Essential Sailboat Fishing Tips for Offshore Sailors

Sailboat fishing doesn’t need expensive fishing gear to begin with. In fact, a simple trolling line with a few lures will do. The market value of your first catch may exceed your investment in the fishing equipment you’ve used to catch it. Sailboat fishing is easy, and it’ll get easier if you follow these tips we have prepared for you below. So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!

  1. Use a Snubber

  • Fishing without a snubber can cause serious issues and disappointment. Imagine you’re peacefully fishing and a tuna takes a bite of your lure. But the fish instantly realized that he’s about to get caught, so it decided to head to the other direction as fast as it could, leaving you with a broken fishing line and no lure. But with a snubber, you’ll be instantly notified when a fish has caught your lure, and it’s time to get ready for a game of tug of war between you and a fish.
  • A snubber is made up from a length of a bungee cord which is connected between the handline and the boat. You can alternatively use an old bicycle tyre as a snubber if you don’t have one.
  1. Be Invisible

  • Keep the end of your handline as thin as possible. You can use a 5 meter nylon monofilament or even a fluorocarbon fishing line depending in your preference. The best part is, it can look invisible underwater since the fluorocarbon line has the same reflective index as water.
  1. Use The Right Type of Lure

  • Fishes that you’re most likely to catch tends to look upwards hoping to sport their prey above the surface. This is why putting your lure close to the surface is important. An affordable Bulb Head Squid should do the trick, or you can opt for a slightly expensive skirted trolling lure if your wallet can afford it.
  1. Try Using a Bird Teaser

  • You might be wondering what in the world is a bird teaser? A bird teaser is a decoy lure that’s attached to the end of your trolling line ahead of your leader. As a result, the leader line should be shorter now about 3 meters or so. The bird is buoyant and noisily splashes ahead of the lure. Its little winglets on each side shoot out an arc of spray creating more disturbance on the surface. Because of this, the fishes underwater will wonder what the fuss is all about and will likely head towards your lure.
  1. Double Your Chances of Catching

  • If one isn’t enough, doubling your trolling line will do the trick. To reduce the risk of them tangling together, make the windward one shorter than the leeward one. Your boat’s leeway will keep them apart as long as you clip the leeward one to a higher point.
  1. Mercy Killing

  • Some fishermen like to leave the fish hooked and tow it astern until it drowns to its death. This is too gruesome and cruel at the same time which isn’t good. Also, when a fish is too large, it’s better to release it unharmed back to where it came from. When a fish struggles to fight for its life, lactic acid starts to gather up to its muscles and flesh which will taint the taste. The more it fights for its life, the greater the acid’s accumulation will be, which will affect its taste even more.
  • Instead of making it suffer, get it onboard as soon as possible and kill it quickly and humanely. Don’t ever beat a fish to its death. Instead, pour strong alcohol into its gills and watch it die in front of your eyes. Now that’s an ideal death scene to look at.
  1. Keep Your Hooks Sharp

  • Keep your hooks sharp by using a hook file before and after use. Always check the point and file it until it gets sharp enough to your liking. The right way to do it is to stroke the file towards the bend of the hook and not towards the point. After doing so, try doing the thumbnail test. Slowly stroke the point of the hook into your thumbnail. If it digs in leaving a white scratch, then it’s sharp. Otherwise, it isn’t.
  1. Let Safety Be a Priority

  • Here are the following safety tips for sailboat fishing:
  • Not just sharks, there are a lot of gigantic fishes that can kill you instantly too, such as Barracuda and Wahoo. So it’s better to keep an eye on these creatures and move away as soon as possible.
  • If you’ve caught a large fish, wait for it to calm down before unhooking it. Another tip is to place it on the cockpit sole while keeping its tail from touching anything.
  • Never forget to wear heavy protective gloves when hauling a fish by hand.
  • Always keep a sharp knife beside you just in case you need to cut yourself free.
  • Keep a lookout on your crew and the boat while the action is still intensely going on at the stern.
  1. Don’t Settle for Less

  • Use high quality hooks and swivels by well-known manufacturers only. Things such as bronzed mild-steel hooks and ball-bearing swivels are the best ones to use.

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