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  #11  
Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Fishing

Having landed many tuna in excess of 150 pounds, sails to 50 pounds, white marlin to 100 pounds, blue marlin to 300 pounds, and dolphin to 65 pounds, I DO NOT recommend using a hand line - even if you're wearing leather gloves. Purchase an inexpensive 50 to 80-pound IGFA rod and reel, load the reel with 80-pound mono, then attach a rod holder to one of the aft quarter stanchions. Most skip baits, cedar plugs, etc..., are all effective for tuna when the boat is moving at speeds greater than 5 knots. Swimming plugs are a better bet when the boat is moving slower.

As for casting a fly rod from the deck of a sailboat - unless you are really skilled at double hauling and sidearm casting I wouldn't recommend it. And, anything larger than a false albacore on a fly rod is insane. I've never hooked a bluefin tuna on a fly rod, and I have a real beefy 13-weight outfit that is great for tarpon on the flats, but offshore and hooked to a 100-pound bluefin would be akin to lifting a school bus from the bottom with sewing thread attached to a noodle.

Next, get yourself either a long handled net with a 30-inch hook, or better yet, a long-handled gaff capable of hoisting a 100 pound tuna. These fish really don't like being hooked and they can really tax your endurance to the limit. I spent the better part of two hours landing a 150-pound bluefin off northern Virginia at a place called the Parking Lot. By the end of two hours my arms felt like rubber bands. Fortunately, someone else on the boat was able to gaff the fish.

Some of the best tasting fish are usually caught while bottom fishing with a simple top and bottom rig (High-Low Rig) using squid strips for bait. In southern waters its a great way to catch flannel mouth grunt, French grunt, grouper, mangrove snapper and a host of other tasty panfish species. When I didn't have squid on the boat one afternoon and was anchored near the Marquesses Channel west of Key West, I attached a small strip of bright red cloth the hook and loaded the cooler with grunts to 15 inches. They were the largest grunts I've seen - ever. That night they were dipped in beer batter and pan fried. Thought I had died and went to heaven they were so good.

I also caught a couple grouper that same day on the red rag, but the season was closed and I had to release them.

Good luck,

Gary
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Fishing

"Having landed many tuna in excess of 150 pounds, sails to 50 pounds, white marlin to 100 pounds, blue marlin to 300 pounds, and dolphin to 65 pounds, I DO NOT recommend using a hand line - even if you're wearing leather gloves. Purchase an inexpensive 50 to 80-pound IGFA rod and reel, load the reel with 80-pound mono, then attach a rod holder to one of the aft quarter stanchions. Most skip baits, cedar plugs, etc..., are all effective for tuna when the boat is moving at speeds greater than 5 knots. Swimming plugs are a better bet when the boat is moving slower."
Please clarify; you are saying you've landed all those fish from sailing boats with out stopping, on a pole?
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

Wow, Mark has patience, an 8 year old query and just now getting bites. A true troller!
xymotic and Minnewaska like this.
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

I carry a deep sea rig and a smaller spinning rod, along with a basic set of lures. There is no problem using a pole on a sailboat and it makes reeling in a lot easier than some sort of handline. There are a couple of spots where a rod wedges in very nicely while trolling. I also carry a small gaff (actually a big shark hook w/ barb removed seized onto a handle) which makes getting a 20-30 pound fish into the boat possible. I would not want to even attempt holding onto a "football" tuna with a hand line. I love to go fishing and don't see how you can set the drag on a string wrapped around a pc. of wood:-)
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

Fishing under sail
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

My largest tuna caught aboard a sailboat was just over 75 pounds and the boat had to heave to in order to land the fish. I don't believe you could land a tuna in excess of 50 pounds from a boat that remains underway. Most of the fish I've caught offshore were taken from the decks of a 21-foot center console power boat, which also provides the maneuverability to land fish of this size. In many instances you would have to back down on the fish in order to bring it under control. My best advice would be to spend at least one day offshore fishing with a good charter fishing captain and learn the proper techniques for hooking and landing big game fish, which is usually what you encounter in the offshore, coastal waters. It would be a good investment in time and money, and most of the captains are more than willing to part with some valuable information.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

It's always a tradeoff with space on a sailboat. There is really no room for flying gaffs, nets, gin poles, gimbals, fighting chairs, and all the stuff a real offshore fishing boat would have on hand. My limited deep sea fishing experience has been on boats like that which were rigged specifically to go out off Montauk and catch big fish. I have hooked large tuna when coming across a school on the sailboat (I can rarely resist throwing a line over) but I just cut the line and lose a lure, having no way (or desire) to land a big fish. My limit on the sailboat is a fish I can eat and not waste a lot of it due to lack of refrigerated space. The fridge is usually pretty full already so there's not much room to store fillets.

For lures, I'd suggest some No-Alibi type leadheads in various colors for trolling (maybe with red or yellow pork rind), and maybe some lead headed tubes, a couple of big feathered streamers for sailfish, and assorted small hooks and sinkers for bottom fish. While underway, you're going much faster than optimum for trolling so some weighted lures are necessary to get them below the surface. It's also fun to catch small panfish while at anchor, although probably looked down upon by those pristine sailing vessels who deem themselves to be above such activities:-)
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

A warning to those of you who are trying to catch fish from a sailboat; do not try to land billfish. They can be extremely dangerous; I have personally seen a man speared through the chest by a large black marlin, though it was on a sport fishing boat.
Just get them as close to the boat as possible and cut the line. If you use steel (not stainless) hooks, they will corrode withing a short period of time and the fish will be unharmed, if hooked in the mouth.
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  #19  
Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

For sure, Blue Marlin can be enormous and best left for fishing boats. I have seen huge Blue Marlin (not good for food) WASTED, thrown in the trash so "sport" fisherman can get their picture taken and bask in triumph at the dock. It's really such an unethical waste. White Marlin, on the other hand, are much smaller and very good eating. They are also often within a few miles of shore and can be caught by fast trolling. They usually are in the 50# range. The sword is certainly a danger. I'd suggest getting a tailrope on any larger fish, leaving it 1/2 suspended, dragging backward until you're sure they're dead. You would not want a billfish (or shark) alive and thrashing in a sailboat cockpit!
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Fishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
White Marlin, on the other hand, are much smaller and very good eating. They are also often within a few miles of shore and can be caught by fast trolling. They usually are in the 50# range. The sword is certainly a danger. I'd suggest getting a tailrope on any larger fish, leaving it 1/2 suspended, dragging backward until you're sure they're dead. You would not want a billfish (or shark) alive and thrashing in a sailboat cockpit!
That's my plan. I have gaff set up to haul up with our outboard motor lift. I think I can fillet a fish over the transom so cleaning the mess off teak decks won't be such a chore.

Of course this is all theoretical as apparently I can't fish worth a darn. I dragged a lure across the entire Atlantic Ocean and caught nothing. With two handlines, a bunch of line, a goodly assortment of lures, a squirt bottle of cheap Swedish vodka, a couple of gaffs, and other odds and ends the first fish I do manage to catch will be far from free. *sigh*
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