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Tight Lines

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  • Being in the right place at the right time
    Aug 27, 2016 8:00 am

    Being in the right place at the right time

    Ah, this is the way it should be. Finally, August is acting like it should with the hot days and calm seas being reminiscent of the scenes in Coleridge’s <i>The Rime of the Ancient Mariner</i>.

    The burst of mixing brought on by the passage of a tropical system is short-lived and can only serve to improve things as the sheer heat of the day serves to drive many species, especially tuna, down deeper, and at times even the...

  • Yellowtail provide a fulfilling day on water
    Aug 19, 2016 8:00 am

    Yellowtail provide a fulfilling day on water

    Summer at its Bermuda best! Last Sunday saw perfect conditions for the Billfish Release Challenge.

    This tournament already wisely postponed once was an enormous success with eight boats enjoying a great day on the water. A total of around seven fish were raised and variously hooked or lost, with two blue marlin being caught and released.

    Captain Allen DeSilva’s Es Mucho won the tournament based on time, and Chris Down came out a...

  • Plenty of fish out there to float your boat
    Aug 13, 2016 8:00 am

    Plenty of fish out there to float your boat

    No sooner is reference made to the normally calm August conditions than the winds start to blow. Any comments about tropical systems are to be strongly discouraged, for sure. No sense upsetting Mother Nature!

    In any event, last week’s Blue Marlin Release Challenge was postponed due to the less than favourable weather. The purpose of the event is to encourage local anglers to fish for billfish in less exacting circumstances.

    The...

  • If you fancy a workout tackle a tiger
    Aug 6, 2016 8:00 am

    If you fancy a workout tackle a tiger

    The excitement of tournaments and Cup Match has now subsided; it is hot, people are laid-back, schools remain closed, beaches are busy and many locals are off-island on vacation. Although this makes for a somewhat exceptional month, there is no compelling reason to give up angling as an avocation.

    The month of August is characteristically hot and calm, sometimes the water is almost like glass with hardly a ripple even though there may...

  • Resident experts more than hold their own
    Jul 30, 2016 8:00 am

    Resident experts more than hold their own

    A common definition of “expert” is someone from another town. It is not uncommon to look down on anything home-grown and to look up to something from away.

    Certainly, when it comes to big game fishing, Bermuda need not resort to that. After three major billfish tournaments, there is no denying that local skipper Craigin Curtis has bested allcomers as his Reel Addiction topped the Bermuda Triple Crown with a massive 5,287...

  • Plenty of action if cricket is not for you
    Jul 23, 2016 8:00 am

    Plenty of action if cricket is not for you

    What a spectacular billfish tournament the Bermuda Big Game Classic was! Well expected to be a good event as it has been for years now, there was really no indication or precedent for this year’s record-shattering performance.

    Whether it was closely coinciding with the July full moon, the lack of an El Niño effect, or just plain good luck, the “bite” during the Bermuda Big Game Classic was nothing short of outstanding.

    The...

  • The ideal time to chase that monster catch
    Jul 16, 2016 8:00 am

    The ideal time to chase that monster catch

    High summer and it’s hot, flat, and humid with the air just hanging there, and while this forces most people into air-conditioning or under a fan on shore, better offshore billfishing conditions probably don’t exist.

    Things don’t even get much better on Hawaii’s Kona Coast where flat seas are the norm and the billfish action is pretty hot all year long.

    Without a doubt the organisers of the Bermuda Big Game Classic have really...

  • Plenty of action out there for all concerned
    Jul 9, 2016 8:00 am

    Plenty of action out there for all concerned

    High summer, so let the games begin! Or at least the mayhem that marlin madness brings to the month of July.

    In Bermuda almost all the serious local fleet and any number of visiting overseas boats compete in a number of tournaments that has the island stacking up against some of the world’s other premier billfish hotspots.

    First of these was the Blue Marlin World Cup, fished worldwide on July 4. The bar was set early on Monday...

  • Ingham sweeps board at Regiment tournament
    Jul 2, 2016 8:00 am

    Ingham sweeps board at Regiment tournament

    In case you have not noticed the summer is flying by, schools are out, the humidity is up there and the fishing is certainly the best that it has been for some years now. It is high time to take advantage of it while you can.

    Even if you aren’t in a position to use a boat there are still opportunities. Although the reef and offshore fishing earns plenty of publicity, all too often the potential inshore is ignored. While it might not...

