I may have solved a small, but annoying, mystery the other day. While checking over the fishing gear for the upcoming cruise I replaced the 20 lb. test braided nylon that serves as fishing line on the trolling rod. The existing braided nylon on the reel was a few years old, plus I had lost quite a bit of it over the years due to snags, cutting the line, etc. I spent $12 for 150 yards of new material. As I retied the swivel on the line I noticed excessive wear where the upper fitting goes into the barrel. You can see the irregular shape and corrosion around of the hole in the the barrel on the left, below. That excess where must come from the vibrating lure as it is trolled behind Spartina. And it could have been the excess wear that cost us a very nice fish on the Spring trip.
To the right, above, is the upper fitting that pulled out of the swivel on day one as I fought a nice sized fish last May sailing from Onancock to Tangier Island. (Yes, I saved the broken fitting. Any fisherman that wants to tell the tale of line streaming off the reel, the drag screaming and Bruce jumping up out of an afternoon nap to say "What's that noise????!!!" followed by a good rod-bending fight ending only with a broken fitting and a lost fish knows that he needs to save all the evidence at hand to back up that story.) I think the wear and tear of trolling led to the swivel failure. So now I've got new line and a new swivel. Plus I'll check the swivel each day before I start trolling.
The good news is we had another swivel and lure aboard last Spring. It worked very well the following day as Bruce brought in a nice striper off of Smith Island. Dinner was great that evening.
Ok, fishing gear is in good shape. Now I need to start making lists of all the other little jobs I'll need to do once I'm back in town. Food supplies are in good shape, just need to buy the dried fruit and fresh vegetables. GPS, SPOT and vhf radio are in good shape, I do need to pick up some extra batteries. Clothes, hypothermia kit, water, charts, books, note books......lots of little details that need to be taken care of before I can cast off.