Bumper hauls often found near flotsam

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  • Small things, from crabs and other crustacea to juvenile fish, serve to attract larger predators

    Small things, from crabs and other crustacea to juvenile fish, serve to attract larger predators


Finally, some more seasonable weather. The seemingly endless heat has broken, perhaps due in part to the passage of tropical systems but no doubt a sign of the onset of the frigid season for our neighbours to the north.

While this makes it clearly the autumn, the summer species are departing with some of them already having made good their escape.

Despite this disadvantage to seasonal angling, there is another less obvious positive side to such proceedings.

Usually as a result of the heavy weather caused by Matthew, Nicole and others of their ilk, a great deal of stuff finds its way into Mother Ocean.

These items can range from entire craft, some of which are eminently salvageable, to trees, especially (for some unknown reason) palm trees, bits of rope, fluorescent light tubes and other oddities.

Properly referred to as flotsam — stuff that floats but got there of its own accord. It may be materials washed overboard, that rains brought down to the sea, things that uprooted or otherwise found their way into the sea.

Consider some of the mighty rivers on the US. East Coast that must have well and truly reached high marks and washed down all sorts of debris. While some of this might settle out close to land, become waterlogged and finally sink or be retrieved for whatever reason, there can be little doubt that storms put rivers into spate that reaches out and removes every manner of material from the shore.

On reaching the sea, it is to the tides and currents to steer such materials out into the briny even farther or to relocate them elsewhere along the shoreline.

Knowing the vagaries of such systems and the fact that they were undoubtedly perturbed by the storms, it is only reasonable to accept the fact that some of this stuff makes it out into the open sea where the nature of the Sargasso Sea will bring some of it in proximity to this little island.

The passage through the ocean of such materials often serves to cause fish to aggregate around such objects. From antiquity it has been known that dolphin fish are attracted to floating objects.

Early surmises included the idea of the fish seeking shade from the hot sun that covers the tropical seas. More likely, small creatures are attracted to such objects as a means of refuge and concealment.

Thus the small things, from crabs and other crustacea to juvenile fish, serve to attract larger predators and so forth.

There will not be a skipper around who cannot tell of one of his bumper hauls that were made around a piece of rope or some other object that he encountered floating on the surface. While dolphin have markedly figured in such hauls, so have wahoo and even billfish.

In simple terms, certain floating object serve as focal points for much of the life in the pelagic ocean.

Especially common at this time of the year, it can really pay to keep an eye out for flotsam as it may harbour a mother lode of desirable species that are usually only too willing to please.

Such objects may be off the drop-offs and drifting in deep water, in areas that would not normally have anglers troll by. Should such be encountered it can be well worth a detour too “see if anyone is at home”.

Not only will such fish respond to lures or baits trolled past the flotsam, but, if conditions allow, drifting along with it and using spinning tackle can lead to all sorts of action.Finally, with a forecast that promises near pleasant conditions offshore, there may be some who are itching to get into their craft and to head offshore.

Although this is laudable, it may be beneficial to take things in perspective and to plan accordingly.

While the Banks and some of the points further offshore may be tempting, unless someone has some pretty positive intelligence as to where to head, he may be making a serious investment in futility.

What the amateur really wants at this time of the year is a clear indication that there is a concentration of fish on the edge or the bank or wherever. Burning fuel based on pure speculation is a luxury most really can’t afford.

There are plenty of more productive options closer to home. The deeper reef areas offer yellowtails, bonitos and amberjack as well as the bottom dwellers which although not really game fish, are certainly eating fish.

And for those who have been wondering, the other term for floating debris is “jetsam”. the difference between the two is that the latter have been deliberately thrown overboard or jettisoned, hence the name. Sometimes such things can also provide Tight lines!!!

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Published Oct 29, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 28, 2016 at 11:30 pm)

Bumper hauls often found near flotsam

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