Cruising for Dinner

had a bare minimum of deep-sea fishing equipment: one "yo-yo" handline system and a few lures. During our first deep-water passage in warm waters, off the coast of Florida, we hooked a marlin on the handline. It was so exciting that we began to add to our fishing gear and to get more serious about it. We now troll with four lines in the water whenever off soundings, and we often land dinner.

In Florida, a generous cousin loaned us a sturdy trolling rod with a 4/0 Penn Senator reel, another ancient Penn reel, and another rod, both of which needed work. While trying to locate a missing part for the antique reel in the Virgin Islands, we met a fisherman who collects old reels. He told us that the reel was much too small to use for trolling, and he traded it with us for a rebuilt 4/0 Penn that's perfect for our needs. With a little WD-40, Neil had the old rod cleaned up so that we now have, in addition to two handlines, two sturdy and functional rods for trolling.

When I was little and I sailed with my parents offshore, we often had a line over the transom. It was a simple line of heavy monofilament wound on an open spool (called a "yo-yo") with a piece of shock cord tied into the line where it met the boat. With nothing more than a clothespin clipped to the lifeline to signal when a fish hit, we had run back about one and a half to three boat lengths), tie one end of a 4-foot length of quarter-inch bungee cord into the line. About 7 feet farther along the line, tie in the other end. This creates a shock absorber that will take the force of the fish's hit as well as alert you

Fresh fish is a frequent dish aboard Zora, thanks to some simple equipment and a crew hooked on keeping a line in the water and a gaff at the ready a working trolling rig. With a few modifications, this is the system we use aboard Zora for our handlines.

Handline Basic Training

We use 80 to 90 yards of 80- to 100-pound-test monofilament for each yoyo. You don't need much b ecause there's no way a fish can "spool" it to the maximum, as they can with a rod and reel. Use a clinch or uni knot at the end of the line to attach a 100-pound-test snap swivel. Once you determine how far back you'll run the line (ours that something's hooked. To deploy the line, let it out behind the boat until just past the bungee cord, then tie it off on a stern cleat. Gather up the line so you're holding the aftmost end of the bungee cord, then fasten it with a plain clothespin to a lifeline or other gear in such a way that the line won't foul anything when a fish pulls it taut. When you get a hit, the clothespin will pop off, alerting you to the strike and letting the bungee do its work. Neil and I usually wear gloves to bring in the monofilament, because a really big fish

Rigging a Handline Yo-Yo

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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