Fishermen boat and boaters fish, that seems to be a given worldwide. Boating and fishing go hand in hand. People fish everywhere, and most cruisers have their own gear on board. Even our 35-foot catamaran Irie came with an old fishing rod when we bought her. How hard could it be? My husband, Mark, learned from another sailor how to open conch shells and remove and clean the ugly creatures inside to make delectable conch fritters, but our fishing success had been pathetic. We learned, however, like so many things, practice makes perfect.
Our first lesson about fishing techniques happened in the cute town of Solomons Island, somewhere in the Chesapeake Bay. Mark and I were walking our dogs along the boardwalk when we spotted a “Tackle and Bait” sign. After dodging a plethora of crab pots and hearing that the trapped animals thrived in these waters, we wanted to buy a tool and catch a few. Maybe a net? Wasn’t that what the kids used off the piers in Edgewater Marina where we prepped our boat for the journey south?
When Mark discovered the only good way to catch crabs is with one of those heavy cages, we gave up on the idea. How about catching fish? I remained outside with our pups, while Mark returned to the store to inquire about fishing.
“What did you find out?” I asked when he reappeared on the boardwalk.
“Nothing!” “What do you mean?” “Well, this guy rambled on about all kinds of things, like spoons and lures, pointing out colorful items on display. When to use what, and why, and where, and how. As if he was talking Chinese. I didn’t understand what he was trying to explain. Sorry.”
Oh well, there were plenty of grocery stores around, and meat hit the spot as well. Plus, on the Intracoastal Waterway, fishing didn’t seem appealing anyway. We forgot about catching our own food until Stuart, Fla., where we made the last preparations for our trip to the islands together with a bunch of other cruisers.
“So, you’re heading to the Bahamas, eh?” one of them asked. He must have been Canadian.
“Yep.” Wasn’t everybody?
“The fishing is awesome over there! You should get a spear or a Bahamian sling. And don’t forget a trolling line,” the old-timer recommended.
“Alright,” I said. What the heck is a Bahamian sling? How do you even use one?
“Let’s go online to check what those things look like and how they work,” Mark suggested. A visit to Walmart later, we were the proud owners of colorful lures, a small fishing kit, a flimsy blue net, a cheap rod and two spools of line — no Bahamian sling. Too advanced. Mark bought extra hooks at a hardware store, and I ordered the Fishing for Dummies book on Amazon. We also obtained a funky green light to attract our victims, or study them, at night. We were ready.
Trolling in Bahamian waters
Once in the Bahamas, we trolled one line during slow sailing trips. At anchor, Mark used the rod or hung a thicker handline from a cleat. Nothing ever happened.
Sailing between Marsh Harbour and Great Guana Cay in the Abaco Islands, we trolled the heavier line and tied the fishing rod to the stern of the catamaran on the other side, doubling our chances. Michael and Sabine, friends from a previous RV trip, were visiting from Germany. Wouldn’t it be great to serve these world travelers freshly caught fish for dinner?
“Oh no! Liesbet, slow the boat down. We have a problem!” Mark’s voice bellowed from the stern.
“Michael, can you grab the Lifesling? Yeah, that yellow thing in the bag over there. Take it out and throw it overboard. Don’t worry, it’s attached.” Mark gave us rapid commands. Should I turn the engines on?
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Yankee sails on
The steel ketch Yankee in the Connecticut River.
TRANSPAC RACE PREP
How a group of determined mostly military veterans built a race team
NOAA upgrades its global weather model
More data and a better global weather model should make for improved weather distributed to users, like this temperature gradient map.
From North Sea fishing to Sea of Cortez voyaging
The former Dutch fishing vessel turned power voyaging yacht Varnebank in Mexican waters.
IN 2019, MY HUSBAND, DOUG PASNIK, AND I RACED OUR first Transpac together with a team of 10 on our Andrews 70, Trader, comprised primarily of military veterans (see story on page 22). This year we are doing the race again and inviting four mentees from The Magenta Project to race with us.
Doing it all with one screen
The steering station on this Gunboat cat is equipped with large-screen B&G Zeus MFDs.
Don't scrimp when it comes to the crimp
Solid crimp connections make your power voyager’s electrical system more reliable.
Maritime Publishing acquires Ocean Navigator
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Landing a Lifeline
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The World is Our Oyster
New Yorkers are resilient. As the song, “New York, New York” goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. There’s no better example of a tough, hard-working New Yorker than the mighty oyster.
A Fish Pond Fable
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Casualties - Three Die After Tanker, Fishing Boat Collide In Fog Near Galveston
One fisherman died and two are missing and presumed dead after a chemical tanker and fishing boat collided near Galveston, Texas, in heavy fog.
Farm To Dining Hall Table
At this island school, students have a hands-on approach to eating local.
Bulls On Parade
When the fall window for giant redfish opens, let the mayhem blow in
Madison River Fly Fishing: 5 Tips For The Fall
Madison river fly fishing is possibly at its best in October.
A Whole Different Animal - Wild Cats that Got the Cream
MOST ANGLERS HAVE STRONG BELIEFS ABOUT WHAT HULL TYPE IS BEST. Running hard in rough water requires a seaworthy platform with the strength and stability to keep you safe, comfortable and dry. Among the different trends that have consequently become evident from the evolution of center consoles, boat builders are cornering a new niche of complex and competitive catamarans harnessing more outboard power than ever before. Breaking the barrier with innovative hull designs and deck layouts, the newest catamarans offer unobstructed fishability while providing increased fuel economy and speed per applied horsepower.
A Pristine And Abundant Environment
Fishing options cover the waterfront at The Ford Plantation in coastal Georgia