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Chance to get out ahead of winter weather

It is well into that time when the winter weather syndrome sets in, but for the next few days, at least, it seems that the weather will remain conducive to offshore fishing.

This won't be the case shortly so the present is a great time to look for some fish that can be stored for the long haul as the season comes to its natural end with howling gales becoming the norm rather than the exception.

The blue water is boasting a full selection of pelagic species. Catches of tuna, wahoo and dolphin have all been noted.

Some of the yellowfin have been nice middleweights although the norm seems to be school-sized fish in the 20 to 30-pound range.

The dolphin are not particularly numerous, but are always a welcome addition to any haul.

Now is also an excellent time to chum for blackfin tuna. They tend to prefer the crowns of the Banks and there are some real record-class specimens out there.

The Bermuda 16 pound test line class record looks exceptionally vulnerable as it is currently a 27 pound 8 ounce fish.

Blackfins over 30 pounds are relatively common here so it probably just takes someone with the inclination and time to try to better this.

The men's world record on that line test is 36 pounds 8 ounces and even that is not totally out of the question.

For history buffs, there was a time when almost all the blackfin tuna world records were held in Bermuda but, nowadays, out of the 18 conventional tackle world marks, held for men and women, only two are listed as being set here.

The rest all hail from Florida. Need more be said?

Live baiting for wahoo remains the mainstay of the present fishery.

Although there are numbers of juvenile blackfin tuna around and these do make for a marvellous live bait — they last really well and can be trolled at a reasonable speed, the emphasis has been on using ocean robins.

There is no doubt that the wahoo are there. Last weekend saw one specimen top 100 pounds. That is huge for a wahoo, anywhere.

Keith Hodgkins's efforts managed to boat a fish that bettered the 80 pound mark.

Captain Joey Dawson's Gringo had a haul of eight nice fish; one was over 70 pounds, and four of the others were over 50 pounds.

Although it is the live-baiting technique that seems to be getting results at present, no doubt at some stage the more traditional trolling methods will start to pay off.

The advantages to the latter are pretty straightforward.

They avoid the often fruitless task of having to anchor up and chum for robins — some days they simply never show up or take their time in doing so.

Trolling lure or baits also allows a lot more water to be covered which is useful especially when the fish tend to be spread out.

Covering the ground means that any concentration of fish that is located can be worked and the more desolate areas can be travelled through or otherwise ignored. To take advantage of what can best be described as an autumnal wahoo run, this Sunday will see a Wahoo Tournament that is open to all comers.

Based out of Robinson's Marina, the event has special offers from sponsors for participants and this promises to be a competitive tournament.

It works on a very simple premise: the largest wahoo wins the overall prize.

Then, rather than have multiple line test categories, there are only two, to keep things simple.

Thirty-pound test and under, the classic “light tackle” of the old days, and a category for over 30 pound test to cover all of what was once considered “heavy” tackle.

There are also awards for the High Point Boats in both the amateur and professional classes with a five fish limit being imposed.

In conjunction with this tournament there is an optional Calcutta with the largest fish qualifying winning the pot.

Additional information regarding the tournament, the Calcutta and entries can be had from Marine Locker on Mill Creek Lane, Pembroke.

Jumping on to this late season bandwagon is are the local angling clubs which are taking this opportunity to stage their annual interclub tournament.

This sees the three recognised organisations each fielding up to three teams of four, all out to prove their light tackle prowess in catching recognised game species including, but not limited to, wahoo.

Points are aggregated for each line test with the overall highest total securing the honours for their club for another year.

The weigh-in for this event will be staged alongside the wahoo tournament with both taking place at Robinson's Marina from tomorrow at 3pm.

Opportunities abound, but probably not for long. There are no more open tournaments on the slate and the season is very definitely drawing to a close.

It will not be long before the inshore species head out to deep water and even the reef dwellers start to move into winter mode. Having said that, this is now and there is still time for some Tight Lines!!!

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Published October 10, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated October 10, 2020 at 9:28 am)

Chance to get out ahead of winter weather

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