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Tight Lines

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  • 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!

    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...

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