Blustery weather keeps the anglers onshore
March may have slipped in in an ovine fashion but it is doing plenty of lion-like roaring as it makes its way out. Now, if only we would get some of those showers that April is said to bring in precedence of the floral abundance associated with May.
Unfortunately, all those adages were coined in temperate climes where they actually have some basis in fact. Here in the sub-tropics, April is often the onset of the hot season and certainly there should be no shortage of blooms. Why else would the Annual Exhibition, formerly the agricultural show, be held at this time of the year if it did not favour flowers and crops at their best? Having said that, we could certainly use some rain as we are already about 50 percent behind on where we should be for this time of the year.
So, why the recent cold snap and blustery weather has much been a topic of conversation, there is not much in the way of information from the offshore. The foul weather of late has kept ideas of the deep water out of the heads of most of us. The commercial fishermen have been wringing the inner bottom for whatever lobsters they could entice into their traps before the season closes on the final day of the month. As a result, there has not been much trolling effort and, consequently, a great deal of mystery may surround the state of the blue water fishery.
The “sour grapes” syndrome, of course, provides most of us with the notion that the fishing is poor with hardly any wahoo and even fewer tuna willing to oblige.
We certainly aren’t missing anything; at least until someone comes home with a bumper catch leaving the rest of us moaning about how some people are so much luckier than we are.
To be a bit more empirical, the offshore water temperature has risen to the point where the game species that call this part of the world home can and should be on the offshore grounds. With each spring come some oceanographic processes that help fuel the production of bait and that almost inevitably draws the attention of the pelagic predators that we, in turn, pursue in the name of sport and fresh fish.
Actually, it is nothing short of amazing when you start to put things into perspective. We don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the juvenile flying fish, never-bites, squid and other creatures that may form vast schools just under the surface.
We know that they are all some sort of bait but we barely see them and even more infrequently do we think about their existence. On the other hand, we do think about catching robins to use as live bait, quite rightly figuring that some larger fish must feed on them opportunistically.
Actual fish that we try to catch include things like mackerel (really little tunny or Atlantic black skipjack) and occasionally the skipjack (oceanic bonito). Now, both of these, along with the blackfin tuna, are classified as game fish in their own right and have, at times, been the direct object of some of our light tackle attention. What is funny is that although we see them as game fish they are in fact the natural food or bait for some of the larger beasts that live in the briny.
For instance, some research has put the blackfin high on the dietary choice list of the blue marlin; yellowfin have been known to devour even largish mackerel, many places routinely use oceanic bonito as bait for larger game fish and who hasn’t used a live mackerel to entice a big amber from the depths or to get the attention of a razor-toothed wahoo?
Big wahoo probably eat smaller wahoo; marlin definitely eat smaller billfish and, judging from what most of us have seen on occasion, tuna will feed on just about anything that they can get their maw about. There is nothing delicate about the “fish eat fish” world of the open blue ocean. Just as it powers the life cycles of the denizens of the deep, it is this primeval force that drives us to go out in search of bigger and better fish, year after year, always looking to show our prowess, ability and power in the piscatorial pursuits. With any luck, we now have much to look forward to.
The Bermuda Game Fishing Association, a body made up of the local IGFA-affiliated angling clubs which serves to approve and maintain Bermuda records, also works to coordinate the scheduling of tournaments and activities by the various clubs. So, at long last, that body has released this year’s schedule and we can all start planning our lives for the next six or seven months.
BERMUDA GAME FISHING ASSOCIATION
2012 Tournament Schedule
Date Tournament Category
May 6 Bermuda Anglers Club Fun Tournament IGFA Affiliated Clubs
May 13 Bermuda Game Fishing Clubs Annual Tournament Members and Guests
May 13 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments Members Only
May 27 Sandys Boat Club Tournament OPEN
May 27 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments (alternate) Members Only
May 27 Bermuda Game Fishing Clubs Annual Tournament (1st alternate) IGFA Affiliated Clubs
June 10 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments Members Only
June 10 Bacardi Rum Fishing Tournament OPEN
June 17-23 Bermuda Anglers International Light Tackle Tournament (4 days fishing) Invitational
June 17 Bacardi Rum Fishing Tournament (alternate) OPEN
June 17 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments (alternate) Members Only
June 27-30 Brien/Pallot Fly Fishing Tournament Invitational
June 23 BWAC Members and SSAC Tournament (away to Boston) Members Only
June 24 57th Bermuda Regiment Annual Tournament OPEN
June 24 Bermuda Anglers Club Annual Tournament Members Only
June 24 Bermuda Game Fishing Clubs Annual Tournament
(2nd alternate) IGFA Affiliated Clubs
June 24 Sandys Boat Club Tournament (alternate) OPEN
July 3-7 Bermuda Blast Billfish Tournament (2 days fishing) OPEN
July 3 Bermuda Anglers Club Annual Tournament (alternate) Members Only
July 4 Blue Marlin World Cup OPEN
July 8 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments Members Only
July 15 57th Bermuda Regiment Annual Tournament (alternate) OPEN
July 11 15 Bermuda Big Game Classic (3 days fishing) OPEN
July 18 - 22 Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament (3 days fishing) OPEN
July 22 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments (alternate) Members Only
July 29 Bermuda Anglers Club Fun Tournament Members & Guests
August 12 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments Members Only
August 19 Bermuda Anglers Club Junior Tournament OPEN
August 26 Bermuda Anglers Club Fun Tournament Members & Guests
August 26 Sea Horse Anglers Club Fun Tournament Members & Guests
August 26 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments (alternate) Members Only
September 9 Royal Gazette News Wahoo Tournament Residents
September 9 Sea Horse Anglers Club Annual Tournament Members Only
September 9 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments Members Only
September 16 Royal Gazette Wahoo Tournament (1st alternate) Residents
September 16 Sea Horse Anglers Club Annual Tournament (1st alternate) Members Only
September 23 Royal Gazette Wahoo Tournament (2nd alternate) Residents
September 23 Sea Horse Anglers Club Annual Tournament (2nd alternate) Members Only
September 23 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments (alternate) Members Only
September 30 Bermuda Anglers Club Fun Tournament Members & Guests
October 7 Bermuda Anglers Club Fun Tournament Members & Guests
October 7 BWAC Bacardi 2012 Points Series Tournaments Members Only
November 4 Bermuda Anglers Club Fun Tournament Members & Guests
Although it is just over a month to the first event, things will happen quicker than you think. After all, it is now April and next weekend is a long holiday weekend for most of us even though it is not one that is associated with boating or any other waterborne activities.
Quite apart from spending some down time getting the gear and craft ready for the forthcoming season (for those who stick to the time-honoured May to November timetable), the action really can pick up at any time now. The Boy Scouts believe in being prepared and, around now, anglers should start believing that it is time to just about time to go in search of Tight lines!!!
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