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Ideal conditions forecast for Big Game Classic

Taking flight: a blue marlin breaches (File photograph)

Mid-month and midway through the high-profile billfish tournaments; hot and summery with the benefit of a full moon immediately before the main event kicks off. What more could anyone want?

Well, some renewed action from the marlin, for a start. While the weather was no one’s friend earlier this week, the Bermuda Release Cup was fished with somewhat lacklustre results.

This tournament, which is organised as an adjunct to the Bermuda Triple Crown, has a charitable element and allows beginners, children and others who are simply not up to the big time to sample the thrills and spills of a marlin tournament.

This year saw a total of nine boats sign up and take part. As mentioned earlier, the fishing was nowhere near as fast as it had been and most think that the grouchy weather and passage of an associated front essentially put the fish off their feed.

The final tally showed seven billfish releases, five blue marlin and two white marlin and a wahoo was boated in the largest game fish category.

The winning boat was captain Brooks Smith’s Uno Mas with Maria Smith the High Point Angler and High Point Lady Angler with two releases for 1,000 points.

The Biggest game fish was Denise Magarity's catch on captain Ken Blackman’s C-Student.

Another factor in the lower than-expected marlin activity might be related to the reduction in fishing effort; having seven boats working the deep water is a lot different to having forty boats doing the same thing.

So much of blue water fishing is directly proportional to the amount of ground covered and the inevitable being in the right place at the right time.

With more boats out on the grounds, the odds of a boat being in any given place at any given time, such as when a fish might be looking to bite, are that much greater than when there are very few boats out there.

Sea conditions also play a role. Calm seas allow a boat to cover more water, allowing for higher speeds and also allowing the complex cavalcade of electronic fish detecting equipment carried by many of the top-class boats to be at its most effective.

Then there are those who are believers in the moon. Not as well-defined here in Bermuda as it is in other hotspots like the US Virgin Islands where the skippers rely heavily on the phase of the moon to predict fish activity.

Three or four days prior to the full moon and then a day or so after are viewed as the prime time for blue marlin action.

Most Bermudian skippers believe the fish need to eat every day and so one day is as good as the next. The jury is still out on whether or not this theory holds any water, but following on the recent full moon, current conditions have to be pretty good.

This should be good news for the premier event, the Big Game Classic, which is in full flow today as the competition is close and anything can change, at any time.

This is the event that got the ball rolling here when competitive billfish suddenly became an attention-grabbing draw for the world’s angling community. This focus was helped in no small part by a flurry of Marlin World Cup winners.

The result was a world-class tournament that draws competitors from all over the world but, most importantly, from Bermuda’s most vital market, the US East Coast.

Leaving the billfish alone and taking a quick look at the fishing more familiar to most people and high summer is in full swing.

With grocery prices affecting everyone negatively, the option of catching some fillets has got to be tempting. The time could not be much better for small boaters to head out to the channels after the heat of the day and to try for some whitewater snappers.

Areas like just off the oil docks are most productive and it should not take too long to catch a bag limit of the delectable fish.

Although they are never very large, a daily allowance of thirty fish per boat, there should be more than enough fillets to feed a family and a few friends. Properly taken care of, they can also be frozen and will last a good while in the freezer.

Channel fishing can also mean catching turbots or, more properly, triggerfish. An absolute burden to clean, they are also a really good source of fine fillets that lend themselves to almost anything in the hands of a skilled cook.

Not fishing or even boating this weekend? Well, keep abreast of the billfish tournaments online with their live scoring feature.

This allows the most casual observer to keep track of developments including hookups as they happen in real time with the result, a catch, release, or loss immediately apparent.

Just look up the Bermuda Big Game Classic online and you will be directed to the appropriate pages.

A really neat way for the drawing room angler to indulge in some vicarious Tight Lines!!!

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Published July 16, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated July 16, 2022 at 7:35 am)

Ideal conditions forecast for Big Game Classic

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