Having a catamaran
makes getting the fish aboard easier for me, but if one had a long enough gaf it is pretty easy on a monohull
. One does not need a lot of tackle to supply fish on a cruise
, after all your trying to get dinner, not fill a freezer
with a years supply of fish. I find that Clark spoons work really well for spanish mackeral and bluefish. A wire leader will solve a lot of the loss problem and I use a small down planer to put the lure a few feet under water
. I tend to use the smaller spoons when going for dinner as I don't want a bigger fish than I can use and I don't find big mackeral and bluefish all that tasty. When I have refrigeration
available I target mahi which will often feed a number of people for several days. Keep in mind that these fish tend to be found in a specific depth
range, usually from 50-1000 feet or near dropoffs within a mile or two of land. While you will occasionally catch them on open ocean (several thousand feet deep) it will be a rare event. For mahi I use green and yellow lures about 6 inches long. While I've had luck with several brands I am particularly fond of the bullet head
lures from offshore
angler. They come prerigged on 100lb mono leaders and cost less than $6. I've had my best luck with the yellow and green skirt. Here is the link to Bass Proshop's page, but you can get them a number of other places. Offshore Angler Blue Water Trolling Baits - Bullet Head
color number 3. I've caught mahi, barracuda, yellowtail snapper, bigeye tuna and mutton snapper on these. Note that we caught the snapper using downplanes while the mahi will bite lures at the surface or on a small plane a couple of feet down. I tend to drag one of these off one hull
and a clark spoon off of the other. While cruising I never use natural bait, live or otherwise, it's just too much trouble.
Make sure you have an adequate pole and reel. A big fish puts a lot of load on a rod when hooked by a boat going 7 knots. Some of the cheaper reels will simply break apart when put under such a load (I only bought one of these cheap
combination deals once). The other option is to use a simple hand line. I keep two on the boat and tie them off to my rear cleats
. Keep in mind I'm talking about a proper hand line equipped with a shock cord. Simply tying off a line to the rear cleat will result in a lost
lure as it can't take the shock load when the fish bites and you are doing 7 knots.
The alcohol trick works but I recommend using a drinking alcohol (cheapest you can find) as rubbing alcohol is often denatured with stuff I would not want to take internally should it get on the meat.
If you catch a fish big enough to go more than one meal I recommend vacuum baging the meat. This used to be complicated but the new vacuum bag systems from Reynolds and Ziplock make this easy and the units are small enough to store in a drawer. It will keep the fish much fresher in the refrigerator
than a plain plastic bag.
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