Monday, January 25, 2010


We were entering Whale Key Passage in the Abacos and we had a line out. Just where we might have predicted it there came a mighty tug and soon we were gilling a ten pound King Mackeral. Ashore for drinks at Green Turtle, we asked the Bahamian tending bar how she'd cook it, and she said "fry it up, steak-like." So we did, for two great meals. have caught many fish trolling: King Macks, Mahi, Tuna of various sorts, Blues, and others. I use a cuban reel, and load it with a hundred feet of 300 pound mono, available from fishermen supply stores. I drill a 1/8 inch (2 mm) hole through the reel, pass the end of the mono through, and secure it with a figure eight. I put a leaded trolling lure on the line, with a wire leader and a multiple swivel. You want a strong single hook, and you want gloves to tend the line. The kind sold in fishermen supply stores - the cheap orange knitted ones with "pleasure studs" - work great.

This lure is typical of the ones we use, but for the tropics one with red or yellow or both works best.

First light is always a good time to have the lines out, and ideally the boat is making six knots or better so the lure has good surface action. Sometimes we lead the line a little bit up the backstay to give the lure some skipping action.

When we get a fish on the line we luff up and bring the fish alongside and gaff it. We try to get the fish right into a garbage bag or a bucket and we quickly cut the gills out to bleed and kill it. We usually eat it several meals a day until it is gone.

We never troll at night, and when things get interesting - a squall coming up, maneuvering, anything at all - the lines come in. Otherwise when you have to back down or something, there is trouble.

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