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Old 04-08-2011, 13:43   #1
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Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

In less than 2 years I hope to start crusing down the Calif coast and spend a year in Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. What do you folks recommend for fishing gear, handline or rod/reel? And is there a good book to learn how
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Old 04-08-2011, 13:45   #2
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Re: Hand line or rod/reel fishing

search the forum. lots of info on cuban yoyos and rods.
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Old 04-08-2011, 14:06   #3
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

This is a great book for fishing in Mexico and in general:

Amazon.com: Used and New: The Baja Catch: A Fishing, Travel & Remote Camping Manual for Baja California (3rd Edition)

Didn't know the price had gone up so much...

I troll with a hand line attached to a stern cleat, and jig with a pole, preferably a Shakespeare Ugly Stick - short and stout - and a fast winding reel (I use Penn GT Level Winds). All with artificial lures or crocodiles...

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Old 04-08-2011, 14:28   #4
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

Both. I like yo-yos for trolling and light/medium bait casting rods for still fishing.

Sail Delmarva: Yo-Yo Fishing

Which is more useful depends on the season and where we are. Neither can serve all purposes.

Lures and terminal tackle come down to local knowledge. I can't comment on your area.
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Old 04-08-2011, 14:57   #5
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

The hand line I use is one I made from 100 feet of 1/4" nylon triple strand with an eye splice in the end; on the eye is a large ball-bearing swivel; lures on a 6 to 8 foot wire leader are clipped on to the swivel. Sometimes I tie the inboard end to the boat with a bungee cord.

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Old 04-08-2011, 15:24   #6
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

Rod and Reel is much safer. It is very easy to get tangled up in the line you peel in using a yoyo/handline. You do NOT want this to happen especially if the fish is big and capable of pulling you under by your tangled ankle or wrist. Also, a handline is very hard on your hands even with gloves on.

Get a fighting belt and a decent set of rod/reel combos and you will never be dissatisfied.
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Old 04-08-2011, 15:36   #7
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

clamp/bolt a reel (preferably an old penn senator 6/0 or 9/0) directly to the stern rail if you have one...
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Old 04-08-2011, 16:06   #8
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

Just curious as to what success rate you guys have when you have a line over the side, Ive been out here in the Med with a few friends and have never seen anyone catch a thing (Im not talking about proper fishing here, just trailing a fishing line while cruising).........maybe its different on the other side of the pond?
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Old 04-08-2011, 16:22   #9
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

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Originally Posted by pablothesailor View Post
Just curious as to what success rate you guys have when you have a line over the side, Ive been out here in the Med with a few friends and have never seen anyone catch a thing (Im not talking about proper fishing here, just trailing a fishing line while cruising).........maybe its different on the other side of the pond?
I think it is a case of being in the right place at the right time. Water temp is everything when targeting pelagic fish species. So if you are sailing to a destination without steering to temp zones or bottom structures (rises, seamounts) along the way, you are lucky to catch anything.

Speaking of the Med, I read something the other day about it being in danger of becoming fished out and emerging dead zones becoming the norm. Whether that is true or not I do not know but there might be something to it given what you said above.
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Old 04-08-2011, 16:36   #10
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

Depends a bit on where you are and what you are trying to catch. In Southern Windwards it's mostly Skipjack, Yellow or black fin tuna, spanish mackeral, barracuda.

In my experience a bungee-sprung line, pulled in by hand, 100# test nylon with or without a leader, trolled at 5 to 8 knots is easy, cheap and effective but it's rough on the fish. 2 of 10 skipjack for example arrive onboard as parts only. (Jawbone usually) Not shark food. Just yanked apart. If you need a system that can be left unattended until you hear a clothspin release then this is the easiest way to go. Pulling in the fish, wear gloves, and release the slack line back overboard where it will stream behind out of harms way and not tangle.

I personally prefer a 5' 6" trolling rod with 20 or 40# test (braid), a reel with lever clutch and a bait that has a swimming action. Much more money, requires more attention and maintenance but the fish will be in better condition when you land it, likely more tired and easier to manage once aboard, and it's a lot more fun.

I carry both but the yoyo and string is the basic essential.

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Old 04-08-2011, 16:40   #11
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

Was in the med a couple of months ago and only caught garbage. Lots of plastic bags and styrene cooler parts. It gets better further East but still didn't catch anything. There must be fish, there are lots of commercial nets, miles long.

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Old 04-08-2011, 17:00   #12
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

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Originally Posted by Surveyor View Post
Rod and Reel is much safer. It is very easy to get tangled up in the line you peel in using a yoyo/handline. You do NOT want this to happen especially if the fish is big and capable of pulling you under by your tangled ankle or wrist. Also, a handline is very hard on your hands even with gloves on.

Get a fighting belt and a decent set of rod/reel combos and you will never be dissatisfied.
I'm sorry, but your doing it wrong. I've landed 30-pound fish with a yo-yo, with no gloves and no line on deck. This is the beauty of the cuban yo-yo.

When you are fighting the fish, you wind the line dirrectly onto the yo-yo, using an ossilating movment of the wrist. If the fish wants to take line, turn the yo-yo sideways and let act like a reel. It is VERY neat and not strenuous at all, perhaps less than with a rod, though it does take some skill to keep the line tight (no rod shock absorber). As such, it is best to tow the fish for a few minutes to wear him down a little.

Additionally, there is no need to store leaders and lures separatly; they wind right onto the yo-yo.

Longer trolling lines prevent fish damage; it may be a lot of work to reel in 150-200 feet of line, but it makes for a soft catch.

Yeah, pulling in the fish hand-over-hand would be a mess.


How much do we catch? It's variable, though generally about 30% of our dinners come from fishing, when we are trying, and seldom is an hour's effort wasted. You have to learn to think like a fisherman, not a sailor. the fish are not generally going to be under your boat in an anchorage. They are going to be where you see the fishing boats or around docks. Night time is generaly best in an anchorage, since it is open water with no cover.
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Old 04-08-2011, 17:31   #13
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

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I'm sorry, but your doing it wrong. I've landed 30-pound fish with a yo-yo, with no gloves and no line on deck. This is the beauty of the cuban yo-yo.
This is true. If line is on deck using using a yoyo, coke bottle or whatever, you are doing it wrong.

I have a cuban spool and many rod and reel combos. I much prefer the rod and reels and never use a leader longer than what will store taught on the rod. My suggestion to the OP is to try a yoyo and if you get frustrated with it then move up to what the pros (and 95% of everyone else) uses if you have room onboard to store them!

GOOD BOOKS
Complete guide to Baits, Rigs and Tackle

The Cruiser's Handbook of Fishing
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Old 04-08-2011, 17:50   #14
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Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

I have used a yoyo for bottom fishing when soace is a premium but it doesn't allow you to jig your bait as actively as a rod and reel. As for trolling it doesn't work well due to lack of shock absorption.

We were tuna fishing here yesterday and used a combination of hand lines and rod and reel. The hand lines are 60 feet of nylon with a snubber and 6 feet of 200 lb test monofilament at the end. The hand lines get fish on the boat with a lot less work and are all that the commercial guys use up here. That said the act of using a rod and reel is definitely more fun.

If I was going to use only one method it would be rod and reel but all thee options have their place.
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Old 04-08-2011, 18:05   #15
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Cool Re: Hand Line or Rod and Reel Fishing

I've got a lot of tackle but the killer setup for most fish caught along shore is 100' feet of 1/8 nylon, 50' of 30# mono, down planer, trailing a Clark spoon. Yo yos are fine but my two are on 1/2 ply cut like an x with a fat intersection.
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