Fact or Fiction
I always enjoy reading opinions about fishing superstitions (Sportfishing; September 2017) and I bet it gets a lot of captains weighing in. As one who has been ocean fishing for 40 years I thought I would offer insight.
I have owned a number of boats, inboards, outboards—small and large— and have always caught pelagic fish in all of them with good success. However, I have one anecdote to offer. I was returning from fishing in the mid-ranges one day and as I came inshore I was engulfed in heavy fog. I was also in the vicinity of huge schools of bunker and herring. I was in my 38-foot Bertram with twin Detroit diesels. I was able to run very close to these schools both at low and higher rpm. Not close enough to throw a cast net but close enough to cast and fish beneath them.
Every once in a while, for no apparent reason the fish would all sound. Within a minute or so, I would hear the higher pitch sound of an outboard and then shortly an outboard boat would come into view. After it passed the school would come back up a little farther out and I would run up to them while they stayed just a little ahead of me. Shortly the process would be repeated over and over with other outboards. Could it be that outboards scare baitfish but not predators? Predators follow the bait as we all know.
It could be that sound in the water by outboards trigger the same reaction by baitfish as a predator feeding on them and that is why some think that certain hulls or engines raise fish. The low vibration of diesels may not be getting the same reaction. It may help explain why you can chase predatory fish without an issue in an outboard boat and hook them up but when the bait is concentrated then maybe an outboard causes them to sound with the predators following. I have chased schooled tuna with twin outboards and had no problem getting multiple hookups, but I know what I saw over and over on that foggy day. —Michael Savage Editor-in-Chief Dan Harding’s October Logbook about the magazine’s salty home port of Essex, Connecticut rekindled many memories born in this sleepy town.
There’s still time to nominate your favorite boating destination for our 25 Best Towns feature, coming in January. Send us your favorite at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I enjoyed your article on Essex in this month’s Power & Motoryacht. It seems the marine magazines are the only place where one can read something upbeat and complimentary these days. I have a similar photo of the rail of our boat, Nerissa, in Essex (as well as the River Museum in the background). Keep up the good work!
I just got home after a long tough day at work and picked up my new copy of Power & Motoryacht and read your Logbook. Essex is one of my favorite destinations. I live on Western Long Island and keep our boat on the Great Peconic Bay on eastern Long Island. We take lots of transient trips around New England. Essex is and always will be one of the most special nautical ports to visit. We were just there a few weeks ago and enjoyed another magnificent weekend. The sunrise and sunset are amazing, the sights and sounds on the river, wildlife and your beautiful town will never cease to amaze me. I have often found myself looking at local real estate listings! Thanks for the article—it was a great way to end a busy day. See you at the Gris! Or maybe the Seal...