  • Foreign fleet gamble on island’s reputation
    Jun 25, 2016 8:00 am

    Foreign fleet gamble on island’s reputation

    Oh, happy days. After having been conspicuous by their absence the yellowfin tuna have chosen to arrive just in time for the celebration of the 50th Bermuda Anglers Club International Light Tackle Tournament.

    This year’s landmark event sees nine teams featuring local and foreign anglers competing for the recognition and prizes that go with this prestigious event.

    Originally scheduled to allow for four days of fishing, the foul...

  • Weekend warriors seeking their fortunes
    Jun 11, 2016 8:00 am

    Weekend warriors seeking their fortunes

    The season runs on, despite a bit of weather earlier this week that put a temporary end to proceedings. The return to more seasonable conditions again has the commercial fleet and the weekend warriors putting to sea in search of their fortunes.

    Things move with alacrity particularly as there are tournaments almost every week. Most recently, the organised angling clubs successfully held their Bermuda Fishing Clubs Annual...

  • Wahoo dominate proceedings at Bacardi event
    Jun 4, 2016 8:00 am

    Wahoo dominate proceedings at Bacardi event

    Competitors could not have asked for a better day when the Bacardi Rum Tournament went off on schedule last Sunday.

    There was a light slightly easterly breeze, a moderate ground swell and plenty of sunshine. The swell was put down to the tropical disturbance off the southeastern coast of the United States, a reminder that we are now into that time of year when systems can brew up quite quickly with hurricanes a very real...

  • Scratching tournament a smart move
    May 21, 2016 8:00 am

    Scratching tournament a smart move

    The prospects are not good. The fish are indeed out there, but the weather has not really been conducive to offshore activity and, for most weekenders, this one is going to be spent getting ready for the great start to summer on Tuesday.

    Not surprisingly, and a great call in advance, the BFCAT tournament did not go off last Sunday. The lightning, thunder, rain, winds and a good running swell would not have made any friends among the...

  • May 14, 2016 8:00 am

    Plenty of action to be had with season well under way

    Be warned, the 24th is not all that far away and the emphasis will be on picnicking rather than fishing and you may miss out!

    The angling season is well and truly under way and, thankfully, it is looking a whole lot better than last year.

    There is classic spring action to be had and with the water and air temperatures rapidly warming up, it would be a shame to miss out on the action before things settle down into the summer...

  • May 7, 2016 8:00 am

    Conditions mean no two days are the same

    As the song goes, “What a diff’rence a day makes.” Nothing could be more applicable to the overall fishing scenario at present.

    As an example, Captain Alan Card’s Challenger enjoyed a great day, catching 22 wahoo, followed the next day with another haul that also made it into double figures for wahoo, along with a few other fish that added variety.

    Move onto the third day. Hitting the same locations, using the same basic baits and...

  • Wahoo proving predictably unpredictable
    Apr 30, 2016 8:00 am

    Wahoo proving predictably unpredictable

    There can be no denying it. No matter how you view the fishing season there is no doubt that it is happening now. It is the starting time to go fishing unless you want to risk missing out on the year.

    Time flies and fish move on, so you have to, too.

    The only discrepancy that might arise is when visitors sometimes enquire as to whether “fishing season” is a legally defined term relating to a specific time period when fishing is...

  • Dolphin strike heralds blue marlin’s arrival
    Apr 23, 2016 8:00 am

    Dolphin strike heralds blue marlin’s arrival

    May starts next week and despite the somewhat blustery weather the offshore scene has moved into spring and summer mode. It is time to go fishing, weather permitting.

    Although the calendar says springtime, the fish that have shown up on the Banks and elsewhere strongly suggest summer. There are rainbow runners and jacks in numbers and although bait is not as obvious as it can be, there are tuna and wahoo in reasonably good...

  • Going fishing does not make you a fisherman
    Apr 16, 2016 8:00 am

    Going fishing does not make you a fisherman

    Oh, it is all starting to happen now. The commercial fleet has made the transition from lobster to fin fish and even the charter industry is starting to get a bit of work, so the results are starting to stack up.

    This means that the offshore waters are being worked and fish are being caught. Maybe not as consistently as everyone would like, but the action is good enough to justify the effort.

    Recently, a private boat had a great...

