Strong winds keep the fish down
More boats have been going out this week, but with strong winds making for rough seas many do short days, mornings only, which keeps the score down, particularly for marlin which tend to come up better in the afternoon. Only two marlin were caught last week, Ol Jogi tagging a black estimated at 120kgs caught by Martin Taylor at the beginning of the week and Tarka finding one of 108kgs a few days later, but sailfish and mixed bags of wahoo, yellowfin and kingfish have been the norm.
Mid-September is the time when the winds should moderate and the seas calm down, after which the billfish tended to move away from the Banks, but this seems delayed this year, no doubt due to an El Nino, a La Nina or some other vagary in the weather! Seastorm had a couple of sail for a Russian team, and White Bear had found the wahoo the previous day catching seven as well as a couple of sail, while Ol Jogi had to be content with a pair of sharks along with eight yellowfin and a wahoo. On the Banks, the sail, the wahoo and the tuna are usually in different areas and come up at different times, so one’s bag largely depends on where one fishes at particular times – this is where the skippers skills are important! Contagious and Castle Lager are both large catamarans run by South African teams and both have been catching a single sailfish on most of their outings, while skipper Rob Hellier in his Unreel, who knows these waters better than most, also just found that one sailfish, but also a shark and a giant trevally, with all these fish being released. Earlier in the week, Neptune from Malindi was fishing the Banks in search of marlin but had no luck with these but did catch five sail and lose several more, but a few days later with the winds increasing, they found a single sail plus a couple of wahoo, two kingfish and half a dozen yellowfin.
The previous day Tina also found four sail, a giant trevally and a couple of dogtooth tuna, the latter rare in our waters although these are targeted further south in Tanzania, where some world records have been caught, recently by deep jigging. Interesting to note the Kenya record is a fish of 86.9 kgs, caught at Shimoni, while specimens over 100 kgs have been caught in Mauritius, very impressive fish! Neptune tried off Malindi and found some bigger yellowfin, two of 24kgs, but when they were due to go further north to Ziwaiyu, where fishing has been good at this time in recent years, the waters proved too rough so that trip will have to wait.
The Malindi October Festival, now named the Herbie Paul International, will be fished on Sat/Sun 23rd&24th October. Kindly sponsored by MH Joinery Products, PLC, of UK, there will be an impressive array of prizes and a good entry is expected, so this will be a good chance to meet up with old fishing friends.
The light line tournament, the Churchill Trophy will be on the Friday 22nd October, and with the sailfish expected to have turned on by then this is always a popular fixture both with overseas fishermen and upcountry anglers, so book now!
News courtesy of David Slater – 08/04/2010 – Fishing slows as south wind blows
In the last few days the south wind, the kusi, has started to blow in earnest, and it looks as if it will stay that way now, as we are already into April which is late for the change. This is usually the signal for the migratory billfish to move on in their annual migration and we can expect catches of sailfish and marlin to decrease, especially far offshore in the Rips, although one can expect black marlin to be found around the Watamu Banks and off Malindi for a while.
Anglers are also in short supply and the boats have not been out much in the last week, although there were some good days at the beginning of the period. Thursday a week ago we saw Unreel coming in with tag and release flags for a blue marlin of around 120 kgs, three striped marlin and a sailfish, plus one stripey that was bleeding badly and had to be boated. A grand slam for Andy Manfield and what a good day, as they raised eleven marlin in total so the boat was really running hot for skipper Rob Hellier. The previous day Bamara had tagged two striped marlin with Dickie Evans, as well as a good haul of bottom fish, and two days later the same boat tagged a sail, and caught eight yellowfin totalling 170 kgs, so some hard work there for the anglers.
With the south wind blowing it can get uncomfortably rough in the afternoons, so half days can be the norm and Seastorm with Frederick van Zyl and son William had a sail and a wahoo in a morning trip.
