We caught two very nice yellow fin tuna our first day out and caught a nice ahi tuna a few days ago. The other morning I went to check the lures and one was gone and the other had no hook, both signs of BIG fish. So I dug through the tackle box and came up with a white glow in the dark hootchie with big squidy eyes and a silver and blue feather that was nice and new and sparkly.
Fishing off a sailboat is a little different than what most people think of as fishing. We don't' use a rod and reel. We are strictly meat fishermen so it's not really a sport. We just want to get them on the boat and try to lose as few lures as possible. We drag thick 300 to 600 pound test lines with wire leaders from our back cleats. They have a bungee cord set up so when the big fish bite they don't just tear the hooks out. It's not uncommon to haul in your line and find the lure gone or hooks straightened out, or even occasionally just the head of a fish. Fish bites lure, gets drug along in the water in the dark and then something with a very large mouth comes along and enjoys a free meal leaving nothing but the head and the hook for us.
There is a great deal to timing too. They like to bite right as the sun is setting so you have to take care of them in the dark, or right as the watch changes so everyone gets to stay up to take care of the fresh meat, or just as you are headed into an anchorage, or right as the winds kick up and you are trying to reef. It's not sport but it is fun.
Two days ago my lure picks had already brought in two nice ahi tuna and then a five foot long Wahoo, our first. Bill was down below getting the weather off the Ham radio when I heard a noise. I looked back and could tell we had a fish and could tell it was very big. "Fish on, a bigggg one Bill." We were screaming along at 7 knots and this fish was skating off to the side like a water-skier -back and forth, back and forth the line making a very cool zinging noise as he tried to get away.
Wahoo are known for their big teeth. Lots of fish are lost because they bit through the leaders but this guy was hooked. He's not on a rod and reel so Bill has to bring him in by hand. Once up to the boat we could see what we had and he looked very unhappy. I ran for the gaff and Bill took a swing then moved to fling him over the life lines. Five feet long and perhaps 50 pounds and he wasn't going to simply be flung over the lifelines. Oof…..and a thud and gnashing teeth. Blood everywhere, I swear it looked like we were slaughtering pigs back there.
Our freezer is filled to the brim. Bill is pouting (a little) because the hooks are put away until we have room to store more fish. I'm too tired to deal with fish anyway and for that matter, I think I'll pass on anything over 20 pounds.