Fishing closest thing to roulette on the island

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  • Fishing in Bermuda can be like a visit to Las Vegas at times. Local anglers will be hoping to hit the jackpot with a big haul

    Fishing in Bermuda can be like a visit to Las Vegas at times. Local anglers will be hoping to hit the jackpot with a big haul


Whoever thought that gambling was restricted to Las Vegas or Monaco had better think again. Right now, the fishing around this fair isle is pretty much the same as wandering into a casino. It may not be chips that are at stake but there certainly are monetary considerations involved.

For a start, even a trip out to Bermuda’s Edge means the consumption of fuel and whether gasoline or diesel, at today’s petroleum prices, this doesn’t come cheap. Factor in the size of vessel and the speed involved and the cost can go upwards of a hundred dollars incredibly quickly.

What is supposed to even things out by way of justifying the expense is the other side of the balance sheet. This is primarily measured in fish although satisfaction or experience may be assigned a value in some cases as well. In the simplest version, and where it is most obvious, is in the case of a commercial operator: fuel in, fish out, take to market and cash in.’

The case of the amateur is a bit more subtle with the fish being converted into a reduction in the weekly food bill or a commodity that can be used for barter with family or friends.

Just like going into a casino, even the matter of picking where to go is a conundrum. There have been numerous reports emanating from boats that have fished pretty well throughout the usual local fishing grounds.

The results have ranged from downright disappointing to better than reasonable. The thing is there just does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the locations and timing of the action. A bit like roulette: random.

In the latter category have been hauls as good as captain Alan Card’s Challenger’s haul on Monday of five wahoo and a yellowfin that weighed in around 65 pounds. The wahoo were also all of a good size. This was followed up the next day with a smaller but no less acceptable catch of two wahoo and two blackfin tuna.

At the disappointing end of the spectrum have been complete and utter blanks to show for a day of effort. Not something that anyone wants to be on the receiving end of. Sort of like losing all your cash in a slot machine. Having painted the rather grim picture of the last few days, there is the future to look forward to.

This is now June 1, 2017 — one of the “summer” months when the fishing is supposed to be good. Normally it is when the tuna finally settle down and chumming comes into its own; for many locals and visitors a like a preferred method of fishing. Thus far there has not been too much sign of this happening although there are some yellowfin tuna out there and the probably resident blackfin tuna are starting to become more active.

Judging by the fact that there have been some nice wahoo caught, it is probably worth sticking to the trolling for a bit in order to try and cover the water, keeping an eye out for any signs of bait or possible schools of fish. Tuna often give themselves away by showing on the surface and the thinking is that if there is one there should be others in the same general area.

If nothing comes out of that then there are choices to be made: stick to the troll and hope something comes up along the way; drop the anchor and go on the chum or head into shallower water in search of live baits.

Some of the better catches have come off live baits, mostly robins; but almost equally with the rest of the fishing, there have been days when just getting the robins to please has been a challenge.

Still, there are advantages in that the engine is not required so fuel will be conserved and live baits generally result in a better class of predator with barracuda being the exception.

Any effort out in the deeper water will eventually result in a challenge from a billfish. These are being caught with some regularity at present and this situation is only going to improve as the weeks progress.

The issue is that, other than charter boats, most commercial fishermen are not interested in catching billfish and even sportsmen and women would rather save these fish for the tournaments that take place in July when they are totally in the limelight and potentially carry a serious payday with them.

Right now most anglers would rather be catching wahoo and tuna or other species to put some fresh fish on the table or to at least be able to stash some in the freezer for later. Lots of uncertainty about but then again there has always been an element of chance to fishing.

Like gambling, every so often a jackpot can be hit just like there are those days when there is no shortage of Tight Lines!!!

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Published Jun 3, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm)

Fishing closest thing to roulette on the island

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