BERMUDA: Offshore Fishing

Bermuda, the hotspot for Atlantic blues

Bermuda, best-known for swallowing up countless boats over the years, is becoming increasingly famous for another reason. As John Ashley discovered, gamefishermen from around the world are heading there to chase the huge Atlantic blue marlin flowing around this British island.

BERMUDA: Offshore Fishing

“Bermuda’s great potential for giant Atlantic blue marlin is its main drawcard.”

Bermuda is perhaps best-known for the myth about the Bermuda Triangle (or Devil’s Triangle, as some people call it). However, the official explanation as to why so many ships have been lost in the area is human error coupled with the region’s minefield of shallow reefs studded with coral bommies. Some of the reef channels are now marked, particularly for big cruise ships, but much of the island’s waters remain unmarked. The region poses a real danger to outsiders without local knowledge, although the advent of GPS has certainly helped with safer navigation.

FAST FACTS ABOUT BERMUDA

Bermuda is situated just over 600 nautical miles off the US east coast mainland with Hatteras, North Carolina the closest seaport. Miami, Florida lies about 900 nautical miles away. The island was discovered by the Spanish captain Juan de Bermudez in the early 15th Century, and first settled about one hundred years later by the survivors of a passing British ship wrecked on its treacherous outer reef. The island soon became a British Colony and still today you can see the remains of many fortresses and rusty canons scattered around the island’s headlands, from where they protected the colony from pirates. Bermuda is the oldest and most populous of all British overseas territories.

Bermuda is a magnificent island with plenty of activities to attract anglers and non-anglers alike. Besides its fascinating history, the island is a boating paradise shaped like a hook. The number of bays, inlets and crannies down both sides of the island is staggering. The main harbour is called the Great Sound and is being considered as a venue for the prestigious America’s Cup sailing classic. Hamilton Harbour, where the main town is situated, is large and along its deep foreshores are some of the most gorgeous waterfront homes imaginable.

Around the outer island, between the rugged rocky headlands, the pretty pink sand beaches are also breathtaking. The gin-clear Atlantic Ocean lapping the shallow shorelines and lagoons produces an amazing water colour, which is where you’ll find large bonefish and giant trevally.
Bermuda’s great potential for giant Atlantic blue marlin is its main drawcard for gamefishermen. Huge marlin are caught regularly and Bermuda has become very popular with wealthy American anglers who have the time and money to send their battlewagons across for the summer months. You’ll also find a dozen local charter vessels, well equipped with heavy-tackle, working the island’s waters.

GETTING TO BERMUDA

Flights arrive from all over the world, including Europe and the UK. From the US it’s a two-hour flight (from New York or Miami).

WHERE TO STAY IN BERMUDA

The town of Hamilton offers a great range of accommodation, including the five-star Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, right at the marina, where many of the tournaments are held. www.fairmonthamiltonprincess.com

Less expensive are the quaint Robins Nest Apartments, nearby. www.robinsnestbda.com

TOURNAMENTS IN BERMUDA

The Triple Crown tournament series has become a huge event in Bermuda, along with the popular one-day Blue Marlin World Cup on July 4th. For information on the Triple Crown series, email dan.jacobs@bonniercorp.com

WHEN TO GO TO BERMUDA

All tournaments are held in July and August, which is regarded as the best time for big blue marlin, although the months either side are also good for white marlin, wahoo and tuna.

Author and photography: John Ashley