Posted by: Dan Sprague | November 9, 2011

Sailboat Fishing

We are about the only ones on our part of the river that sail on the river. The Caloosahatchee  River is a dredged river and you can go from Fort Myers on the West side of the state over to Palm Beach on the East side of the state.  It gets good traffic from boaters going between the Gulf and the Atlantic. We often see sailboats on the river but they are motoring. With our little sloop we sail on our part of the river.

Sailing is ideal for trolling. The boat makes little noise, moves about 3 to 5 mph as we move up and down the river tacking when needed. I usually drop a line behind the boat as we sail. On a day last year I let out a line that was on a pole rigged for salt water fishing. The line was way heavier than anything on the river would need and the lure was on the large size also. I did not think I would catch anything. We were having a delightful sail. We were near one of the boat launch areas for the river and it was busy that day.

A yellow motor boat was being launched by three loud mouthed guys. They got their boat in and powered away from the launch area whooping and hollering and they sped up and down the river at full power. They passed us twice, each time getting closer as they sped past. On their third run past the driver cut behind our boat and over my fishing line.  The pole bent, the line ran out and then there was a popping sound and the pole and line relaxed. I was upset. I pulled in our line to see what damage there was. The steel leader had yellow on it and the lure had a wonderful piece of yellow fiberglass in its hooks.

The yellow boat had stopped a good distance behind us, and the 3 guys were looking over the side of their boat. We sailed on quietly and I put the pole below. No way could we out run them in our sailboat. We headed for the launch ramp area. If we were going to be confronted, I wanted others around to see.  They must have thought they had just hit something in the water, or knew what they had done and not wanted to confront us about it. They headed up river; we headed down river to our dock.

I mounted the lure with its yellow fish piece on a board for the happy hour wall. We still fish and sail at the same time, but the yellow fish has been our biggest catch.

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