The good weather continues, with a few light showers of rain and sunny days, in the Malindi area and with calm seas, conditions look optimistic for the Malindi International Festival this weekend. The tournament is sponsored by Captain Andy’s with spectacular prizes including a 15hp Yamaha engine and fishing tackle and the event is the only qualifying tournament in East Africa for the World Championships to be held in Costa Rica next year, and many overseas anglers will be fishing as well as local regulars.
The first day, boats can start from any port, while on the second day fishing is restricted to within thirty miles of Malindi. There are some sailfish around both Malindi and the Watamu Banks, while the Rips have been producing big catches of tuna and a black marlin recently, so skippers have a wide choice and it will be interesting to see where the catches will be made.
Tarka has had two good days last week fishing the Rips, with a black marlin released and 230kgs of school size yellowfin as well, and over 200kgs of yellowfin another day. Unreel, trying the Banks on a short day, found ten yellowfin, two dorado and lots of bait fish – so this is an area some of the tournament anglers will be trying for a big marlin on live bait. A tagged and released marlin scores as 125kgs or 750 points, which needs four sailfish at 200 points each to overtake it.
Eclare, fishing out of Malindi at Mambrui caught one sailfish, three tuna and a dorado, while other days on the Banks yielded a big 23kg kingfish one trip, and a sailfish on another. So sailfish are around but not plentiful, although with more boats out on the water better catches will be made. Skippers keep one eye on the water, and the other on all the boats for any sign of a strike to reveal where the fish are!
Down at Diani, Matalai, with new owner William Lawrence giving his engines a test run, found plenty of sailfish off kaskazi area, and caught two, as well as a nice dorado and some bonito. A good start, and with sail there, more boats will be out on the south coast now – few trips have been made here recently, while there is no news from Shimoni this week.