Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kathy Lands a nice Mahi Mahi

January 20, 2010 11AM
Position: 16°16' N 085°40' W
YTD: 445 nautical miles

About 17 nautical miles to Guanaja, Honduras. Sailing at 7-8 knots with main only in 15 knots true. Surfs to mid teens on bigger waves!

After a watch of 2:00AM to 6:30AM I was sleeping hard when Kathy woke me with news of a fish on the line. Very tired I poked my head out the hatch and saw the pole bent over and the boat moving pretty fast. The good news it the fish wasn't too big as no more line was going off the reel. We keep the drag on our Penn Senator 114H reel set very tight at maybe 12 pounds of pull. It takes time to slow the boat down to go into fish fighting mode so we have everything set up for big fish, although we prefer to catch smaller ones and use small lures to discourage the really big fish from biting in the first place.

So, having observed that the fish was not big (i.e. line was no longer coming off the reel) I asked Kathy if she could go solo on landing this one as I was beat. Suited up with her safety harness she reeled in a 3' Mahi Mahi without even taking down the main sail as we continued at 6 knots. Once the fish was close to the boat, having been planned on top of the water most of the way in, Kathy lifted him out of the water by the fishing line and swung this bright green three foot beauty onto the trampoline. Great job!!

Picture to follow.

Had the fish been a big one and continued to pull out line we would have had to stop the boat. For example with the boat going 6 knots that is 6 nautical miles per hour or one nautical mile per ten minutes or 600 feet per minute. So from the time the fish hit the lure to the time we take down sail, put on a safety harness three minutes might elapse. If it's a big fish then we might have 1800 feet of line off the reel or nearly a third of a mile between us and the fish.

With no more room in the fridge we are done fishing for a while.

Congratulations to Kathy on landing the nice Mahi Mahi on her own.

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