Fishing on a Cruising Boat

Posted: May 1, 2014  |  Tag: Sportfishing

By: John Temple

We have a cruising boat, but we like to fish occasionally. What are some easy steps we can take to turn our cruiser into a fishing boat, if only temporarily?
Creating a “crossover’ boat can be done, and without too much effort. Know what you want to do and rig your boat accordingly. When Candy and I bought our first boat (a 21-foot Bayliner cuddy cabin), we were not sure what we would do the most — fish, cruise or ski? We soon found out we liked the skiing, enjoyed fishing and loved cruising. So when we moved up, we bought boats that were made for cruising and configured them to fish. We knew someone would like skiing at 24 knots off the back of our 39-foot Carver but would need a mask and have to be able to jump a large wake. So we settled down to cruising and fishing.

We rigged the dinghy/skiff to be good for fishing. Fishing, in our mind, includes shellfish. However, I have caught large fish and have equipped the skiff with a harpoon and a float to tow back fish that would otherwise sink our 11-foot Sorensen.

What you need is not that big of a deal. Get downriggers or outriggers installed. Candy and I rigged two downrigger holders in the aft cockpit, and we store the rigs when we aren’t fishing. Candy skippers the boat while I stay in the aft cockpit and hook the fish as she steers the boat over them. There is a bit more to this, but essentially that is it. We are also set up to anchor or tie up at the dock while I go out in the skiff to fish with a downrigger and put down a crab or prawn trap.

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