The north wind, the kaskazi, has blown hard during the day for the last three days, and billfish action has improved everywhere. Particularly interesting are packs of small blue marlin being raised, unusual most years and especially this early in the season. Combined with the poor sailfish catches so far, it might indicate a different pattern in the factors affecting the fishing this year, such as water temperatures and currents.
The marlin have begun to show in the Pemba Channel area, with Shuwari reporting tagging a blue marlin and two striped marlin, from several others raised, while Kamara II also tagged a pair of stripeys. Two days before Broadbill tagged a stripey and missed another two and Shuwari had a pack of blue marlin striking but failed to hook up – exciting but very frustrating when half a dozen marlin come up attacking the baits and one fails to hook up with any of them! Patrizia II tried the offshore seamount, but found little action and cold water temperatures, but was rewarded with a striped marlin on the way home.
Simba, fishing the Rips from Watamu, raised a pack of blue marlin with angler Ceriotti Dario, and initially hooked four but ended up tagging three with skipper Mtawali Zia, great fishing!. These blues are mainly young fish in the 0-100kg range, spectacular fighters on lighter tackle. The same day, Unreel tagged a blue and Ol Jogi tagged a striped marlin, while Alleycat released a big black marlin estimated at 180kgs, so the marlin very active that day, but the next day was quiet with only a sailfish caught.
Last Tuesday proved to be another sailfish only day with Alleycat, Tarka and Clueless all finding sail in the Rips, but action was more marked off Malindi where Tina and Snark both had five sailfish. But the marlin were back next day with Tarka releasing a blue, as well as a sail and Shika also tagging a blue – Unreel was unlucky when their striped marlin fell off the hook at the boat but at least they ended with a sail.
We look forward now to the Watamu Xmas tournament, sponsored by Capt Andy’s on Dec 28th and 29th – boats under 30ft get extra points depending on their length, so small private boats have a real advantage here to take on the big pros. Kilifi also fish their tournament on Dec 27th and it looks as if the Rips will be the hot area.