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Final chance to get out and fill up the fishing box

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Plentiful haul: Wahoo catches have been of a good size
Tight Lines

It’s all Greek to me and so much for the adage about “October, all over”!

Who would have thought that yet another tropical system, a full-blown hurricane, no less, would be stampeding past these parts at a time when most people are carving up their pumpkins and awaiting the arrival of witches and goblins.

It might not be global warning, but the times, they definitely are a changing.

And it is bad enough that they usually change at this time of the year as what is left of summer transmutes into winter and a regular diet of gales from the northwest becomes the standard weather forecast.

In between there are days when the angler can slip offshore, but these are so few and far between that it is nigh on impossible to make any plans and there are very few amateurs who are in a position to drop everything and hit the briny at short notice.

Optimists will be hoping that the present situation settles down quickly and the seas again allow a few last licks of the lollipop that is the offshore scene at the moment.

There was some good fishing to be had and this may yet be milked for a few weeks.

Make no mistake, the fish are on the move and there is not an unlimited supply of them; when they have gone past, they are gone until the water warms up and they move north again next year.

Although a few fishermen have concentrated their finish efforts by live baiting, there are plenty of signs that good old-fashioned trolling is paying off.

Catches have been classic mixed bags of mainly wahoo interspersed with blackfin and yellowfin tuna and even a few dolphinfish.

The wahoo all seem to be of a nice size with 40-pound fish pretty close to the norm.

There are larger specimens around and the likelihood of double and triple strikes of fish means that a fish box can fill up pretty quickly.

Both yellowfin and blackfin tuna will also take trolled rigs with naturals fished a long way back often getting the attention of tuna.

While none of the more recently caught yellowfin have been giants, fish in the 40 to 60-pound range are commonplace.

People who used to catch Allisons by chumming are often surprised at the fight put up by a tuna hooked while trolling.

There is no question that they do give a really good account of themselves, but this is probably a result of the fish starting off with a couple of hundred feet of line already in the water rather than having to drag it off a reel when it takes a bait in the chum line.

A bit of a surprise, but there have been some nice dolphin caught lately.

A species usually thought of as a highly tropical resident, they do move around and even though things are cooling off here they are still pleasing.

Not abundant enough to be a target species here, they are common enough to be a really welcome addition to the fish box when one snatches a trolled offering.

Fish larger than about ten pounds often travel in pairs or small groups, so it pays to look around when catching one.

It may be possible to drop another bait back to any of its “friends” that might be travelling with it.

Even the distant passage of any heavy weather moves stuff around in the ocean and this is often the time of year when floating materials can be found.

Found and worked around rather than found by impact as some such things lurk just below the surface making for a serious marine hazard.

Something as simple as a bit of rope or wood can be a beacon for large numbers of wahoo with dolphin often hanging in the vicinity of such things.

Locating something that has the fish home can prove to be a real goldmine as it can be worked over and will continue to allow multiple strikes.

Alternatively, if conditions suit, a bit of chum will lure the inhabitants to the boat where classic chum techniques can be used to hook up and catch the fish.

A reminder for all, especially those who take their chances by fishing alone. Wahoo have teeth, very sharp teeth, akin to razor blades and dead or alive, they are capable of slicing through flesh.

A fisherman recently had the misfortune to boat a wahoo and to come afoul of its jaws, slicing his foot wide open.

Quite apart from the pain, loss of blood and shock that could set in, this individual was incredibly lucky, according to the doctor who eventually attended to him, not to have severed the artery which very likely would have made for a much sadder outcome to this event.

Another implication of this tale is that going barefoot in the cockpit may not be the smartest of ideas.

Many fisherman find the soles of their feet a better grip on a wet, rolling floor, but between teeth, sharp hooks and other point objects maybe discretion is really better than such valour.

Not long to go now; in fact, the next calm day might be the last for a good long time, especially if one is limited to weekends.

Looking at that and the imminent prospect of a long winter ahead might be all it takes to get up and head out for some Tight Lines!!!

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Published October 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm (Updated October 24, 2020 at 4:52 pm)

Final chance to get out and fill up the fishing box

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