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Weather’s hot . . . but the fishing’s cool

It's doldrums time and while this isn't normally associated with fast fishing action, we should be counting our blessings as the tropical season progresses uneventfully. Calm seas and sunny days make for the perfect type of thing that tourism brochures extol and sun worshippers long for. Maybe not what the angler has in mind, but nonetheless a good thing overall.

Once again, the Blue Halo initiative is making its way into the news. While its supporters see all sorts of potential benefits to it, they ignore any possible negatives. It is also rather interesting to see how many foreigners are quite happy to see Bermuda sign on without encouraging their own countries to do something similar.

Some of the comments recently attributed to Philippe Cousteau suggest that Bermuda really has no future in sea bed mining nor will a high seas fishery ever take root. In almost the same breath, he says that the youth are the real owners of the resource. Certainly, if that is the case and generations have accepted that argument, it would be unreasonable to deny them any potential that it might have in the future. No one is able to say what uses the future may present for this large expanse of the world ocean, but prudence would suggest that keeping options open might be a good idea.

The weekend ahead has all the hallmarks of August. Hot, with virtually no wind. The weather station might register some but most people will claim that there isn't a breath. If you are a “blow boater” or sailing enthusiast, this won't be especially thrilling.

In fact, even anglers have a mixed view of such conditions. Flat calm with nothing but a long swell that originates thousands of miles to our south. This can often be considerable if there is a hurricane or other tropical disturbance down in the equatorial regions.

Looking into the water, you get the feeling that you can see down hundreds of feet and through the sea as far as the eye can see. You also get a feeling that there aren't any fish anywhere near you.

While this may not be true; witness a blue marlin suddenly exploding on a lure, literally coming out of the blue; it does take some of the enthusiasm out of fishing.

Trolling has been slow, even though that is the status quo at this time of the year. Some years large yellowfin tuna put in an appearance but when they do, it is pretty obvious with hundred pounders crashing and splashing. So far that has not been the case, but that could still change.

What wahoo there have been are just what you would expect, summertime “lizards” in the 10 to 20-pound range. Although they are not particularly numerous, even a single one provides more than enough fresh fish for a family. That can justify a trip offshore.

Dragging lures through the deep water will continue to get the attention of billfish, especially the blue marlin that seem to really like the warm water that is a dominant feature of the offshore at this point in time. There will still be some big fish around although smaller specimens, presumably males in the 150-250 pound bracket, should become more common.

August also is the month when floating debris harbouring game fish may be found. Wahoo and dolphin are the most likely species to be found associated with flotsam and these often in welcome quantities.

Anglers and fishermen alike will be waiting for is the arrival of juvenile mackerel — the so-called “frigate mackerel” and then hope for numbers of large wahoo to follow them, making for some spectacular action. Maybe.

The heat and bright sun will discourage the fish from coming up to the surface so the best times to fish will be early and late, when the sun's rays are at an angle and penetrating less deeply. Yellowfin tuna, in particular, are shy of the bright hot sunlight and this makes chumming for them a less promising option. Yellowfin have not been present in the numbers that are normally expected at this time of the year and this has also dissuaded anglers from putting in the effort.

On the plus side, there probably won't be much need for anchoring. This can be a blessing or a curse for bottom fishing. If you happen to land in a vein of fish, the slow movement will give you a fine opportunity to maximise the yield.

If it turns out to be a dead spot, then it might be worth moving the boat, rather than waiting for nature to do it for you. Drifting while chumming should be pleasantly smooth and some of the small game should be willing to please. Wahoo may well show up and, while trying to get one to take a piece of cut bait can be a challenge, offer the chance of some rewarding angling.

Often unwanted but nonetheless a recognised game fish, the barracuda become commonplace at this time of the year, often acting as sentinels to a chum line and discouraging more desirable species. If not much else is happening, some fun can be had with them by using a spinning rod and some artificial lures. The tube lures, unlikely as they might seem, do get good results.

Looking ahead, there is something that should interest a good deal of the younger set. Bermuda Anglers Club is once again holding their junior anglers tournament. This fun event is open to all youngsters under the age of 16 years. There are categories for both boys and girls as well sections for shore and boat fishing.

Rod and reel or hand line can be used with the only real restrictions being on the species allowed. Billfish, sharks and parrotfish may not be entered. The latter group of colourful reef-dwelling species is protected by law but they are often confused with wrasses which are not. The tournament will accept wrasses which include slippery dicks and similar reef fish. It might pay to brush up on the identification of such fish.

The event will be fished on Sunday, August 18, regardless of weather, with the fishing commencing at 8.30 am. The weigh-in will take place just west of the Flagpole on Front Street from 3.00 pm until 5.00 pm. There are lots of great prizes to be won!

Entry forms may be had from Flybridge Tackle shop or on-line at www.bermudanglersclub.com. The deadline for entries is 5.00pm today. Entries may be submitted at Flybridge Tackle or on-line to bermudaanglersclub@bermuda.com.

A calm weekend is the perfect opportunity for taking children offshore, even just to nearby reefs where there will be enough fish to keep them entertained and give them a shot at a tournament prize. Even a single fishing trip can be enough to get someone hooked on fishing for life, not to mention establishing some proper perspectives on the environment. Encouraging youth is a priority with all the angling clubs and what better way to accomplish this than to give them the thrill of Tight lines!!!

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Published August 09, 2013 at 11:26 pm (Updated August 09, 2013 at 11:26 pm)

Weather’s hot . . . but the fishing’s cool

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