum pressure on a sailfish. Our preferred outfit to chase both marlin and sailfish is the 16-weight Sage, as these rods can withstand a lot of pressure.
After an exciting battle, a sailfish is finally brought to leader for release.

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