  • Missed out? Don’t say we didn’t warn you
    Apr 9, 2016 8:00 am

    Missed out? Don’t say we didn’t warn you

    Well, you were told. Every year the procrastinators leave everything to the last minute, with the worst of these waiting for the family to get on their case just before May 24.

    The upshot of this is that most of the amateurs miss out on the spring wahoo run. One would think that, after languishing through the winter turmoil and rainy, blustery days, the faithful would be ready and raring to go at the first sign that the fish had come...

  • Surprises waiting beneath the waves
    Apr 2, 2016 8:00 am

    Surprises waiting beneath the waves

    Okay, time to get serious. Lobster season is over, the traps all stowed away until September and the entire fleet is now looking to the blue water for a summer’s worth of profit, sport or a combination of the two.

    The weather earlier in the week left something to be desired although it does tend to settle down just that little bit quicker and; maybe it is just the longer days, but the ocean looks all that much more inviting than it did...

  • Stop procrastinating and start planning
    Mar 26, 2016 8:00 am

    Stop procrastinating and start planning

    March is very nearly a thing of the past and the weather is showing signs of turning from winter, if not into summer, certainly spring.

    Coming with this is, finally, some improved offshore action. Effort is still way off but with the lobster season ending later this week, the focus will again be on the finfish and early indications are encouraging.

    A well-known charter operator had a great day earlier this week when an expedition...

  • Charter boats making most of slim pickings
    Mar 19, 2016 8:00 am

    Charter boats making most of slim pickings

    There are some signs of life offshore, even though there is still very little effort going into working the deep blue.

    With next week a short one for most people with the one holiday that actually discourages fishing occurring on Friday, and the rest of the weekend being pretty much family-orientated, there isn’t too much likelihood of the weekender conducting any sorties afloat.

    Once that is over with however, things could...

  • Mar 12, 2016 8:00 am

    Weekenders preparing for ‘official’ start

    Some gorgeous spring days are slipping into the otherwise inclement weather that dominates this time of the year.

    Although these occasions are eminently fishable, most weekenders are simply not prepared or are in the process of getting their vessels ready for the accepted start of the fishing season at the beginning of May.

    Most of the commercial operators are looking to glean the most out of the last couple of weeks of the...

  • Tuna’s presence a sign of good times ahead
    Mar 5, 2016 8:00 am

    Tuna’s presence a sign of good times ahead

    The year progresses onward and with it the seasons. While for the most part March has entered like a lamb, there are indications that in fact it might just be a snoring lion with some roaring soon to come. We shall see.

    On the occasional recent good weather day, a few have ventured offshore and indulged in some trolling which has met with mixed results. The positive side of such outcomes is that there are some fish out there and while...

  • The visitors that sometimes pass us by
    Feb 27, 2016 8:00 am

    The visitors that sometimes pass us by

    Despite some calm days this past week, the fishing effort has been pretty limited. Lobster gear seems to be the number one priority and a few boats have put in some time drifting for bottom fish.

    The handful of wahoo and tuna that have been caught are more the result of good fortune than the fruits of serious trolling effort.

    Certainly, the sports fishermen and women have simply not ventured forth, regardless of the weather. The...

  • It is not just the winter weather that is to blame
    Feb 20, 2016 8:00 am

    It is not just the winter weather that is to blame

    As must be clear to even the least observant landlubber there has been no sports fishing during this last little bit.

    Even the commercial effort is down about as low as it ever goes and with little encouraging information coming ashore, the weekend warriors are likely to remain shore-bound awaiting better times.

    Not that the time of the year really has all that much to do with it. In the course of every seven or eight days...

  • A good way to spend the winter and your money
    Feb 13, 2016 8:00 am

    A good way to spend the winter and your money

    With blows like the ones we have had in the past few days, and the reports of even worse seafaring along the East Coast of the United States, local fishing scene has approached its absolute depths of any season.

    Only a very few commercial operators are venturing out at all, and with servicing their lobster gear their primary intentions.

    This has left most sportsmen dreaming of things to come and a few zealots have actually...

  • Little to do but wait this off-season
    Feb 6, 2016 8:00 am

    Little to do but wait this off-season

    This may be the dead of winter in most northern places but it has always been a bit of a funny one for the Bermuda fishing scene.

