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Old 27-05-2010, 16:46   #1
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Fish Stories

I suppose this could have been posted under "provisioning", but it's more a matter of fun.

Generally there is a thread every few weeks about a guy that is going to get much of his protein from fish. Then there are a string of responses from those - rightly on some points - who say you can't rely on catching fish. Since invariably the guy does not profess to know fishing, the nay-sayers may be right.

Funny... fishermen depend on their ability and have for centuries....

Yes, there are places where permits are difficult, there are open ocean stretches with few fish, trolling speeds are too slow if you a really trying to get somewhere, and some places have toxic fish; let's skip those points for the moment.

Rockfish season, at least the spring rush, is winding down on the Chesapeake. I went out trolling 5 times this season, always under sail, and always caught 1-2 fish within a few hours. Each was 24-34 inches and easily fed a family. I didn't employ any fancy gear - I caught them all on yo-yos ( Sail Delmarva: Yo-Yo Fishing), though I did rig a rod also. The rod simply got no bites this year! I did have to reduce sail dramatically on some days to keep my speed down, while on other days the wind was very light and sailing speed was appropriate (4 knots for rockfish).

When other migratory fish arrive in a few weeks, we will bottom fish at anchor. We'll still troll on occasion (bluefish will hit up to 7 knots). Lures and rigging change a bit.

The point is, if I have interest in catching a fish for dinner, I nearly always can without special effort. It's a pleasant exercise, I love fresh fish, and I consider it part of being a sailor and cruiser. Part of understanding the water. Something to do when the wind goes light.

What say you?
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Old 27-05-2010, 17:08   #2
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The best $15 I ever invested in my fishing career (I have the Kindle version): Amazon.com: The Cruiser's Handbook of Fishing (9780071427883):…

I've been trying out a lot of his suggestions and it's been great to have concrete advice tailored right towards a cruiser. I also head out with friends who are all about "bloody decks". I've learned to love the white bucktail jig.
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Old 27-05-2010, 17:14   #3
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I say that is great!

I am not that good a fisherman but we did catch one on our April trip.

Just think what it was like 100 years ago when there were 98% more fish in the oceans!

That would have upped my odds of catching instead of just fishing.
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Old 27-05-2010, 19:41   #4
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I go out regularily. I find for much of the fishing I do the tender is better then the sailboat. I catch a couple of fish a week and then use the "spare" parts as crab bait. I am still learning the waters around here. I also dig clams and gather mussels and am in heaven when I can gather some oysters. A good week I eat seafood four nights. I love to fly fish for fresh water trout and salmon as well but haven't done that one recently. I will in the summer. Ling cod (more correctly snake fish) and rock fish (I don't think the same ones as on the east - you can't troll for these) are staples though the lings are restricted fishing. Black cod and halibut are possible as well. In these waters you have to read regs carefully because the best areas are closed as preservation areas.
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Old 27-05-2010, 19:45   #5
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Did I mention I love fishing? I love the water. I can spend hours working a line and trying to understand a fishes instinct. If I catch nothing I will still feel like it was time well spent. If I catch supper I get a feeling that is very hard to describe. It's a good feeling.

p.s. it was crab tonight
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Old 27-05-2010, 20:17   #6
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I hate fishing. We mostly get tuna like fish that is full of blood, worms and has way too much meat to eat in 1 or 2 days. Besides, I always feel guilty afterwards. I cannot make the fish live, why should I make it not live?

But I love the flying fish. I always try to save them when I hear one landing on the deck, but once they try one or two times they will remain silent and I often have more than a couple of them on the deck. They are very easy to clean and taste great too.

b.
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Old 28-05-2010, 08:27   #7
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I hate fishing. We mostly get tuna like fish that is full of blood, worms and has way too much meat to eat in 1 or 2 days. Besides, I always feel guilty afterwards. I cannot make the fish live, why should I make it not live?

But I love the flying fish. I always try to save them when I hear one landing on the deck, but once they try one or two times they will remain silent and I often have more than a couple of them on the deck. They are very easy to clean and taste great too.

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Exactly. Catch smaller fish if the big ones are undesirable. They're generally better eating and more common than fish higher in the food chain. I also carry very light weight poles for panfish.

Big fish are fun for braggin rights, but they are not better for the cruiser, who wants only what they can eat.
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Old 29-05-2010, 07:29   #8
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You need a freezer (or at least refrigeration) and a good deck wash system if you want to fish seriously from a sailboat (which I do).

If you catch a big one, gut the fish and then cut off as much meat as you need for two grilled meals. Then put the rest (head and all) in a big pot with some potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnips and make a fish stew. Cook it slowly until the meat falls off the bones, then discard the bones. You can then save the stew in plastic containers and it will keep for up to a week if refrigerated (and indefinitely if frozen).

BTW I never use live bait. I troll a swimming plug like a Yo-Zuri or a Bomber. I also troll an imitation sand eel when I'm after stripers. I use a 5 ft. boat rod and conventional reel with 40 lb test line.
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Old 29-05-2010, 08:29   #9
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We never have much luck fishing but we still keep on trying Last night we were anchored in 60ft of water at high water, with a 30 foot tide, it's spring tides here. I'd heard over the radio that a few other boats had been catching Bass by free lining a sand eel lure so I just had to give it a try.

