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Old 09-07-2011
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fishing off sailboats

I am thinking of trolling for mahi, with my bristol 30. I plan to run 2-3 lines. Never done this off sailboat, selling my 25' powerboat, ran 5-6 lines off her. Pulling a 15' skiff for a dinghy, doubling as a flats boat.

Any helpful fishing advice for offshore sail trolling? Boom in the way during fish fight? Better to troll, sailing, or on motor? Any other helpful tips?
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Old 09-07-2011
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I have a double-ender and only have room for two lines especially when towing the dink, but don't really have any issues. I use a trolling rod on one side and a yo-yo on the other.
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Old 09-07-2011
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Was thinking of anchoring/ mooring dinghy while fishing. Seems would really be hindrance with big fish on. Moored in palm beach. Gulf stream close to shore.

Guess would have to work around this if cruising.
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Old 09-07-2011
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I have two rod holders, one on each side mounted on the side of the stern rail...I fish while motoring or sailing.

If I'm sailing and get a hit, usually I stop the boat by heaving-to or just turning the beam toward the fish and easing sails..and then play the fish from the beam...

If motoring...power down...engine goes to neutral and same as above..
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Old 09-08-2011
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Lost a lot of tackle trolling while learning to control my sailboat.The boat always seemed to run over the line, get caught under the keels when I maneuvered or one line would snag the other.
Now I only use one rod from the stern and have learned to heave to if I need to stop.
I also enjoy just droping the hook over when either anchored or hove to.
Not as good as real fishing but very relaxing with time to take in the view and local wildlife.
Safe sailing.
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Old 09-08-2011
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Ever caught a monster trolling? Caught a few that I had to chase. That might be a problem under sail, likely end up catching rigging. Gonna use 50lb gear so be easy to break off if I get in trouble.

I will sure do some flats fishing with my 15' skiff. Gonna carry push pole and trolling motor. No platform, can't have everything.

Bottom fishing is last resort for me. Like to see the strike, and aerial acrobatics. More of sport fisherman than food fisherman. Likely change my tune when stores are scarce.
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Old 09-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailerDoc2 View Post
Ever caught a monster trolling? Caught a few that I had to chase. That might be a problem under sail, likely end up catching rigging. Gonna use 50lb gear so be easy to break off if I get in trouble.

I will sure do some flats fishing with my 15' skiff. Gonna carry push pole and trolling motor. No platform, can't have everything.

Bottom fishing is last resort for me. Like to see the strike, and aerial acrobatics. More of sport fisherman than food fisherman. Likely change my tune when stores are scarce.
I've done a lot of flats fishing in Apalachicola for specks and reds. The problem with poling across the flats is that the boat can easily spook fish. I've had much more luck sight casting to fish while wading. Sure your visibility isn't as good and I've seen my fair share of good sized sharks in waist deep water but I have had much more luck sight casting with my fly-rod while slowly wading through the water.

If it is above waist deep, forget it, bull sharks love to cruise through the deeper water.

In terms of saltwater fishing from my sailboat, a Catalina 22, I've had some luck trolling in the Choctawhatchee Bay (near Destin,FL). We've caught mostly Jacks, King mackerel (at the mouth of Destin pass) and spanish mackerel (in the bay itself), mahi mahi, and one bonito. The key to catching mahi mahi close to shore, for me at least, is trolling by anything that you see floating on top of the water. We caught our biggest fish of the trip when we sailed right past a piece of broken plywood that had a bunch of seaweed around it.

We're never really going that fast in our 22' so most of the time I can just reel the fish in without changing course. The hardest part is getting the fish in the boat without (a)making a huge mess or (b) losing the fish. This is where I always use a gaff if I'm going to keep the fish. The gaff, while somewhat dangerous, is the key to sailboat fishing for me.
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Old 09-08-2011
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We have caught mahi-mahi under sail from 29-footer on 80-pound line and sturdy hook using only scrap of yellow rag as a lure. We are interested only in meat fishing, enough for ourselves. This may not be sporty but we take only what we can eat.
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I've not done it, but actaully know someone who trolled and caught fish during the Berumuda race last year. (they came in second in their class and blame it on the fish)

They ran two lines, one with a rod and reel and the other was just a reel clamped to the pushpit with something like a million pound test on it. The rod caught nothing. The standalone reel caught two fish and they just dragged them until they died before reeling them in. I never asked whether they stopped the boat to reel in the dead fish. I suspect they had to, but it would have been uneventful by then.
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Old 09-08-2011
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On the run from Destin to Tampa Bay, we trolled a line out on the front of the third wave of the wake (we were motoring, 3 day trip, 3 hours of wind). The hardest part was once we got them up to the boat. Killing them, then cleaning them made a mess of the cockpit.

We brought in 2 King Mackerels, a Wahoo, and some Bonitas. Had to quit after about 4 hours as we had no more room in the fridge.
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