A trip to Bermuda would be incomplete for an ardent fisherman without ‘wetting’ a line! A great day’s Deep Sea Fishing depends on luck and a lot of skill. Bring your luck by all means, but let the rest be taken care of by a Bermudan fishing charter ensuring a first-class day of fishing for avid anglers in our beautiful Bermuda waters.
If your fishing knowledge is limited but you want to try your hand at deep sea fishing, you will be coached every step of the way and YOU just may be the next World Record holder! Boats will take you to the best locations in order to improve your chances of landing a Marline, Wahoo or Tuna.
Your safety is our utmost concern and charter boats come fully equipped to meet the high standards required for offshore fishing by Bermuda Regulations.
Fishing equipment: Tournament tackle, 12lb through to 130lb; Fighting Chairs; two Fishing Chairs; Outriggers; Downriggers; Kites and all accessories for modern game fishing. If you aren’t sure of the right tackle to use in various situations, we will gladly assist you to make the right choice.
The official fishing season, as advertised by the Department of Tourism, is May through November. However, Playmate will fish all year long, weather permitting. Bermuda is in the path of the migrating pattern for large schools of Tuna and Wahoo. Some of the best fishing can be found in the off season months.
There are over 27 varieties of game fish in the Bermuda waters. Those commonly caught are: Blue & White Marlin, Yellow & Black Fin Tuna, Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi), Wahoo, Great Barracuda, Amberjack and Shark (including huge Tiger Shark), during August and September.
WHAT’S BITING AND WHEN – Our season usually heats up in late March through April, with Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna and Wahoo being the main targets. DURING MAY, the really large Yellowfin, up to 100lbs., appear and we fish with light stand-up tackle while “chumming” or chunking. The Wahoo are still plentiful and will invade our chum lines while we fish for the Tuna. The Blue and White Marlin start to appear now, as they are feeding on the Tuna.
JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST is “prime time” Blue Marlin fishing, with good White Marlin, Tuna and Wahoo action as well. Fish around the full moon for the best Marlin bites. Other species that please now are Almaco Jacks, the Great Amberjack, Rainbow Runners, Great Barracuda, Mahi Mahi dolphin fish and Sharks of several species.
SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER and NOVEMBER: Lots of Wahoo now for the fall run as we move into our live baiting season. We use 1 to 2lb Bonito and troll these at 2 to 5 knots with 30 to 50lb tackle. There are lots of multiple hookups that also include Yellowfin Tuna, Billfish and a host of other predators waiting to steal the bait.
DECEMBER TO MARCH: Our season slows down a little. The Billfish have moved on, the Wahoo and Tuna will still please, but the weather is usually unpredictable. However, we get some really super days right in the middle of fronts moving across the island.
Many charters support ‘Tag & Release’ programs for Tuna and Billfish and many tags have been returned. Some recent tag recaptures were a 10lb Yellowfin Tuna, tagged by us and recaptured 605 days later, in Puerto Rico, at 36lb. Also, an 8lb Yellowfin Tuna was recaptured in the Cape Hatteras area at 35lb, after 545 days at large. A Blue Shark, tagged by us in June 2000 was caught, by a longliner, 278 miles SW of Faial Azores in February 2001 – 228 days at liberty and 1603 miles from Bermuda!
One of the most popular areas for deep sea fishing in Bermuda is the Argus & Challenger Banks. The island of Bermuda was formed by natural corals, built on top of a non-active volcano. The Argus & Challenger Banks are continuations of these volcanic peaks, located off the southwest end of the island. They rise up, rapidly, from the bottom of the ocean floor. The change in depths is dramatic, coming from over 600 fathoms to approximately 30 fathoms of water in a matter of a few hundred feet. Each ‘Bank’ has a large area of water that remains at around the 30 fathom depth, creating a flat plateau, and this creates a haven for all types of fish. Small bait fish are abundant in these areas, taking advantage of the nutrients that arise from the ocean depths. Larger fish tend to follow the edges of the Banks in search of all this bait activity.
How the Banks are fished when you arrive depends on the weather conditions. Strong tides can sometimes spoil bottom fishing, making trolling the preference. Trolling is done by following the edges of the Banks with the help of a depth sounder and fish finder. Slack tides can allow anchoring up, or drift fishing, right on the edge of the Banks. This type of fishing allows a popular local method of fish enticing, called ‘chumming’ or ‘chunking.’ A ‘Chum Line’ is bait and anchovies, cut up and continuously fed into the water to drift out with the tides. If Wahoo and Tuna are around, they will come in so close that you feel you can almost pick out the fish you want. Fishing this way gives you an opportunity to actually watch a Wahoo change colour with excitement, just before it strikes out at the bait.
Winds and tides permitting, another creative way to fish is by flying a kite, using flying fish bait rigged to a kite. The ‘Kite Rig’ takes a line off the back of the boat and the bait is rigged in such a manner that its fins are set out in a flying position. The line is then set to make an action of popping in and out of the water. Large Tuna find it hard to resist and strike the bait with great boil of white water…… then the fun is on!
Fly fishing is gaining popularity in salt water fishing. Not many Captains or anglers are willing to put in the time to tease a fish into range for Fly Presentation. Customers should be prepared to supply their own flies, rods and necessary equipment.