    Happily, we are not subject to snow and ice, but there is definitely a winter here that affects plants and animals. Plants, especially the flowering ones, tend to be pretty obvious and most people are clearly aware of their patterns. Animals can be a little more subtle. As fish are very definitely animals...

  • Whelk I never, I thought I was eating conch
    Jan 30, 2016 8:00 am

    Whelk I never, I thought I was eating conch

    The depth of winter would seem to describe the present situation quite admirably. Gales arrive from our northern neighbours and rain comes when the flow turns southerly bringing up moist warm air from areas that don’t normally experience anything resembling “winter”.

    All in all, there is really nothing to inspire the average weekender to make a run offshore. Just going to the effort of getting ready on the off chance that there will be...

  • Off-season fishing can be a success on occasion
    Jan 23, 2016 8:00 am

    Off-season fishing can be a success on occasion

    This is much more the way winter is supposed to be, windy, cool and rainy. While uncomfortable for some, this sequence of events is nature’s way of getting the marine world ready for another round of growth, development and the natural phenomena that make for the seasons as we know them.

    Heavy seas and big waves mean that the waters are being mixed, forcing nutrients up from the depths into the lit world where plankton can make use of...

  • Jan 16, 2016 8:00 am

    Finding an outlet for your endeavours

    It is winter in spite of the warmer than usual conditions. As such, this Island is prone to the passage of fronts that bring gale force winds and pretty much exclude offshore excursions.

    There can be absolutely gorgeous days that beckon fisherman out on the briny but, for the most part, these tend to be occasions when the spirited angler is hard at work in an office or elsewhere.

    If doing chores around the house, or working on the...

  • If you must fish then head to The Edge
    Jan 9, 2016 8:00 am

    If you must fish then head to The Edge

    It rather looks like there won’t be much fishing this weekend. Although it has taken a bit longer than usual to get into this “winter mode” there should be that sequence of a few days’ blow, then a dropping out of the breeze as the wind shifts to the north.

    There should then be a period of calm that will last anything up to about 36 hours before it starts to puff intermittently out of the east and gains strength as it moves around the...

  • Dec 28, 2015 8:00 am

    A year best forgotten by anglers and fishermen

    With the bulk of the holiday fuss behind us we now have the New Year to look forward to, and that will doubtless bring about a surfeit of revelry.

    However, before surging forth into that great unknown there needs to be a quick review of the year that has sped past.

    For many fishermen and anglers, it is a year best forgotten as it was noteworthy for being poor. At the start of 2015 many were saying that they looked forward to 2015...

  • Dec 12, 2015 8:00 am

    Monkey rockfish most delectable available

    If asked what season it is, there are some wags who would answer “Monsoon” rather than “Holiday or Festive”. Certainly the conditions this past week have been just that, rainy, blowy and not really conducive to much of anything that requires going out of doors. No doubt to many shop owner’s discontent.

    This weekend’s forecast is considerably more encouraging, although there will be many demands made on people’s time both in terms of...

  • Epic tale of extreme travel and tight lines
    Dec 5, 2015 8:00 am

    Epic tale of extreme travel and tight lines

    The year is counting down now and so are the days that will be available to most anglers willing to even consider heading offshore.

    The official arrival of Santa last weekend has put us all on notice that the festive season is upon us, and that boating is largely out of the picture for most family-oriented people.

    That aside, the rather mild and calm weather that has characterised the last week or so has indeed lured a few...

  • Local fisherman benefit from captive market
    Nov 28, 2015 8:00 am

    Local fisherman benefit from captive market

    For most of us, the angling year is over. While there is still a month remaining, try upping the incidence of gale-like weather, and including the demands made by the so-called “holiday” season, and most people will find themselves rushed off their feet.

    Not exactly the time for the casual wetting of a line, and certainly not the amount of time required to give the drop-off a good working over.

    Doubtless there will be a little...

  • Nov 20, 2015 8:00 am

    You don’t need fish for a successful trip

    Late as the calendar might say that it is, the forecast for this weekend is almost summer-like. Warm enough to make it pleasantly cool offshore with gentle breezes, and seas that invite the angler to get in one last excursion before the holiday madness and northerly gales put an end to most things piscatorial.

    However, while the conditions might be conducive, things remain dreadfully slow offshore, and the amount of effort recently...

