Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere in the Windward or Leeward Islands
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Re: Sailing from BVI to Grenada
Poles do not work on sailboats, you can't pump them unless you stop the boat.
A 100# hand line is a bit light in my opinion; I've actually landed a 350# yellow fin tuna at sea, but I had a lot of big strong college guys aboard. Just the shock of the strike could well exceed 100#. Anyway, you really want a line you can handle and heavy leather gloves.
I've had the best luck with 6" plastic squid with a 1 ounce egg weight in the head, blue and white. General tropical rules are; blue/yellow or blue/white combo for dolphin, black/purple for wahoo (but they rarely hit below 8 knots 12 to 15 is better) and red/white for tuna and kingfish, though red/white is the best all around it seems.
A good length of heavy shock cord on the hand line is a good idea and we use a clothes pin to notify us of a strike or you might lose fish and gear to a shark.
Unlike the PNW, speed is important down here. You'll not catch much much at 1.5 knots, unless you use bait, but that's a pain on a cruising boat.
At six knots I try to keep the lure on the face of the wave, 2 boat lengths or so aft, a bit more for faster, less for slower. It's the boat that attracts the fish down here unless you happen to run into a school. Always fish from the quarter, not the stern; you are then using your quarter wake to give the lure action.
All that said, fishing is pretty unproductive unless you sail the windward side of the islands. This system worked very well on my circumnavigation in the 70's, but exactly the same gear has produced less and less fish in the last few years.