Everyone a winner at Junior Tournament
Finally! Things are looking up. The suspicion that this year might see the return of the frigate mackerel after several years’ absence may be coming true. Certainly there are some mackerel available offshore that, although not quite frigate-sized, are still small enough to be used as live baits and can be readily caught on a daisy chain rig.
The presence of such bait can only mean that a wahoo run cannot be too far behind; after all, what predator is going to pass up a respectable concentration of bait fish? In keeping with this assumption, the wahoo bite has shown signs of significant improvement with commercial boats managing to catch numbers like eight in a single trip. This is a lot better than the twos and threes that made for good days just a few weeks back.
Apart from the small game that is pretty ubiquitous on the top of both Banks, there are a few yellowfin tuna around and reasonable numbers of blackfin are there to please anyone who wants to concentrate on this fine light tackle species. Roaming out in the deep will prove that the billfish are still in evidence and can be enticed with just a bit of effort. All told, everything seems to be shaping up to make September the sort of active angling month that it should be.
With so many different categories and prizes at stake, last Sunday’s Junior Angling Tournament weigh-in proved to be a fun event, with every participant coming away a winner. There was a wide variety of species and sizes with some fish being released alive.
In the 6 years and under category; fishing from a boat, the boys winners were Christopher Haycock, with his rod and reel entry of a 2lb 8oz bonita, and Owen Roberts, who hand lined a 1lb 4oz coney. In the same age group, the girls’ division winners were Yanna Camello, with a 1lb 4oz whitewater snapper on rod and reel, and McKenna Kyme, with a 1lb 12oz whitewater on handline.
In the 7 to 10-year-old grouping, the boat winners were Jacob Hines, with a 56.1lb wahoo caught on rod and reel, and Isaac Todd, handlining a 3lb 5oz bonita. The only girl in this age group with a winner was Maya Fizmaurice-Trott, with a 2lb 4oz porgy caught on hand line.
Still in the boat fishing category, in the 11 to 16 age category; the boys’ winners were Dylan Muso, with a 1lb 13oz whitewater caught on rod and reel, while Will Rossito and Tommy Marshall tied, each with an 11oz whitewater snapper. The girls’ winners were Brittany Pacheco, whose 3lb 6oz chub took rod and reel honours, and Gabby Furr, who handlined a 1lb 4oz yellow grunt.
In the shore fishing category, the under-6 winners were: with rod and reel, Jack Fullerton, with a 13oz chub, and Elaine Jones, with an 11oz bream. Using handline, the winners were Dayce Woodley, with a 1lb bream, and Savana Haywood, with her 8oz file fish.
In the 7 to 10-year-old group, Sami Guido had a 4lb 2oz blackjack on rod and reel, while of the handliners, Tori Haywood’s 6.1oz squirrelfish and Rahkeem Wilson’s 8oz jack proved to be winners.
In the oldest age group, the winners were Khamanie Pitt-Nisbett, who caught a 2lb 14oz chub on handline, and Kacey Scotland, who caught a 9oz sennet on rod and reel.
There were also the overall categories. The Top Boat Fish was Peyton Hines’ 57.5lb wahoo and the Top Shore Fish was Zakee Doers’ 4lb 5oz turbot.
The first of the 120 who entered was Davis Barnes. Notably, 36 entrants were girls, showing that fishing is not just for the boys. Best of all, some 80 children came to the weigh-in event. The first to weigh in was Matachi Hayward, while the last was Nash Storey. The youngest competitor with the smallest fish was Cyril Jones, who had a 4oz pinfish, and the sport fishing award went to Lillian Colletes, who had to release her undersized snapper. Well done, one and all who participated and the community owe a vote of gratitude to Bermuda Anglers Club for helping to promote the sport to the island’s youth.
Just proving how time flies, the season’s last major tournament is now in sight. This is The Royal Gazette Wahoo Tournament, the 51st such event of this type and one which has long been a welcome part of the angling institution. It is scheduled for September 10, with alternates being the next two Sundays. There are a few changes this year, not least of which is that team forms rather than individual entry forms can be used. These are available from and should be handed in to either The Marine Locker or C-Mart. The deadline is Wednesday, September 6 at 5pm. For many who do not indulge in much competitive fishing but still want to have a crack this is an ideal tournament to get a group together and to venture offshore to see if you can come up with some Tight Lines!
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