While marlin continue to be caught, the arrival of big yellowfin tuna in areas as far apart as the Pemba Channel, Watamu and the North Kenya Banks has introduced a new perspective in the fishing scene. While runs of these big tunny were a regular feature some years ago, they seemed to vanish after the mantis shrimp shoals moved away five years ago, and it is a good sign to see catches of fish up to over 60kgs, particularly as this season used to peak in October so it is still early for them.
Neptune, from Malindi Kingfisher boats, has now done several runs to the North Kenya Banks, with regular anglers Rick le Monnier and Don Rafferty from Dubai, and in three days they had over a thousand kgs of tuna and amberjack, whilst also releasing two black marlin of 220kgs and 150kgs – great fishing! Then on a trip with Andreas Knausenberger and friends, twelve tuna averaging 30kgs were caught, when a huge marlin was spotted following one of these tuna to the boat. A smaller bait was rigged and cast out to the monster and duly swallowed, and after two hours an exhausted Andreas brought in a 332kg black marlin which had died, wrapped in the line. A magnificent start to the season.
White Mischief and Ol Jogi, from Watamu, also ran to the NKB, the former boat scoring eleven tuna up to 42kgs, while the latter had nine, the biggest of 52kgs caught by Callum Scott.
Down at Shimoni Simon Hemphill reports that the boats have seen several shoals of big tuna jumping, with both Kamara II and Broadbill boating a fish of 30kgs, although the fish were hard to catch – they become most active when rains squalls are around so anglers wish for a cold rainy day! These tuna are usually followed by big blue and black marlin, so hopes are high!
However the biggest tuna have been two yellowfin of 66 and 64kgs, caught on Alleycat and Ol Jogi repectively, fishing around the Watamu Mountains, while the same area and the Banks have continued to produce black marlin. Tarka released a black marlin on two consecutive days, with a bullshark of 140kgs as well as several wahoo, while Alleycat also released marlin of 140 and 80 kgs on consecutive days and a sailfish as well. Dave Todd on B’s Nest tagged a black marlin of 60kgs, while the Le Clair family from USA tagged two sailfish on the same boat so the good fishing in this area continues.