How to Stay with Feeding Billfish

The ability to track a hot bite is critical to success

Game fish are constantly on the move. It’s exceedingly rare that a group of marlin, tuna or sailfish will remain in the same spot. On the contrary, they are constantly in motion as they seek their quarry across hundreds of miles of open ocean. The ability to track a hot bite is critical for offshore success.

Fish will move depending on a variety of factors, including the presence or absence of bait, the tide or currents, wind, sea-surface temperature and many other environmental conditions.

To stay on top of the bite, start by setting waypoints each time a fish is raised behind the boat or marked on the sounder. Note the conditions where the bite occurred, such as the water temperature, tide stage, current direction and bait. By working in concentric circles around these waypoints, setting more as additional fish are seen on the surface or marked in the depths, the captain can have a much better idea of the direction and speed a body of fish might be traveling as they feed.