Rather good fishing to be had at the moment
The solstice has come and gone and the summer is now a reality as is the excitement that comes with the height of the angling season.
Although the major influx of foreign sport-fishing vessels will take place as soon as the berths in use for the Newport Race clear out, plenty of boats have been sampling the rather good fishing that is to be had at the moment.
Blue marlin have made their presence well and truly known with quite a few putting in an appearance. Visiting boat Reel Lax got what it went out for on Sunday, releasing a blue marlin.
Local angler Gareth Williams found himself on one end of a rather spectacular pulling match with a blue marlin that pushed the 800-pound mark when it was successfully boated on Capt Kevin Winterís Playmate. Capt Alan Cardís Challenger also reported releasing a blue marlin and there have been any number of close encounters with other blues and a few white marlin as their abundance offshore improves.
Many anglers are loathe to go billfishing with the big money events so close even though most accept that what you catch today probably has no bearing whatsoever on what might be caught next week or the week after.
The offshore is a most dynamic place with constant shifts occurring with both the bait, prey and predators species; not to mention sea conditions, tides and winds.
Other catches have included a nice selection of yellowfin tuna which helps to account for the presence of the billfish and wahoo which range from summertime fish in the mid-teens to twenty pounds and some considerably large, eclipsing the fifty pound mark.
One commercial boat also added some nice variation to the catch when they managed to catch a double of dolphin. Also called mahimahi (the Hawaiian name for them), large dolphin tend to travel in pairs; a male and a female. This was the case and the fish were both getting on for 50 pounds, making a most attractive addition to the fish box.
The Bermuda Anglers International Light Tackle Tournament is a reincarnation of a weeklong tournament that did so much to focus attention on some of the great light tackle sport that was to be had in local waters.
Over the years the event had its ups and downs but the new version is extremely attractive to anglers who want to concentrate on catching big fish on light line.
The revised rules now only allow for the use of 12-lb test line for chumming, live-baiting or trolling for gamefish. Marlin are included as eligible species and the tournament allows for the use of 30-lb test as well as the 12-lb test for trolling for them. This could easily be a recipe for biting off more than you can chew.
In any case, this will offer anglers a choice of techniques and with the billfish tournament month just over a week away, the results could be very interesting indeed.
The weather outlook is optimistic and the fishing reports very encouraging so the activity promises to be fast and furious. The weigh-ins are slated for the late afternoon on Saturday and Sunday and will take place at Barrís Bay Park where the public can catch a glimpse of action. Something else that augurs well for the ILTT is the fact that the recently concluded Brien-Pallot tournament enjoyed some good action from the tuna. Although catching a tuna can be a tough enough challenge, these participants insist on catching the fish on a fly.
To distinguish from the other type of fishing, the fly must be cast, presented to the fish from a dead boat.
While a fish can be teased to the surface by trolling, the boat must be out of gear when the fly is cast and then it has to be worked well enough that the target fish will think that it is a live offering and take it. No mean feat and a lot more difficult than spin fishing most of which is not done correctly here anyway. To return to the success stories of this private invitational event the biggest fish was a nice yellowfin tuna that weighed 47 pounds and which was caught on Capt Sloan Wakefieldís Tenacious by Larry Paredes on a 20-pound tippet.
This very narrowly beat John Smithís 46.9 pound yellowfin caught off Capt. Kevin Winterís Playmate on a 20-pound tippet for the honours. The tournament included quite a few tuna of both the blackfin and yellowfin varieties as well as some large rainbow runners.
This gives some idea of the quality of tuna that have been concentrated on Argus Bank for the last couple of weeks.
There is also a plethora of smaller game species that are well suited to light tackle and to fly gear as well.
Thus there really canít be any excuses now; the weather isnít going to get a whole lot better although it will get hotter, the fish wonít be more willing so all it really needs is for wannabe anglers to get off the couch and to head down to the sea where there is plenty of promise of Tight lines!!!
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