|Life on a Longliner
|Life on a longliner was hard. You are out at sea for around 6 weeks. You work long days, and then have to stand watch twice a night. This doesn't even include the temper of the ocean. Anyone who has been on the sea knows that she can be calm and serene at one moment, and at full force gail winds the next. The reason these guys, and many women too, are out there is to catch the fish and make some good money. This kind of fishing is the most dangereous job in America. If the market drops or you don't come back with a full load, there goes all your money.
|When on the Grand Banks the trolling speed is around 7 knots. It all depends on the situation though. They release up to thirty miles of microfiliment line. Every three hooks there is a ball drop. Ball drops are basicaly like those little red and white bobbers that fly fishermen use. They make the hooks float up in the upper layer of ocean, instead of dropping down to the ocean floor. A typical rule is to have the line at five fathoms down, and the hooks at twelve. This means the hooks are around seventy feet down. Usually this is where swordfish feed. Every four miles a highflyer pole is attached on the line. It shows up on radar screens to let captains know where the line is. It also helps so that no other boats run over the line. Around every eight miles a transmitter is tied on to let crew track the line. Typicaly it will take four hours to lay out the line.
The hooks on the line are a littler special. Swordfish feed at night, and would have a hard time finding the bait. To slove this problem a Cylume lightstick is placed by each hook. On Halloween you may see kids running around with green glow sticks, they are the same thing. In one trip a boat may go through over five thousand of them.
Cylume light stick- $1.00
Forty miles of microfiliment line- $1,800
Radio beacon-(6x) $1,800 ea.
Polyballs-(3per 1000 hooks) $6.00