Tag Archives: fishing


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Handlining From a Yacht

From: “Welcome to the Voyage of SV. Mandolin Wind”

…we headed off to the fishing shop to find a solution to catching fish from the back of a fast sailing yacht. We decided on a large hand reel that had mostly strong twine, then a wire trace and a silver spoon. Not exactly what we were looking for but the shop owner assured us that most yachties use a similar solution. On hearing that we were heading to the back blocks of Indonesia, the owner disappeared and returned with a box of fishing gear to give to the locals during our travels. On inspection later we counted 50 packets of 5 fish hooks plus several rolls of fishing line. We were very grateful as we already had a lot of supplies to give to the children (i.e., books, pens etc) but were short of giveaways for the adults. The incidents helped to offset our generally cynical perception regarding the selfishness of Western Society. What a champion.

Since it was still early afternoon and the weather was perfect we set sail for Cape Gloucester, a few hours sail north. Bingo – 5 minutes after we put the new line out we scored a nice spotted mackerel!  Our respect for the owner of the fishing shop increased even further as we planned how we would cook our catch.

Having left Airlie Beach behind us it was now time to slow the pace down. This was all new territory to us and in some ways this felt like the real start of our trip. The weather was perfect, the boat was performing superbly and we had fish for dinner – what more could we ask for? Darwin here we come!  

Handline Tackle for Fishing When Traveling, or Anytime.

I make handline rigs. It’s a fun and convenient way to add fishing to any trip near fishing waters.  

Trolling from a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. 

A large and small handline packed and ready to go.  If traveling by air, you can buy hooks at your destination to avoid hassles with the TSA.

This photo shows a 6″ kite spool  wound with 25 pound-test  monofilament  line (no backing)  and a hook for casting or  jigging from shorelines or  docks. For trolling in shallower  waters, add a swivel and leader.

This handline is wound on a 9-inch kite spool.  It has 100  feet  of braided Dacron line, and an  18 foot monofilament leader for trolling,  casting or jigging in deeper waters.      

Set up strictly for trolling, the line is removed from the spool  when in use. There is about 100 feet of  nylon cord, with 20 feet of monofilament.  A loop at the end is secured to a cleat.  A  “snubber”  (legnth of shock cord)  is tied into the nylon cord with some slack  to allow for expansion when a fish strikes.  This sets the hook and prevents the line  from breaking during a strike.

Typical Trolling Leader Set Up

This leader is made of Trilene Pro Grade Fluorocarbon line tied to a heavy duty Berkley Ball Bearing Swivel with welded rings on one end and a Berkley Cross-Lok snap on the other. Fluorocarbon Leaders come in various lengths 12” and pound tests depending on the fishing conditions.

Berkley Fluorocarbon Leaders 36″/100 lb. test