A Birds Eye View By: Lori Heath “A SOCal Anglerette’s Advice on fishing on a Sportboat”
Hey, ladies do you love to fish? Or would you like to learn but you don’t know how to start? Maybe your friends don’t fish, you are new to the community, or never tried fishing on a sport boat. Or you want to join your boyfriend or husband on the water but you are not sure what to expect. If the idea of fishing on a boat full of strangers that are mostly men is intimidating to you then join the club. We have all been there. It can be like going to the movies or a bar by yourself -awkward!
This is a simple guide to help you learn some of the Dos & Dont’s of Sportboat fishing from myself and other accomplishments of lady anglers. I’ve been sport boat fishing for 5 years. Previous to that my fishing experience was limited to freshwater and saltwater fishing from small boats with family or friends. Quite different when compared to the large sportfishing boats out of San Diego.
My first trip on a sportfishing boat was on the Malihini out of H&M Landing. This boat was massive in comparison to what I was used to fishing on. It had a spacious galley with a chef, dining booths, and bathrooms, unlike the coffee can that I was used to going in. I was excited but at the same time intimidated and scared. This boat was full of men with lots of rods & tackle and me with my one rod. I started to feel lost..all kinds of stuff were running through my head. Would I catch a fish? Would I know what to do? How would the men receive me being the only lady on the boat? Thank God for my fiancé who had some clue as to what to do, but it was still an unknown to me. As the boat set off I realized that just being out on the water was all I needed to help ease my fears. It was so beautiful and calming. On the way to the fishing grounds, the crew gave a safety and fishing seminar to explain what types of fishing methods were working, explaining about following your line, proper baiting, and basic reel operation. As we neared the bite zone the captain said throw bait! and all I remember after that was getting squeezed shoulder to shoulder between other anglers as they were getting bit all around me yelling happily and saying over! under! while scrambling along the rail bumping into me and others trying to let them pass. Combat fishing! I didn’t know what to do and was frustrated wondering what had I gotten myself into. I learned later that this is how you communicate with your fellow Anglers to avoid tangles and successfully land your fish.
Rule #1 Communicate with your fellow Anglers and follow your line. Your odds of getting a bite and landing your fish depend on it. Don’t panic. Everyone is working together, and the deckhands are there to assist if needed.
I let my frustration get the best of me and it hindered my ability to get bit. I got skunked and it was a lesson learned. I was determined to catch a fish but I needed a new strategy, so on my next trip, I spoke up as all the other Anglers did on the rail on my previous trip. I then decided that getting to know my fellow Anglers would benefit me – especially the ones that are hooking up & look like they know what they are doing. We are all a team at the rail.
Rule #2 Get to know your fellow anglers. They are experienced and willing to help and share what they know as well as the crew on the boat.
I realized that I was also not asking enough questions so Rule #3 -Ask questions and Listen. You can never ask too many questions and learn the terminology of the boat: starboard, port, bow, etc. A great question to ask is what side of the boat should you fish on when the boat stops?- typically you want the wind in your face. Asking and learning equal success so learn and ask as much as you can.
Rule#4 Be polite to the Captains and crew as they want you to catch a fish this is their livelihood and they are very knowledgeable. Say please and thank you. If the bait well is empty and you need a bait say please, then thank you. This goes a long way with the crew. They work hard and deserve your respect. Last but not least,
Rule #5 Stay Positive. This will improve your success like that old Sesame Street Burt and Ernie episode with the two of them in a boat Burt was grouchy and in a bad mood as always and Ernie was relaxed positive and happy so when it came to catching fish all Ernie had to do was say “Here Fishy Fishy Fishy” and he caught fish. On the other hand, Burt’s grouchy attitude resulted in no fish! So be the Ernie not the Bert. Have a good time with a great attitude. Relax it’s not as intimidating as it may seem. I enjoy all my fishing trips on sport boats now and I get excited and look forward to getting aboard, meeting new fellow anglers as well as old friends, swapping stories, and just relaxing and fishing. Remember it’s fishing and catching is just the icing on the cake! The following pages are some well known excellent lady anglers and some pearls of wisdom from them