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Tactics and Techniques for Fishing from Sailboats

It is very common to find blue-water sailors complaining that catching fish while on passage is almost impossible. This can be a very big problem is one has not perfected the technique of fishing from a sailboat. Fishing is a good thing, because fish are a great supplement to our diets, being a great source of proteins.

Tactics and Techniques for Fishing from Sailboats

Never Kill for Fun

There are those that argue that it is bad to fish since it involves killing a life. If you were to change places with the fish and the fish was bigger than you, the truth is that the fish would most likely make a meal out of you. It would only be logical for you to do the same thing to the fish, make a meal out of it. What the fish won’t do is kill you and put you on display where it lives, killing you for sport. This is what brings us to our first rule when it comes to ethical fishing, never kill fish for fun.

Kill as Quickly as Possible

Imagine that you were the fish again, going about your own way, and suddenly, a delicious burger appears out of the blue. You grab it to eat it but suddenly, you’re yanked out of your world by funny looking creatures. The creatures butcher you and finally eat you. The best thing that you would want was for those funny creatures to kill you quickly and painlessly. That brings us to the second point, don’t play the fish on the line. Instead, kill it as quickly as possible.

Use as Little Gear as Possible

We already said that it is wrong to kill for fun, sport fishing. As is common, most people who tend to kill for sport are also the ones that are obsessed with gear. As such, it would be a principle for sailors to do the direct opposite when fishing since it is ethical. They should use as little gear as possible. You’ll also find that it is more effective and convenient this way. There’s also the issue of space on the sailboat, the rods and reels already take up enough space. Too much gear won’t add to the number of fish that one will catch, either.

Fancy Rods and Reels Won’t Necessarily Catch More Fish

Imagine how you would feel if you went and purchased expensive and fancy fishing rods and reels and then go fishing against someone with a simple rod and reel. Imagine that other person catching more fish that you during the passage. It would definitely tear up your pride but the truth is that this happens every time. As long as the fishing rod and reel can fish, they don’t have to be fancy and expensive.

In order for one to achieve good results when fishing, one of the tricks is to use multiple lures in the water. This way, the fish will think that it is a field day with multiple snacks in the water, increasing the chances of catching fish. One can also use cheap rubber squids or something similar, since they are very attractive to fish like tuna and dorado. The use of 200-pound test monofilament lines is also advised since they are heavy and more humane and less likely to break under a heavy load.

One other trick when fishing is to keep the lines as short as possible despite the common belief that fish will not go for lures that are too near the boats. The truth is that the fish in the ocean tend to be attracted to boats as long as the engines are not running or are very silent. It is very attractive to the ocean predators when the lure doesn’t sink too far in the water. With a short line, it is also easier to land fish once they have been hooked. There won’t be any use to slow the boat to bring the catch aboard due to the lack of scope in the line as well as the speed with which it is moving since the fish will be bouncing along the surface. The fish won’t be able to put up a fight since it won’t be under the water. 50 feet long lines will in most instances work very well.

When it comes to killing the fish, we agreed that it is best to kill it as quickly as possible. The fastest and least painful way to doing this is to pour alcohol down it’s gills. It might not be an impressive experience for some since the fish usually goes crazy the moment that the alcohol touches it, flailing around as if it is possessed by demons before it dies. One other process of killing it is by bludgeoning it or just letting it suffocate in the atmosphere. With your fish in hand, you can now go ahead and prepare it for a meal.

Preferred Targets

When sailing through the tropics in the North Atlantic, tuna and dorado are the most common fish that one is bound to come across. They are excellent prey for sailors since they are fast swimmers that like feeding near the surface of the water. Speeds of between five and eight knots are perfect for catching both species.

The tuna fish come in many different species from lengths of four feet for the lesser tuna, to nine feet for the Bluefin, the most prized tuna, coming at over 1,000 pounds. Tuna are warm blooded fish, and the fact that their bodies generate body heat means that they can swim in a wide range of temperatures. They are very powerful swimmers. With their hydrodynamic body form, they can attain speeds of 40 mph over short bursts. They’re also known to feed in water as deep as 1,600 feet.

When fishing from a sailboat, the most common type of tuna fish that a sailor is bound to come across is the Yellowfin. It generates its name from the fact that it’s second dorsal and anal fins are both bright yellow. The fact that they can usually be found in schools, either with their own kind, or with other fish of the same size, and that they are attracted to floating objects make them an easy target. When killing the tuna fish, it is important to note that they have large quantities of red blood cells. This means that you would want to drain the blood before cleaning the fish. Once the fish is dead, one can make incisions behind the gills and then drag the fish in the water behind the boat for at least half an hour. This will reduce the mess during preparation.

Dorado, also known as mahi-mahi, or dolphin, don’t live nearly as long as tuna and grow to a maximize size of about five feet. Most are smaller and on average weigh 15 to 25 pounds. They are distinguished by their brilliant coloration—an array of vivid yellows, blues, and greens. These colors change rapidly when the fish is landed and fade to a dull yellowish-grey by the time it is dead.

