Can You Fish From A Sailboat – Gear you need

Fishing from a sailboat is a great experience. If you are out sailing, why not add to the fun.

As a general rule, sailboats can be used for fishing. Fishing from a sailboat is very similar to fishing from any other boat. One of the best ways to fish from a sailboat is trolling while under sail. This will allow you to sail and work on the boat while still fishing.

Being able to catch and cook fish while sailing a long passage is a great way to conserve resources.

This article will show you how to fish from a sailboat and what gear is best for doing it.

How Do You Fish From A Sailboat? (8 Tips)

1. Purchase fishing poles that will handle the type of fish you are catching.

I recommend having a trolling setup and a pole for casting off of the bow. Two poles will be enough to catch the fish you want.

2. Mount rod holders around your cockpit.

Rod holders will hold your trolling pole while you are under sail. This will allow you to keep fishing while adjusting sails and working on the boat. I recommend at least two locations.

3. Setup a tacklebox of the necessary fishing gear.

A tacklebox of all the fishing gear you need will make your life organized and much easier to manage. Hooks, fishing lines, pliers, lures, etc. will make sure you are ready for any fish out there.

4. Fish at sunrise or a few hours before sunset.

Fish are more active and hungry early in the morning or late in the afternoon. If you are fishing at high noon, you probably won’t have much luck.

5. Rig your fishing pole with the correct fishing line.

Make sure the weight of the fishing line will handle the weight of the fish. If you are out in the open ocean, you may want to consider a 20-30lb test. It all depends on the fish and your setup.

6. Use a gaff to get your large fish on-board.

A gaff is a long pole with a hook on it. When the fish is too big to pull in, this device will hook the fish and allow you to pull it in much easier. Trust me, if you are in the open ocean you will want one of these to make your life much easier.

7. Consider a marine rail mounted grill for cooking.

This type of grill will mount right on your railing. It makes a perfect spot for grilling the fish you just caught. There is nothing better than freshly grilled fish in the open ocean.

8. Know the fishing regulations in your area.

We all want to preserve the life of our oceans and lakes, so make sure you are only keeping fish that are allowed. A lot of fish can only be caught and kept at certain times of the year.

These tips are a great starting point for fishing on your boat. Making sure you have the right gear is what you should consider next.

How Do You Catch Fish From A Sailboat? (9 items you need)

There are a few items you will need to catch fish from your sailboat. The items listed below are recommended from personal experience but are not a guarantee. Fishing always takes time.

1. Fishing Pole

PENN Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling Reel Combo, 6.5 Feet

This trolling poll is a great setup to get you started. It will help you catch those bigger fish out behind your boat. If you want a casting option, check out the setup below.

PENN Fierce III LE Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

This is a little pricey, but this is a great rod and reel combo for casting. You won’t be disappointed if you pay for quality.

2. Fishing Line

Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line

Trilene is a great fishing line company and has been for many years. This 30lb test line should be plenty for starting out.

3. Fishing Lures

Set of 6 Tuna Flasher Lures, Rigged with 150 lb Leader and Ready to Go! with Black Mesh Bag

I personally like this type of trolling lure. I have used it with great results even for smaller-sized fish like mackerel. If you went with a casting rod and reel setup, try some of the lures below.

Aorace Artificial Fishing Lures Kit 3D Eyes Hard Popper Lures for Saltwater Freshwater

Rapala X-Rap Saltwater Fishing Lure

There are a ton of lure options, so just try them out and see what works.

4. Rod Holders

Amarine Made (Set of 2) Heavy Duty Stainless Steel 316 Deluxe Rod Holders with Drain, Flush Mount Fishing Rod Pole Holders, 30 Degree These two-rod holders are mounted into the hull of the boat. This makes them extremely strong. If you aren’t comfortable with cutting holes in your boat try the ones below first.

(2x) Amarine-made Stainless Rail Mount Clamp on Fishing Rod Holder for Rails 1-1/4″ to 2″ These are mounted on the railing around the cockpit. A great option with no boat drilling needed.

Rod holders are a very important part of fishing on sailboats. When you need to tend to your sails or the boat itself, you will want a place to put your pole. Also, for a trolling setup, you will need a spot for the pole. I recommend two spots! The two corners of the cockpit should be a good place.

5. Filet Knife

Bubba Tapered Flex Fillet Fishing Knife and Tapered Flex Fillet Knife

This is my favorite filet knife. I bought it for my sailboat and never needed another one. Trust me you won’t be disappointed.

6. Pliers

KastKing Cutthroat 7-inch Fishing Pliers, 420 Stainless Steel Fishing Tools, Saltwater Resistant Fishing Gear, Tungsten Carbide Cutters, Corrosion Resistant Teflon Coating, Rubber Handle

These pliers are essential when trying to remove hooks from fish. Sometimes your fish will swallow the hook or have large teeth you don’t want to get your fingers near. The clip-on lanyard is a nice feature as well. You don’t want to lose these in the ocean.

7. Gaff

Fiblink Fishing Gaff with Stainless Steel Hook Fiberglass Pole Non-Slip Grip Handle Hook Gaff (3’ & 5’ & 6’)

Think about where you will store this item. It comes in a few different lengths. It will make getting your fish out of the water a lot easier, trust me!

8. Tackle and Tackle Box

RUNCL Fishing Tackle Box, Waterproof Airtight Stowaway, 3600/3700 Tray Tackle Box with Adjustable Dividers, Plastic Storage Organizer

This is a good setup for storing your tackle and it’s waterproof! There are a million options out there so just plan before you buy. Think about where you will store it and what tackle you will put in it. You will need, extra lines, hooks, sinkers, extra lures, etc. You will fill it up quickly so don’t go too small if you plan on doing a lot of fishing.

9. Marine Grill (optional)

Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill, Stainless Steel, Adjustable Control Valve

A grill is definitely an option, but not necessary. They are great additions to any sailboat. Magma brand is the way to go and this one is super popular. It mounts right on your rail making it easy to access and use.

These 9 items will help you catch that perfect fish from your sailboat. All you need is the basic gear and time. If you have those two things then you will definitely be catching fish soon!

Final Thouhgts

I love fishing and just because I own a sailboat doesnt mean no fishing. Fishing from a sailboat is a great time. While sailing from place to place you might as well be catching some food to eat. All you really need is a pole and some bait. It may be more difficult but you dont really need all this high tech gear. Just get out there and start fishing with what you have and upgrade as you go. Cheers!


Boatlifehq owner and author/editor of this article.

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