The Fat Lady is clearing her throat on this season
Can’t you hear it? The Fat Lady is tuning up as the season draws to its finale. Even the angling clubs are staging their final few in-house competitions and hoping the weather holds for just long enough.
The good conditions that held for most of the past week will soon be a thing of the past and many a would-be angler will find themselves stuck ashore as the winds howl over the weekends. In the meantime, there is plenty of opportunity.
The frigate mackerel may not have shown up in any numbers and the autumnal wahoo run may not have materialised as expected, but there certainly has been considerable action from this species over the past week or so. Many commercial boats have averaged half a dozen or more, with the fish being of really nice quality.
A truly notable wahoo catch during the past week or so has been Morgan Outerbridge’s 105lb wahoo caught on 30lb test line. The fish was caught while live-baiting from Captain Adam Hines’s Legasea,
If anyone wants to challenge the International Game Fishing Association line class record, they would have their work cut out for them. The present record is a 127lb 8oz fish taken off the Florida Gulf coast back in 1991. The women’s line class record is 108 pounds.
This particular catch, if entered through the proper procedure, with the necessary paperwork done and submitted on time, could become the new Bermuda line class record. That is held at present by a 98lb 10oz wahoo caught way back in May 1963.
Noting that fish as exceptional, a better example of the present level of activity would be Captain Darrell Steynor’s Sorceress’s haul on Sunday: six prime wahoo and back at the dock at midday. It doesn’t come much better than that.
Quite a few commercial boats have been taking advantage of the number of wahoo offshore. It seems that fish in the 50 to 60lb class are not uncommon and, although many are concentrating on using live robins for bait, there is probably no reason why some of the more traditional methods will not work as well.
Best of all, the action seems to be pretty well spread out, including both the Banks and Bermuda’s Edge.
In trying to explain what is happening, some fishermen think that the phases of the moon affect fishing. Much of this logic is that during bright moon periods the fish, especially a hunter such as the wahoo, can see well enough at night to be able to feed.
During the darker periods, the fish go hungry at night and are then voracious feeders at daybreak and through the daylight period.
Considering that the new moon was this past week, the present upsurge in fishing results would support that theory. What may or not correlate with it is this: as the moon comes brighter, will the “bite” ease off? The proof may well be in the pudding, but it seems a bit too simplistic an explanation for what must be a dynamic situation with countless variables.
Far better to head offshore and take advantage of the burst of activity than spend time trying to explain it and then having a long, fishless winter ahead.
Apparently, there are still some yellowfin tuna around and these are probably school-sized fish. They take trolls and it should be possible to chum for them provided, of course, that the tidal flow allows for such.
Whether or not these tuna will stay through the winter is another matter entirely, so catching a couple and storing the fillets away might be a wise move.
And for those who still don’t believe that some large fish can be caught on the most gossamer of lines, try this out: a woman named Marty Bates recently caught a 105lb white marlin off the Cape Verde Islands. This catch of a much larger than average white marlin was made on 2lb test line. Yes, as in two-pound test!
The men’s 2lb test record is 87lb even, while on that line test the women’s mark is 56lb 8oz. This new application for an IGFA line class record pretty much blows the competition out of the water.
At this latitude and this late into the year, the active pursuit of billfish is unlikely to be rewarded. Far better to direct one’s effort into building up a stash of fish that can be frozen and then defrosted as and when required over the next few months.
Pumpkin season is almost here, after which turkey and ham will quickly become the main items on the menu.
Yes, it is later than you think; with maybe just about enough time for a final foray offshore with a reasonable expectation of some profitable Tight Lines!!!