While we were in the Berries, a few of the commercial fisherman from Cara Mia gave us a few tips as to why we hadn’t been catching anything while we were trolling. Apparently all we really needed to do was have a longer line out and sew on some bait under the skirt of the plastic squid we were using. Sewing the bait on helps the bait from getting pulled off the hook from seaweed or even unsuccessful bites. It worked like a charm. We didn’t have to put new bait on for our entire crossing to Bimini! I think it also helped that we were BOOKIN’ it the whole trip. I don’t think we went less than 6 knots the entire trip. We even took the main down and sailed only under our teeny tiny jib and managed that speed. It was incredible.
We first caught a barracuda that was about 18 inches long. At that length, they are safe to eat, but I seriously didn’t want to get my hands anywhere near those teeth! So, as cruel as it may sound we just let it hang there until it fought its way off the line. Thankfully that didn’t take too terribly long.
Not too much later, and conveniently just when Jason laid down for his first sleeping shift, we had another bite! Jason fought this guy for a good while until he finally broke free. So, not only did we not catch a fish, Jason also lost out on sleep. Bummer. At that point we decided to reel in the lines for the rest of the night. We were hand steering because our auto pilot crapped out (more on that later) and the person on shift wouldn’t be able to manage the lines.
Just as the sun was coming up the next morning, and only about an hour until we reached our destination, we put the reels back out just for the hell of it. The lines weren’t even out all the way when I thought I felt something on the line. I couldn’t really tell (somehow our reel kind of broke as well because we just have that kind of luck. How a rod breaks that never catches anything is a mystery to me as well), so I decided to reel the line in just in case. I’ll tell you what, that was quite a fight to deal with at 7am! We first thought it was another barracuda, but then noticed the striping pattern was different. WOO-HOO! We caught our first edible fish while trolling! It was a spanish mackerel, about 18 inches long. It shockingly had a lot more meat on it than I expected! It fed four adults and we had leftovers for the dogs. And, let me tell you, it was delicious.