Home » Columnists » Tight Lines

Tight Lines

SPORT COLUMNIST
RSS Feed of stories
  • 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!

    The...

  • 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...

  • Mar 29, 2014 8:00 am

    Now that lobster season is out of the way, we can have some fun

    Believe it or not, now is the time to plan your summer! April is upon us and, with the spring festivities just a couple of weeks away, the next thing you know, people will be expecting you to have the boat ready for May 24.

    This may sound strange, given March’s leonine growlings of the past few days, but rest assured that the season is progressing at an advanced rate and that the fishing is, in fact, ahead of the calendar date.

    As...

  • Keeping up with your prey can be best way to maximise spring run
    Mar 22, 2014 8:00 am

    Keeping up with your prey can be best way to maximise spring run

    It is officially spring and there has been some fairly decent trolling, even though there has been very little effort expended in that pursuit. As mentioned, a very limited number of anglers have taken advantage of the surprisingly good weather and sea conditions of the past few weeks, while the commercial fishermen have been making every last-ditch effort to maximise the benefit of their traps as the end of the spiny lobster season is now...

  • Mar 15, 2014 8:00 am

    Worst-kept secret is out as the blue marlin reveals its true colours

    “Beware the Ides of March!” Shakespeare wrote those words in his play, Julius Caesar, but they can certainly be applied to the local fishing scene at present.

    Getting a good view of what is happening is getting difficult because the commercial operators who provide the majority of the intelligence for the entire fishing fraternity are somewhere betwixt and between as they try to wring some profit out of the spiny lobster fishery and...

  • Mar 8, 2014 8:00 am

    World-record catches in Bermuda may be a thing of the past

    Time marches on and, with the clocks changing this weekend, the warm weather that seems to have stayed with us will really give us a taste of summer and the fishing surely cannot be too far off the season’s commencement.

    Despite limited effort, the catches offshore have consisted of welcome mixed bags of tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Bluefin tuna continue to make their presence felt, although most of the part-timers out looking for a bit of...

  • Mar 1, 2014 8:00 am

    Sea of change as weather warms up

    It is a bit of a change but, why not? A bit of a blustery start to the month; should mean that things quiet down and that nature will change the Island from wintry pall to summer splendour.

    There will be storms and rain but they won’t last; just watch the flowers as they start to put out buds and come into bloom.

    The same sort of changes occur in the sea as well: expect the humpback whales to be offshore any day now and for the...

  • Feb 22, 2014 8:00 am

    Porgy’s value on dinner table not to be underestimated

    It has been a good long time since anyone has seen a February such as this one and, now that March is nearly upon us, the thoughts of lions and lambs must be occurring. Certainly there have been numerous opportunities to get offshore, even though experience has probably convinced most that there has to be a gale or two in the very near future. So far, though, things have held and warm, sunny days with light winds have been the...

  • Feb 15, 2014 8:00 am

    To bait or not to bait – stock up on chobies now for rewards later

    It is time for a reality check! Although it is February and despite the wintry weather of the past few days, it has not really been cold and the warmer temperatures and the increasing solar insolation are contributing to the continuing upwards movement of the sea temperature.

    An early spring, at least, marine-wise, is pretty much on the cards and it will do well to be prepared for developments that will take place sooner than usual. For...

  • Feb 8, 2014 8:00 am

    Case to be made for unveiling heavy gear – even in February

    Confused or what? Here it is, February — normally the month of our winter’s discontent, marked by rainy skies, gales, hail and the thought that global warming has given way to nuclear winter — acting completely out of character.

    Anoraks, woolly sweaters, fur hats and boots have all had to stay in the closet as spring and almost summer-like conditions have persisted, with daily highs in the seventies. Almost every day has proved to be...

  • Feb 1, 2014 8:00 am

    Feeling hot, hot, hot. Be warned – the season may soon be upon us

    It may be a lot later than you think. Something that has gone unnoticed by many casual observers of nature is the considerably warmer than normal temperatures that the Island has been experiencing. There have been daily highs this past week that are just short of record-breaking and, if you think back, it has not been cold for most of the month that is now behind us.

    Apart from the fashionistas, who have had to leave some of their...

  • Jan 25, 2014 8:00 am

    There are rewards to be had for making it offshore

    After an unlikely but positively springlike interlude, Nature reverted to her normal self and the howling winds, grey skies and cooler temperatures have prevailed this past week.

    A bit of rough weather is actually welcome, as it aids the offshore mixing process, which, in turn, gives stimulus to the various chemical and biological processes that make for a productive ocean. Less than obvious around this Island, it still plays an...

  • Jan 11, 2014 8:00 pm

    Bream are not to be frowned upon in these desperate times

    It is no understatement to say that the present weather is not conducive to any fishing. The commercial operators may make an effort to get to their lobster traps and the very odd one may take advantage of a singularly good day to see if there are any wahoo or tuna willing to bite, but, for the most part, this, and the next few weeks, is the lowest point of the fishing year in Bermuda.

    So just what does happen at this time of the year?...

  • Dec 28, 2013 8:00 am

    Soares monster catch salvages dismal 2013 — just

    With the major December celebrations behind us now, things will start to return to normal, although the onset of yet another new year will give all pause for reflection on what is to come.

    Perhaps even more important is to look back on the year that was while it is still fresh enough to callow a reasonable level of recall. Give it another few months and the events of this past summer, or a summer two years gone, seem to be pretty much...

  • Dec 21, 2013 8:00 am

    East End could be catching zone before Christmas shutdown

    It is not worth even thinking about. The chances of you — or anyone else, for that matter — making it offshore this weekend are being quoted at somewhere between slim and none. What the weather will not prevent, the annual holiday festivities will. Not that there is a whole lot of incentive at the moment.

