Backing Down

Landing big-game fish requires exceptional boat handling skills.
© Scott Kerrigan/
Today's sportfishing boats are fast, maneuverable and built to take on big seas. These vessels are really designed to go forward, so most seasoned captains will turn to chase down a big fish, but there are still plenty of times when you have to back 'er down to grab that leader. As a crew member on a multi-million dollar, globetrotting vessel once told me, "We work hard to go forward, but we live to go backwards!
Few sights ratchet up the anticipation level like spotting the boat next to you fire up the turbos and roar backwards. You know you are in a good spot for a bite, with a solid chance that your crew might be next.
Here's an angler that knows a thing or two about going in this direction to catch a blue marlin. Sam Jennings and his crew on the boat Revenge have logged many a mile backing down.
Pushing so many gross tons backwards is bound to generate some spray. However, when your pursuit takes you down sea and down wind, the results can be a beautiful waterfall.
This club isn't only for the heavy tackle guys. Even the fly-fishing sect can play in this sandbox
Up sea, upwind, and into the sun. Tough on the visibility, but it makes for a pretty scene from a chase boat.
Sometimes the timing works and the transom pierces the surface with little water coming in, other times the angler gets a face shot of saltwater. Here the crew decides to stand their ground. Pump and grind!
Just when you thought ankle deep was enough, the ocean makes another deposit. Better empty your pockets and grab a bucket.
Going backwards can really test the integrity of your vessel. Water pressure will find it's way into and out of every seam and crack. If you're not careful, it's a good way to sink the boat. Always put safety first and don't overfill the cockpit.

Save time and fuel with the FishTrack app.