Can someone who actually catches fish
while sailing please give me some help?
For four years I have been trying to catch fish
. This year I made a determined effort, but still am failing. I have read both The Cruisers Handbook of Fishing
by Scot Bannerot, and Secrets of Sailboat Fishing
by Dick McClary. They have been helpful, for sure, and this year we have actually caught six fish. But they still don't give specific advice, eg. what tactics to use in what types of weather
and sea conditions.
Six fish caught was initially encouraging, but none for the past month, and that is more than offset by the lures we are losing.
So, what are we doing wrong, and how do we actually catch some fish? And also, what should be our expectations as to how often we catch fish?
Here is the background:
We are on a sailing catamaran
. We are currently in the Med. We sail at 2 to 9 kts and we motor
at 4-5 kts.
When we are moving I put out between 2 to 4 lines off our sterns. Usually these comprise of:
1) a green bird teaser, followed about 2 feet back by a 4" green muppet, followed by various different lures, currently a 6" muppet, at between 6 - 10 feet back. Not once (in two years) have we caught anything on this line, which is normally about 20-30m behind the boat. We bought this on the recommendation of a friend who catches tuna on it EVERY time he goes out.
2) a single
line with single diving
lure, usually about 30-50 m behind the boat. The ONLY time we have had success with this has been with the Rapala Magnum diving
lures, but at 18 euro each it is getting too expensive to keep replacing them when they get lost
. The current
diving lure is some cheap
Chinese (Techno 2000) stuff from the local fishing store that hasn't caught anything yet.
3) a diving planer or a paravane, followed by various lures. This was the most successful at the beginning of the year. We caught three fish on it, each time under the same conditions with the same lure: the conditions were overcast skies, off the wind
sailing at about 5-6 kts with maybe 80cm following waves. The lure after the paravane was a small diving lure (I think it was a Rapala, about 3 inches long). It caused too much drag for the paravance, with the result that the paravane would surface, then dive again, then surface again and so on. It seems that that up and down motion worked with the fish! Then the whole rig was lost
and I have not been able to find a similar lure again. Today I lost my last paravane when the swivel broke. The previous one was lost when a dolphin swam through it, and the one before when the snap clip corroded and broke.
The diving planer or paravane when consistently underwater did catch some small fish twice when drifting at 2kts. I used a 3 inch silver spoon on each of those occasions.
4) a series of 4 six inch silicone squids in a row, the last with a single hook, towed 10-30m behind the boat. Never caught anything on that.
So, in summary, when we were offwind with some waves and no sun we had some catches with the one rig, and in drifting conditions with overcast skies we had some success with a spoon on a diver.
Never had any luck on sunny days.
We troll pretty much every time we sail, which is pretty much every day.
Problem 2: We keep losing gear
. In the past this was probably a problem with knots slipping. I think that is fixed. Sometimes it appeared to be the line breaking, though without any apparent sudden force being applied to it. A mystery. Now it seems to be a problem with swivels and snap connectors corroding and breaking. It seems that none of the stuff you buy in the local fishing stores has any kind of durability to it. We have lost 3 paravanes and countless lures - well beyond the economic value of 6 fish, even if one of them was 2.7kg!
Mostly we are using a handline setup with bungy cord snubbing. We have one rod and reel. The line to the divers is 400lb monofilament. The line to the lures is usually 120lb mono. (except when I use the little spoon in light winds on a 40lb line).
So, what are we missing here?
1) What connectors should we be using, and where do we get them, so that they don't keep breaking?
2) On a nice sunny Mediterranean
day, either motoring at 4kts in a flat calm, or sailing at 4-5kts with a gentle breeze, what do we tow to actually catch something?
3) Any other advice?
In desperation! Thanks!