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Tight Lines

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  • Mar 28, 2015 8:00 am

    Light tackle tournament puts off turning 50 for another year

    Spring is definitely here and if you don’t believe it, despite the chilly mornings, just look at some of Nature’s more apparent signs. These are close to home and really do not require a trip offshore, although such a voyage seems to offer rewards of its own.

    Just this past week or so, a commercial fisherman netted a really large school of jacks off one of the islands in the Great Sound. A sure sign that the winter is giving way to...

  • Mar 21, 2015 8:00 am

    Warmer temperatures mean influx of fish

    Spring has sprung! The vernal equinox has occurred and we move toward summer, believe that or not! Despite the windy conditions that make the offshore anything but inviting, there are lots of positive signs.

    Sure, the weather may feel on the cool side although the sun is warming. Not only does it warm the individual up on an otherwise chilly day but it is continually pouring heat energy into the ocean in the form of solar insolation...

  • Mar 14, 2015 8:00 am

    Cracking weather, plentiful chum – no fish

    Well, there may be old wives’ tales that deals with March’s relationship to lions and lambs, but some of the days this past week have been absolutely ideal for offshore fishing; with one small caveat, the lack of fish.

    It just isn’t happening yet. Boats going out and doing the trolling thing are managing to catch a few wahoo and, although the average size is quite rewarding, the numbers have a good way to go to justify most weekenders’...

  • Mar 7, 2015 8:00 am

    Advent of daylight saving time gives rise to the late show

    Summer is coming and probably quicker than most people think. It can be hard to believe but starting to get the boat and fishing gear ready for the season ahead is probably a timely activity.

    The move to daylight saving time this weekend brings about a few changes of its own. Nothing that really affects Mother Nature, but a few things that will alter how mortal men and women plan their lives. It will be dark until almost 8am, negating...

  • Battle to eradicate lionfish has already been lost
    Feb 28, 2015 8:00 am

    Battle to eradicate lionfish has already been lost

    Winter cannot last forever despite the fact that the weather of the last few weeks both here and elsewhere would suggest that global warming is a complete misnomer. Look on the bright side, February is all but over and now there is March to look forward to.

    And March can be good. There have been years when large numbers of jacks have roared into the inshore waters, bringing a taste of spring. This is a prime time to hunt for anchovies...

  • Feb 21, 2015 8:00 am

    Blue marlin is Bermuda’s angling attraction

    It is safe to say that no sports angler did any fishing here this past week and the coming weekend doesn’t look promising either. A few of the commercial operators have managed to work their lobster gear but the offshore has simply been unworkable.

    With little to inspire shore-bound anglers and an increasing awareness that a growing portion of the angling public is composed of a younger generation, this is an ideal opportunity to...

  • Feb 14, 2015 8:00 am

    Catching bluefin tuna is easier said than done

    Winter, the way it should be. None of these calm, sunny warm days nonsense; the real old-fashioned sequence of a few hours of clam, followed by winds increasing to gale force, the passage of cold fronts and bands of chilly rain.

    Although these make life difficult for the fisherman and nigh on impossible for anglers to plan their weekends, the big shake-up probably enhances the water quality so that the plankton thrive and the food web...

  • The angler faces a month onshore pottering about
    Feb 7, 2015 8:00 am

    The angler faces a month onshore pottering about

    February — stay home at weekends, go to the Miami Boat Show or fumble around with minor repairs to the boat or fishing gear. Pretty much the only choices for the angler at this juncture.

    There are a few wahoo offshore and a tiny bit of tuna action but getting out continuously enough to establish any sort of movements or concentrations of bait or game fish is proving nigh on impossible, making it really a “catch as catch can”...

  • Jan 31, 2015 8:00 am

    Stories of undersea treasure no more than winter fairy tales

    If the forecast is anything to go by it looks like being another weekend best spent ashore. Winter fishing is pretty much a non-starter for weekenders — a calm day is necessary but it doesn’t help much if the seas have been mountainous for the previous three days.

    It takes a while for things to settle down and reports indicate that the offshore tides are nothing short of awesome. These conditions have apparently moved much of the...

  • Jan 24, 2015 8:00 am

    If you absolutely must venture out, then bottom bouncing it is

    Despite a few not far short of gorgeous days during the week just past, there isn’t much for the weekender to look forward to. A fell forecast offers little reason to even go down to the boat and even less to do anything that might be considered angling.

