View Full Version : Fishing underway

02-03-07, 09:31
As an enthusiastic fish eater who is starting out for the med in a month, I would love to be able to eat lots of fresh fish. I know the fish markets in Spain etc are great but I would love to catch my own as we go.

Any advice to a non-angler on how to get a reasonable supply of freshly caught fish from my own boat whilst cruising?

Something towed and occassionally checked would be good.

02-03-07, 10:36
Fishing underway in warm waters

It depends on your budget and inclination. You could start with a bicycle inter-tube a couple of hundred metres of line say 80lb breaking strain, a wire trace of 40lb, some swivels and a little collection of different shaped lures and spares. The iner-tube is used to dampen the load of a fish striking. You just attach it all to the pulpit and fling it over the side and from my experience with this set up can expect to catch a fish every 1,000 miles.

Otherwise you can buy a proper boat rod and reel. If you want to land a reasonable percentage of the fish that take the lure then the rod should be rated at 80lb or more and the reel needs to hold about 1,000 m of 50lb line. Ideally 80lb line but these reels start to get very expensive.

To catch fish you need to think like a fish and to catch big fish you need to think like a big fish! So realise that a big fish have never met a small fish who is not scared half out of his life and is trying desperately to get away. Your lure then need to look like its trying to get way otherwise the big fish will be a bit suspicious and not take it. So change the angle of the rod and the distance back behind the boat that you are fishing until you get the lure moving a round preferably stalling in the water breaking the surface etc. just try different things. This way you will catch fish far more often.

Take care to set the drag on the reel so that the fish pulls line off the real rather than breaks it. Also tie the whole lot onto the boat or you will one day se the lot disappear over the back. Think about how you are going to get the fish onboard from alongside.

Tight lines and welcome to the forum!


02-03-07, 11:12
What about something a bit less old man and the sea-ish, can you catch smaller fish for the barbie in Western Med?

02-03-07, 12:16
I statrted hearing the JAWS theme tune while reading the snd part of that.

02-03-07, 13:31
I was sailing on a boat around corsica a couple of years ago and we towed a length of strong looking line, with a hook on one end and a small fluffy feather tied over it, I think there was also a weight tied onto the line about a meter back from the hook. In the water the feather gets wet and is draged into a shape like a small fish. caught a small tuna like this in one day of draggin it, don't know if that's representative of sucsess rate...

02-03-07, 13:39
..."a bit less old man and the sea-ish" mean?

As to smaller fish in the Med. You're too late. The place was fished out years ago. Only the Tuna seem to thrive now.

Steve Cronin

02-03-07, 14:23
don't say the Japs have made it that far!

02-03-07, 15:03
<<As to smaller fish in the Med. You're too late. The place was fished out years ago.>>

According to the Rod Heikell pilots, the Romans said exactly the same thing 2000 years ago. One only needs to walk around any market, throughout Mediterranean France, Spain and Italy, to see that this is just not true. Close inshore the waters teem with small fish, with bigger ones a bit further out and no doubt bigger ones still beyond that. It seems that a great deal of skill is needed to catch anything worthwhile, unlikely to be achieved from a post on this forum. Having tried intermittently for the past couple of years, with no success, this year I have brought our rods and tackle home. Easier to walk along the quay and buy some.

But don't let me put you off. Best of luck!

02-03-07, 16:16
Sailing around the Western Med last year we used the following method to catch more Tuna, Spanish Makerel and Droade type fish than we could eat:

1 x reasonable boat rod
1 x sea fishing reel
150m ish of relatively strong fishing line - lost one LURE when line Broke and saw LARGE splash on water!
a selection of RAPALA (or similar type lures)

Attach one of the lures to the line (some were more sucessfull than others but all had their day!)

Trail at least 100m of line behind the boat
Sail at around 7 knots (after trial and error this seemed the best speed at 5 knots and 8 knots the catch rate was poor!)

Make sure that the ratchet brake system is setup correctly on the reel otherwise the line will break when the fich strikes or it will pull the rod and reel into the water. recently we found a folding landing net in a local market which combined with a proper boat hook stops the fishing escaping whil trying to land it.

In the MED last Auton we were pulling in fish at a rate os one a hour! Although in Ireland in the SUmmer we had less luck.

02-03-07, 17:01

with bigger ones a bit further out and no doubt bigger ones still beyond that.

[/ QUOTE ]

yep, for example the adriatic is know for giant tuna (they even organized some big game world championship), anf giant they are !

I was once in my port on the Italian side and these boston whalers were coming home, they grabbed the fishes by their tails and hauled them, tunas, blue sharks, long tail sharks, etc

not that they were particularly attractive, but I tried to embrace one tuna and could not touch my hands by 30/40cm , they must have been well over 2m long, I seem to remember that the highest weights were well above 200kg

if one of those should bite to my mackerel-only line, I do not know who would survive, fish or boat /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

02-03-07, 17:06
This one was caught last summer just off Levkas. Tuna steaks for lunch,sweet& sour tuna for evening meal and gave the rest away to a french bloke who had a freezer on his boat. Caught with a lure(shown) on a line trailed behind the boat.Since then, http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c344/turnberry/tuna.jpgthen my luck has been absent save for a few tiddlers.

