Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fishing Hope?

[Maryanne] Those that follow the blog will know that despite LOTS of trying, we have still failed to catch a single fish. This is a picture of some of my lure collection (I mostly use those in the middle bands), I also have a "popper" not shown (see how far I have come, until this year I didn't even know what a popper was). I will take all the tips I can get. I troll, cast, and jiggle with no luck. We have been cruising now for 3.5 months and fishing at least 3 days a week, often more (every day we sail, and sometime when just on the hook). As you can imagine all this gear for "trying" is yet to be anything like an investment. Heck, my GPS even tells me when is a good, or even excellent time to be fishing each day - but even this does not seem to change the odds.

On Monday this week we were moored and relaxing on the boat when a huge flurry of disturbance headed towards us as a patch on the water (clearly a bunch of fish feeding). We cast into that mess until it moved too far away, and not once did anything even nibble.

I have been slowly elbowing my way into groups of fishermen at piers or on the dock, stealing a look at the bait and lures they are using, and asking direct questions but still no luck. This week I ventured into a marine store for some new dock lines, and while I was there asked to speak with the resident fishing expert. Here is how I relayed it to another friend.

He asked lots of pertinent questions and says I'm doing everything right - my lures, my reel, my methods, my line, my leader, everything. He made a few suggestions, and also offered to check out my full rig and give me some casting lessons/tips if I just bring my gear in to the store. I have to wait until next week to take him up on the offer as he is currently in Martha's Vineyard competing in a shark fishing tournament (see he really is an expert).

I have 3 fishing books already and have pretty much worn them out trying to establish why I have not caught anything yet - I guess I'm just not lucky.

As you can imagine I'm very excited to think I may actually catch a fish soon with all this advice.

I plan to experiment with live bait (well, defrosted actually for now, until I actually catch some bait). I also plan to attempt fishing from the dinghy. All tips VERY GRATEFULLY received.

What else is going on? This week has been a little frustrating - traveling miles on foot and public transport on failed missions (you won't believe how hard it is to buy colored thread among other things); my bank account has been drawn upon by someone other than me (someone buying gas/petrol in Florida - no idea how that happens), and our autopilot needs to be sent off for repair. On the plus side, I did finally install some hand holds inside the boat - but this really is not much to show for 4 days of effort! All that would be insignificant if I actually manged to catch a fish.


Split Decision said...


I troll a lure similar to your silver lure and the yellowish one below it. (3rd & 4th lure from the top?) And as you know, I've had lots of success. In fact, I stopped fishing recently because after eating striped bass for breakfast lunch and dinner for a couple days, I was sick of fish.

I'd guess that the main reason you haven't caught any fish while trolling, is your choice of fishing grounds. Almost all my luck is in bays, inlets and inland waterways. You guys like to sail out in the ocean more. I've had some hits out in the ocean, but I have yet to reel anything in. Also you've been in colder waters.

As you come down the Jersey coast, you might want to try sailing close to some of the inlets, even if you don't plan on going in one. There are tons of fisherman, and they seem to be having a lot of success.


SV-Footprint said...

Thanks Scott, I'll definitely try that. What speed do you find yourself going when you are trolling with a lure (and catch something)? I think 5kt is too fast, and keep having to slow down or even just drift from time to time (at least when we are just sailing for fun, rather than trying to get somewhere).

In Boston it is (apparently) big-time striped bass season, and we have been getting lines in the water really close the the islands and shoals, and around other fishermen - It's heartbreaking to watch others be reeling in all around me.

I think you are right though, as I head further south, my success rate should improve (it certainly can't get worse!) - and I will follow the inlets / birds / fishermen / bridges / buoys and anything else that looks hopeful.

I'm looking forward to that first fish dinner!

Split Decision said...

I've caught most of my fish going 4-5 knots. But that may be because I'm usually going 4-5 knots. If I'm going less than 2-3 knots, I usually motor. Generally the only time I'm going 6+ is when I have a current with me.

I see most fisherman drifting, but I think that is because they are bottom fishing over some "structure". They may be using bait instead of a lure as well.

SV-Footprint said...

To add to my catalog of failures this week, I managed to spill bleach all over my (relatively new) sheets - so now we have a funky tie-dye effect. Luckily we don't have the kind of friends that care too much about these things!