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Old 05-14-2003
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Fishing in Caribbean

Hello all, a group of us are sailing from Martinique to the Tobago Cays and back beginning May 23rd and we are hoping to do some fishing along the way to augment our food supply. Can anyone provide me with information on the type of fish that are good to try for (tuna, mackerel??) and are edible. Suggestions on what type of equipment we''d need to catch them that would be great (live bait, artificial lures, size of rod/reel) also and whether it is better to try to rent or bring fishing gear. We''ll start in Martinique and also stop in St. Vincent during our trip. Thanks in advance.

Phil Johnson
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Old 05-16-2003
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Fishing in Caribbean

My general rule of thumb is Tuna species (no mackerel, particularly Kings), Dolphin, Wahoo. DO NOT eat Barracuda. Read up on Ciguatera and the occurrence of same in your cruising ground. Pelagics don''t seem to carry it (Tuna, Dolphin, Wahoo). Be prepared to cut your lures off if you hook up a big billfish (Marlin, Sailfish, etc.). If you want to eat snapper and the like, know the size range of the species and eat the smaller ones (less likely, since they havent'' been around long enough to accumulate appreciable levels a ciguatoxin). Maybe I''m being somewhat alarmist, since I have''nt had it, but I have friends that have. Northside of the Virgin Islands - O.K. for most species. Southside of the Virgin Islands DON''T EAT ANYTHING other than dolphin, tuna, wahoo, although, again, I have by limiting it to 10" mangrove and red snapper - things like that. Big fish ( of that ilk) more likely to carry it. Some areas of whence you speak have had incidents of poisoning. A couple years ago a small Domincan work boat with 8 or 9 aboard (like a little cargo thing) came into Charlotte Amalie Harbor full bore. The cap had caught a BIG barracuda, cooked it up and fed the crew. Only the engineer didn''t eat any, and for some unknown reason, didn''t know how to stop the boat. All others were in various throes of convulsion. EMT''s and Marine Patrol sent out fast inflatable, caught ''em, jumped on and stopped the boat before it got to Main Street (which is a couple hundred feet behind the waterfront). Crew was all treated and released, but Ciguatera is with you for life. Read up on it, but don''t get too alarmed, just be aware. KW
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Old 05-20-2003
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Fishing in Caribbean

VIEXILE, many thanks for your information. I was not aware of the poison issues and will definitely research more in our location.

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