    Not that there aren’t a few fish out there. Commercial trollers have managed a few wahoo here and there and, while it would be hard to justify committing a day to dragging baits along...

  • Jan 17, 2015 8:00 am

    Greed is the enemy

    Not exactly fishing weather, by any stretch of the imagination, at least not for the weekender who seeks pleasurable days afloat with the promise of reward.

    Professionals usually concentrate on other fishing methods during the months of January through about March, although a very few will continue to troll and take their chances with the mixed results that seem to be par for the course at present.

    There are a few wahoo about...

  • Jan 10, 2015 8:00 am

    The armchair angler’s time has come

    The passage of the year’s first real cold front probably knocked thoughts of venturing out on to the ocean out of most people’s minds as they scurried for parkas, boots and other winter paraphernalia. And, to be honest, the forecast for the next few days is anything but glorious and that will put an end to any hopes that a weekender might have had.

    Having said that, there has been an interesting variety of fish caught over the last week...

  • Jan 3, 2015 8:00 am

    Time to look at the overlooked angling possibilities

    Happy New Year and what to do now? The festivities are over, the tree and ornaments are being trashed, boxed and otherwise put away for another 11 months but the boat has remained idle for near on a month and the weather doesn’t look too encouraging. A bit of a dilemma, to say the least.

    So, with turkey and ham being off the menu for the duration, there is always the going fishing for a bit for the table. The channel offers potential in...

  • Dec 27, 2014 8:00 am

    2014 was annus horribilis for anglers

    As the days start to lengthen out ever so slightly, 2014 comes to an end and, for many anglers and commercial fishermen, it could not come sooner.

    The bottom line is that this has been the worst year for fishing in just about anyone’s memory. And that is without anything even approaching a redeeming feature.

    Let’s start off with wahoo. Normally the mainstay of the commercial fishing industry and a species that sports fishermen...

  • Dec 20, 2014 8:00 am

    T-shirts are a safe Christmas present for anglers

    There won’t be many making it out onto the briny this weekend or over the two day holiday that is finally upon us. There is a glimmering of hope for the coming weekend but one must suspect that a combination of inclement weather and thick heads will keep the numbers to an absolute minimum.

    Not that there aren’t a few reasons to go. With most of the commercial fleet concentrating on lobsters because this is one time of year that luxury...

  • Dec 13, 2014 8:00 am

    Tight Lines: Earning international recognition

    Why is it that anything even approaching a decent day for fishing; bright sunshine, light winds and a virtual calm, almost always occur midweek when the workers among us have no choice but to keep our noses to the grindstone. Add to the fact that it is little more than a week or so from the onset of the Yuletide and the chances of the amateurs making it out there are somewhere between slim and none.

    About the only positive spin that can...

  • Dec 6, 2014 8:00 am

    Tight lines: Old habits die hard when it comes to rockfish

    It’s that time of the year again. Where the weather has failed to prevent offshore excursions, social pressures and the festivities associated with this time of year have also done their share to keep anglers home. Those few who have successfully avoided such pressures have been treated to masses of seaweed and a conspicuous lack of fish. There has truly been little to encourage a venture out onto the briny, certainly by the weekender who, no...

  • Nov 15, 2014 8:00 am

    Bermuda offers potential for world records

    Time marches on and with it dwindles the number of angling opportunities open to locals.

    With the holiday season not all that far away and the clean-up thanks to Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo still on-going, many will be tasked with getting home and hearth ready for the festivities.

    That and the regular onset of wintry gales pretty much keep the aficionados ashore.

    Commercial efforts still include a few wahoo...

  • Nov 8, 2014 8:00 am

    Year has not followed usual patterns

    With darkness coming a lot earlier than it did just a few days ago and that distinctive feel in the air that some of the more thin-blooded refer to as chilly, almost everyone is moving into their winter mode.

    Throw in the aftermath of last month’s tropical activity and boat owners are doubly wary of leaving their craft on moorings. Winter gales often do as much damage to anchored boats as their summertime counterparts and, for many,...

  • Oct 25, 2014 8:00 am

    Angling brought to a halt by Gonzalo

    Well, it looks like this year’s angling has come to an abrupt end. Whatever ideas Tropical Storm (and then some) Fay failed to knock out of people’s heads, the build-up to, and the subsequent fury of, Hurricane Gonzalo put them firmly to rest.

