October 24th – It's three weeks after the successful 15th Annual Fishing Tournament at Oualie Beach Resort in Nevis and the fishermen are still talking about it. This beachfront Nevis hotel hosted the tournament which was a smashing success with 28 boats joining in the fun and camaraderie. Many of these were from the neighbouring islands including St Kitts, BVI, Statia, Saba, Antigua, Anguilla, Montserrat, and St Maarten. The gang who gather at the bar at Oualie Beach are fishermen of varying degrees and all seem to have theories about how and when to land the big ones. “You won't catch fish when the sea is very calm,” one fellow announces with great certainty.“You need to have a little chop to get the bait to move the right way.” Another chap disagrees, bringing on a discussion and recounting fish tales which, they believe, prove their points. Most agree that first light of day and sunset are the most opportune times for catching. Most but not all. A couple of locals point out that they caught their biggest fish at noon. They argue the light is strongest and the fish can more easily see the bait. “If you see porpoises you ain't gonna catch nothin' mon.” one fellow offers. There are shrugs from the majority but you can tell they aren't buy it. Magic Mike, a long-time Oualie Beach fan, wasn't able to work his magic in the tournament. He brought in the smallest of four fish taken aboard the Intermezzo. The running gag from his fishing buddies who landed respectable-sized wahoo was that Mike was showing folks how to catch sardines. His Spanish Mackerel was, however simply delicious.
Magic Mike (right) with the mate on the Sea Brat...that was a better fishing day...but, still, despite the razzing from his pals, he loved the tournament and promises to be back next year.
The best fishing story came from Brad, the Welshman who is a very learned fisherman. It happened several days after the tournament. “I just had the most amazing experience,” Brad related upon returning from an outing on the Black Fin. “We spotted birds diving on a huge ball of bait fish and porpoises. I was at the wheel and no matter how fast I went this thing kept moving at a remarkable speed.” Usually the goal is to fish outside the bait fish surfacing but Brad gunned it and headed straight for it in his last attempt to catch up with it. “Just as we got up to the bait fish, we spotted it. These fish were being chased by a whale! It was huge and I turned our boat away. I've never seen anything like it. If it were anyone but Brad, I might have doubted with whale of a tale but he's a stand-up guy with a great sense of humor. Asked if whales ate porpoises, he cracked, “No. What would be their “porpoise “of that?