  • Nov 14, 2015 8:00 am

    Locals seem uninterested in chasing world records

    Surprise, surprise! A mid-November tropical system was the last thing that was expected, especially in conjunction with a public holiday, but that is exactly what happened this past week, making the offshore scene grouchy, to say the least.

    Certainly, no amateurs even thought about fishing and more than a few professionals limited their efforts to tending their traps.

    The observation that Bermuda had fallen from grace in terms of...

  • Nov 7, 2015 8:00 am

    Sun is setting on Island’s fishing empire

    The glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome, the British Empire fading away; the same might be said of this Island. Once the North Atlantic Mecca for world records on light tackle, now there are only a few left held here and that has just dropped even further.

    Indeed the species in question is one in which locals firmly believed would always be here, so some will be even more saddened to learn that not only has a line class...

  • Oct 31, 2015 8:00 am

    There are few treats to be had at this time of year

    It looks like Bermuda has had whatever treats it is going to get this year, and the trick is to find enough in the way of fish over the next six months to justify even keeping a boat overboard.

    It is a bit of a conundrum that the official angling season in Bermuda was always marketed as May through November. Modern day fishers will be acutely aware that the end of October would be a far more realistic end date.

    In fact, there are...

  • Oct 24, 2015 8:00 am

    The trouble with paradise is that the fish leave

    There seems to be trouble in paradise. The fishing is exceedingly poor and there is precious little effort being put in.

    The weather is always the first thing to be blamed and this year is no different. The northerly breezes have dropped the temperature to 68ºF or so during the daytime, and that has sent landlubbers dashing for jackets and hoodies, signifying the end of summer and onset of winter.

    Although there are supposed to...

  • Oct 17, 2015 8:00 am

    Blackfin tuna never stray too far from home

    The weekend forecast is almost good enough to make an angler want to head offshore, but the threat of an easterly breeze and the chance of thunder is off-putting enough and, if the truth to be told, there is little to encourage anyone to drop everything, fuel up the boat and head offshore.

    Reported catches have been small with a few tuna or the odd wahoo providing what action there has been. There was a report of a half-day charter...

  • Oct 10, 2015 8:00 am

    Put the boat away and concentrate on hogfish

    Anything remotely resembling a fishing report would have to consist totally of lies and other tall tales spun by fishermen who have been kept ashore by blustery conditions and the arrival of Hurricane Joaquin.

    Joaquin’s moved out into the North Atlantic, leaving behind stirred up, confused seas ensured that commercial fishermen took advantage of the first reasonable weather to go out; locate their lobster gear and count the cost or reap...

  • Oct 3, 2015 8:00 am

    Time and tide wait for no man

    Time does indeed march on and it seems that the next thing on the agenda is Hallowe’en. Having said that, it needn’t mean that the fishing has to come to an end just yet. There are a few weekends left before winter really arrives with authority and puts paid to all thoughts of marine excursions.

    At present the offshore scene is certainly a bit limited, especially for the weekender. Long range forecasts can allow the planning of a trip...

  • Sep 26, 2015 8:00 am

    It is still too early to call for the fat lady

    The first days of autumn indeed. The equinox may have come and gone but it seems more like high summer than anything else.

    There are so many who are reckoning that this past week has been the hottest of the year; with nary a puff of wind to ease the scorching. But, be that as it may, the calendar moves relentlessly onward and soon the cold fronts from more northern climes will be making their presence felt, and there will be those who...

  • Sep 19, 2015 8:00 am

    Singing September’s praises as wahoo run riot

    Oh, the wonders of September. A drop in humidity, slightly cooler mornings and breezes from the North and East — does this mean that summer is over?

    Well, probably; but nothing ever happens quite that quickly and, for the angler, this has long been argued to be the best time of the year for fishing.

    Now, given the relative disasters that the last couple of seasons have turned out to be, it wouldn’t take much to make a marked...

  • Mello’s catch a more than worthy winner
    Sep 12, 2015 8:00 am

    Mello’s catch a more than worthy winner

    For so many anglers the season came to an end on Sunday as the last major tournament of the year was fished.

    Despite rather lumpy conditions, partly the result of several days of stiff breezes from the east and a running sea, the tournament took place and, as is so often the case with choppy conditions, the fish turned on.

    The expected catch was wahoo as this is the time of the year when they are supposed to be most numerous...

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