|Had a suspicion that stripers might be cruising the lagoon at Heron's Head Park in San Francisco. But a potentially productive section of the park's shoreline is a restored tidal marsh and off limits to foot traffic. I decided that using a pair of kites to pull lures would be an enjoyable way to legally fish along the restricted area and cover as much ground as possible.
Our game plan was to launch kites from the area where the old power plant once stood, troll the lures along the top of the Heron's Head (the northern edge of the lagoon) then make a right turn toward the middle of the lagoon and guide the lures back to the launch point. After getting the kites aloft and attaching the drop line and float, the first lure I sent out was a 4 inch swim bait with a 3/8oz. head. I simply set the rod in a rod holder, backed off the drag just enough so that the reel would pay out line at the right speed and let the wind do the rest of the work. I trolled at a speed that would allow the lure would plane up off the bottom. Just about the time the rig was passing the 100 yard mark, it got slammed! I quickly let out as much line as possible so that the pull of the kite would set the hook. It didn't take long to get the fish to shore. It turned out to be a nice keeper striper.
After the fish was landed I made a few more passes along the same stretch of shoreline, but each time extending the distance covered. On one of the last runs of the day I pushed the rig to about 300 yards, just about where the Heron's "Eyeball" is on the aerial photo. Since I was getting close to maxing out on my line, I decided to move the rig away from shore and start cranking in the gear. I had only taken a few cranks of the reel handle when I saw the float splash and zip across the surface. Had him on for a bit, but at that distance the fish had every opportunity to spit the hook, which he did in short order. By that time it was late afternoon and the wind was really starting to pick up. I decided to call it quits rather than try to wrestle the kites back down in a strong wind.
About The Kites
The small delta kite I use has a wing span of about 60 inches. The kite is very stable, can fly in a range of wind speeds from gentle to moderate and handles rough winds well. I also attach a triangular kite flown on the same line just below the main kite. It serves as a "sail" adding more pull to the entire rig. The kites are homemade using simple, inexpensive materials: trash bags, sticks, duct tape, twine, bamboo plant stakes and a paper clip or two.