Fish while sailing: top 5 fishing tips to keep your crew well-fed

Fish while sailing: top 5 fishing tips to keep your crew well-fed

Learn the best way to fish while sailing!

Looking for the freshest seafood you can get on your sailing holiday? Interested in a unique activity for your vacation? Fishing from a sailboat will help you create unforgettable memories and will give you some delicious meals too. Here’s how to make sure you can have perfect sea-to-table meals on your charter. 

 Go for big or small game fish

The best way to keep your crew well fed is to troll for big game fish, like tuna and marlin, large offshore or open-water fish. You could also focus on catching what is known as “panfish,” or smaller game fish that still fit in a frying pan. Popular panfish include crappies, perch, rock bass, bluegills, and other sunfish. Either way, going for game fish means you’ll have more food on the table, as they are much larger than non-game fish. Plus, it will be way more fun since game fish will put up a bit of a fight before they let you catch them! In order to find fish, look for the diving seabirds! That usually means there are fish towards the surface. Sail towards the fish, drop your line, and you should get a bite soon! If you’re trying to find fish, a point is also a good place to start since fish tend to gather at changes in depth or topography. 

 Pick the right destination

If you’d like to fish while sailing, we’ve got good news for you - there are tons of destinations that will be great for fishing! 

With crystal clear blue waters, it is no wonder that the Caribbean Islands also have great fishing. With a diverse underwater landscape, you’ll find all manner of fish in the Caribbean. You can enjoy bonefishing, sportfishing, and lionfishing here. Puerto Rico in particular is known as the fishing capital, however you can also find great fishing opportunities around the Virgin Islands, which is great for deep-fishing and bonefishing. Also good is the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and Barbados. 

If you’re looking for some Mediterranean catch, try Croatia where both fresh and saltwater fishing are available. The Adriatic Sea is home to over 400 species of fish and marine life, and fishing is a huge part of local culture, ensuring an enjoyable and very fruitful adventure fishing from a sailboat.

For a little more exotic locale, the Indian Ocean would also be a great choice. Visit places like Thailand, the Seychelles, or Madagascar to make the most of your fishing opportunity. As the world’s third largest ocean, there would be plenty to catch! Home to some of the most sought-after fish species, you could also partake in fly fishing. 

 Make sure you have the right licenses

Keep in mind that every destination and location is going to have their own fishing laws and regulations. It’s extremely important to do your research and make sure you understand what is and is not allowed before you start fishing. You’ll be able to procure an international fishing license and if you are unsure, ask your charter consultant! 

Some examples include:

  • The UK requires guests to pay a fishing license $45 per person for a 1 or 2 week stay.
  • The Bahamas has required fishing licenses but you can often fill them out upon arrival. 
  • In Australia each region/territory has their own fishing license.

 Get the right equipment

In order to fish while sailing, you’re going to need some gear. For trolling for larger deep-sea fish, you'll need a short, strong rod. You’ll also need a big reel with a strong line/braid, designed for trolling. Get some tough leaders and some shiny lures and you’re good to go! 

If you’re looking to get those smaller game fish, then you’ll basically need everything you need for trolling, just smaller and less rugged. 

You’ll also need a fishing box, equipped with a sharp knife, gloves, a gaff, and some thinner ropes that you can use to attach your rod to the boat. 

While most charters require that you bring your own equipment, if you don’t have all these supplies at home, you can find a local rental shop and rent from wherever you are sailing from. There are some charter companies who provide fishing equipment, for an additional fee. 

 Prep properly

Once you’ve caught your fish, then you’ll have to cook it up! Spritzing some rum in the gills is a humane way to kill the fish immediately. Then when gutting the fish, do it out on the deck so you can easily hose it down. 

For cooking, depending on your location, you can grill, fry, or bake your fish. One of the easiest methods is just wrapping the fish tin foil or baking paper, after adding a drizzle of olive oil and whatever seasonings you may want. Then just bake in the oven for 1 hour. 

Many of our clients enquire about whether they can fish while sailing; and yes - you can! Enjoy your favourite activity while your family or friends partake in other activities on board like swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing etc. Enquire with us today for help booking the perfect sailing holiday!

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