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Fishing Under Sail in Puerto Rico

I ran out of the office, picked up my son and our fishing gear then drove to Marina Puerto Del Rey to meet Capt. Tony Miró. We were excited with anticipation because this was our first time on a sailboat and most importantly our first time going fishing under sail!

Early the next morning we sailed out of the Puerto Del Rey and headed toward Vieques with the rays of the sun barely showing in the horizon.  By 6 a.m., all rods and artificial baits were ready.  We were sailing at five knots on the GPS so it felt like a great time to start casting out.

Within minutes…click, click, click… it was my reel and it was really moving fast.  It had to be big.  I grabbed my rod so I could start that wonderful swing that all sport fishermen envy…but there was no space.  The steering wheel, the console, the stern rail, the dingy outboard motor, pulleys, lines, the sail—
even Captain Tony—were all occupying my fishing space!

How would I reel it in?  I had never been fishing on a sailboat before so I did not realized how tight the space was.  The GPS now read more than six knots so we needed to slow down or we were going to lose the fish.  

“Bring down the sail!” I yelled, having no idea how to navigate a sailboat. Capt. Tony headed into the wind and the boat slowed down. After claiming some space on the cockpit, I reeled it in.  “It’s a Kingfish Sierra,” I yelled…over 20 pounds until a shark ripped the whole tail section off for breakfast. 

After all the commotion was over, we continued our trip to Punta Arenas where we spent the day fishing for Yellowtails from the dinghy.  On the return trip to the marina, we got a large Barracuda and two Black-Eye jacks both weighing over 20 pounds. 

As we reach the marina while watching the sun set, I realized that fishing under sail makes a lot of sense…the wind is free so there is no fuel burning, no engine noise, and the same good old fish biting!  I am now considering a sailboat as my next fishing boat.

Heber Soto is a Technology Manager who has taken up fishing as a past time thanks to his 12 years old son who is passionate about the sport.  He is in the process in moving his fresh water fishing to the deep sea.

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