For more on techniques and tactics for fishing, one can always refer here. Now that we are done with looking at the techniques and tactics when it comes to fishing, we are going to review one of the best trout fishing rods on the market today. Below we are going to look at what to look for in a good rod, weighing the features, pros and cons.

Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package Review

Fly fishing is the perfect way for one to pass their time seating by their favorite lake or stream as they wait for the fish to take the bait. This way, one can have the perfect opportunity to catch fish such as trout, salmon, bass amongst other fish. With stronger fly rods, one can catch bigger saltwater fish such as the tuna and marlin. The type of fish gear that one has is what determines the type of fish that one catches.

What to look for in a fly fishing rod

A seasoned fisherman would tell you that in order to reel in the feistier fish, a sailor would need to have a good rod. Fly fishing involves the use of a light, artificial “fly” or “lure” made in such a way that it resembles the fishes natural prey. These are attached to a rod that brings about more flexibility and accuracy in the process. The casting technique for fly fishing also varies depending on habitat one is fishing in. Fishing techniques in the ocean, for instance, vary from fishing techniques in rivers and lakes.

Power and Accuracy

Power and accuracy are required for fly fishing. Armed with a good rod and smart casting techniques, it becomes much easier to lure fish to the bait. Any wrong move could frighten the fish, which means that subtlety of movement is of utmost importance. In this case, the rod also needs to be strong enough to hold the fish.


A good fly road will give you power, accuracy, and line control.  Flexibility is also very important, so it can bend and adjust without snapping under pressure. Different fly rods offer different action. Fast action rods are stiffer and stronger, so you can cast easier even if it’s windy, but they are less precise and can be more difficult for beginners.

The less flexible are not the best choice for short casts. Slow action rods are more flexible and are better for catching smaller fish like brook trout or panfish. Medium action rods let you do both, and are best if you want to try different fly fishing conditions.


Fly weight is yet another condition. Smaller weight numbers (1 to 3) are good for smaller fish, while weights 4 is good for medium fish and weight 5 is for average-sized fish. Weights 6, 7 and 8 is great for bigger fish like bass and salmon. Your fly weight affects your reel weight.


Fishing rods come in different lengths, so if you get longer rods look for one that can be broken into smaller pieces and has a case that is convenient to carry.

Complete Set

If you’re new to fly fishing, it’s easier to get a complete set that has everything you need from the get-go. You can’t go wrong with the Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package. It comes with all the equipment, from a fishing rod to baits, lures, and even a case.


It also comes at a very affordable price, considering everything that comes with the kit. Fly fishing equipment can be quite expensive, with some rigs costing up to $500, but this goes for $89.99 and includes accessories that would cost much more if you bought them individually. This is an excellent fishing rod for the local pond or trophy trout stream. You’ll be able to catch small trout, small bass, and panfish with ease.


  • The kit includes a four-piece fly rod (suitable for a five or six weight line), a center disc drag die-cast aluminum large arbor reel (it is preloaded with backing), and a five-weight floating fly line. It also comes with tapered leaders, a rod sock, and a rod case. You also receive a fully equipped fly box that contains nine flies and an extra leader.
  • The fishing rod measures nine feet and has four sections. It is made of graphite and weighs 5.7 ounces.
  • It has a mid-flex and is slow action.
  • It comes with three Black Winged Ants, three Parachute Adams and three Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymphs
  • The reel is set up for left hand retrieve but can be shifted to right hand retrieve.
  • The rod is colored dark grey with black winding.
  • The company offers a lifetime rod warranty.


  • It has the most five-star customer reviews on Amazon. Customers were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the rods, accessories, and the packaging. The fly box is strong, the fly patterns are well selected, and the pieces are stored in fabric rolls and cylinder tubes that protect them during travel. A lot thought and care has been put into the set.
  • It is ideal for new fly fishermen. The slow action, mid flex design will make it quite easy for a beginner to learn how to cast.
  • The case itself will last for a lifetime – one reviewer noted a case of that quality would already cost half the price of the entire kit if you bought it elsewhere. It also has a zippered pouch where you can store flies and small accessories.


  • You may need to replace the reel, with some fishermen complaining that it is large and clunky and has an inconsistent drag.
  • The guides are attached with plastic bulbs that can’t be repaired, and are not that sturdy.
  • While the rod comes with a lifetime warranty, the cost of shipping and other service fees may make it cheaper to buy a new one.
  • As a starter kit, this understandably does not have the more expensive (and more durable) rods and accessories. Serious fly fishermen will want to have better, stronger parts that will last for several years. Once you become more serious about the hobby, you may want to invest in better rods and flies.


The Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package offers great value for money and will enable beginners or budget-conscious anglers to pursue this hobby. More experienced and demanding fly fishermen may be disappointed by the product, and should look into the other fly fishing rods offered by the company. All in all, it is the best fishing rod for people who are looking for versatility and affordability.

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