Some fabulous fishing to be had despite weather
The rain and thunder has not been particularly encouraging for anglers although the forecast for the weekend is even less so. Maybe a positive of such activity is that it cools things off, hopefully reducing the likelihood of any tropical activity as Danny churns its way through the Atlantic.
After last year, most boaters are a bit gun-shy of such storms and will be keeping a weather-eye out. This is well and good, but there can still be some fabulous fishing to be had.
With the summer progressing with alacrity, attention is shifting away from billfish and starting to focus on more traditionally sought species. These include the tunas and smaller game species that are around the Banks and Edge. Commercial fishermen, in particular, are keeping an eye open for what should grow into the autumnal wahoo run.
To this end, this week's exploits included a 450lb blue released by captain James Robinson's Wound Up which was fishing off Long Point, to the north of the Island. The catch came when the boat was primarily in pursuit of wahoo, some of which pleased.
The cooling of the water, as a result of the rain, might actually trigger a flurry of activity from fish that have grown lethargic or moved deeper as a result of the warm summer water.
Overall, numbers of wahoo are on the upswing, although the size is still what might be expected from the summertime crop of yearlings. A few larger fish, into the 30lb bracket, are starting to show up and there are probably larger specimens yet to put in an appearance.
A real positive sign has come from the sighting of juvenile or, erroneously named, frigate mackerel in the inshore waters. Their presence there probably mean that they will be found over the deeper reefs and even on the drop-off shortly where they will serve as a beacon for any migratory predators.
The days are growing shorter and northern waters are cooling so the wahoo, tuna and other species are on the move toward warmer climes. Once on such a mission the only thing that can deter them from their course is an opportunity to gorge themselves on bait, and the presence of schools of mackerel can produce the perfect situation for these marauders, and for anglers looking to make inroads into their numbers.
Many local commercial fishermen see this as their chance to stock some fish away before the weather turns foul, which it will inevitably do in the not too distant future. Time to make hay while the sun shines.
On a point of clarification, the capture of a 918lb blue marlin by Wound Up as reported here, stated that the crew thought the fish to be a grander.
Actually, that was misleading because the truth of the matter was that the experienced crew had the fish accurately pegged as being in the mid 800lb range but, despite repeated attempts to release the fish, it eventually went belly-up, forcing its boating. All credit to the crew for trying to release the fish alive.
The capture of any large blue marlin is always a thorny issue involving the viewpoints of the green lobby, tournament organisers, anglers, publicists and others. It is certainly not for discussion here as it could easily run volumes. Suffice it to say that Bermuda sportsmen, and charter boat crews, act responsibly and any fish taken are utilised in one way or the other.
On a very positive note, tomorrow sees the Annual Junior Fishing Tournament organised by the Bermuda Anglers Club. The event is open to all youngsters aged 16 years or under, using hand line or rod and reel. Fishing can be from the shore, or from a boat, and there are plenty of prizes at stake. This year includes a special prize for the school with the most number of children registered who come to the weigh in.
In the past this event has been most successful, attracting more than 150 entrants from age two years on up. The only rules in place prohibit the entry of sharks, billfish or parrotfish as well as protected species. Minimum legal size requirements also apply.
Rain or shine, fishing starts at 8.30am with the weigh-in taking place from 3pm until 5pm just west of the Flagpole, Front Street. This is usually a fun-filled, popular spectator occasion.
The prize presentation will take place at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club on Saturday, 29th August at 10am.
This junior event is ideal for a bit of quality time, be it on the boat or just a family outing to the beach or rocky shoreline. It can be a great learning experience for the children and an opportunity for some healthy parental interaction before school starts up.
Also surprisingly, this event often turns up species of fish that are uncommonly caught by anglers but which may well be capable of providing some Tight Lines!
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