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Old 22-05-2011, 19:04   #1
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Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

We are spending 10 days in June in the Leward Islands, sailing from St Martin to Antigua. What advice is there for fishing on passages between islands. I want to keep it as simple as possible, i.e. dragging a line behind the boat as we go. Is that realistic? What's the most basic tackle I need? A spool of line, swivel, leader, and what kind of lures? What is out there? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 22-05-2011, 19:11   #2
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Re: Fishing between Leward islands?

Ive found that the eco spoons are the simplest rig for me to handle and will catch virtually any gamefish. I rig them on single strand wire with a swivel between the line and wire. the wire must be wrapped twice around the split ring on the spoon before doing a haywire twist. The wire will work its way off the split ring if not done this way. Ive caught everything from grouper to dolphin to billfish with this simple rig. A killer addition is a #2 downplaner about 20' away from the lure , but this rig takes more maintenance.
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Old 22-05-2011, 19:26   #3
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Re: Fishing between Leward islands?

Thanks, that was quick, what weigh of line do you use? and about how much do you play out behind the boat? Also, is there any science to what color spoon to use?
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Old 22-05-2011, 19:32   #4
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Re: Fishing between Leward islands?

Ive found silver to work universally the best. I go heavy on line usually above 80# with a large 6/0-9/0 reel to hold a lot of line. I like light tackle fishing but often will horse a fish aboard without stopping or turning the boat and less tackle is lost with heavy line. I leave the light tackle to flats fishing in the dinghy.
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Old 22-05-2011, 19:38   #5
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Re: Fishing between Leward islands?

There are some of us who rely on a hand line and eliminate the rod and reel altogether. Color of lure is a debatable subject, if you use a chartreuse, hot pink, silver or white, it is hard to go wrong. I have caught fish with a strip of beer can with a tail of white garbage bag. You can also try feathered jigs of different colors. Shouldn't need to weight the line, most of what you are after are surface feeders.
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Old 22-05-2011, 21:33   #6
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Re: Fishing between Leward islands?

I use a commerical float line from Englund Marine in Astoria, Oregon. They cost about $20.00 US. They are 60' 1/8" heavy line w/ a rubber snuber included, I tow a tuna jig w/ a 10' heavy leader, what ever color works in your area. Here on the Pacific coast it's chartruesse or sometimes pink. When you catch a fish, just drag it until they drown, wrap around a winch and bring in your dinner. Nothing better than fresh tuna here. The snuber allows some give without breaking the line...Michael..

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Old 23-05-2011, 05:58   #7
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

I've had consistently good results with a simple cedar plug, natural or gussied up with green/yellow/red paint. The chartreuse squid is pretty effective, too.

If you go with a yoyo, be sure to bring gloves. And some cheap rum or vodka in the gills will keep the fish from flopping and spraying blood and slime all over the cockpit.
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Old 23-05-2011, 06:31   #8
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

Err, Leward is spelt leeward. St Martin and Antigua are in the Windwards. The fishing is pretty poor as the area is largely fished out. However,- - - I use a 200# line let it skim on the 2nd swell behind you. I tie it off on the stern mooring cleat, take it up the backstay and hold it there with a clothes peg. when you get a strike, the clothes peg will snap off giving you that warning click. Keep experimenting with lure colors, some areas have their preferences.
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Old 23-05-2011, 06:38   #9
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

on another note its best to stick to eating pelegic fish,ie tuna,dorado,makerel,stay away from barracuda,king fish,grouper,snapperetc as cigutera poisening can be a problem around the islands from fish that feed off reef fish.
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Old 23-05-2011, 06:41   #10
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

Correct on the spelling, holmek, but the Leewards actually extend down to Dominica.
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Old 23-05-2011, 09:19   #11
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
... the Leewards actually extend down to Dominica.
.
Indeed.
See the explanation
Lesser Antilles vs Greater Antilles / Windward Islands vs Leeward Islands - Confused Yet? :: Caribbean :: CaribbeanMag.com
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Old 23-05-2011, 09:50   #12
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

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Originally Posted by captaincarl View Post
We are spending 10 days in June in the Leward Islands, sailing from St Martin to Antigua. What advice is there for fishing on passages between islands. I want to keep it as simple as possible, i.e. dragging a line behind the boat as we go. Is that realistic? What's the most basic tackle I need? A spool of line, swivel, leader, and what kind of lures? What is out there? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
My advise is to fish along the contental shelfs. If you sail from St. Martin to St. Barts directly, you will only catch crappy fish like baracuda because the depth is only 90'. If you drop straight south towards Saba about 6 miles south of St. Martin, you will run off the shelf. Then, look for birds. If you see one or two, that's a fair sign something is possible. If you see 7 to 10 and they are diving down into the ocean, there are fish - right there - right now. Sail over there and catch them.

For the cost of a rod and reel, I would get one. And a couple plugs and a squid like Hud showed. You should have around 30 lb test onto a steel leader, unless the plug or lure has a leader. Get a really good swivel.

You can make a rod holder by using 1.5" pvc around 2' long. Drill a hole in the bottom and tie it off on a stanction. Tie the top off at an angle towards the back. You want the lure to be about 150' behind you and in your wake. The lure is simulating a bait fish and should be skipping along the surface.

Gaff's are a nice addition. It's a Bi#$h to get the fish to the boat and loose it trying to get it aboard. You should probably have good gloves also. And, a plastic picnic table cloth so when you perform surgery it doesn't get blood all over.
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Old 28-05-2011, 19:50   #13
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

Great advice all! If I am successful I will post some pictures.
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Old 29-05-2011, 20:55   #14
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Re: Fishing Between Leward Islands ?

we tried spoons..great for catching cudas...tried plugs..so so, squids..so so...best thing we found are feathers...super cheap....the red or yellow ones...most locals rock them and they work!...as for line...heaviest you can get your mitts on, and will fit on your reel....feathers are like 6 bucks a lure and they are deadly!.we did bahamas to trinidad over last winter and we swear by em now....
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