Matt Klara | Sunday, 25 September 2016

There’s something intimidating, unnerving, exciting, and inspiring about peering out over the gunwale and seeing only water. Turns out the vastness is 3-dimensional. Glancing at the sounder confirms that you are way out of your comfort zone. 80 meters. 150 meters. 500 meters. What does that even mean?

Trout stream specialists often are heard to mutter curses when they visit a lake.  Where do I start?  How do you read this water?  Fishing the bluewater takes this feeling to a mind blowing level.  Even after several trips to the deep, the first time out on a new trip usually catches me off guard.

How in hell are we going to find fish out here?

What some learn in time, from captains, mates, books, videos, and time on the water, is that the bluewater is as variable and dynamic as any river.  There are places out there that have the magic combination of factors that attract the entire food chain – from tiny plankton, to gamefish like dorado and tuna and marlin, to massive whales.

It is possible to learn how to read the bluewater just like you read your favorite trout stream, lake, or saltwater flat.  You can learn the signs, discover what to look for, and are willing to search on a scale greater than you ever imagined.

Submarine topography is critical, though invisible without the aid of modern electronics.  Sea mounts, canyons, and other features alter tidal flow and currents and nutrient flows and attract life.  Larger currents like the Gulf Stream are like food highways, concentrating floating debris, bait, and more.  The ocean moves and flows. Areas of specific water temperature and quality akso attract some species, and those factors often manifest in the color of the water.  “Bluewater” means something - that perfect lapis lazuli fading into deep purple is where you often find the fish.  There is no other color like bluewater.

The best captains seem to have a sixth sense for finding these areas.  But even the best spend a lot of time searching.  Looking.  Hunting.  A buoy, or a floating log so far from home. Birds. Flying fish. The point of a sickle shaped fin protruding just above the top of the swell.  It all means something.

And when you finally find the fish, what seemed for so long to be a vast, barren emptiness suddenly shows a prolific productivity and glorious chaos that you truly have to experience to understand.

Take care and fish on!