Above, Tony and friend Monason,
display the largest of a good day's catch from nearly 300 lbs of
snapper and, two large grouper, one that weighed nearly 100
for this variety of red snapper and grouper on Dominica is
a challenging experience. These fish frequent depths between 500-1000
feet and are most often caught between 800-1000 feet.
As with tuna and
marlin, local fishermen use only hand lines in pursuit of
these deep dwelling fish.
The line rigging is not complex. At the very bottom of
the main line a sinker weight is attached, perhaps a piece
of 5/8 rebar a foot in length. It is attached by
a very light piece of string. This way, if the
weight gets snagged on rocks, the fisherman can give a good
tug, leaving the sinker behind and saving the line.
Above the weight 10 to 20 hooks are tied to 16-24 inch pieces
of line. These short lines are then arranged approximately
three feet apart along the main line just above the sinker. The
bulk of the main line is
wrapped around a piece of board or other item good for
containing a large length of line.
To start fishing, the
weight and hook portion of the line (the bottom 30-40 feet)
is unwound and positioned along the gunwale of the boat;
several hundred feet of the main line is then unwound onto
the water surface as the boat moves forward at slow speed.
This results in the line spreading well behind the boat.
The hooks are
then baited with thumb sized pieces of salted bonito tuna.
Next, the weight is dropped into the sea, the baited hooks
zipping overboard behind it, the sinker pulling all
toward the bottom.