Opportunities remain to reap the reward of persistence
Enough with the doom and gloom already!
It won’t be too long before the fascination with tropical systems and the vagaries of their wanderings become a thing of the past and the business as usual attitude to winter gales becomes the norm.
Between the two there is some fishing to be done and a few opportunities will present themselves.
The trick is to be able to take advantage of them.
Sadly, most amateurs or sportspeople are limited to weekend ventures, and, for some nefarious reason, stormy weather seems to choose to occur on those days more often than on the weekdays when one has to be at work.
As a case in point, a look at a long term forecast for Bermuda shows that a sortie afloat is highly unlikely to occur this weekend, but the same source suggests that next weekend may be a much safer bet.
However, how many can plan a fishing trip that far in advance?
The bottom line is that for most weekend warriors, it has to be a bit “catch as catch can” which favours those who can make plans at the drop of a hat.
This can be most worthwhile because as mentioned previously, the fish are on the move as the seasons change and winter starts to rear its head.
Recent hauls have consisted of nice mixed bags with yellowfin and blackfin tuna as well as dolphin all taking trolls along with the more sought-after wahoo.
Traditional trolling of baits and artificials is paying off with wahoo up to about 45 or 50 pounds pleasing with the yellowfin tuna ranging on up to about 65 pounds.
Some respectable catches include captain Alan Card’s Challenger which had a notable haul of nine wahoo, a couple of dolphin and assorted tuna. All told, a good day’s action.
It also goes to show that putting in the effort at this time of the year can really pay off.
Most of the recent action seems to be centred on Argus Bank although it would be remiss to completely disregard Challenger Bank as that location can also have its moments and if the wahoo or even the tuna are running in schools, they really might be found anywhere.
Something that might be worth taking note of is a technique often favoured by anglers down in Florida. That is high speed trolling.
Normally trolling rigged baits and similar lures takes place at about seven or eight knots.
By speeding up to 12 to 14 knots or more, a lot more territory gets covered.
The theory is: more speed means more bottom covered, so the lures are exposed to more fish and therefore there should be more bites.
Of course, it does not exactly work like that but covering more water should definitely expose more fish to your rigs.
Another adjustment that needs to be made is in the type of baits used. Traditional rigged baits simply won’t stand up to that sort of speed so the move is to artificial lures, mostly of the heavier variety, simply because that will ensure that they stay in the water where the fish can see them.
While this might seem fast, it should be remembered that a wahoo is a high-speed predator capable of bursts up to about 50mph.
So, if it wants it, it can catch it. Worth considering.
Something else that seems to be making a comeback from the not-so-good old days is the advertiser’s hyperbole when it comes to selling leader material among other fishing tackle.
This only adds to the confusion already generated by the multiple materials now in use for such things.
Years ago, when linen lines were giving way to nylon monofilaments, the emphasis was on the strength of the relatively new material.
Although line tests had largely been standardised by then, it was not uncommon for an advertisement to state that such and such a brand line was the strongest 20-pound test line or other line test.
This raised the question as to whether the stated test of line was in fact the breaking test of the line. An angler might be happy to use strong 20-pound test but would also be mightily disappointed when a potential world-record application was unsuccessful because the line over tested.
The next development were pretested tournament lines.
On the packages would be three results of tests on that particular batch of line.
While this seemed to be the solution, it was not uncommon for some of these to over test on occasion as well.
Now with all the new materials and varieties of line available it seems that the same issue is cropping up. The message here is to be careful with line and leader selections if record hunting is on the agenda.
Going from those words of wisdom to the realities of life: the inshore fishing is very much in a downturn with just a single ray of light.
A rather bright one, though, since there have been reports of schools of blue fry making their way along the shoreline.
In areas along the South Shore and in bays like Castle Harbour or Ferry Reach, these schools often attract larger game like tarpon and hefty jacks.
Hooking any one of these will most assuredly result in Tight Lines!!!