As per my usual luck nothing was even sniffing around MY hook even though two boats anchored about half a mile away were catching regularly.. The rod ended up in the rest and the three of us decided a bottle of wine was a good idea.


By the time we'd had a meal and tidied up, I'd tucked the rod away in a corner of my mind, intending to put it away before going to bed.

To cut a long story short, just as I was about to reel in, when the lure must have been on the bottom at slack water, line started running off. Five minutes later I had a 14lb Turbot in the cockpit. Guess what we're having for dinner tonight


P.
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Old 29-05-2010, 08:49   #10
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
You need a freezer (or at least refrigeration) and a good deck wash system if you want to fish seriously from a sailboat (which I do).

If you catch a big one, gut the fish and then cut off as much meat as you need for two grilled meals. Then put the rest (head and all) in a big pot with some potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnips and make a fish stew. Cook it slowly until the meat falls off the bones, then discard the bones. You can then save the stew in plastic containers and it will keep for up to a week if refrigerated (and indefinitely if frozen).

BTW I never use live bait. I troll a swimming plug like a Yo-Zuri or a Bomber. I also troll an imitation sand eel when I'm after stripers. I use a 5 ft. boat rod and conventional reel with 40 lb test line.
I've never tried fish stew - I'll have to give that a go.

One of my favorites is Brown Jamaican Stewfish (which is not a stew).
Jamaica Brown Stew Fish
I had it at a local place in Jamiaca first, along with a Red Stripe beer. Such memories.

I've found a prepared bait called "Fish Bites" to be very effective. It's great for sailors, because we generally think of fishing as an occasional thing and will not bring fresh bait. This stuff can sit in the tackle box for a year, always ready to go. It takes so little it is actually very economical.

Fishwife:
MANY times I have given up on a line, been in the process of packing up... and suddenly it turns heavy. More than once I though I had simply snagged a log.

It has taken me far longer to learn to fish than it took to learn to sail.
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Old 29-05-2010, 09:18   #11
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Mango Ceviche

I find this a great recipe for getting a few days out of fresh fish - I've eaten it the 3rd day and it just get better:

Start with a filleted, "white" fleshed fish. The filet needs to free of bones so some of the bonier fish probably aren't appropriate. Chop the fish into 1/4" peices. Chop a couple of ripe mangos, 1/4 red onion and one or two jalapenos to taste. Mix in a bowl and cover with lime juice. Place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours though it is better over night and still great the following day.

I do various ceviches including agua chile.
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Old 01-06-2010, 19:08   #12
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I suppose this could have been posted under "provisioning", but it's more a matter of fun.

Generally there is a thread every few weeks about a guy that is going to get much of his protein from fish. Then there are a string of responses from those - rightly on some points - who say you can't rely on catching fish. Since invariably the guy does not profess to know fishing, the nay-sayers may be right.

Well yep think i've done that before... In my defense I've now spent a total of about 3 months cruising (mostly on the hook) and too date amount of edible fish caught = 1 (which i threw back before i realised it was edible).

Though I do realise that well people have caught fish before and apparently the vast majority of the planet has more luck fishing then I do but there must be someone somewhere who is as hapless at fishing as I am so kinda felt it best too point out the possibility that you might not always catch fish.

Though i've done a bit of reading about fishing and i think i just need to spend more time doing it too get better at it.

Case in point for you pro fisherman too chuckle at. I've spent the last few days trying to catch one of these fish



Thats the view from underneath my boat and has been for about a week. Last night was handspearing as they came to the surface too feed on the baitfish which are also hanging arond the boat.

... i will catch a fish... eventually...
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Old 01-06-2010, 21:31   #13
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Thats the view from underneath my boat and has been for about a week. Last night was handspearing as they came to the surface too feed on the baitfish which are also hanging arond the boat.

... i will catch a fish... eventually...
Try small, very small hooks and a single piece of clam meat and free line it, no weight and the lightest line you have.
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Old 01-06-2010, 22:36   #14
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Try small, very small hooks and a single piece of clam meat and free line it, no weight and the lightest line you have.
Oh awesome, cheers Fishwife, will give it a try shortly. I don't have any clam meat but I think i might try mixing some canned tuna with some flour see if that works.

Will post after dinner if i do manage to catch any
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Old 01-06-2010, 23:25   #15
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Oh awesome, cheers Fishwife, will give it a try shortly. I don't have any clam meat but I think i might try mixing some canned tuna with some flour see if that works.

Will post after dinner if i do manage to catch any
People sometimes think as fish as stupid but they're not. They not thinkers at all. They operate on instinct and that is something that they've developed as a result of their environment. You noticed the target fish feeding on fish above them. You might try a lure that in some way represents the feeder fish. If they are one inch in size so should your lure be. The depth they operate at is where you want your lure. The fish on the bottom may have very good eyesight above them where the feed lives. Most fish will take a sick or injured fish before trying for something healthy so your lure should act like it is easy prey. When the feeder fish move do you see a flash? Your lure should flash. An injured motion might mean a motion forward and up followed by and fluttering drop down. Looks tasty to the feeding fishes instinct. Match your retrieval speed to the feeder fish but a little slower with the afore mentioned motion. It might work. Patience always seems a big part of fishing as well but that just might be me :-)
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