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Some good catches there for the taking

Time to get out there! It is pretty much high summer now and the fishing is not far off its best. Endless procrastination will get us to that time of the year where it is too hot for most species of fish and it is really only the marlin and the demented anglers that go out in the noon day sun.

The fishing has been pretty good and while there have been some slower days, the comment made by most is that the fish are there and it is just a matter of catching them in the biting mood to ensure decent hauls of wahoo, tuna and other species.

Live baiting has its proponents but success has been had with traditional trolling and chumming practitioners. So, there are lots of options and opportunities for combining techniques.

Capt. Kevin Winter’s

Playmate enjoyed a mid-week mixed bag with small game fish and a nice selection of yellowfin tuna up to about 70 pounds. Although there were some wahoo seen in the chum they failed to bite but, as noted earlier, the fish were indeed there.

Trips over the deep water to the Banks at this time should include something intended for billfish as they are on the grounds and starting to please. A few boats are just beginning to put in concerted billfish effort and they are getting results. Capt. Brooks Rans’

Matanza caught two blues (about 150 and 400 pounds) while missing two white marlin shots.

With the moon coming full on the 23rd of this month, believers will increase their effort as the week progresses. Non-believers will merely put in the hours and will probably also be rewarded with some of the big fish that attract anglers form all over the world to compete in the July 4 Blue Marlin World Cup and the other high profile tournaments that take place next month. All in all, there’s lots of fishing ahead.

Good conditions dominated the proceedings last Sunday when one of the season’s most popular angling events took place. The Bacardi tournament had drawn some 50 entries ranging from the small, private A Class boats, through the larger private craft in Class B to the commercial craft in Class C.

As is always the case, only about one-third of the entrants actually came to the weigh-in. This is a common phenomenon that baffles observers and novice organisers.

What has to be understood is that entering a tournament does not mean that one has to show up at the weigh-in. For most boats weigh-ins mean going out of their way and that costs in terms of both time and fuel.

First off, the boat has to have something to weigh and not every day is catching day for everyone. Then there are those boats that enter but which do not actually, for whatever reason, go fishing.

Conditions might be marginal for a smaller boat (the final decision lies with the skipper); there could be illness or laziness involved and other issues that are work-related or personal can also affect one’s participation. In any case, experience has shown that somewhere between 25-35 percent of entrants actually arrive at the weighstation at the appointed time.

In all, there were 52 fish weighed in. Of these 20 were wahoo, the largest of which was the 58.2 pound C Class winner with the B Class going to a 50.7 pound fish excellently caught on 12-lb test. The A Class winner was a 45.9 pound wahoo. The winners, in order were John Portelli, Dylis Pantry and Mark Mitchell.

There was an interesting selection of tuna. Interesting, because there is no distinction between the various tuna species. In this particular event, there were 26 tuna weighed in; 19 yellowfin and six blackfin.

There was also a rather nice 21.3 pound mackerel or little tunny caught by Tim Proctor. Strictly speaking, a little tunny aka Atlantic black skipjack and other names, should be classed as a tuna. Preventing confusion, perhaps happily, the tuna category winners were Mark Henneberger with a 52.7 pound yellowfin (C Class), Chris Dupereault’s 45.8 pound yellowfin (Class B) and Keith Marshall’s 32.4 pound yellowfin in Class A.

In the “other” category there were just six fish weighed in: none in Class A, one in Class B and the rest in Class C. The Class B 21.1 pound bonita (Almaco jack) caught by Jacob Estis took the honours while in Class C it was a 34.3 pound bonita caught by Robin Smith.

In Class A the High Point Boat was Stephen Rossiter’s

Reel Rude with Edward Barnes’

Hoodini taking the runner-up slot. In Class B the High Point Boat was Martin Estis’

Wasabi with

Wicket Woof skippered by David Pantry as the runner-up.

In the commercial boat class, the top boat was Capt. Craigin Curtis’

Reel Addiction which also won Overall High Point Boat while Capt. Joey Dawson’s

Gringo was the runner-up in that class.

Of the species that might have been expected to be in the “Other” category only dolphin and amberjack were not represented. The minimum weight requirement of 20 pounds is a bit on the large size for local dolphin and they are never all that numerous here anyway.

Big amberjack have always been the norm here and, despite the fact that none were weighed in at the tournament, last week was no different when visiting angler Roderick Williams from Georgia caught a 156.2 pound specimen on 50-lb test line while fishing from

Paradise One on Argus Bank.

This fish was remarkable in that it tied the existing world record which had been caught off Japan a few years ago and represented a potential new Bermuda record bettering Warren McHarg’s 50-lb test catch of 92 lbs 4 oz in 1996 by a considerable margin.

What many don’t realise is that records do not magically happen. For both Bermuda and world records applications must be made. When an application is made in respect of both then the success of the Bermuda record depends on whether or not the IGFA accepts the entry as a world record.

There are certain requirements needed for both types of applications and this may involve notarised statements, some paperwork and certainly a fee for a world mark. Such requirements often dissuade anglers from making such applications and, so, big fish do not necessarily make for big records. At the present time, it is unclear as to where or not any applications will be made in respect of this particular catch.

Looking ahead to next week there is another prolific source of local and world records as the Bermuda Anglers Club hosts their long-standing International Light Tackle Tournament. This will occupy centre stage through the week and the upshot of this will be a good idea of where the fish are or aren’t and what methods are the best to employ.

Such a tournament gives experienced anglers four days to concentrate on locating the fish and then facing the challenge of big fish on light tackle Tight lines!!!

Roderick Williams from Georgia caught this 156.2-lb amberjack which could be a Bermuda record.

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Published June 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm)

Some good catches there for the taking

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