When we started our cruising lives two years ago, Scott read how handy a "Cuban yoyo" was to have on the boat. Fishing chandleries down the east coast, however, could not help him, looking at him quizzically each time he inquired about one. Turns out, "cuban yoyo" is just another term for a hand line, and is pretty much the most basic form of fishing there is. The setup is brilliantly cheap, simple, and ideal for a sailboat with minimal space. It consists of 300-400 feet of 40 pound test fishing line wrapped around a six inch plastic spool equipped with a hook and sinker. Islanders the world over have mastered the art of fishing by hand and many cruisers actually prefer yoyo's to complex and expensive rods and reels common for trolling.
We caught our very first fish ever with the hand line, but it's sat idle ever since. The other night, however, Scott dropped the line in with a simple little shrimp hook and immediately pulled out two snapper for dinner, one after another, with out the slightest bit of effort.
Looks like we're going to be using this little hand line a lot more from here on out.