And boy am I just thankful we have a few tales to tell!
I’m not bragging or anything (okay maybe a little), but fishing has surprisingly been somewhat of a success so far! Phew! What a relief. However, we didn’t start out on such a high note…our very first “catch” as official cruisers was a a plastic garbage bag. Now, that takes skill! ;))
Over the past two months, we’ve managed to catch a decent variety of fish…from grouper, to snapper, mackerel, and even our favorite, mahi mahi! With lots of barracuda in between. We’re still dying to catch a tuna!!! My sushi supplies are patiently waiting for that first tuna catch.
Thanks to our “catching,” we’ve been able to enjoy lots of fresh fish dinners. Right now, we have a freezer packed to the brim with Mahi filets. Woot woot!
Let me tell you, it’s always a energy booster when you’re casually sailing along at five knots and ZZZZZZZIIIIIINNNNNGGGGG! The sound you’ve been waiting to hear. Fish on!!!
We all immediately perk up, and you wouldn’t believe how well-trained Oliver is to that sound. It’s amazing. He definitely loves fishing as much as we do. You should see his little squirrel tail go crazy when that line starts screaming. Now, reeling in a fish while under sail can be interesting if you don’t know what you’re doing. Kinda like us. ;)) It was particularly interesting the day we had our first mahi on the line during our sail from Frazer’s Hog Cay to Nassau. We may or may not have accidentally tacked. Whoopsie. Basically, all hell was breaking loose. We’re newbies, remember. But, hey, at least we kept the mahi on the line and reeled him in! At one point, we even thought we lost the fish, but realized it was now swimming *AT* us.
It’s been much easier for us when we’ve just been motorsailing (due to lack of wind) and can slow down the boat simply by throttling back. When we’re trolling, we put out as much line as we can, while still making sure to leave enough on the reel so that if we catch something, it doesn’t peel off the rest of our line.
Although we’ve caught a decent variety of fish, we’ve only really scratched the surface on our stash of fishing gear since we’ve mostly just trolled while sailing from island to island here in the Bahamas…but what better time for an update on our gear — or at the very least what’s catching us fish!
Before leaving Naples back in March, we tried our best to make sure we had the “right” gear on board to hopefully catch a few fish. We went on a little shopping spree at Bass Pro Shops a few weeks before we left town with my cousin Robb (who definitely knows a thing or two about fishing as the owner of >>Young Boats<<). He was able to show us exactly what to buy…you can checkout >>all the gear we purchased<< here.
^^Here^^ are the main four lures we’ve been using to troll in water depths ranging from 15 to over 3,000 feet (the deeper waters are of course where we’ve been able to catch pelagic fish, like mahi). Unfortunately, some of the more successful lures have already seen better days (we lost two from bad knots and getting caught on a crab pot — oopsie that second one was my fault).
- The hard plastic gold minnow looking lure (top left) – goes 25 feet deep; we caught a yellowfin grouper, jack crevale, and duddy barracuda with this bad boy.
- The blue and silver fish lure (middle right) – goes deeper than the gold one and is a bit bigger. We caught two mahi and more barracuda with this guy.
And we’ve used these floating lures in the shallower waters…
- Ballyhoo combo (middle left) – we actually used this everywhere until it got too chewed up. We caught three huge mutton snapper and multiple barracuda with this one. Unfortunately, the barracuda destroyed this lure for us. You could probably catch most anything with this guy.
- Chartreuse hard spoons (top right) – more for surface fishing. We caught mackerel, bluefish, and barracuda with these.
And since I typically have the GoPro handy when we here that exciting ZZZZZIIIINNNNGGGG, I put together a quick little video of our fish frenzies aboard s/v LAHO… Happy Fishing!
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