For saltwater anglers and offshore sailors, sailboat fishing can be considered a passion or a livelihood. The ability to fish for food and not just as a sport is a very useful skill. Fishing can be an inexpensive and enjoyable activity for anyone who sails because it only requires some lures and a simple trolling line.
The market value of your decent-sized fish may go beyond the investment you made into the fishing equipment used to catch it. Thus, this guest post offers some helpful tips to consider during sailboat fishing.
Utilize a snubber
A snubber is an essential part of a trolling handline. It is composed of a bungee cord, which is a large elastic band between the boat and the handline.
With a snubber (pictured right), there is shock absorption that is necessary to protect against the instinctive reactions of the fish as well as a distinct sound that warns your entire crew of the “tug-of-war” that may happen once you have hooked one.
The safety line is typically composed of an 8-millimeter nylon line held with a cleat or some parts on the boat. The loop needs to be long enough so that the snubber can completely extend, but not so long that it will eventually reach its stress limit.
Choose the right type of lure
A lure that goes out to the sea will be inefficient since the wave train and the boat’s motion will cause it to crash in between wave crests, instead of sloping down the front area of the waves. You need a lure that will go deeper and bear the unpleasant feel on its surface. You can achieve this through the rigging of a trolling weight on its mainline in order for the lure to go deeper.
You can also opt for a deep-diving plug instead of planers and weights. A larger surface area gives rise to a closer and more angled horizontal portion, allowing it to go deeper as it dives. You can also try a topwater lure for periods when the wind is light and the boat slowly moves along with the still waters of the sea.
Never miss the point
It is essential to maintain the sharpness of your needles to prevent losing fish. Maintain them through the use of a hook file before and after every use (YouTube demonstration). You can use a fish hook sharpening file frequently.
Check the endpoint before every use and stroke it with a hook file whenever the need arises. The proper strategy is to direct the file towards the hook’s bend, barely going towards the point. The point of the hook can be tested by dragging it lightly over your thumbnail. If there is a tendency to dig in and it leaves a distinct, white scratch, then it is sharp.
Take safety precautions
Sharks and barracudas may have small but sharp teeth that can cause unexpected damages to your fishing equipment. Thus, do not attempt to unhook a large fish while it is leaping in a very disruptive manner. You should wait until the fish is calmer. Another tip that may help in calming the fish is its placement on the cockpit sole (floor), where the tail is not touching anything.
Wear protective gloves at all times when pulling fish with the use of your hands, and be careful not to step on any coil that you have recovered. Have a sharp knife handy in cases wherein you need to let yourself free from coiling.
Build stable connections
Maximum tightness is needed on your fishing knots serving as connections between swivels and hooks. Use only the best swivels and hooks from popular manufacturers. Recommended types include ball-bearing swivels and forged bronzed mild steel hooks.
Aside from the previously mentioned tips, effective fishing can also be achieved if you are able to hire fishing guides and choose the best sails for your boats. Make sure your boat is fit to chase fish by outfitting it with high-quality sails such as those supplied by Far East Sails.
Proper preparation ensures that you’ll have a great fishing trip wherever you go.
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