    There was a mad rush to check on boats after Fay, followed ever so closely with calls to boat-trailering firms to get boats out of water and on to dry land. While plenty of boats stayed on their...

  • Oct 11, 2014 8:00 am

    ‘Wicked Tuna’ may be as good as it gets this winter

    It looks like the 2014 season has come to a very sudden end indeed. So sudden that it has come as a surprise to many operators, with the commercial men very glad that they have the lobster fishery to fall back on. Not that that is all that great at the moment, but it should improve as the water temperature drops.

    There have been a few wahoo around but hardly enough to justify a day’s fuel expense. The yellowfin tuna are all but absent...

  • Oct 4, 2014 8:00 am

    Migrating mackerel and tuna combine to give Island a miss

    It rather looks like a sudden movement from the sublime to the ridiculous has heralded the swan song to this year’s angling season.

    Put in realistic terms, a commercial boat goes out one day and scores a dozen or more prime wahoo, only to return to the same area the next day for a paltry singleton and a couple of blackfin. This followed by days most productively spent at home working on the boat; borne out by no one else having much to...

  • Sep 27, 2014 8:00 am

    Lack of wahoo run corroborates 2014 as the year that wasn’t

    At the risk of putting one’s mouth on it, the adage of “October, all over” comes to mind.

    While there have been hurricanes in the Bermuda area during that month, certainly the most memorable cyclones of recent years, Emily and Fabian, took place in September. With the Atlantic tropical region rather quieter than usual and the local water temperature also starting to drop, the chances of a significant event are rapidly...

  • Sep 20, 2014 8:00 am

    They think it’s all over but it’s not – fish are still biting

    It is becoming apparent that the angling season is coming to a close. Not the fishing season — that still has some weeks to run before it too becomes stymied as the winter gales take their toll on fishable days and the falling temperatures convince the migratory species to head south — but the competitive angling season.

    Most of the tournaments are done for the year, although there are a few intra-club events on the calendar. Many...

  • Sep 13, 2014 8:00 am

    Wahoo tournament ticks all the boxes

    How do you judge the success of a tournament? Is it the size of the fish? The success rate? The winners? The losers? The weather conditions? No matter which criteria you might want to use, it is pretty hard to call this year’s Royal Gazette Wahoo Tournament anything but a resounding success.

    First off, there were 21 boats that weighed in. This out of a total of 46 registered. Amazing, as they represented something like 46 per cent of...

  • Sep 6, 2014 8:00 am

    Seaweed mass threatens to tie our wahoo tournament in knots

    September, start of lobster season and final month of the angling calendar, to all intents and purposes, is already here!

    It hardly seems possible that so much time has flown by and now, with a mediocre year behind us, comes the expectation of a final burst of activity that will satisfy the sports fishermen and give the commercial anglers something to augment their early lobster catches with. For just about everyone, this is the time...

  • Aug 30, 2014 8:00 am

    Fingers crossed that unseasonal conditions relent for wahoo tournament

    Rain, rain and more rain! All that should have given us some sympathy for Noah, but then throw in a midweek blow and the fishing scene has had little to offer this past week or so. Even the commercial fleet has been hampered by these unseasonable conditions. Fortunately, it is still August and a period of improvement is not yet out of the question.

    Perhaps the monsoons and hurricanes will give us a rest and allow us to get some...

  • Aug 23, 2014 8:00 am

    Mystery of the yellowfin tuna holds key to paucity of billfish

    This is ridiculous! Here it is the hottest month of the year, when the fishing should be approaching its best and the sea conditions about as welcoming as they ever are and what is happening — pretty much nothing!

    In the normal scheme of things, August is a slow month, largely a result of the sweltering temperatures, with the real fish activity occurring early in the morning and the very late afternoon. Those times were the prime...

  • Aug 16, 2014 8:00 am

    Shark tales are becoming all the rage. Imagine that!

    Has everyone taken leave of their senses? Just because the Discovery Channel is hosting its annual Shark Week feature, that is no reason for otherwise sane and sensible anglers to suddenly start actively fishing for the critters. And it seems to be a far-reaching malady, with even this newspaper carrying details of a gentleman who caught just such a beast off the South Shore and then returned it to the sea.

