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Herons in bays and inlets a good sign

The weather is starting to cooperate and there are some signs that the fish are as well. Observers of nature will have noted herons standing on the edge of bays and inlets and this is a sure sign that there is bait around and that means that mackerel and jacks cannot be far away. Another sign that summer is nigh upon us. Time to get the gear ready and the boat into proper working order as yet another angling season is commencing.

It might interest people to know that angling is one of the world’s most popular participatory sports. There are countless millions who are addicted to the pursuit of finny Don’t even start to consider the myriad amount of money spent on everything from multi-million dollar mega yachts at one extreme to tiny hooks that cost less than a penny. The whole expenditure thing really does add up!

Naturally, here in Bermuda, everyone is a bit spoiled. Our idea of fishing starts off somewhere near wahoo and tuna and escalates to blue marlin and beyond. The added thrill of big money pots during the billfish tournaments also divers our attention away from the hundred, maybe even thousands, of local and visitors who wet a line albeit a school kid off in the summer who spends the long days tossing a hand line off a dock to the aficionado who travels from abroad just to come here to charter a boat hoping to cross swords with the mighty blue marlin.

To put things in perspective, here is the gist of an article that made the news in the British newspapers recently: an angler by the name of Craig Birchall has broken a 25-year old record for three-spined stickleback. Not a trout or salmon, most of us are at least familiar with the mystique associated with those famous gamesters but a common freshwater, or coarse, fish that actually has considerable distinction of its own outside of angling circles.

Concentrating on the fishing, the fish was caught on hook and lien, even though you might need your glasses to see the hook much less tie it to the line. The record-breaker weighed in at a whopping 8.8 grams (for the metrically challenged, this is a third of an ounce), exceeding the previous mark by more than 30%!

Laugh, you might, but rest assured that Mr Birchall got every bit of a thrill out of landing that fish that any angler would on setting a new record. It all comes down to the chase and the age old challenge of taking on Mother Nature.

Looking ahead to the season that is all but upon us — just over 10 days away if you go by the old officially recognised start of the angling season in 1st May, you might well want to plan your excursions afloat. So, here is the BGFA approved schedule for 2013, subject to a variety of possible changes that may come about.

Students of detail will note some interesting variations to this year’s schedule as compared with those of previous years. For one, there is a new tournament, the Bermuda Marlin Release Challenge. This all new event is the brainchild of Trevor Gillis and Wayne Correia who have secured sponsorship from their respective companies, Temperature Control Ltd and C-Mart, Ltd and are looking to involve more locals in bill fishing without requiring the large financial outlay that he other events require.

Another interesting development has come as a result of Blue Waters Anglers Club thinking outside of the box. A number of their events have been scheduled for Saturdays rather than Sundays. This is in recognition of the fact that tournament have always pretty much crossed out Sundays for other family affairs and now that most people work five day weeks, having a tournament on Saturday does leave the Sunday open for other engagements .

The other thing that organisers seem to have learned is that if a tournament is postponed because of weather then, particularly with tropical systems, there is a fair chance that the following weekend won’t be much better. For this reason, many tournaments now have their alternate dates two weeks or more after the original date.

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Published April 20, 2013 at 9:24 am (Updated April 20, 2013 at 9:23 am)

Herons in bays and inlets a good sign

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