Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Making the Transition from Fishing to Catching?


Our passage from the Bahamas Banks to Frazer's Hog Cay in the Berry Islands will now forever be known as "the day of catching".  It is no secret that Scott and I are poor anglers at best.  Sure we caught that one dorado, and we've landed bunches of barracuda (because they go for anything), but other than that, we don't have much of a repertoire of success.  We can count the number of fish we've caught on two hands.  I mean, we took my brother deep sea fishing and came back with zilch.  Eight hours on a deep sea fishing boat and nada.  That's pretty pathetic.

Becoming more adequate at fishing is one of several goals we have this time around.  As such, I bought Scott "The Cruiser's Handbook of Fishing" for Christmas which is rumored to be some sort of fishing bible for those in "the know".  We shall see.  It is clearly not the book to fumble through when you find you have a fish on the line (as we did) and it seems a little more "hard core" than we need (there is ample detail on how to make a "live bait well"... in your sailboat) but, hey, we'll give it a go.

As we crossed the banks Scott got a hankering for some fish so he tossed in a line.  I can't recall how much time passed before we heard the telltale "ZzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzz" of a fish on the line, but boy was it exciting when it did.  Our hearts started thumping and we sprang into action.  Scott to the back of the boat and the rod, me to the helm.  Reduce speed.  Furl sails.  Set autopilot.  Grab camera.  Start snapping pics.  Where's the baby? (just kidding, she was napping).  Man, fishing is quite the production when you actually catch stuff.

Unfortunately, the first fish was a barracuda which is a "no-no" to eat in this part of the world due to the prevalence of the ciguatera toxin here in the Bahamas.  Oh well.  We didn't want to bring him on board anyway.  He looked suuuuuper mean with his sharp, snapping teeth so we let him go and let him take one of our spoons with him.  Good riddance.

The next go, I wanted to pick the lure.  I took my responsibility seriously - much like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade - and suffice it to say I chose wisely...  A little blue squid.  It looked nice enough.  Scott rigged it up and just before he tossed in the line I remembered, "Oh, wait!  I have to spit on it! I read somewhere that it's good luck".   Well, I must have some pretty powerful spit because no sooner had that lure touched the water when the line started running out.  We reeled in a decent sized skipjack which was super fun until he made the aft deck of our boat look like a scene straight out of Dexter.  Blood. Was. Everywhere.  Not pretty.  We were very grateful for our aft deck shower.

We threw in the line once more and an hour or two later we reeled in what we think was some sort of makerel.  Unfortunately, being that we are not good anglers (see first paragraph), we did not have a net (this has been remedied) and when we had him hanging by the line about to bring in the boat, he got free.  Truth be told, I think Scott and I were both secretly happy we didn't have to clean up another blood bath.  Filleting is another skill we must improve if we are going to ramp up our fishing.  They kind of go hand in hand.

So now we shall move forth with even more vigor!  We still have a ton to learn about fishing, but we've got the gear, the patience and the bellies for it so, as they say, "game on".
Mean barracuda.  We did not want him on the boat.
Here you can see about one tenth of the blood bath. 


Pretty fish, unfortunately it's considered only a mediocre eating fish.  Whatever.  We ate him anyway!
The one that got away...sigh.

12 comments:

Randy Layman said...

Good article. Get a gaft instead of a net...Less headache getting the fish in the boat!

RichC said...

Those "baby on board" lifelines serve another purpose ... keeping a fish on board.

SailFarLiveFree said...

Awesome pictures! By the looks of it, you'd never know you weren't pros. FYI - Charlie Doane recently wrote this good blog post about fishing while cruising that you might enjoy. BTW, what did Isla think of these beautiful creatures?

Anonymous said...

Great looking photos thought you might like to check out a no nonsense approach to fishing from a sailboat I found it very informative..


http://www.wavetrain.net/techniques-a-tactics/441-fishing-from-sailboats-for-whom-the-bait-trolls


Fair winds!

Denny Ray
S/V Aleta
T.C. Michigan

Robert Salnick said...

Gorgeous fish - he looks like he is made out of metal!

(and BTW, fish don't fear me)

bob
s/v Eolian
Seattle

Mike said...

Good job guys. Bet it tasted just fine. Thanks for sharing the pictures. And thanks to your other readers for the wavetrain link. Fishing from a sailboat is something the wife and I need to learn.

Laura and Hans said...

I've spit myself dry and it just hasn't worked for me. The one that got away does indeed look like a (holy) mackerel, we did manage to catch a couple of those in the Bahamas. And as far as I'm concerned any edible fish caught while on one's boat is sure to be tasty!

Lisa Hanneman said...

Robot fish (Matt came up with that one, not me)! Have I mentioned how cute you guys are?!?!

kapil said...

Great post and very nice baby and your photography. I am bookmarking your blog

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Anonymous said...

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