Mega haul for Mega Bucks
There, thatís the picnicking done and dusted. Maybe not on the traditional day, but a long weekend for most is always attractive. So, now is the time to restore the boat to the purpose for which it was purchased and, for many, that is to go fishing.
It is officially summer, the weather forecast is favourable and there is no reason to miss out on the spring fishing. Right now it is nice on the water; not too hot and the fresh air will do you good.
Last Sundayís near-perfect conditions saw the local angling clubs compete in their annual tournament. Despite the boats covering a fair expanse of water and a variety of methods being used, the results were spotty. There was just one boat that really seemed to score and that was Captain Sinclair Lambeís Mega Bucks. On board, the Sea Horse Anglers Club team of Nitin Aggarwal, David DeSilva, Wayne Correia and Keith Pearman managed to catch four nice yellowfin tuna and a wahoo to amass an overall winning total of 3067.53 points. Pearmanís 68.5lb yellowfin was the largest fish of the tournament and catching his fish on 16lb test line gave Aggarwal (1850.69 points) the High Point Angler award.
Bermuda Anglers Club won the 8lb test class, 12lb test class had no eligible entries, Blue Waters Anglers Club won the 20lb test class and Sea Horse Anglers took the honours in the 16 and 30lb test classes.
Despite the mediocre landings of this event, it did provide some valuable information about the offshore scene. This sort of intelligence can help an angler to plan the day both in terms of gear and location.
First off, there is no doubt that there is a rather nice class of yellowfin tuna hanging around the Banks. The southeastern portion tends to be the area that they favour and that is where most will try their luck first. Whether or not they will be in a mood to bite is anybodyís guess but just knowing that they are out there is encouragement in itself.
All the seasonal species are available on the offshore grounds. Small game like rainbow runners and mackerel are plentiful, the barracuda are making their presence felt in and around chum lines.
Wahoo continue to be taken on the troll with some nicer than average fish occasionally taking a bait. Proof that there are some trophy-sized wahoo about comes from a spearfisherman who collected with a large wahoo off Argus Tower. Although anglers are generally not impressed by those who partake of his very selective fishery, there are lessons to be learnt. Not least of which is that Argus Tower is home to a number of cubera snapper, a species not often recognised locally but which grows to a very considerable size. One spearfisher also working the waters on Argus managed a very impressive 84.5lb specimen.
Veteran fisherman Martin Dixon in his venerable Amberjack has had a rather catholic experience along the South Shore involving catching a very large barracuda; battling a white marlin on light tackle and putting an estimated 16lb oceanic bonito (skipjack tuna) into the fish box. The latter is a truly tropical fish and one which figures pretty prominently in the dietary preferences of blue marlin. Although recognised as a Bermuda game fish, they have been conspicuous by their scarcity in recent years. They put up a spirited fight and are well suited to light tackle.
That the season is nearly in full swing can only be emphasised by the arrival of some foreign sport fishing boats already. Although blue marlin is their main target, the diversity of game species currently available has to be tempting for any serious sportsman.
Looking ahead and next week sees the staging of one of the islandís most popular fishing competitions; the Bacardi Rum Angling Tournament. This event attracts all sorts from professionals, through experienced anglers, all the way along to novices, fishing salt water for the first time. This also comes at a time of the year when all the summer game species are present on the offshore grounds in some abundance, thus making a number of fishing methods applicable and makes for a selection. Many would opt to stat chumming for tuna but there are still a few who will continue to troll in the hope of attracting a large wahoo or marauding yellowfin tuna. Still others will concentrate on live bait techniques and, invariably, there will be a limited number who mix and match the tactics. All in all, a most promising challenge.
Entry forms are available from the Marine Locker on Gorham Road, Hamilton and C-Mart on North Shore, as well as from Bacardi Limited. Entry forms can be dropped off at those same places and the deadline for submission is the close of play on Wednesday, May 30.
Anyone waiting for a better invitation to go fishing will be disappointed as things are shaping up and one has to take what nature allows. One thing for sure is, staying on the couch will never result in Tight Lines!
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