Trollers finding wahoo as season winds down
Into the final third of the year now, with probably a month of good fishing ahead before the onset of the winter weather pattern all but succeeds in keeping the weekenders home until next April or May.
The predominantly easterly winds of the present and probably for the next couple of days are not really too encouraging but, then again, perhaps a bit more mixing and a change in the offshore current flow may liven things up.
Not that things have been too bad over the past week or so. Just about conforming to the historical calendar, there seem to be increasing numbers of wahoo around the island, with some decent hauls having been made by several commercial boats, with a number of weekenders also claiming to have had success.
The best source of information on the offshore state of things has traditionally come from the commercial operators, who have to make a living out of being able to read the subtle signs that speak of movements of fish and the best way to locate and catch them. This is where the amateurs get sufficient information for them to plan their occasional sorties out in search of sport. Unfortunately, over the past few days, most of the commercial fleet has been preoccupied with deploying their lobster gear in hopes of a bountiful harvest during the first couple of days of the spiny lobster season, which in case you hadn’t noticed, is now.
Trollers are getting some action from wahoo on the Banks and on the various portions of Bermuda’s Edge. Positives include an increase in the average size of the fish and the presence of more bait on the offshore grounds. Although true “frigate” mackerel have yet to be located out on the Edge and beyond, there have been enough confirmed sightings of the creatures inshore to strongly suggest that it won’t be too long before they will be taking trolled daisy chains out in 25 or 30 fathom waters. In the meantime, there are some mackerel, or little tunny as they are more properly known, that are small enough to lend themselves into conversion into live baits.
Less useful as live baits, but a sure sign that there are fish that will attract major predators, are the small schools of tiny “grasshopper-sized” dolphinfish that have been seen. These too can be caught on daisy chains although one has to wonder how many wahoo, tuna and marlin love to feast on such morsels. No doubt they won’t be too far away.
There have also been a few yellowfin tuna willing to please and while the numbers are not what they might be, this is subject to change and could well do with the passage of another tropical system between the island and the East Coast. Changes in water temperature and current patterns often dictate the movements of fish.
Chumming, particularly over some of the reef areas inside of the actual drop-off can prove to be surprisingly productive especially at this juncture. Amberjack and bonitas should be fairly willing to please and now is the time of year when serious yellowtail snapper fishermen start to concentrate their efforts on this desirable species.
Blackfin tuna are also likely to show up in any chum line as will robins. Given the proximity of the deeper reefs to the edge of the deep, live-baiting could well attract nigh on anything.
The deadline for entry into this year’s Royal Gazette Wahoo Tournament is Wednesday at 5pm. Entry forms can be had from the newspaper, C-Mart and The Marine Locker. Group or team entries may also be made, so overall entry is easier than it has ever been. This has always been a popular event and with the fishing appearing to pick up it is promising to be a good one.
Also of interest is another positive innovation undertaken by the Bermuda Anglers Club. To help promote angling in Bermuda, the organisation is conducting a seminar open to the public with an emphasis on attracting juniors, their parents and anyone else even remotely interested in fishing.
Unlike some specialised meetings, this offers something even for armchair anglers who seldom venture onto the sea. The first hour-long session which will be held on Friday, September 15 at 6pm at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club will focus on wahoo; featuring both the fish and the techniques used to catch them.
The fact that this is a holiday weekend means that there will be one additional day to try to cram in the last of the summer fun. For some this means picnicking or barbecuing but for those who really know how late in the year it has suddenly become, Monday may well offer some anglers a further chance at racking up some more Tight Lines!
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