Bad weather may be good for fishing
Wow, with Cup Match now over, it is just about time to start looking forward to pumpkins and Hallowe’en. The rate at which a year can zip by is amazing.
The weather took a turn for the worse over the holiday with the remnants of some seasonal tropical activity bringing showers to the island. Not exactly what organisers would have wanted for the big match, but nonetheless welcomed by those with lowered tanks and parched gardens.
The winds early in the week were sufficient to make life offshore uncomfortable and the passage of the low pressure system meant that the recognised holiday days were not exactly inviting for offshore activities. This is now predicted to improve, offering those tired of cricket and related festivities with a chance to head out and to wet a line.
A positive outcome might be as a result of the rather inclement weather of the past few days. A good bit of oceanic mixing, perhaps a bit less insolation warming up the surface waters and the fresh water freshening that rain brings might have combined to liven up that which has been pretty quiet as of late.
The yellowfin tuna, generally the mainstay of the offshore chumming scene at this time of the year have been a bit thin on the ground. Perhaps this recent variation in the weather may lure them closer to the banks and inspire them to go into feeding mode.
This would be ideal, if it happens. Otherwise with high summer still here and hot days dominating, there is a marked tendency for the Allisons to avoid the real heat of midday and for them to be most likely to please in the early morning or late afternoon.
More success can be had in such conditions with the blackfin tuna and other small game, particularly just inside of the drop-offs or on the tops of the banks.
Although trolling remains the preferred way to seek out wahoo and there has been some success recently as one commercial boat managed to catch five or six fairly respectable specimens the other day, late summer often brings wahoo cruising into otherwise quiet chum slicks. Although their presence will dissuade any robins from showing up, mackerel and rainbow runners are a little more daring and as the wahoo watch the free food being ladled overboard, they too often go for a bite. Some anglers just seem to have the knack of getting lucky and catching wahoo on nylon chumming leaders while others are frustrated time and time again, parting leader after leader.
Wahoo are wary of wire leaders, but there are a couple of tricks that can make for success. One is the use of a long shank hook. If well-hidden in a piece of fresh guts or fillet, a wahoo might well be hooked in the corner of the mouth where it is far less likely that the monofilament leader will cross the razor teeth.
Another trick is to use those inexpensive nylon-covered metal braid leaders. Although clearly visible to a wahoo, for some reason the outer covering probably makes it look like it is a monofilament leader so they will take these.
Other toothy critters that seem to come to life during August are the barracuda which appear out of nowhere and can lay havoc with small game in a chum line and some of the really hefty tiger sharks that call the banks home. Hooking into one of these can provide a real workout even on heavy tackle and although that is considered quite exciting by some, such fishing is eschewed by most locals.
The last of the billfish events is now slated for next weekend and is likely to see severe depletion on the part of the American fleet as most of the visitors have headed back to the mainland. This is for various reasons, ranging from the surfeit of big money events along the East Coast and into the Caribbean as well as the dangers associated with having a million-dollar yacht at a small island in the middle of the Atlantic as the hurricane season starts to heat up.
Still, there should be enough marlin around to ensure some action. The current wisdom suggests that there will be fewer really large fish around and a proliferation of smaller blue marlin, thought to be males. Treat this with a grain or two of salt. Big blues can happen just about wherever and whenever they please.
The angling calendar isn’t much different to how the passage of time is perceived. The winter months drag by and then suddenly the spring run of wahoo, such that it is, brings everyone out of hibernation, only to have the time rapidly punctuated with major events like the Bacardi tournament, then the big billfish events and, suddenly, the final major fixture is the annual wahoo tournament and it is now but a few scant weeks away.
So, before the summer comes to an abrupt halt, take advantage of what’s left of this weekend to slip offshore and drop a line somewhere in the hope that some creature of the deep; even a little one, will give you some of those Tight Lines!
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