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Keeping up with your prey can be best way to maximise spring run

It is officially spring and there has been some fairly decent trolling, even though there has been very little effort expended in that pursuit. As mentioned, a very limited number of anglers have taken advantage of the surprisingly good weather and sea conditions of the past few weeks, while the commercial fishermen have been making every last-ditch effort to maximise the benefit of their traps as the end of the spiny lobster season is now merely a matter of hours away.

What the effort has shown is that most of the “high season” species are already on the offshore grounds and the fish are reasonably willing to please.

Dragging a daisy chain or, at least a small feather or lure, should entice mackerel that, once caught, can be rigged and sent back in the hope of luring larger game. Although it may not be always so apparent, remember that even a large mackerel can be a suitable target for a wahoo that may weigh only 15lbs or so. The razor-sharp teeth will slice off enough of a meal for a hungry 'hoo, even if the rest of it ends up sinking down into the depths. Just about any larger wahoo will be thinking about the entire offering, even if it takes a couple of bites.

It is certainly that time of the year when a run should occur, and it is often a matter of locating the concentration of fish and then exploiting them to the fullest. The spring run is notoriously short-lived and the fish cover a lot of bottom very quickly, so the best tactic is to try to do the same.

Such was the modus operandi of one boat last Sunday, which, after giving the southern portion of Bermuda's Edge a decent working-over, came up with a brace of wahoo and a mix consisting of small blackfin tuna and a nice dolphin. Again, the tackle in use could hardly be described as “light”, but, no matter, the chef would have been pleased with the outcome.

Although there are those who swear by the use of live bait for the larger fish, there is no question that all the traditional, rigged baits and even some of the newfangled lures can have their moments for both wahoo and other species. The ever-popular ballyhoo (garfish) and Sea Witch combinations are proven wahoo catchers, and these can be put to good use now. Once a few strikes have been had and the presence of the wahoo established, it may be time to ease off the throttle and to try techniques that may favour larger fish. This really may be unnecessary since, at the end of the day, unless profit is a requirement, wahoo of any size should be pleasing to the fisherman.

As many will attest, there are enough humpback whales around to satisfy the needs of anyone wishing to see these leviathans in action, but most of the time they are where the fish are not. If domestic or social pressure forces such a combined operation, the mission is best divided into some fishing, preferably along the Bank or South Shore, until such time as the whales decide to put on one of their performances.

Then it is “lines up” followed by a quick run to the, hopefully, nearby scene of the action where cameras can click and people can “ooh” and “aahh” to their heart's content. And, by then, with any luck, the real anglers aboard will already have had their Tight Lines!!!

Cameron Hollis parades his 14lb dolphinfish caught last weekend off Bermuda's East End onboard Mark Tatem's Hot Mess

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Published March 22, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 22, 2014 at 2:05 am)

Keeping up with your prey can be best way to maximise spring run

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