    Trollers have found a few wahoo, but they have been pretty much of a disappointment. Normally, the off-season wahoo tend to be fish...

  • Dec 14, 2013 8:00 am

    Quick drag is a better bet than hours bottom-bouncing

    The weather has very little effect on whether or not there is any angling this weekend, or next for that matter! This is when social responsibilities take over and the holiday season spawns plenty of those.

    Not to mention the winter weather pattern, which, while a nuisance most of the time, is really quite reliable. Give it a day or two to blow, then the wind will swing around and drop out; go north and calm, then slowly make its way...

  • Dec 7, 2013 1:48 am

    It’s red hind or bust for those with grouper on the mind

    This is the time of year when fishing gets to be a real challenge. And it is not about the usual: weather, fish abundance, selection of strategy, place to go. Nothing so exotic! The weather may co-operate on occasion but that will not be the real source of the problem.

    More than just a few have had to strip off angling paraphernalia in favour of holiday lights, fat Santas, snowmen, a host of elves and other things quite unimaginable in...

  • Nov 30, 2013 1:09 am

    Feeding frenzy takes precedence in the off-season

    Not much fishing this past week, huh? Not that there was a whole lot of encouragement for anyone.

    Observers of Nature will have noticed the sudden reversion to the winter weather pattern. Cold, wet, windy days, sporadically punctuated by calm, sunny days reminiscent of spring or even summer are the hallmark of the “off-season”. About the best you can do is to predict the day that will be “good” and to be ready to take advantage of it;...

  • Nov 23, 2013 8:00 am

    Avoiding distractions is key to catching wahoo

    Not exactly fishing weather but a bit of planning and some daring-do can make for at least a brief trip offshore.

    Trolling is the norm with a wahoo or two the intended target. Once succeeding, the smart move is to head for home. An alternative is some chumming along the edge but that is going to be hit and miss, especially as the tides are totally unreliable at this time of the year. Just think what the passage of a tropical storm to...

  • Nov 16, 2013 12:01 am

    Sports angling moving into hibernation

    To say that Old Man Winter has just moved in and taken up residence would not receive much in the way of argument from most people.

    Gale, blustery weather and a drop in temperature translates into winter here in Bermuda, regardless of what the calendar may say — the solstice is still over a month away!

    Even though the Island is officially sub-tropical and is supposed to experience the seasons, most of us reckon on just two —...

  • Nov 9, 2013 8:00 am

    Lobsters the best bet for commercial fishermen

    The drop in temperature and the rainy and bluster of the last week or so has gone a long way to knocking any ideas of fishing out of most peoples’ heads. What is it about the Rugby Classic that seems to hail the onset of winter?

    Quite apart form the obvious change in style and a sudden abundance of rain suits and heavy jackets, the focus, certainly of residents, is away from the beach and the boat.

    This shift is even apparent in...

  • Nov 2, 2013 8:00 am

    Wahoo still around in quantity but not quality

    Perhaps too little, too late? Despite the inclement and very wet weather of the last week or so, a few brave souls have ventured offshore and did not return empty-handed. A couple of respectable hauls have been made, at least by commercial boats.

    These have consisted of wahoo and although the quality of the fish was not what one might expect for this time of the year, there was some compensation in numbers with eights and nines figuring...

  • Oct 26, 2013 8:00 am

    Mother Nature flexing her muscles

    It would be a brave soul contemplating a fishing trip this weekend. Mother Nature is starting to flex her muscle and there are plenty of signs that the summer is over and that winter mode will set in.

    It can happen rather suddenly and considering the cold weather that has affected much of North America and Europe, it is to be expected. Say ‘goodbye’ to the long hours of sunshine and warm weather; what nature doesn’t change, the...

  • Oct 19, 2013 8:00 am

    Already signs summer’s long over

    The rain and easterly winds that have been the hallmark of the last week or so should be telling you something. Winter is upon us. Forget autumn — the trees don’t change colour here and there aren’t delightful crisp sunny days — go to Maine or Nova Scotia for those. That it is late in the year should be apparent to most people as they rise to go to work in the morning. With the sun not rising until after 7am, the darkness usually means that the...

  • Oct 12, 2013 8:00 am

    Frigate mackerel arrival ‘too little, too late?

    Might it be a case of ‘too little, too late’? It still is not clear how extensive it is or what the numbers are like but there are now at least some frigate mackerel on Challenger Bank. They were found late last week and since then have been the driving force for many just to make the trip to the bank to try their luck.

  • Oct 5, 2013 8:00 am

    Yellowfins make welcome appearance

    It is now October and as all old-timers will know, the adage “October, all over” refers to the end of the hurricane season — at least for Bermuda.
    Truth to tell, while tropical activity still has more than a month ahead of it, the water around here usually cools off enough to take strength from a tropical system rather than enhancing it.

  • Sep 28, 2013 8:00 am

    Time to pack up the reels and rods . . .

    Done and dusted! There you have it, and that has been the season’s competitive fishing for another year. All the weights and results have been consigned to the record books and to other forms of history while the telling of tall tales will continue on indefinitely.
    Officially, there still remain a very few intra-club tournaments, some of which may never take place as interest wanes and the weather takes on more of that wintry image.

  • Sep 21, 2013 8:00 am

    DeSilva’s Treasure Island strikes gold

    What can one say? Is it possible that the perfect tournament does not exist? The tournament organisers can pick a day that is ideal in terms of calmness and sunshine. That day comes at what should be the height of the season for the selected species. The weigh-in crew can be willing to work cheerfully in thunder, lightning and drizzle. Some live baits might even make themselves available but the one thing that the organisers cannot organise is...

Search

Take Our Poll

Today's Obituaries

View all Obituaries Place an obituary

Facebook Activity