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Tight Lines

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  • Aug 29, 2015 8:00 am

    Junior anglers shine with their unlikely fish

    After a week of “iffy” weather,

    sunny skies on Sunday brought the crowd out for the Bermuda Anglers Club Front Street weigh-in for their Junior Angling Tournament.

    This was a great success with over 100 children attending the proceedings and exhibiting the green T-shirts given to each entrant. With plenty of prize categories, there was considerable excitement as a parade of often unlikely fish were taken to the weighmaster for...

  • Aug 22, 2015 8:00 am

    Some fabulous fishing to be had despite weather

    The rain and thunder has not been particularly encouraging for anglers although the forecast for the weekend is even less so. Maybe a positive of such activity is that it cools things off, hopefully reducing the likelihood of any tropical activity as Danny churns its way through the Atlantic.

    After last year, most boaters are a bit gun-shy of such storms and will be keeping a weather-eye out. This is well and good, but there can still...

  • Aug 15, 2015 8:00 am

    Still time for someone to catch a sea monster

    The Bermuda-Azores high pressure system is doing its thing and conditions are akin to those that cause the doldrums in the mid-Pacific.

    Sometimes it can get so calm and almost eerie that it is easy to see why Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner referred to “a painted ship upon a painted ocean”.

    This is typical of August when the fishing can be unpredictable and many look for signs of great things to...

  • Aug 8, 2015 8:00 am

    Some good-natured competition awaits

    The hectic holiday weekend is over and things are returning to normal, despite the mid-week inclement weather.

    For many, it is back to work but at least the pressure is off for the weekend when anglers can again concentrate on their pastime. With the forecast for the next few days more encouraging, the United States v Bermuda Marlin Release Tournament should go off following an earlier postponement.

    There is still time to get...

  • Aug 1, 2015 8:00 am

    Plenty of sporting opportunities for non-cricket lovers

    Who would have thought it? After the forecast was made and the organisers saw the weather on Friday and Saturday, all wind and rain, it was decided to postpone the Bermuda v United States Release Challenge Tournament.

    Then, lo and behold, doesn’t Sunday turn out to be an absolutely gorgeous, eminently fishable day, which certainly came as a surprise to all concerned.

    To give the meteorologists their due, the weather that day was...

  • Jul 25, 2015 8:00 am

    Little to separate top four in Triple Crown

    The long-awaited change in the weather and a break from the scorching days and humidity has finally arrived and although most householders welcomed a bit of rain, the generally inclement conditions did put sport fishing on hold for a bit, but not before the bulk of the month’s organised activity was said and done.

    The Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament, the Island’s oldest at 42 years, provided an exciting weekend for the 260...

  • Tuna and wahoo back on the menu
    Jul 18, 2015 8:00 am

    Tuna and wahoo back on the menu

    High summer and the beat goes on. The marlin fleet continues to work the deep blue briny for that prized game fish that adorns so many walls, magazine covers and which figures so prominently in the literature and lore of big game fishing.

    With something like 25 marlin caught during the one-day World Cup event and the Bermuda Blast tournament the previous week seeing 51 billfish caught and released, hopes were high for the 39 boats...

  • Jul 11, 2015 8:00 am

    It’s not just fishing season, but marlin season

    Towering cumulous clouds, heat squalls, calm, hot days and bright blue skies all characterise high summer and peak fishing season.

    The high-tech fishing machines cutting snow white swaths through the channels and harbours all speak to this not being simply fishing season, but marlin season.

    The real start to what will inevitably become known as marlin week got off to a bumper start when a boat fishing off Cape Verde boated a...

  • Jul 4, 2015 8:00 am

    Don’t bet against a Bermuda World Cup winner

    Today is the day. Along with the 300-odd million Americans celebrating the anniversary of their independence, at least one crew will be celebrating winning the Blue Marlin World Cup. And that will be a party.

    With 120-plus boats entered in this worldwide event, and a substantial amount of money going to the sole winner there will be real competition in locating and catching a real trophy fish that betters the 500lb mark.

    This year...

  • Jun 27, 2015 8:00 am

    You don’t have to go far offshore for a big catch

    A dominant Bermuda — Azores high pressure system, the prevalence of huge, towering cumulus clouds against a bright blue sky, and moderate breezes from the west and southwest with the ever so occasional rain shower that seemingly comes out of nowhere and lasts for just a few minutes — does that describe high summer in Bermuda or what?

    It certainly describes ideal conditions for billfish and you should be in no doubt that the billfish...

  • Record-breaking opportunities await offshore
    Jun 20, 2015 8:00 am

    Record-breaking opportunities await offshore

    The family-oriented holidays are behind us now and the weather has suddenly taken on that summertime glow with hot, hazy days and mostly calm conditions. Forgiving the odd shower or too; which actually are part of the summer scenario, the offshore conditions are just about as optimal as they are going to get.

    The Marion-Bermuda sailboat race will keep much of the visiting billfish fleet at bay for a few more days but a bunch is expected...