02-03-07, 17:22
There are plenty of fish in the sea but no need to blow the budget on rods and reels. You need line that's thick enough to haul in by hand without hurting too much, heavy duty wire trace, big hooks and an old rubber glove/chopped up beer can/sweet wrappers/shiny material to make lures. Trail a lot of it, as fast as you can and use an old inner tube as a shock absorber - works fine. And a gaff is useful to get supper on board.


02-03-07, 17:31
OK Andy, you win!! PS your beergut is bigger than mine as well!!!

02-03-07, 17:51
That's not a beer gut...that's just a well rounded form from eating so much fish.

02-03-07, 18:30
Vegetarian tuna, I presume?

02-03-07, 19:16
/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

02-03-07, 23:36
My wife does it all with a hand line (crab line) and lure. We never adjust our speed or go out of our way, we just take pot luck.

15th July 2005, crossing Biscay


26th July 2005 Lagos to Isola Culatra


Isola Culatra to Mazagon - This was NOT a hungry tuna....


...and this is why!


....we wondered whether to throw it back! What had happened is that we (i.e. my wife) caught the tiddler and was bringing it in when the great big tuna gobbled him up. So we got both of them.


Passing Mar Menor 27th April 2006

03-03-07, 06:54
I am interested that no-one has mentioned the little plastic vane doobries that you can apparently use to keep the lure underwater when sailing at a reasonable speed. Any comments on them? My most recent trip was in a cat and speed in open water was rarely below 10kn.

(my only experience of fishing at sea has been hauling up mackerel in UK waters. But I would like to give it a serious go in tropical waters.)


03-03-07, 09:16
An excellent tip that Duncan from the forums gave me was to put the cutting board in the bottom of a plastic tray like a cat litter tray to stop the blood and scales coating the boat, it also acts as the bowl for scrubbing the board and tools when you have finished.

03-03-07, 09:24
We've lost two or three of those things and never caught a fish with one. We seem to do best with minimum cost kit. Just a lure and a heavy sinker to hold it under a bit. You need nice strong line, you are not trying to win a competition, just land dinner (for six to eight).

03-03-07, 09:28
You are right - scales and blood are a potential disaster. My wife has a very heavy duty sheet of polythene which she spreads out then hoses off with the deck shower (we have a watermaker and fresh water is not a problem though you could rinse with sea water, I suppose). Another way, round here, is to use one of the cheap ubiquitous black plastic buckets (huge) that everyone uses for washing, etc. Marvellous things, should be available in the UK but I've never seen them.

The cat litter tray sounds like a good idea, thanks, and I have passed it on for consideration /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

03-03-07, 10:51
I'll be moving to Mexico soon. Fantastic fishing there. The sea positively boils with frenzied fish.
Last year in the Med we didn't catch anything. Nuffing left.

03-03-07, 11:07
There are some fish left, we always catch a few on the wayu from Barca to mallorca, almost had a minke whale on the line last year!!!!

03-03-07, 11:33
..."a bit less old man and the sea-ish" mean?

[/ QUOTE ]

I was referring to the post by Mike Bryon talking about catching big fish, which reminded me of Santiago battling the Marlin in Hemmingways novel.

03-03-07, 20:36
We have trailed a line for 2 years, 100 m of line and a smart bite, that is definitely attractive to us as onlookers. However, sailing up the East coast of Italy we only caught 3 specimen, 2 dingies and a motorboat. Non edible and breaking our line. All coming out to see a cruising boat along their coast, ignoring our line. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

03-03-07, 21:08
We have trailed a line for 2 years, 100 m of line and a smart bite, that is definitely attractive to us as onlookers. However, sailing up the East coast of Italy we only caught 3 specimen, 2 dingies and a motorboat. Non edible and breaking our line. All coming out to see a cruising boat along their coast, ignoring our line. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

[/ QUOTE ]


same with me...
when one sees those fishermen going out with all their professional looking lures, rods, golden reels, etc, one may think "a-ha, that's why"... no way, I tried almost anything and apart for the suicidal mackerel...

07-03-07, 18:15
Well she could be right, Ive just got back from 10 days on my boat 5 of them doing some serious fishing from 2 to 20 miles out (Cabo de Palos) & caught diddly squat. Tried trolling with lures, bottom fishing. free lining drifting the lot. tried squid, sardines, prawns, razor fish & even in desperation put some palma ham on the hooks. worst trip ever for fish, usally get a reasonable selection. Still the weather was fantastic every day being sunny & hot. Going over to Ibiza last week in June/first week in July if I dont catch on the way over Im giving up fishing & taking up basket weaving.....Nat