Weekend belongs to all the mothers … the wahoo can wait!
Star-crossed, maybe; but sometimes things work out for the best.
No matter that the angling desires are now rushing through the blood, the weather forecast for this weekend is anything but encouraging; but, given that Sunday is a celebration of maternal relatives the likelihood of an offshore adventure is in the slim to none range.
Putting the weekend behind, there seem to be enough wahoo around to justify a trip out to the Banks.
While the Edge has produced some fish, the larger specimens seem to be on the Banks and while that may just be a matter of chance, there is also the likelihood that the preponderance of bait around those seamounts is what is attracting the fish.
Remember that wahoo are pretty close to apex predators and, as such, just about anything is potentially food.
While they are unlikely to take chunks off hundred-pound tunas, they are plenty able to dine on mackerel, robins, flying fish, squid and other species that comprise the bait occurring locally.
Combine this with the known fact that there is a seasonal run of wahoo in the spring or early summer.
At least that is what has always been the accepted situation.
Part of the problem with fishing “facts” is that most of them are assemblages of hearsay accumulated over time.
To wit, for very many years back when sport fishing was in its infancy and on into the 1980s there was precious little fishing in the December to March period.
Add to this, that, at the same time, the interest, especially the commercial interest in wahoo was minimal.
As the weather settled down in April and on into May, fishermen and anglers began trolling for whatever there might be out there. Surprise, surprise, the wahoo pleased and often in good numbers.
Year after year this happened and even though this coinciding with the fishing effort, it was decided by acclamation that there must be a wahoo run at that time of the year. Nothing to do with the coincidental upswing in trolling effort.
While winter fishing has never really caught the public’s imagination, there have been enough forays into the off season to establish that there are often enough wahoo around to make a trip worthwhile.
In fact, the winter average is somewhat larger than those normally found certainly during the summer months but as compared with the shoulder season as well.
Perhaps the autumnal run, much better established in reality, offers higher quality, but there sure isn’t too much in it.
In any case, trolling is the preferred method for fishing at this juncture and while it is early days yet and the effort is still not what it might be, there are plenty of indications that now is a good time to be out there.
There have been a number of good wahoo hauls; not spectacular, but good.
Numbers are fair, but the size of the fish is more than respectable with fish in the over 50-pound category not uncommon.
For an amateur, a brace of forty-something pounders is a lot of fish to stack the freezer up with.
One of the benefits of trolling is being continually on the move and, with the water warming up and the migratory species doing their seasonal thing, there is the additional element of variety coming in to play.
Tuna, of several species with yellowfin the predominant one, will take trolls as well as dolphin that might happen by.
It is not too early to encounter a white marlin or spearfish and even the unlikely sailfish has been known to put in an appearance at this time of the year.
Regular trolling with rigged garfish or flying fish ranging from naturals to various attractants such as feathers or plastic squids all arrayed in the most outrageous colours is the norm although a very few will drag a daisy chain in the hope of snagging mackerel that will be small enough to troll live.
These won’t be anything like the so-called “frigate” mackerel that come at the end of the season but there will be some that will fit the bill.
These are generally slow trolled, often in the centre of the spread and close to the boat; and, yes, they do get results.
Early it may be, but rest assured that there are marlin on the offshore grounds.
No one is putting in any amount of time looking for one, but all that bait and other species don’t move into the local areas without at least a few blues riding herd on them.
A slow start to this season is anticipated with the shelter-in-place curfew and other regulations making it difficult to do any work on a boat that has spent the last few months in mothballs.
The next phase may not be much more generous in this respect, so it will likely be some time before the recreational fleet starts to have an impact on the offshore stocks.
Until then, many an angler will be missing out on Tight Lines!!!