  • Jun 13, 2015 8:00 am

    Size isn’t everything when it comes to boats

    Under bright sun, the Bacardi weigh station added some colour and interest to the Dockyard area as hundreds of tourists off the cruise ships docked there paraded by the proceedings.

    The largest fish in the tournament came off Capt Edward Barnes’s Class A boat, Hoodini, with Ronnie Stervinou catching a 65.4 pound wahoo, one of their four wahoo taken along Bermuda’s southwestern Edge.

    Wahoo were by far the dominant species brought...

  • Jun 6, 2015 8:00 am

    Size does matter, so chase yellowfin not blackfin

    Last Sunday saw the western channel remain undisturbed by the passage of a flotilla as the 40-odd boats set to take part in the Bacardi Tournament went into standby mode pending the “go-no go” decision which came late on Saturday afternoon, giving entrants a chance to make alternative plans as postponement seemed the inevitable outcome.

    There was little issue taken with this decision because although conditions were due to moderate,...

  • May 30, 2015 8:00 am

    To troll or chum that is the question

    Summer rapidly progresses and with the official rites behind us, the first of the season’s major angling events is upon us.

    The ever-popular Bacardi angling tournament is planned for tomorrow and there will be lots of people keeping an eye on the weather conditions.

    To fish or not to fish? This is always an angst-ridden decision.

    The difference between conditions that make for a pleasant day on the water for all boats,...

  • May 23, 2015 8:00 am

    A weekend for fishing to take a back seat

    Summer is unequivocally here — the inshore waters will be hectic as many will be taking their first dip overboard and the raft-ups approach awesome. Picnicking and boating is the name of the game this weekend and fishing tends to take a bit of a backseat as the holiday festivities and family responsibilities are dragged front and centre.

    As the excitement starts to subside, attention will again shift to the offshore which has continued...

  • May 16, 2015 8:00 am

    No rhyme nor reason behind spotty start to season

    Not quite what is expected at this time of the year. With the official start of summer barely a week away and the focus on boats and their servicing nearing peak, prepared anglers should be enjoying a burst of spring activity out on the briny before they are confined to the inshore for next weekend’s picnicking and paddling pleasure. Instead many are scratching their heads, wondering whether to make the run or not.

    Things have been...

  • May 9, 2015 8:00 am

    Stop dawdling and get ready for some action

    It is way too late to still be dawdling and waiting for the fishing to come to you. The boat will be required for May 24 sooner than you think and there is some good fishing to be had; so, get on with the programme!

    The commercial and charter fleet have been taking full advantage of what has to be the spring wahoo run. Catches of up to a dozen have been posted with some of the fish being substantially better than twenty-something pound...

  • May 2, 2015 8:00 am

    Get ready, the fishing season is finally upon us

    Put all thought of winter behind you. It is May and that means that fishing season is here whether you are ready for it or not.

    Not surprisingly, the commercial fleet was ready to take advantage of whatever might happen and so this week, despite some blustery conditions, a burst of wahoo activity had a number of boats working Bermuda’s Edge, primarily to the south and southwest where the Island provided some sheltering effect from the...

  • Apr 25, 2015 8:00 am

    Don’t wait too long or you may miss the boat

    Waiting for a gilt-edged invitation? Hopefully not or have you forgotten that spring comes early to Bermuda and summer is never far behind. Procrastinating and dawdling about waiting for inspiration to get the boat ready can really lead to missing the boat and there are signs that things might just be headed that way.

    Normally, a spring run of wahoo defines that period but it is not reliable. Sometimes it is so short-lived as to go...

  • Apr 18, 2015 8:00 am

    Whales are cavorting and the fish are running

    Everything is warming up nicely now, both on land and at sea. The winter gear is being consigned to the closet and brighter colours are appearing on the streets. Birds are nesting, flowers are blooming and the inshore waters have come to life with jacks approaching the “plentiful” description as they cruise between the islands in the sound, tormenting beds and knots of bait.

    The offshore is seeing the last of the whales cavort their way...

  • Apr 11, 2015 8:00 am

    Time to drop the hook and get chum into the water

    Now, let’s not all go racing out there at once. The weather is improving rapidly, the boredom has become unbearable and there are even fish willing to please, so has summer actually arrived? Well, no, not really.

    For a start, more than half of the Island’s keener anglers do not have their boats ready and are not in a position to take advantage of a smashing start to the season. For another, things are not so good as to cause mayhem...

  • Apr 4, 2015 8:00 am

    There is more than one reason to fly a kite

    Did you get your kite up yesterday? Enough Bermudians and a fair few residents hailing from far and wide all attempted to do so as part of the Good Friday celebrations. Although there was sufficient wind, varying degrees of success were had.

    It is funny to think of this local obsession with paper and string that has its roots in a teacher’s attempt to explain a Biblical event to youth. Perhaps even stranger is that the kite phenomenon...

  • 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...

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