    Why the sudden focus on these...

  • Aug 9, 2014 8:00 am

    Challenger shows what can be accomplished amid the slim pickings

    Summer doldrums: hot, calm and even the fish seem to take a break — it may be not the best time for the angler, although there are good arguments to the contrary.

    To start with, the forecast for the weekend is ideal for a voyage offshore and, while the inner bottom and deeper reef areas offer some diversions, the veteran will continue to concentrate on Bermuda’s Edge and the off-lying banks.

    Not that such a strategy is necessarily...

  • Aug 2, 2014 8:00 am

    Big-sized yellowfins can bring meaty end to long holiday weekend

    Had enough of picnics, barbecues, raft ups and camping? With still some time left for most of us in the long holiday weekend, the smart option is to take advantage of the predicted calm weather and to head offshore for some sport. This can have the advantage of allowing some fresh fish into the diet, a change from the overdose of fishcakes, hot dogs and burgers that has been the hallmark of recent days.

    Although the billfish tournaments...

  • Jul 26, 2014 8:00 am

    Moore the merrier as Fa-La-Me lands Sea Horse title

    Just about all over for another year! Billfish can move on over into the back seat after occupying the limelight and most of the headlines. After a month of concentrating on the deep blue water and the big fish, things will start to return to normal with more traditional fishing again becoming the norm. Not that the month of July was home to anything other than considerable excitement.

    The suggestion that it might be a close finish to...

  • Jul 19, 2014 8:00 am

    Eight-year-old Ricks lands potential small fry record

    The 14th annual Bermuda Big Game Classic came to a thrilling finish when captain Travis Butters’s Que Mas came from behind to take first place honours with a total of 1,400 points garnered from two blue marlin releases and two white marlin releases.

    In second and third place, respectively with 1,200 points were captain Tommy Lynskey’s Uno Mas and local skipper captain James Robinson’s Wound Up.

    This signature event had attracted...

  • Jul 12, 2014 8:00 am

    Sea Toy claims comeback win in Billfish Blast

    It’s hot and with it the ocean has also heated up, right up to the point where the marlin like it. Definitely species that favour tropical temperatures, it is not until mid-June or July that the billfishing really turns on here and, just lately, it has done exactly that.

    This year’s Bermuda Triple Crown got off to an exciting start as most of the fleet also competed in the Blue Marlin World Cup.

    The search for a really big fish...

  • Jul 5, 2014 8:00 am

    Bermuda boasts finest blue marlin in the planet

    Bright sunshine beaming down on calm, hot, clear blue water marked only by the wash of the boat with a selection of lures leaving bubble trails in the boat’s wake.

    Doesn’t that conjure up the essence of working the deep blue briny for a trophy billfish?

    Heady stuff for most anglers and the prerogative of a select few who devote literally millions of dollars to the pursuit of the ultimate game fish.

    Happily, this little...

  • Jun 28, 2014 8:00 am

    Plenty of big bruisers lurking out of sight

    By Tight Lines

    The summer is moving on relentlessly: it is getting hotter and calmer as the Bermuda-Azores high pressure system starts to dominate.

    As a result, the weather has settled down and with it, the sea conditions have moderated to the point that the currents around the Edge and Banks are somewhat more reliable and chumming is a worthwhile option.

    There is absolutely no question that there are schools of yellowfin...

  • Jun 21, 2014 8:00 am

    Barnes takes honours with huge specimen

    High summer as the competitive angling really got under way last Sunday with the Bacardi tournament going off on its first alternate date.

    For the only time in the long history of this tournament the winners were not dominated by wahoo and tuna. In fact, there were precious few wahoo brought to the weigh-in and only slightly more tuna.

    The fish in the “Other” category seem to have finally come through with some rather outstanding...

  • Jun 14, 2014 8:00 am

    Conditions conducive to good fishing

    A far better forecast for this weekend augurs well for the annual Bacardi tournament. Several days of inclement weather and a forecast for worse and more of it, was enough to convince organisers to practice some discretion and to postpone the event.

    This was undoubtedly a source of disappointment for many of the approximately 50 boat crews entered but although the really bad weather forecast never developed, there were probably not too...

