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Bacardi Tournament to finally go ahead

Fingers crossed, there will finally be a major fishing tournament this weekend.

After massive rescheduling and a pair of postponements, the Bacardi Angling Tournament is slated for tomorrow. Hooray!

Recognising that the twenty-odd original entrants will have made changes including removing their craft from the water in advance of the storms and, simply, some individual's availability will also have changed; the organisers have seen fit to open the tournament up to pretty much anyone who wants to fish it.

Confirmation and details may be had by contacting Bacardi on 298-1014.

The forecast is for light to moderate winds with seas of a similar nature. About the only negative is that what wind there will be will be coming from the eastern quadrant and that is not usually for best fishing; but at this late stage of the season, the next few weekends could easily be wrought with gales and be unfishable.

This outlook is certainly fine enough to allow for a reasonable day out on the briny with the catching part of the angling being pretty much up to the fish.

On that front, things are encouraging. There are certainly enough indications that the autumnal wahoo run is on and its magnitude has yet to be realised.

Some years are definitely better than others, but some run is better than no run at all. The latter case is rare but not totally unheard of.

In any event, at least one commercial boat had a good day with the wahoo last week.

Using live robins collected earlier in the day, the catch amounted to over 400 pounds of wahoo.

A quick estimate of individual fish suggests something like 40 pounds apiece – live baits tend to attract the attention of larger fish while trolled baits often entice school-sized specimens.

The latter might produce greater numbers but there is a tradeoff.

Tactics for tomorrow will likely be varied. There are those who prefer to stick to traditional trolling of baits and lures at this time of the year.

The theory is that allows the boat to cover that much more water and, hopefully, encountering more fish. It does allow for some variety, though.

While wahoo will be the main target species, yellowfin, dolphin, barracuda and other species will all pretty much take a troll from time to time.

Even amberjack and bonita have stormed up to the surface to hit a troll bait; not often but it does happen.

Given that the tournament is open to any game species, other than sharks and billfish, over 20 pounds this may not be a bad way of catching something enterable.

Chumming is another popular technique. For one, it is easy on fuel and, for another, it is a lot quieter.

The drone of engines all day long can be either infuriating or soporific.

Yellowfin tuna are the principal target here although chumming is often a precursor to a third, and effective, method – live baiting.

Thus far, the preferred live bait has been robins and while there are suggestions that juvenile mackerel and tuna are about, many will want to stick to this tried and true bait that just about every predator will quite recklessly devour.

Quite apart from obtaining live baits that can fished from an anchored boat or trolled or drifted or even put out on a kite rig, chumming is a proven method of catching just about everything that lives in the sea.

Although yellowfin are the largest tuan species likely to be encountered, there are blackfin, little tunny (mackerel) and skipjack all of which can better the tournament minimum weight.

As the bait sinks away, amberjack, horse-eye bonitas and other jacks are all likely to take baits. Quite apart from tournament qualifying fish, there are also things like yellowtail snapper and flag rockfish that are most welcome additions to the fish box even if they are not destined for the weigh-in.

And, just a “heads up”, although it looked like this tournament was going to be the swansong for this season, there are apparently a number of people trying to organise a “wahoo only” tournament to take advantage of the autumnal run.

Details are still a bit sketchy but anyone trying to make up for what has been lost this year might be advised to keep their eyes and ears open for any developments on this front.

Tournament fishing aside, the next couple of weeks usually represent the last chances for even the most casual anglers to stock up on some fish. Properly packaged, fillets and steaks can last a few month's in the freezer; a welcome alternative as the holiday season looms dimly on the horizon. After all, what better excuse to go in search of Tight Lines!!!

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Published September 26, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated September 25, 2020 at 10:15 pm)

Bacardi Tournament to finally go ahead

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