Strange weather, overcast with strong winds,upset the fishing in the Rips earlier but this has eased now and boats are returning with good catches, more sailfish than marlin but this is only to be expected – the marlin does not have it’s reputation as the top billfish without good reason.
The Billfish University competition at Hemingways came to a successful conclusion, with many boats searching for marlin in the Rips rather than the sailfish in Malindi waters that had dominated the fishing the previous ten days. Little Toot, Simba and White Bear all had a black marlin as well as sail, while the latter boat and Jasiri found striped marlin.
Seastorm had a second consecutive day with both a black and a striped marlin, this time with Geoffrey Gross and Alan Taylor on the rods, and continued their good run with a stripey and a sail a couple of days later, then a black marlin estimated at 160kgs as well as three sail for Roland Norton. Naz Khan in his new boat ‘What it Takes’ started well with a black marlin and two sail, the first of many we hope!
Billy Lynch, from Nairobi, was out fishing for sailfish in Ol Jogi on his fly tackle and achieved a notable mile post when he tagged his one hundredth sailfish on this tackle, all caught under the stringent IGFA rules of this sport, Catching sail is difficult normally, but under fly tackle rules it is ten times more difficult – a great sporting effort!
The weigh scale at Ocean Sports had an interesting pile of fish caught from Tarka by a team of South African anglers using deep jigging tackle, where the heavy lead jigs are lowered to the bottom in perhaps 600 feet of water and the lures jigged swiftly up and down. This is a recent but popular method of fishing off the bottom for those deep dwellers, and amongst the variety of species they had large grouper, different species of red snapper, amberjack and interestingly, a black snoek, with it’s thin black body and huge sinister eyes – not many of these have been caught here although they are not uncommon off South Africa.
Other good catches have been on Clueless with a stripey and seven sail, White Dove with a black marlin and a stripey, Alleycat with a black and five sail and Seahorse with a stripey and six sail.
Malindi boats have had similar catches, indeed some of them fishing out of Watamu fish the Rips regularly for marlin. Snowgoose, close to Malindi on a short day had fourteen sail one day, with Neptune finding eleven, while Tina which tried the Rips had a nice stripey and a sail for David Wilson. The Malindi International Billfish tournament will be fished on Saturday/Sunday Feb 18th and 19th, with the light line Morson Cup on the previous day, and tournaments follow weekly at Kilifi and Watamu after that.