Resolve required as season gets off to belatedly slow start
This particular weekend is just not going to be what it is usually cracked up to be.
The traditional start of summer on Bermuda day has been shifted and it will take some getting used to for most people.
Having said that, the boat should be ready by now anyway and maybe the fishing will get ahead of the picnicking, for once.
The only impediment to taking full advantage of some of the year’s best trolling action is the weather.
This May has been unlike almost any other. More usually it is a month known for calm days, heat hazy horizons and rising temperatures.
Here it is, over halfway through the month and what is the forecast? A blustery weekend while the forecasters keep an eye on a low-pressure system that seems destined to develop into something that isn’t usually seen until later in the summer. Not very encouraging for anglers.
But the fish are there and there have been some respectable hauls in the last week or so.
Confirming that the king of the tunas, the bluefin does indeed travel through local waters, Bermuda’s solo longliner caught a fish bettering the 500-pound mark that promptly made its way to market.
While taken somewhat farther offshore than most local boats venture at this time of the year and not really the target species for most sport fishermen, this catch is a firm indicator that the fish are on the move.
The wahoo are especially pleasing with many of the fish caught presenting themselves as really nice specimens in the 40-pounds and better class.
Captain Craigin Curtis’s Reel Addiction and Captain James Robinson’s Wound Up both posted days with catches in the double figures.
Other boats have also had good days, but the lack of tourists has not helped the charter industry which provides a lot of the information that is so essential to the local angling cadre.
Trolling is the normal mode of fishing at this time of the year and most boats work a selection of natural and artificial baits with the former being the preferred choice.
Rigged garfish are the norm and certainly account for many of the wahoo and tuna that find their way into the fish box.
With the number of wahoo around and the fish in general on the move, it is highly likely that there are a few white marlin mixed in the schools of wahoo.
Even tuna can get caught up in this, so it is possible to get a multiple strike involving two or more species.
This is usually unexpected, but should remain a possibility as yellowfin or dolphin quite often crash a wahoo party.
Trolling daisy chains of small feathers should pick up mackerel which even if they are too large for live baits, provide some action and can eventually be recycled as chum bait when the weather settles down and the tuna start to please.
Those looking at competitive fishing will be surprised to learn that a spanner has been tossed into this year’s already topsy-turvy tournament chart.
Just this week, Bacardi let it be known that they would not be holding their usual early June tournament this year.
Long a fixture on the tournament calendar, their departure leaves a gap: the event which had been originally scheduled for Sunday, June 6 with an alternate of the 13th.
This is now no longer the case and while there are rumours circulating that something will arise to fit into this time slot, there is not a whole lot of time for organising anything.
That confusion is surrounding the summer schedule is obvious.
The recent changes to the Covid restrictions prevented the BFCAT, scheduled for May 2 with an alternate of the 16th, from happening. Bearing in mind the pitfalls that theses unpredictable circumstances can offer, there are further alternate dates in September 19 and 26.
Near enough cast in stone, or at least as cast as anything can be these days, are the Bermuda Blast, slated for July 3 to 7 and incorporating the worldwide Blue Marlin World Cup on July 4.
Assuming that goes off without a hitch, the rest of the Bermuda Triple Crown should follow suit through the rest of the month.
What is somewhat up in the air is just how many foreign boats, which form the mainstay of the big money billfish tournaments, will actually make the trip here.
Although good bookings have been reported by the berthing facilities here, there will always be some concern over the forthcoming travel and quarantine restrictions.
Time will tell with the earliest arrivals probably the first week of June.
So, in a nutshell, the season is getting off to belatedly slow start that is really a function of the effort not expended even while the fish continue their northward migration as summer becomes a reality.
All it should take is a bit of resolve and determination on the part of the angler and a bit of improved weather from nature to make for some Tight Lines!!!