This week, MaxSea partner Olivier Journaux, A.K.A. Cpt. OJ, gives his advice on how to find the best fishing spots. He does this both by using the right onboard equiment, and by understanding the types of areas that certain fish like to be found. Cpt. OJ is an accomplished athlete who now provides sport fishing lessons in France.
When fishing with a line, jigging or vertical bait fishing, it has become essential to be extremely precise. In my line of work, I coach recreational sport fishing.
For this, it is important for me to position the boat as close as possible to the fish so that my customers can enjoy close contact with the beautiful fish.
It is also essential to constantly discover new fishing areas, which allow me to manage the amount of fishing in each spot. In this way, I take one or two fish per area out of the water and practice the “catch and release” technique that I described in this earlier MaxSea blog post here.
Then I move on to another area before returning again several days later.
Finding predator fish
To catch a predator fish, first we must find the place it is most likely to be. This is obviously the biggest job, the hardest and longest one to master.
Where are the fish
95% of the time, bars, shade-fish and saithe can generally be found near the water surface. They position themselves above their prey and upstream of the current. The pout, their main food source, usually hides in hollows. As a result, it is very common to catch bars and lean on rock surfaces as this is where the pouts can be found.
To be able to localise the fish, it is essential to have a sounder and GPS system with nautical charts. Unfortunately electronic charts are never 100% accurate. Maxsea TimeZero PLOT or MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing are perfectly suited to fishing as it allows the user to record the sea floor and generate their own, extremely accurate chart of their favourite fishing grounds.
Useful features within MaxSea TimeZero
A computer with MaxSea TimeZero connected to the GPS and sounder can store unlimited depth points, and adjusts for the current water level depending on the time and date (integrated tide information).
This means that by simply navigating in your fishing spot, you are simultaneously saving thousands of contour lines and the precision of your seabed data becomes increasingly sharp.
Thus, in places where all charts tell you that the bottom is flat, you discover hidden contours, sometimes more than 10m high over distances of 500m long. All you need to do is to explore the area with your sounder.
MaxSea offers the ability to create whatever you want, ideal routes, specific marks that can represent fish, rocky peaks , buoys, wrecks etc.
Then you can also add comments to each mark. In TimeZero software, you can consult classic hydrographic office charts, and add your own bathy data, and even record a bottom classification to view the type of sediment in each area
Types of spots favoured by fish
Depending on the direction of the current, we can have a good idea of where fish are most likely to be found.
They are usually
upstream of the current and
above the rocks (the highest point)
just below the first step of a rocky “staircase” if there is one in the area. They like these spots because it means that they are high up yet sheltered from the current. It is often a favourite spot for saithe when the current exceeds 1.5 knots.
By following these steps, I personally found wonderful fishing areas in the rocky waters of Antioch and Breton in France where I came across beautiful fish that had never previously been disturbed by humans.
Dismasting is one of the worst emergencies that can happen to a sailboat, and if the mast is not managed very quickly the boat may sink as a result.
MaxSea is a technical partner of the MACIF Racing Team skippered by François Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux. During this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre race, the MACIF boat dismasted, proving that it can happen to anyone at any time.
This week, we provide tips and advice on how to prepare for dismasting, and what to do if it happens.
MACIF skippers François Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux
There’s always the risk of dismasting, especially when you encounter a bad storm while out at sea. This can be due to a rigging failure or extreme conditions. However, dismasting can also occur without a storm as a result of a structural weakness in the masthead or inside a turnbuckle.
It’s essential for owners of cruising sailboats of any size to be prepared for a possible dismasting and to have the right equipment and knowledge to act immediately.
All experienced sailors know they should have equipment on board to cut the mast free as quickly as possible. You just need to determine what the right equipment is for your sailboat and your budget?
Usually only a sharp sailor’s knife is needed. In order to cut the halyards and other lines joining the boat to the mast, you will only need a sharp sailor’s knife. It is more difficult to cut through the stays and shrouds, which are made of steel wire or rod. To do this, you will need special equipment.
The typical equipment used are hacksaws, bolt cutters, and pin removal gear.
Hacksaw: Very well suited to small to medium sailboats. However, coastal sailors should have another type of equipment on board too, to be prepared for all situations.
