Posted on 10/11/2017 to World Cruising
I’m beginning to find fishing a love/hate activity. After nearly 2000nm and countless broken or tangled lines and no fish to show for my efforts, I finally reeled in a beautiful 70cm Mahi-Mahi yesterday morning. It was an incredible feeling, heightened by an informal biggest fish competition during this first leg of the rally along with Osprey, Miltonia, and Lily. Loser buys the first round of drinks in Mindelo. Why I thought it was a good idea to propose a competition after coming up empty for months, I have no idea. I had however bought two new lures and a new hand line which I hoped would change my fortunes. They did, as my first catch was on my new red squid lure.
Today was a new day. As I sat in the saloon finishing my morning coffee, I heard a call from the cockpit, “shark!” the skipper yelled. Amy and I bolted up the companion way to find my fishing rod going absolutely crazy. Whatever was on the line was big. It was taking line at an incredible rate, even with the tension slowing it. I grabbed the rod and within seconds the line snapped and the fish was gone, taking with it my new favourite lure. Devin 1, fish 1, I thought.
Side note- the skipper actually yelled “fish on”, so I don’t know how we both heard “shark”
I dug into the fishing box and reran line onto the reel. This time I decided rather than risk my other new lure on 60lb test, I would take the advice of an article I recently read online in which the author favored cheap squid, run in tandem. With plenty of cheap squid lures on hand I tied one on, and with a bit of line between, tied another. I let the line out and waited. At the same time, I decided my new red feather lure was safest on 200lb test hand line. This came with great complications, which I won’t detail here, but rest assured it took a frustrating couple of hours to get that set up! Once it was ready, I sent that skittering off behind the boat as well.
A few hours passed and as I lay in the forepeak for a nap I heard the skipper yell something from aft. Unsure what it was, I jumped through the fore hatch and headed toward the cockpit. I looked at my rod. The line was snapped. In the time it took me to get there, something big and fast had taken the line all the way out and snapped it as it jerked at its end. Two more lures gone, Fish 3, Devin 1.
“Watch your other line, we may be going through a school” skip said. No sooner had the words come out of his mouth, he grabbed the hand line and out in the distance behind Haji was something splashing on its end. It took me a good 30 seconds to realize there was a fish on as he said “Do you want this or not?”. I grabbed the line and slowly reeled it in by hand. As I brought it next to the boat I realized it was a small Mahi-Mahi, more meaty, but half the length of my last catch.
As with the previous one, I released the beautiful blue/green/yellow fish back into the ocean. The small flaky filets would have made a fresh and tasty snack for the crew. No more than that however. I released them both so they can grow bigger and meatier in the hopes that one day I might catch them again and be rewarded for my patience with a big fish and a proper meal. Until then my fishy friends.