Two years ago I was asked to help crew a yacht across the Atlantic from Tenerife to Barbados via Cape Verde. Obviously, I jumped at the chance. Not only for the experience but more importantly imagine the fishing I could do.
I’ve never been deep sea fishing before. After a bit of research, and a reality check that I could land a monster as I was on a sailing boat, I decided to buy a small yet robust boat rod and multiplier. I received a lot of help from my local tackle shop about lures but they didn’t have anything in stock being in the middle of Woking.
November 11th, the date I left for Tenerife. Rod and basic gear packed, and away I went. The rod was out the back the second we got the sails up. Using a monstrous bit of polished stainless-steel bar with a treble on the back (local tip from Tenerife) 2 days later and not a single bite, although plenty of flying fish on the decks in the morning for breakfast. I thought I was seeing things when I looked over the side of the boat and saw a school of small tuna swimming along side. I tried to entice them with my big lump of metal to no avail. I had a small spoon lure with me so chucked that on as a last ditch effort. The second it hit the water bang!! I landed my first fish of the trip, a small tuna around 12 inches long. Unhooked that and tried again, again the lure was in the water 10 seconds before I hooked into my second tuna. In the space of 5 minutes myself and one of the other crew landed about 10 tuna, naturally we kept the best 2 for lunch and put the rest back.
Cape Verde came and went. We were mid Atlantic before I caught another fish. We had given up on shop bought lures and ended up making our own with pieces of rope, an old spoon and anything bright we could find. Off the rod went this time being a Dorado, only a small one but about 20lb never the less. 10 minutes from sea to plate. As cliché as it sounds, it tasted just like chicken.
About an hour later we were surrounded by 100-150 dolphins so the rods came in and we admired these amazing animals.
500-miles from Barbados my rod went screaming off. I jumped up and struck into what felt like a freight train, then about 100ft from the back of the boat a Dorado easily 6ft long lept clear of the water. And snap, my 150lb braid snapped like it was a piece of string. Obviously this was ‘the one that got away’. The only other thing we caught was a 5ft long wahoo, the size of the teeth on the thing put my mum off bringing it onto the boat, so this was unhooked and released.
All in all, an extremely memorable trip. And me? Well and truly hooked on deep sea fishing. I look forward to my next trip. Maybe I’ll gear up this time and go for a monster