Plenty of sporting opportunities for non-cricket lovers
Who would have thought it? After the forecast was made and the organisers saw the weather on Friday and Saturday, all wind and rain, it was decided to postpone the Bermuda v United States Release Challenge Tournament.
Then, lo and behold, doesn't Sunday turn out to be an absolutely gorgeous, eminently fishable day, which certainly came as a surprise to all concerned. To give the meteorologists their due, the weather that day was a brief interlude in the nasty conditions that returned late on Sunday into Monday and Tuesday. The alternate date is not tomorrow but next Sunday, August 8. It is still possible to get involved by contacting either Wayne Correia at C-Mart or Trevor Gillis on 334-8657.Although most people have four days off and almost everyone has at least two this weekend, not everyone is a cricket enthusiast and some even shy away from picnicking and boating in and around the islands. These are the intrepid few who spend their holiday in the pursuit of game fish.There should be plenty of opportunities for the traditional sporting species found here. In particular, the blackfin tuna is numerous to the point of abundant, usually more than willing to please and they do grow large around here. Best of all, they put up a battle that, on a pound-for-pound basis, puts many other species to shame. This makes them the perfect light tackle fish. Twelve pound test line is ideal and even 20lb test is not too heavy to keep them from putting up a great battle. Specialist might even want to go lower and this is a perfect candidate for those wishing to take a stab at salt water fly fishing.The only downside to a successful capture is that blackfin are not a preferred species for eating. For most locals the meat is simply too dark and the yield is too small for most restaurant applications; one of the reasons the species is often ignored by commercial fishermen. From a purely sporting point of view, releasing a blackfin is gratifying in that if it is tagged it will likely be recaptured at some point and, even if it isn't, it is amazingly likely to turn up in some other chum line in a few days' time. There is plenty of evidence that they survive being hooked and brought to boat side, so this suggests that, to some point, they are “recyclable”.Wahoo continue to be present although the warm water usually reduces their interest in trolled offerings. Putting in the effort will get results and it might be an idea to carry some smaller baits in the spread as many of the wahoo are fish in the ‘teens. Some larger specimens may take to hanging around chum lines but the best bet is a live bait and while robins are the obvious choice for chummers, dragging a daisy chain might just result in some juvenile oceanic bonito or smaller mackerel that will do just fine. The very few who are attuned to the astronomical cycles will note that this weekend not only coincides with a full moon but a blue moon as it is the second to occur in July. In many locations, with the Virgin Islands taking it really seriously, the full moon period is believed to be red hot for blue marlin. If this translates to Bermuda then this weekend should see increased marlin activity. That may or may not be desirable for local anglers, but is probably of great interest to the remaining foreign boats that devote their days to finding the ultimate prize.Doing just about anything in the deep water will confirm that there are still marlin out there and maybe a school or two or large yellowfins. The latter are a bit more choosy when it comes to trolls, preferring natural baits over artificials although some lures do get results. Heavy tackle is essential because an Allison weighing in at more than 100 and even as much as 200lbs is capable of putting a hefty bend in any rod and requiring a good deal of muscle exertion to get it anywhere near the boat. Although fish weighing more than 200lbs have been caught here, the Bermuda record stands just shy of that mark, so there is another opportunity for someone who hooks a whopper and then abides by the IGFA angling rules and does the required paperwork.And if this isn't the time to indulge in the “lazy, hazy days of summer”, then there isn't such. Anchor up just outside the channel, drop a line overboard, get comfortable with a cool drink, pull the hat low over the eyes, lay off and muse whether you actually really want any Tight Lines!