Will big blow bring back the fish?
Despite eminently fishable weather, the fishing has been incredibly slow. A few wahoo and tuna have been caught and there are still quite a few frigate-sized mackerel around.
While this sounds like a really fine proposition, the truth of the matter is that that it isn't too often that a live bait can be traded in for a larger predator. Even the barracuda seem to be taking things slowly.
There also doesn't seem to be much in the way of an explanation for the lack of fishing action. Most of the commercial fleet are directing their energies towards spiny lobsters and monitor the offshore scene just in case something happens. Even some of the real veteran trollers have been seen working the bottom in order to catch something for the market.
In addition to the general lack of pace to the fishing, the geography has been inconsistent as well. When someone does have a reasonably good day, it might have come from the Banks or it was just as likely to have been done along the South Shore. Such inconsistency isn't usually associated with fishing at this time of the year, so everything does seem to be a bit of a puzzle.
Perhaps a bit of a blow this weekend will stir things up and rejuvenate the fish that are out there, or maybe some migratory fish making their way southward from points north will happen on by and give us a shot at them. Otherwise it is simply a case of wait and see what develops. Not exactly the best option but one which certainly first in with the present circumstances.
For the more serious sports fishermen who actively fish for records there is a new stipulation by IGFA with regard to world record applications. Regular (non-fly tackle) applications must be accompanied by 50 feet of line still attached to the double line, if it is used, and leader. Prior to the present the line submission was a range of between 30 to 50 feet. This has come about in response to the new space-age super strength monofilament and multi-filament lines that are growing in popularity.
Line strength and testing have always been points of contention. For the most part local (Bermuda) record applications have accepted the manufacturer's stated line test. Exceptions to this include instances when catch applying for a Bermuda record is also a potential IGFA world record. In those cases, the Bermuda Game Fishing Association awaits the outcome of the IGFA application. If the application is turned down because of line over testing or for any other reason, then the Bermuda record is also declined.
Lines are tested by IGFA using government standards and specifications. The line is tested when wet which may or may not affect certain brands of line.
Most line manufacturers use what is called an extrusion process which has liquid nylon drawn through a standard sized hole which produces a line of uniform diameter. Variations occur with the nylon formulae which results in slightly different line diameters for lines of the same stated test. It is a bit of a conundrum when a manufacturer claims to have the "strongest" 20-lb test line. It is either 20-lb test or it is not. It might be 22-lb test or 25-lb test or whatever. Not exactly what the angler expects on the once in a lifetime occasion (for most of them) that he or she has the good fortune to land a potential world record.
The so-called more expensive tournament lines are generally pre-tested and the packaging will state at what point the line broke when tested. There are usually three such numbers because the line batch was tested three times. There are no guarantees, however, that the particular line that you purchase will break at that point. The fact that the rest of the batch tested out below the stated line class is merely an indicator of its strength.
Given the relatively high cost of pre-test line and the fact that there are lots of other lines on the market, many local anglers opt to use one of the more popular lines. There isn't a problem with this for local tournaments and even local records can be claimed based on the stated line test. The problem comes when the angler is lucky enough to land a real trophy fish and then has to submit to the IGFA's testing. This is "make or break" and, on numerous occasions, has resulted in a potential record being disqualified.
IGFA members can submit line to the organisation for testing so that they have a pretty good idea in advance of the actual breaking strength of their line.
There is also one vague little quirk. In the old days, the IGFA used the English system of pounds: 8-lb, 12-lb etc. Now, the accepted standard is based on the metric system, so while the 8-lb test category used to be eight pounds, it is now the 4-kg line class which actually allows the line to part at about 8.8 pounds. Some anglers may find it preferable to look at the metric designation rather than the pound designation when selecting a line.
There is also an instruction that if the line you are using falls between two of the accepted designations, you should select the higher one even if it means having to compete with a larger fish that may be the established record. In these instances, it is probably not worth submitting the application. It really can help to have a listing on hand of current IGFA records for those species encountered on a regular basis in local waters.
Anglers who are not technologically challenged and who use Apple Ipads or Iphones will soon be able to use the IGFA app. This will allow the user to search all the IGFA records, identify species, plan fishing trips abroad and lots of other things. It will even be possible to use the phone camera to record catches and one of the phone's functions provides a GPS record of where the catch was made. Potential record information can then be submitted through e-mail or on Facebook. While this is all a bit heady for some of us, it probably had to happen sometime. Just how much use it would to local anglers will remain to be seen. Further details will appear on the IGFA website shortly.
So, there isn't much to report and the weekend forecast is not the sort that encourages boating of any sort. This and the apparent lack of fish is probably enough to keep every weekender home in front of the television. At least, the TV may allow you to view some other individual revelling in some far away Tight lines!