Down in the Pemba Channel, Kamara II returned after a run up north in which Ray Matiba joined Simon Hemphill fishing the Friends of Kenya tournament. A group from Botswana fished in three boats and found lots of sailfish but had a problem hooking these – predictable when boats are targeting marlin as the fishing methods are different and the lures suitable for marlin often not conducive to hooking up with sailfish. White Otter finished the first day with a blue and a striped marlin, Broadbill had three sailfish and Kamara had a good story when the anglers by mistake knocked the drag lever off with a very big marlin leaping away across the ocean, resulting in the ‘long line release’- one hopes the fish was able to shake the hook and add to the welter of expensive lures which must litter the ocean floor in these fishing areas!
There are not a lot of private boats running these days, but Minerva at Kilifi is one of them, and Anne Taylor had a most thrilling day when after releasing a sail and missing three marlin strikes, a really big marlin nailed a lure on a 24kg line Twice it was almost at the boat and was seen to be a really huge fish, but after two hours the line parted – but what a fun experience and a day to never forget!
News courtesy of David Slater – Marlin catches seal victory in Watamu tournies
The Fly540 sponsored Watamu International Tournament resulted in twenty marlin and sixty eight sailfish for the sixteen boats that competed – over five billfish per boat, a good result as these fish have been harder to find in recent days after the bonanza catches of a month ago.
Tega, with three striped marlin and four sail looked to be well ahead on day one, but it was the team on Black Widow, Batian Craig, Adam Ogden and Nixon Kayeni who came on strongly the second day to take first place. With a stripey and a black marlin, caught by Nixon Kayeni which died on the line and was weighed in at 194 kgs on the Saturday they added another stripey and four sail on the Sunday for a total of 2800 pts, taking all the main prizes including a very smart Zodiac rubber dinghy with a 5hp Yamaha engine.
The fishers on Tega, Neil McGowan, Nick Dalton, John Bolden, and Jen Cobill with skipper Steve George, seemed to have used up their luck ration as they could find only two dorado the second day, one of which gave Jen the Lady’s prize, but they held on to second place ahead of the team on White Bear, Robin James, Sean Macaulay and James Shepherd, who added a good second day with two striped marlin and three sail to the stripey they had the first day to make third place.
Instedda, fished by Imran and Uhsam Moosa, Alan Sibley and Ali al Harazi did well both days adding a stripey and five sail on Sunday to the stripey and three sail they had the first day, to clinch fourth place ahead of Sea Storm, with anglers Callum Scott, Craig Allen and Steve Webb, who had two sail the second day to top up their first day score of a black and a striped marlin and a sailfish, to record the only grand slam of the competition.
A good weekend’s fishing, and many thanks to sponsors Fly 540, the low cost airline, who as the speakers remarked, not only kept fishing tournaments going with their sponsorship, but stepped into the gap flying to Malindi when the national airline deserted the area.
A days rest, and the Hemingways ‘Friends of Kenya’ tournament was under way – two days and a night non-stop fishing, which has become such a popular feature of the angling calendar and the only one of this format for the real enthusiasts.
White Mischief, fished by Russ Brumby, Nick Michaelides and Mtawali Chondo were the clear winners when all the fifteen boats finally returned by 4pm, flying flags for a blue marlin, four striped marlin and two broadbill swordfish for a total 3800 pts and a grand slam.
Second place went to Seastorm, but it was just one fish that scored, a black marlin taken on fly tackle under official rules by Gai Cullen. On fly, this fish scored treble points for 3000 pts, but more remarkable was that it is the first black marlin on fly by a lady angler caught off the African coast – well done Gai, now for that broadbill!
Black Widow came third, with anglers Adam Ogden, Dicky Evans and Adam Lenga, who tagged two blue and one striped marlin and four broadbill, also for a grand slam – very consistent fishing for this boat after their win a couple of days before. Simba, with Mark Allen, Mtawali Zia and Kasungu filled fourth place with two blue and one striped marlin, one broadbill and a sailfish for a super grand slam, while Ol Jogi, fished by Jim Pointon, John Stevens and Stuart Simpson, came in close behind for fifth place, with a blue and two striped marlin, two broadbill and two sailfish, another super grand slam! What amazing fishing!