  • Jun 7, 2014 8:00 am

    Fingers crossed that Bacardi tournament steers clear of foul weather

    It is tournament time but the present forecast for the weekend is not particularly encouraging for the first of the season’s big tournaments. A lot will depend on how quickly the region of bad weather moves through. If it comes earlier than anticipated, tomorrow should be fine; but, if it tarries, even by a few hours, then Sunday will not be the sort of day that sponsors want bouncing about the briny.

    To be fair, large sponsored...

  • May 31, 2014 8:00 am

    Wahoo, wahoo and more wahoo. Get out and fill your boots

    Well, you cannot have too many excuses left in the bag for not heading offshore. The weather is more than conducive to such expeditions, the familiar duties should be out of the way, for a while at least, and the fish are biting!

    They are biting just about everywhere around this Island and that is something that is not often the case. Ditch the procrastination and get in on some of the best spring angling that has been seen here for a...

  • May 24, 2014 8:00 am

    Bermuda Anglers Club show they are not to be taken lightly

    As befits what is the start to the inter-club competitive season, the 2014 Bermuda Fishing Clubs Annual Tournament got off to a great start under blue skies and calm conditions last Sunday. Although the bite was not as furious as it had been, it was certainly good enough to guarantee action at the weighstation, with the three clubs weighing in 28 eligible fish. Eligibility was based on the fish weighing at least one-half of the line test...

  • May 17, 2014 8:00 am

    ‘Bermudaful’ weather means wahoo will be only too happy to please

    The parade of bright, warm and sunny “Bermudaful” days has definitely started and with it has come the return to summer pastimes. The commercial and charter fishing operators have been getting into the swing of things with some notable successes and with the result that much of the local market has already become saturated with wahoo.

    While that poses a conundrum for the commercial boat, it can be viewed as a real opportunity for the...

  • May 10, 2014 8:00 am

    Wahoo presenting excellent opportunities despite the odd off day

    This could be the weekend that you have been waiting for! The forecast is for the sort of seas that encourage amateurs, the days are long and there is no doubt among the cognoscenti that the season is into full swing.

    Do not be in any doubt that there are fish out there. Thus far, it is the inconsistency of results, along with the rather blustery weather, that has kept even the commercial operators from fully exploiting the offshore...

  • May 3, 2014 8:00 am

    Jacks provoke a roaring trade in race to land small-game bounty

    Winter is over, according to the local fishing calendar and it is now formally tournament season. That may have been in doubt this week, but now the bluster has gone out of the weather and boats have been able to start concentrating on the offshore scene.

    It takes a certain amount of effort to provide an accurate picture of the Banks and other fishing spots that the work of a single boat is unlikely to uncover. Such information is...

  • Apr 26, 2014 8:00 am

    Window of opportunity to land boatloads of snappers is closing

    Despite the blustery weather of the last week or so, there is every sign that the best of the angling has started. Not that many of the weekenders have had a chance between the feast day and the daily grind that comes with a day job.

    Having said that, there was nothing to stop most from doing a bit of prep work, particularly the stuff that might take booking up, like an engine service. With the May 24 barely three weeks away, the marine...

  • Apr 19, 2014 8:00 am

    Get ready, fishing season is on its way

    Between the rather blustery weather earlier in the week and the Good Friday holiday, there hasn’t been much in the way of fishing effort expended but that is probably just the calm before the storm.

    Improving weather and a reduction in familial duties will see the weekenders starting to get their boats over and out onto the briny.

    After all, May, the recognised start of the Bermuda fishing season is merely days away!


  • Apr 12, 2014 8:00 am

    Get out on the Edge for that early bite before Good Friday

    By Pickled Onion

    Longer days, bright sunshine and warmer weather should have put the wintry malaise into the past and angling should become a priority as time flies by and the year inexorably progresses. Although we try to do so, it is hard to define the fishing year on a calendar and the best cues come from the conditions and results posted by offshore expeditions.

    As might be expected, the wahoo action seems to be picking...

  • Apr 5, 2014 8:00 am

    Record chasers may be best served looking for blue marlin

    Put aside the cobwebs of winter and grab the season’s angling by the horns, as it were. Although it is, arguably, early dates yet, the month will rapidly fleet past and it will be May, when there is no disagreement that it is fishing season. By then, it is also likely that some of the best opportunities will have become things of the past.

    While it has been a bit of a guessing game up to now, with the lobster season now past, the...


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