How To: Kite-Fishing with a Balloon Thong

Learn an essential light wind kite-fishing tactic

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Kite-fishing is one of the most effective fishing techniques in the world, especially for sailfish but also for mahimahi, tuna, king mackerel and many others. The art of dangling a spread of live baits from a fishing kite attracts predators from great distances, and it also keeps the leader out of sight because it’s above the bait and out of the water. With two kites and two to three baits fishing from each one, it’s possible to cover an impressive swath of water. Kite-fishing is a time-tested technique that works incredibly well.

However, there are some days when the wind doesn’t cooperate and even the lightest kites won’t stay aloft. In calm conditions, intrepid kite anglers use a large helium balloon for added lift. Filled with onboard tanks of helium, these balloons make life much easier when the wind isn’t strong enough. A kite thong is an invaluable tool for attaching the balloon to the kite in these conditions.

Start by tying the balloon to the center part of the kite where the spars cross. Just a few overhand knots with some rigging floss is fine. Determine if you want the kite to fly to the left or to the right and carefully position the balloon to lift the appropriate corner, then position the two legs of the kite thong accordingly, one on the lower spar and one on the upper spar. Then connect the third leg of the kite thong and tighten the bridle to hold the balloon firmly in place. This setup is now ready to deploy and can save the day when kite-fishing offshore in low-wind conditions.