The hacksaw is undoubtedly the cheapest emergency de-rigging device. However, sawing is much slower than other methods, with greater risk for hull damage when time is of the essence. It is also impossible to saw through rod rigging, and very difficult to saw steel wire unless it is held still and tensioned, which is almost impossible for one person to do on a pitching deck.
Tip: If you do depend on a hacksaw, use a tungsten carbide blade and have a couple of spares.
Bolt cutters: Manual cutters are the traditional first choice for cutting wire (not rod) rigging. They cost more than a hacksaw, often more than $200) but will work on rigging that is either slack or under tension from the mast.
Get cutters larger than what you think you can get by with. The manufacturer may promise one size cuts up to 3/8 wire, for example, but 3/8 stainless steel marine rigging wire may be much stronger than what the manufacturer tested.
Try them out on wire as large as your rigging to be sure you can trust them in an emergency.
Add a lanyard you can slip around your wrist – it’s easy to drop them overboard when you’re working on a pitching deck.
Hydraulic bolt cutters do a great job fast but cost upwards of $1200; unlike regular bold cutters, they work on rod rigging.
Pin removal: On most boats the turnbuckles at the bottom of shrouds and stays are connected to chainplate fittings with a clevis pin kept in place with a cotter pin or ring. Some sailors choose to release the rigging by removing the pin rather than sawing or cutting the rigging. The biggest issue is that clevis pins are very difficult to remove when under significant tension, and the process can be almost unmanageable on a pitching deck.
Your de-rigging kit should include strong pliers for quick removal of the cotter pin or ring. (Many riggers recommend not opening the ends of cotter pins more than 20 degrees so that they can be removed more easily.)Use a mallet or hammer along with a center punch or similar tool to pound the pin back out through its hole. Don’t trust a screwdriver for this, and make sure your chosen tool is small enough in diameter to follow the pin through the hole, because otherwise it may jam halfway.
Since clevis pins are easily and quickly removed when not under tension, first release the shrouds and stays that are loose, saving the one(s) under tension for last. (Unless, of course, the end of the mast in its current position is already threatening to hole the hull.)
Be aware that if the turnbuckle is bent or heavily torqued to one side, the pin may have so much pressure on it that it won’t come out. Have at least a good hacksaw handy just in case.
Hopefully these tips will be useful to you. Remember that it’s very important to be prepared for dismasting. Having a plan could save you life!
With two short weeks due to Easter Holidays, we decided to publish pictures from April 2 to 13 altogether. Many fishing-related images but also colorful and impressive pics of mediterranean ports and boats.
Pour la saison 2012-2013, Sam Davies bénéficie du résultat d’une alliance technologique, le nouveau PC radar, et devient ainsi une des premières sportives à l’utiliser à bord de son nouveau bateau Savéol, récemment mis à l’eau.
Cette solution révolutionnaire permet aux coureurs de bénéficier d’un équipement très performant tout en préservant les contraintes de poids et d’espace à bord (connexion directe du PC à l’antenne radar).
La skipper, qui se prépare d’ores et déjà à la prochaine édition du Vendée Globe, a mis son nouveau bateau à l’eau la semaine dernière et a commencé à naviguer à Port-la-Forêt afin de tester Savéol dans des conditions réelles.
This 2012-2013 season, Sam Davies will benefit from a unique joint venture technology, the new PC radar, and be one of the first racers to sail with on her recently launched Savéol boat.
This revolutionary and lightweight solution allows racers to have highly-performing equipment without sacrificing speed and space by connecting her PC directly to the radar antenna.
The female skipper, who started training for the upcoming Vendée Globe, officially launched her new boat last week and started her sailing sessions off Port-la-Forêt in order to test Savéol in real conditions.
La Solidaire du Chocolat transatlantic race started 10 days ago after many festivities in the area surrounding the port of Saint Nazaire in France.
As an official supplier, we are lucky to receive exclusive pictures from the organisers.
In these, you will feel the warm reception from the public of the numerous concerts, parades and other activities; enjoy the particular atmosphere brought by mexican dancers, chefs and artists; and the gorgeous pics of the Port and the race start: