There seem to be plenty of billfish around, but not so easy to catch, while for sailfish the emphasis seems to have moved from the Rips to nearer waters in the Malindi and Watamu areas. The weather continues good, not too hot, still in the mornings and a good breeze getting up later.
The sailfish have re-appeared off Malindi and north, with Tina getting five on Tuesday and four next day, and Snark also having four, while from Watamu Castle Lager had five sail and then a striped marlin and a sail the day before and Contagious found a couple of sail, so the two big catamarans from South Africa doing well.
The fishing appeared to have peaked on the first day, Saturday, of the Watamu tournament, good timing, although Tega with skipper Steve George has performed well since, with a pair of striped marlin this Monday and a pair of blues on New Years eve – not many blues have been caught so far as they tend to appear a bit later than the stripies, with big ones late in February and early March.
Seastorm and Pussycat caught black marlin this week, while earlier B’s Nest tagged another big black of around 200 kgs for Richard Cunningham and White Dove lost a similar sized fish but tagged a stripey. Simba had a stripey and two sail for Henry Chege and Ezekiel Kiliku, and Ol Jogi a stripey and a sail for Andrew Prior, so quite a variety of all the billfish species being caught, but many boats have quiet days, seeing the fish but reporting them reluctant to come and take the lures.
Billfish are around elsewhere as well, as from Shimoni two grand slams were caught on Wednesday, one on Broadbill with Julian Gostling from UK tagging a black of 170kgs and a stripey, plus two sail caught by his friends, and Jasiri tagging a blue, a stripey and two sail, so the main season starting with good action down there. From Mombasa earlier, Eligio Battaia took Naz Khan and his two sons Mansur and Jameel out on Inca where they found five sailfish, to follow on the two sail the previous day with UK clients.
The annual Christmas competition at Kilifi on the 27th Dec had a good entry of 25 boats, and was won by Tarka, with Sophie Durand, who won the Ladies prize, and Callum Looman both releasing a sailfish and Ciku catching a 20.8 kg wahoo, followed by Snowgoose with Anthony and Jonny Havelock with a sail, a kingfish and a wahoo. Third, and winners in the small boat stream, were Jonty Marsh and Philip Lowe in Shikwe Shangu with a sail and a wahoo. Minerva came second in the small boats with a sail caught by Nick Taylor, while Georgina Millar and Nick Sutcliffe with a dorado and a sail were third in the large boat class on Delta. Danny Ker was the most meritorious youngster with an 8 kg wahoo, and the tournament was marked by a very wide range of prizes with so many of the younger generation represented, a good fun day for all.
The Malindi Casino tournament on the 15th, 16th Jan weekend is the next competition with a great range of valuable prizes, and there should be plenty of fish around as January progresses, so put this date in your diary – the draw and auction are on the Friday evening.
The Mtwapa Cup is on the 16th Jan. and the Delamere Trophy on the 29th, 30th Jan at Kilifi, and later in February follow the Malindi International Billfish, the Kilifi Classic and the Watamu Festival, so plenty of tournaments coming up.