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BVI Trolling Rig

AZappiaAZappia Posts: 93 Deckhand
I am chartering a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands this June with my wife and two other couples. I am looking to buy a couple rigs for trolling while we are underway going island to island. I will be pulling small feathers, islander chuggers with rigged ballyhoo hoping for dorado, kings, sails or wahoo. I have a 6500 spinfisher v on a 6'6 rod but would like to get a conventional set up and need some advice on a good setup at a reasonable price.

Should I look at a TLD 30? What type/size line? Mono? Braid? Leader?

Any advice would help.




  • Capt M BrennanCapt M Brennan Posts: 488 Officer
    As a former charter boat captain in that area (10 years or so), the only place I had success fishing was heading northwest out of Anegada, then south to Jost Van **** and I'd pick up a kingfish or two. I wouldn't eat them (ciguatera), but would give them to my favorite native bar owner on Jost. Inside the Drake channel, don't waste your time. On the south side of St John's, I did pick up a dolphin and a sailfish once. Favorite way of fishing: a snubber tied to the aft rail, 150' of heavy S/S cable, #6 commercial planner, 50' of 400 pound mono, large barrel snap swivel with either a large red and silver or green and silver spoon. It is a pain trying to run a large sailboat and trying to reel in a fish with conventional tackle when you're running along at 8 to 10 knots and unable to slow down. Further down island I would catch very large wahoo and dolphin with that rig, generally dead by the time you get them on deck. Not wise to bring a large fish on a sailboat with no where to put them (they start flopping around on deck can make a huge bloody mess, take my word for it). If they were live, I would slide them onto a wet towel, cover them up, hold them down and pour some rum (cheap down there) over their gills. One or two quivers, dead as a door nail. Good luck!
    Captain Mike Brennan
  • tankardtankard Posts: 7,031 Admiral
    TLD should get the job done. I am not a big fan of braid for trolling but it's really a matter of personal preference (and loosening drags!).

    One thing about trolling under sail...you're not going to be able to back down on a big fish, or even get the boat stopped in reasonable time if you're getting dumped.

    That said, go a little heavier on the line and leave yourself some room to bump up the drag.

    Oh, and make **** sure nothing is spinning!! I learned this the hard way.
  • AZappiaAZappia Posts: 93 Deckhand
    Thanks Mike! I was looking at maps and it seems south of roadtown outside the Indians and north of Anegada seem to be the best place to troll. We will be on a power cat so no sail and it's clear of any structure on the outside so walking around the vessel will be possible. I have never heard the Rum trick. Can't wait to try it out. With this in mind any advice on traditional tackle? I've purchased some chuggers and feathers.

    Thanks for the advice.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,358 Moderator
    I agree with the TLD. A TLD30 or 25 with 40# mono can handle a pretty big fish.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • hossmosshossmoss Posts: 1,322 Officer
    TLDs are tried and true... but they feel clunky and rough compared to Squalls

    Penn Squalls are like updated TLDs with the TLD deficiencies already upgraded. Might want to seriously look at Squall 40 or 50LDs

    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://northeastfloridabaitcoop.com/

    2012 Cape Horn 31T with twin Yamaha F300s

  • Capt M BrennanCapt M Brennan Posts: 488 Officer
    It sounded like you were on a sailboat, when I was down there power yachts were just becoming available. To tell you the truth down there we trolled all the time when we were underway and it was days between bites sometimes. Unlike when I was in the Bahamas when we only trolled when we wanted fresh fish for dinner, generally caught within minutes, but not more than an hour. Any kind of chugger or feather should work. Any kind of trolling baits (natural and artificial) are difficult to come by, outside of Redhook USVI, at least they used to be. Occasionally, I could net live ballyhoo off the boat in Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island early in the morning. If you are going down there to catch fish, you may end up disappointed. There are big fish and they do have big tournements down there, generally out of Red Hook on the North side drop of the USVI, but that area is generally out of reach for most "cruise vacationers". If I were you, I wouldn't focus on fishing, unless you were on a course that would maximize the possibilities, just enjoy yourself. Look for the regular stuff on the charts drop offs, ledges, holes, etc.

    Good luck, let me know how you do.
    Captain Mike Brennan
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